Wednesday, December 19, 2012

They've always been out there

It's just the news that makes you think
They're back;
They've always been out there,
Sometimes shallow, always deep:

The bump on your surf ski,
The thought that curls your toes,
As you swim through
The brush of water weed.

'A little beauty, and a bargain too,'
The agent darted through the house
Circling behind, herding us on
As if stopping would mean his death.

Last weekend, by the lake,
On a fantastic block,
For just a moment, I think I saw one
In the shadow of a cloud.

But it must have been my mind
Darting to conclusions in the swirl.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Morning routine

Each morning, I sit on the beach.
The surf fisher never catches a thing;
The tick,
               of the reel,
Waves washing in and
At sea a boatsman brings in his nets
Hand over hand over hand.
As the sand grows over my toes and the
Salt spray preserves me.

Later, that same day, I work
At the local dry cleaners,
Suits washing in across the counter
And dresses splashing over the edge:
I erase stains without water,
Clothes ready to be tainted again
By the cycle of business deals,
The salt grains of daily sweat.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

what I forgot

when I was wedgetail, I was
beak clever and feather proud. I would
comb the contours of convection,
tickle the fickle wind, patient as mountains,
gliding on grace.

I was perspective,
hunting with the sun, picking
twitches and pinning dashes,
tracing the lines of fires,
taking what the earth expelled,
picnicing over a blanket of gum haze
brushing cirrus with my crown.

now I am human.
I don’t need the wind to fly.
now I am human.
I don’t need perspective to see all.

when I was brown snake, I was all
tongue and curls, painting
pictures by taste, hearing the
heartbeat of the earth, the
silent guru on the rock, making
pronouncements with a tap.

I was sun dial, heat soak,
at the end of each day carrying
hydrogen’s wisdom into the ground.

now I am human, loud and straight.
now I am human, I make my own heat

when I was fox, I was
heartbeats and whiskers, a
red shift arrow across sable,
racing headlights to brush cover
bushy tail taunting another dash done.

I was noisy chased but in the
dark, breath tight, I was
silent stalker, opportune and gamble,
chicken fright and mouse carrier.

unaware I was out of place
curled with my cubs as
sun brought out the hounds.

now I am human, afraid of nothing
now I am human, ever in place

when we were bogong moth, we
carried the somnolent powder of
winter on our bodies and the
moon on our wings. we lived in
squats, congregated in cathedral eaves and
stencilled the walls of caves, clutched quivering together.

we were gate crashers, couch surfers and
story tellers, prophets and revelators,
revealing the tale of time, making circles in the night air.

now we are human, beyond time.
now we are human, we do not care
what we forget.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Here is the first poem I did at the finals last Saturday night.


Liking a Facebook page is not activism,
Even if you comment in ALL CAPS to show how much the issue angers you. 
And failing to repost or share does not mean I don’t care.

As if cutting and pasting is taking some sort of political stand.

All you are doing is using an online sink to wash your hands.

I don’t know what caused this rant. I’m just waiting for my mocchacino. 
I start to argue, ‘I...,’ but the barista continues. 

You are not doing your bit for the underprivileged of the world. 
The only reasons you sponsor two children in Laos and a Kenyan girl 
Is not that World Vision’s vision matters, but your vague sense of guilt 
And a weakness for cute Irish backpackers.

And just because you went to an inspiring rally in the park in September 
Does not make you the Social Justice League of Australia’s newest member, 
Even if John Butler went off madder than at Falls and the 
Vegan cupcakes were totally amazeballs.

You jump on every cause without pause ignore your own flaws don’t deplore the lack of thought for the poor or our refugee laws just wear your latest support like the hair on your jaws the skinny jeans in your drawers just one more sort of fashion you’ve bought expecting ironic applause; only this thing is sure: you’re after reward for your one true cause: 


Now, this isn’t right. John Butler’s my bro. 
But the more I try to stand up, the harder she goes. 

You make pointed but witty tweets hashtag qanda 
Then wait to see your user name appear below Tony Jones’ face.

You sit in cafes writing political poems which leave 
Then shout them from a stage waving your arms about.

You can join every GetUp! campaign and still be a jerk. 
That will be $3.80 for your coffee, thank you sir.

This is like some really bad trip. There is no way I'm leaving a tip. 
I say under my breath as I leave with my coffee, 
‘Fascist. ‘I’m totally glad that you dumped me’.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Australian National Poetry Slam Finals

Last Saturday night was amazing. I was not expecting the response I received from the audience and I am truly honoured to have been picked out of that group of poets. Slam can be a fickle friend and it seems that last weekend it was my turn.

I was nervous as usual before we entered the theatre and sat down, but I quickly decided I was going to have fun. I had two main poems prepared - one fun, one serious - and I chose the fun one to start with. Once that was clear in my mind, I relaxed a little and looked forward to hearing the other poets. I still edged forward in my seat each time a name was pulled out of the hat (the worst feeling in any slam, in my opinion - waiting), but I was clear minded enough to take in everyone else's work. This is not always the case.

And the standard of poetry was very high and very even. I certainly did not get the feeling that I was going to win.

After my first poem got such a good reception I decided to drop the serious love poem and go to my back-up poem. This also got a great reception. You can see it here:

I am glad I didn't do the serious poem.