a primordial poem


OPENING A TERMITE MOUND Northern Australia I shove a crooked stick in the crust of the driest looking mound, stirring ancient dust that stings my eyes. No dead thing rises from this tomb: life itself comes pouring out cool and damp in tiny white packets, guarding its treasure with pincers and riddles, life that is… Continue reading a primordial poem

a poem about our planet’s future


BOARDING THE ICEBERG Australian Antarctic Territory, midsummer I follow a bunch of chattering penguins to the rending scrape of the widening gap and then jump off the continent. The iceberg wrenches free at last and the penguin crew waddle above to raise our flag of peace. We have screeching skuas as lookouts and whales and… Continue reading a poem about our planet’s future

a poem about growing old


SIXTH VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS New Zealand, 1200 AD The heavens need a heavy anchor, so hold them back, Te Punga, hold back the rushing nights. Soon the sky boat will carry me off while I cling to its trailing rope, but until then, hold it back, Te Punga. Published in Cyphers Get a… Continue reading a poem about growing old

a poem about human smallness


Iceberg Breaking Free Australian Antarctic Territory, midsummer A penguin sneezes and the world erupts. That grinding groan you hear is the sound of a continent making love, the blue mountain heaving and churning under the flat white sheet. Do you still think that if we weren’t here to listen the sound would cease to be,… Continue reading a poem about human smallness

a true horror poem


A PAGE FROM THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE The Siege of Caffa. Crimea, 1346 The stench of these latest victims flies far beyond the power of words but soon they will be gone. Even now you can hear the catapults straining, the taut ropes twanging ever tighter as the corpses are loaded for shooting, arms… Continue reading a true horror poem

a poem about belonging


ANTARCTIC YELLOW Australian Antarctic Territory You’ve come all this way for the Southern Lights but they’re on strike again. Then someone says let’s go see the snow petrel, the cute white dove that bathes in the snow of the continent of peace, and on the way you wonder if you could belong like the petrel.… Continue reading a poem about belonging

an anguished poem


SIDE EFFECTS Back in the slanting, tilted days we tore great chunks off each other and then crept slowly apart, not looking back, like sidling crabs over cooling sands and wrote with bloody fingers on the walls words that still drip down to acid puddles. I wished I could cry in my sleep and wait… Continue reading an anguished poem