Sunday, December 26, 2010

to seek for.

Distant, small-lit skies
who glance at morning,
stirring all together.

Light ornate
but I've slept till now;
a little longer.

You touch these branches,
alighting like fire.
I reply with stillness now
under wakeful sunlight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the sparrow's crown.

Under the heat of exile, sparrows hop
between the fallen branches and long grass

Where are the summer feasts,
music droning lavish to the glimmer of wine?
They are too far to hear
and hold no allure in the field.

If the roses at the gate, still strong at midday,
threaten to wilt,
pay no attention.
The garland that blooms when they will be buried
by the grass and wind
will rise gently in the mist
tomorrow morning;

will not fade as the light rises.
This is the pilgrimage of soil
and it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

all existence.

Doubt and awe might thrive
together. Swiftly growing,

green in the earth
all wrestling
for bright daylight.
Stories limp profoundly
as they wade, towards
becoming new.

Friday, September 3, 2010

who bends with the remover.

Come, sit in the shade of this tree
whose branches reach
out through the sky;

come drink the sunlight
when spring fills the lakes
by the hillside,
creeks, the salt-oceans
and undammed rivers,
leaping dim and bright.

Know our eternity,
filled by the waves of infinity.
Might all impregnable.

Dark in the hour after midnight,
remember revolution.
We were for freedom,
oppressor to fall.

Hatred and dread,
the heartbeat of Paris
that pounded our aching as strong
as her cities and ancient woods:

blood seeped out
into cobblestones,
dark under moonless night.
We were revolution.

Then a gentler fortress,
Conscience besieged
within truth and grace.
Royalty I fear,
his palace I abhorred,
my siege I set.

Terror in the air,
death in the black spot
of flesh,

tear it;
scratch or cut it, bleeding, if you must
in the name of spring.
In the shadow of the dream of life.

Over the cobblestones,
who trod silently,
soul of the stars
who soar eagerly?
Crystalline light.

Purity whose life fills up all life;
the blow severe
that tore my insurrection.
Doubt and tears that drenched all the rivers
are rushed into forgetfulness by a new army,

Love who holds the light
upon winter and spring;
sunlight and starlight,
the waking and dreaming
of which you still breathe
every morning:

deep within memory
is the hot spark of flight.
Circling around it,
you spin here
at the edge of all life.

Friday, August 27, 2010

to the bee we walked by in the park.

Small honey bee:
From you I have no fear
this gold and windswept day,
content on your flower.

Yours would be the death
held in your sting,
for me but momentary.
May you live long.

Dying in defence, the instinct
that allowed your birth;
or else another kind of love.
The precious sun that shines:

Yours is the sweetness
you take and give back.
Happy to wander, from
flower to flower.

Monday, August 9, 2010


love is not love
Which alters when it alteration findes,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever fixed marke
That lookes on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandring barke,
Whose worths unknowne, although his higth be taken.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the first breath.

If there were royal blood
anywhere existent in the world;
if it were sweeping your heart,
your hands,
the crown of your head,

and not of yourself
but by descent,
a gift both kind and noble—

would the air you breathe be different,
the bird song or the early sun
in waiting celebration?

Make way in your moments
for new ways to enter
among us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

inscribed upon.

We are scattered people.
Careful relations of
mother, of uncle,
of father of fathers,
blown to the wind
by a cultural tractor plough.
Now the nameless wandering
over red dust.

It still gives birth
and the trees still grow.

We are treasures carried off,
piled together, heading to the north
among spoils from all shores.
Voices bound but not alloyed.
You the historian—
say what you will
about the people we remember.

There are names engraved
in stories you can hardly
let us then be claimed.
Brought to life

response to fire.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

to be alive.

Never could I fall from this reach,
fade from your light
or turn from this mercy that enamoured me!

Still my eyes gaze low,
tired or perplexed.
Still my mind turns dull:
to wait without running,
call without hoping,
desire without chasing,
try without feeling,

until you remind me
of love.
Love is pure in love, and even
half a shade below its light
is rot, the endless night
of faces turned.

You are enough
if I yearn for you,
more than enough.
Your love is truest
in a chance for love like this,
life like love.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

you have loved.

In the mornings your love sings.
In the cold we need your face.
In our weakness you are close, beautiful.
On the mountain your heart calls, resounds.
In the fortress you are our song.
In our sorrow you have loved, deeply.

Your glory is the word that reigns.
Your fire stands like a solid rock
that will never break.

You are our desire
and all that our thirst waits for.
You are faithful hope
and all that we live here for.
By your mercy we are yours,
our God.

You have come nearby to us:
held and formed us by your light,
raised us from the earth and spoken here.
As our lives leap bright you dance with us.
In our dying you are poured out.
In our summer you are strong, shining.

I will awaken.

Tonight a water mains burst in our front yard. It threw water twenty metres high for an hour or so. So wasteful and waiting, so long, for someone to turn the water off in our street... Yet awesome. Some of my family hurried for showers.

There's a flash for this photo; the real thing was monochrome dark, cold, huge and loud. The moon and streetlights caught glimmers in a heavy outbreaking of water as high as the gum-trees, where you had to look right up when beneath.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

hear it.

In love with the mythical,
we found the mystical.
As we remember,
particulars of culture
have always filled

our words regarding

Under the heavens,
catch this world
in vapour webs.
Matter and form are all song,
silver notes buried
in the depths of bass;

else, we befriend the solid souls
of rivers, of dense hills
swollen under our feet,
the breeze
that sweeps over them both,
glistening in autumn.

