Mandatory Potato Poem


My grandad dug potatoes for a living long ago in Australia when he was young, chiselling them out of the hard-baked soil then leaving the field each day exhausted with his back bent as low as the landscape; resilient and adaptable like the generations before him, humble but proud like the potato itself. A tour… Continue reading Mandatory Potato Poem

FIRST VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS


Uluru, central Australia, 1000 BC You run fast, emu in the sky, on your long black legs. In every season that I’ve carried my children behind my husband you have been above. And the tree possum over your head has watched us with his hand of shining eyes. Stay over us, sky emu. Watch us… Continue reading FIRST VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS

Bridging Earth and Sky


THE WINE CELLAR In certain moments, I open the door that leads down to the hidden place. The musty air of neglect and broken resolutions meets me each time and the steps are covered with dust that I sweep away with my feet. It takes courage to descend without light, but I know it is… Continue reading Bridging Earth and Sky

Love Explained, Or Not


For Claudia Maybe it absolutely had to be according to the laws of physics; it often feels that way, for sure, as if the whole history of the universe – the creation of the elements that made us in the hearts of vanished stars, the forming of the galaxies and planets, Earth’s atmosphere and seas,… Continue reading Love Explained, Or Not

three poems of Australian childhood


CLOUD SPIRITS The sound of rain on a metal roof, an orchestra of cloud spirits drumming just above your head. The first such night is sleepless, but then it becomes the most soothing thing and the rhythm just carries you away. When that roof was replaced by tiles that deadened the sound, Mum kept a… Continue reading three poems of Australian childhood

Fragments


There will always be another generation to record the same experiences, making us regret all over again the perfect piece of theatre, shouted in the depths of the night and whispered in the light of day, that could have been made from the mediocre tragedy, bittersweet comedy, quaintly absurd production – ordinary, quiet, a little… Continue reading Fragments

Sleeping on the Beach


One moment before waking, it all made perfect sense, but if there’s no return from where they’ve gone – those cuttlefish dreams of rippling colours that flashed by spontaneously, waving hypnotising tentacles of hope – I know that others will soon wash over me, calming the billions of agitated grains that choke my mind with… Continue reading Sleeping on the Beach

Ninth View of the Southern Cross


Amerigo Vespucci’s Ship in the South Atlantic Ocean, 1501 AD This cross that hangs in godless doubt slid out of Europe’s reach a thousand years ago down ever deeper into this pagan blackness. But now it watches as we bring a greater cross and knows there’s nowhere left to hide; nothing and no one escapes… Continue reading Ninth View of the Southern Cross

The Exile


Meteorite in the Australian desert Nothing here has changed at all since this burnt rock thrust itself deep in dirt red as sword wounds all those thousands of years ago. Once the noise that no one heard had faded and the cloud of blood that hid the sky had settled, this exile waited for someone… Continue reading The Exile