At eight in the morning the city exhales its gritty breath laced with the odour of standing rubbish and lagered dew dripping down walls. Outside my front door, I become aware while walking the semiotic streets of so many needs I didn’t know I had last night. They call from billboards and shout from the… Continue reading NEEDS

Empty Trees

A town, complete in indifference, where noon falls heavy as a concrete slab and the days are long, bright and vast, far too large for their meagre content, waiting for the promised arrival of something. There should be vultures on those branches watching the efforts of the humans to give a semblance of meaning to… Continue reading Empty Trees


It was raining indoors when I woke todayto the heavy drops spattering my pillow.While I drank my first coffee at elevena rainbow hung between the stove and fridgeand the dark clouds retreated to the corners.The voice began to speak about midday,saying this was another phase of life,that everyone is a work of artbut originality is… Continue reading PROGRESS REPORT

Two Irish Poems

BETWEEN MEATH AND KILDARE I wander, a solitary foragerlike Australia’s formidable Bull Ant,but my mind keeps going back and forth,asking if life is just a random lineon a map without scale or direction,as the Royal Canal I’m followingpasses from Meath to Kildare and back again.Maybe these kinds of thoughts were useful once,when contemplation could find… Continue reading Two Irish Poems

Two Australian Poems

SALT LAKE Sometimes the future’s flight is straight and smoothlike shining summer runwaysbut then it brings you way out herewhere the ground is endless crustthat snaps underneath your feetto free the thick black sludge that lurks belowand where the trees are pale dry prisonersthrust deep in permanent winter,their bony arms stretched wide in pleadingto whoever… Continue reading Two Australian Poems


Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia The Indian and Southern oceans touch and then follow separate destinies. Humpback whales roll in the water, slapping their fins to send out spray and messages. Seabirds carry nest materials, dropping little pieces on the way as signposts. A magpie lands close by and sings; maybe to my red jumper, maybe… Continue reading Hope


Stingrays are the underwater shadows of the distant beaches of my childhood: gliding abysses with dead eyes and clown mouths below the clear surface and slow gleaming days, passing back and forth all summer long and constantly prowling the sand of my dreams. Species are currents in an ocean of genes – adapting, evolving, disappearing… Continue reading ONE DARKNESS HOLDS THEM ALL

The Gathering

That clump of trees just up ahead is pulsing and boiling with birds, thousands packed tightly together like smoke; a chattering, chirping autumn turbine gathering energy for departure. You can sense the power building, peaking as more and more arrive, bending branches under the weight of their massed impatience. At a silent signal made every… Continue reading The Gathering


Under a sky the colour of extinction you choose your own conclusion. The Earth might have already done so: somewhere in its whirling mass of DNA and infinite genetic possibilities is the clue to what will replace us. Perhaps an existing creature will evolve, switching on latent capabilities that have lain dormant for millennia, or… Continue reading INHERITANCE