poetry

fingernails

In the 3.30am

wake to the lurch of

oh no

drinking again

lacerations and sharp cuts

hatred and harm

half asleep

haven’t

don’t do that any more

old habits

the gut of fear

try to make good

fingernails flayed raw

fault lines begin

deep

where the mouth worries

spoiling each side

it’s raining

and blowing

spinning through grey air

not sure

we’re in Kansas anymore

 

Image: cyclone scene from The Wizard of Oz stolen from https://www.ifc.com/2009/08/movie-tornadoes

these waves

these waves

stacked like trays

in the corner of Vinnes

a mess of levels

all over the place

and whoever said

liquid is flat

a plane of rock

like a jewellery box

glory spots, lots of treasure pools

the smooth grace of sea

draws up her skirt

gathers into a bastion

of Prussian blue and

as wind stipples the topfoam

back in a cockatoo crest

and the rest

tips forward

crashes on and over

those uneven shelves, the

cutlery drawer

of my coastal shore.

elephant-hide stone, I hop

from plane to plane and feel

brave

like the water could

engulf me

at any stage but of course

I’m safe

not near enough the edge

prefer to watch

put my mind

in the boiling blueturquoisewhite

cauldron and thrill

to the thought of

how I’d die, cold and afraid

while a cormorant

slips oilsmooth

quicksilver, alive in the place

that would surely be

my grave

 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Finally recorded one!

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/these-waves

 

Plan B

 

 

dreaming of Anne Boelyn

how she risked everything

was she all alone

in her head, she must have been

yet she succeeded

if sacrificed

seeded

the throne

no one ever says that

if she’d been a man

what a noble deed, Genghis Khan creed

your progeny

make history

wonder if she

had time to be

a mother

what about her autobiography

a redemption memoir

My Fall from (his) Grace

or

The Anne-ti Dote

or simply

Plan B

release date

19 May

biggest news since

the black plague?

sorry that

your church was razed

 

 

Image: https://www.biography.com/royalty/anne-boleyn

Liquid love

 

If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door

life flowing cleargreenblue at the bottom of oyster-encrusted steps

clean water, the salt tang, the ripple against stone, how the light strikes

a big sky over a railroad track and the way beer disappears with the sunset

aching sweet, being drunk feels like love

we twist our affections around a glass and tip whiskey in the crevices love has eroded and cut

sluicing the jagged bits, juicing over hurt

the intense blue sky, blue like plastic, a blue dome, a blue tarpaulin from the 80s, blue like sky, a perfect cloudbroken blue over a back lane in Adelaide

ground tinted rust-red from bore water, the world’s blood and corrugated iron in the sun smells like dirt

your eyes like a tannin creek, running smooth and alive with the promise

if I pour myself full of wine from the grapes of the sky, salted from the sea, grown against wire fences in a red-brown earth

if I lie down with you and join our mouths our rivers our waves

will I be granted love

or does it just feel that way

 

I took the first line of this from Women Who Run With The Wolves by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Photo: Claire Doble

entry wounds

Are we all
reeling from
entry wounds making us
cruel and childish
under
tyrannical sunlight
revealing harsh
vulnerable
undergrowth
almost no one knows
how to enfold
the gum-studded, ragged blossom scrub
without smothering
in the cognitive dissonance
of landscape
as I fumble funeral tissues
prop open the doors
and let it all flood in
the ugly bits, the bush smell,
death and decay
awful, is it snakes
or something putrid
in the corners and car parks where
care factors set to
magnificent complacency
hold the indifference of
poisoned fruit in a possum cage

Storm damage

when I look around

really look

there’s a plastic bag of cig butts

skidding along the side path

that makes me think

teenagers were trying to break in

and a board against the back fence

like a skate ramp

were they…

while

my front teeth are growing like a rodent’s

who hasn’t gnawed enough carrot

and my guts roil and play

menacing, an active volcano

then I realise the butts were his stash

blown askew by the wind

forgotten, while death floated so close

and a fern has fallen

cracked its pot

in the morning light

I hope my teeth are all right

because

more damage has been done and

I’m more broken

than I thought

Long gone

there’s a place I don’t go

where the rocks grind smooth

a place where dancing cockatoos

sing glitter tunes in hot pubs with

sticky carpet and the clunk of

boulles outside in a warm

pink evening

I don’t abide there anymore

in a beer-soaked fug of joy

the urgent oration

knowing words were

so important

ephemeral

and you

looked at me across the bar

flying on sequin wings

back to the room of my four-poster bed

yet another place I no longer dwell

Undertow

my sands are shifting

and the tides

always the same but

look at the minutiae

different every time

so how

do you justify or feel safe

always, it vibrates

buzzing with life or at

mechanical pace

like the train rattles by my place

at night, dark speedthought tangles trace

catch and drag

that undertow when sleep

is lying backwards

underwater and

looking up at the light

nowhere else to hide

and no place to return to

do, do, do, do

ideas massed like kelp piles, stinking high

how do I…

where is, why,

just write.

Shush owls

where the rocks crash

where the shush owls

turn the lights off

swoop, frothover calls

 

throaty and distraught

no starboard lighthouse

green glass and sheet metal

black box never found

 

where the waves grind

behind old bedposts

ancient lamps move

inexorable warmth, breath

 

This poem was inspired by a beautiful and strange poem my good friend Joh from Milk and Motherhood sent me on a postcard once.

I also finally had the chance to use the “shush owls” phrase I was so taken by in one of the NaPoWriMo poems by Kevin J O’Conner

Thankyou both

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Woof

I’d like to get a brown and white dog
a dog-dog
with a pointy nose, not too sharp
triangle ears. No, floppy ears
like a spaniel
or terrier
maybe a black and white dog
not too shaggy
or a smooth-toffee Weimaraner
but you pay an arm and a
leg for those
a short-hair mutt
good with children
likes to run
not too energetic
must enjoy lazy afternoons
watching How To Train Your Dragon
medium-sized
a smart dog who
only barks happily
jumping in the waves
or defensively
when the situation is grave
and if the kids fall in a hole
“What’s that Skip? The old quarry? I’ll be right away!”
OK
that was a kangaroo.
A handsome dog. A nice dog
not Lassie, or Timmy or The Littlest Hobo or Flipper… oh
that was a dolphin.
The right dog
a dog-dog. A dog…
woof

 

Today’s prompt: write a poem about an animal

Photo: Photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash