Poems of Australian Childhood


The Continent of Insects Australia is really theirs:for hundreds of millions of years they have fought each otherand the brutal landscapein primordial arms racesthat developed specialised workers,warriors with pincers and shieldingand sophisticated social structures.Wars and alliances between themstill come and go, like their cities,while elsewhere humans in parallelare living out their noisy moment. Numbat Our journey… Continue reading Poems of Australian Childhood

another bright sunday


In the endless metropolitan grey, the weekend flashes by between two darknesses. Many wander lost in the pause: swimming, lying on the beach or flying, giving their bodies back for a moment to the elements from which they were made, while others die, going back to them for good; time has washed against them like… Continue reading another bright sunday

a journey poem


PASSENGERS ON THE ICEBERG Australian Antarctic Territory, midsummer Then in a patch of clearer ice I see him; a bearded man with an outstretched hand. I want to dig him out and ask him who he was, but then he’s gone and the ice is milky. Still, we’ve got months to go until the night… Continue reading a journey poem

a poem about making sense of life


AGAIN MIDNIGHT Through a thousand espresso mornings I’ve waited for life to make sense of a heap of melted problems; now I sit dealing out my tattered tarot of strangled, bleeding bank statements, losing lottery tickets and tiny scraps of paper holding phone numbers without names, putting the question over and over to the soggy… Continue reading a poem about making sense of life

a poem about regrets


THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW You must know how it feels by now, when all that’s left are the bars where we drank from long, cool glasses; when all the lazy weekend hours that we built up into jutting totems and soothing fetish objects have drifted out like coiling vapours through the cracks in life’s hinges.… Continue reading a poem about regrets

the town of retired war criminals


As you walk along the wide slow street at dusk you see him sitting in his chair; sometimes he waves, warding off questions with one hand while calmly taking notes with the other for an alternative history of everything. If masks could make us tell the truth, then his would still be hung behind the… Continue reading the town of retired war criminals

an invented mythology


ANTARCTIC VOICES Australian Antarctic Territory Sometimes when the wind here talks it tells me things that science will never say: how long ago by different stars the gods of night and day agreed to split the year between them; that jutting rocks above the snow are the eggs of enormous stone birds and every iceberg… Continue reading an invented mythology

a primordial sequence


THE OXYGEN MAKERS Stromatolites in Shark Bay, Western Australia Midday, water’s edge Don’t take breathing for granted; it hasn’t always been so easy. The fresh twenty-one percent we live on was made by these slimy cyan domes over billions of silent years, puff by puff. Somewhere we’ve failed, made it all go wrong; but these… Continue reading a primordial sequence