Trees will clap their hands.
Lift your hearts up
for a great choir:
rich with soil, echoing
voices that all bow
near the roads to that mountain.

Though myths feast under crowns
of bright surrender
at this table,
there is one note,
one love,
a single friendship,

that we must never empty
into many.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

men at forty.

Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors of rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it moving
Beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices tying
His father's tie there in secret,

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

(by Donald Justice)

Friday, June 4, 2010

evening by the lake.

It's but three years
since we sat 'round
those yellow desks, mosaic’d
in Pollock’s genius.
All precise, that tangle
of moment and fire
split and spilt—
memory sent
to its burrows
as staple-guns war.

(When will he rise
on the white-primed sea?)

Hand guides mine, with the brush
in mine. As I paint lately,
my hand is that hand.
Children of aether, or children of earth...
There is developer
all through my clothes.

We have witnessed Memory.

Autobiographical persistence
wanes away.
Understand these hundreds of layers
of worthier strokes,

lost in someone else’s worlds;
images dart in and out
of these feast-hall windows,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

and we'd rejoice.

The Best Of It
Kay Ryan

However carved up
or pared down we get,
we keep on making
the best of it as though
it doesn't matter that
our acre's down to
a square foot. As
though our garden
could be one bean
and we'd rejoice if
it flourishes, as
though one bean
could nourish us.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

which cannot be measured.

"Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice." "Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making."
Proverbs 16:8 & 11

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Nis min sele swige, ne ic sylfa hlud
ymb dryhtsele; unc dryhten scop
siþ ætsomne. Ic eom swiftra þonne he,
þragum strengra, he þreohtigra.
Hwilum ic me reste; he sceal rinnan forð.
Ic him in wunige a þenden ic lifge;
gif wit unc gedælað, me bið deað witod.

My house is not silent, nor I myself loud
about the splendid-hall. The lord shaped us two
to venture together. I am swifter than he,
at times stronger, and he more enduring.
Sometimes I rest myself; he must run forth.
I dwell in him ever while I may live;
if we two are parted from each other, death is appointed for me.

It's lovely :) The typed OE text is from Mitchell & Robinson.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

car trip.

This afternoon I wrote my first proper short story since high school :) I like it, so I'm sharing it! My English Curriculum teacher has explained that we shouldn't ask students to do anything we can't do ourselves, and that we also must bring to the classroom a personal culture of reading and writing if we hope to develop one in our kids.

So, enjoy: it's quite stream of imaginative consciousness, and all in fun. The first part is the stimulus we had to use, written by Mal Peet. (I didn't match the style, though I did try to use a children's literature voice.)

That summer, we drove up to the cabin in the hills. My parents liked to ‘get away from it all’. What they meant by ‘all’ was stuff my brother couldn’t do without, like broadband and TV and pizza delivery.
On the fourth day we went ‘exploring’. It wasn’t exactly a Burke and Wills type project, seeing as how we had four-wheel drive, satnav, a map, mobile phones and an Esky the size of a coffin. Plus a whingey twelve year old with his head wired to an iPod.
After an hour or so Dad said “Let’s give this a whirl”, and turned off the road on to a downward-winding dirt track. Eventually it levelled out and we found ourselves in a valley. It was hotter down there. Mum cranked the air-con up. The track ran alongside a dry creek; off among the scrub I glimpsed sag-roofed buildings and the ribs of old fences.
“What is this place?”
“Dunno”, Mum said. “There’s nothing on the map.”
And then we came to a stretch of crooked, bleached-white fence, and standing behind it was a horse with a boy on its back. They were completely motionless, even though flies clouded the horse’s head. The boy had hair like black snakes, and wore only a frayed pair of cut-offs. We were past them in a second. I looked back, but they were lost in our dust. No one said anything, which I thought was kind of weird.
I dozed off, I don’t know for how long. I woke up when the Toyota lurched and the first thing I saw was the same rickety fence and the boy on the horse. His dark eyes met mine as we passed.
“Are we lost?” I said. “We’re going round in circles.”
“No, we’re not”, Mum said.
“Yes we are”, I said. “We passed that kid on the horse a while ago.”
Dad squinted at me in the mirror. “What kid?”
Mum turned and looked at me. “What horse?” she said.

I looked at Mum’s face for a moment, and when I saw how serious she was, I turned to the window to stare out at the wild, dry landscape. It didn’t make sense—but in this surreal, unfamiliar place, I think that affected me in a different way to how it might have at home. Everything was slower, as if Mystery were a character who belonged here just as much as I did. Mum and Dad were right: there was no one there. Not only the horse and the dark boy were missing, but as far as I could see behind us, there was also no fence.

“Um. I was only joking.” Of course I didn’t want to explain. Dad was always going on about the rational approach, and how superstitious, sentimental types create dreams out of nothing and try to make others live their lives accordingly. If I were going mad, I didn’t want to argue it with him—as if the horse boy were something I’d chosen, or wanted to see. But I was absolutely sure, clear as anything else.

“No you weren’t!” Daniel replied loudly, not even taking off his headphones. “You were serious!”

“Was not.” I couldn’t think of anyone in the world more annoying. I wished he’d stayed at home, like he’d wanted to. I wished he played on his awful computer all day, instead of ruining the whole trip. “As if you know what I’m thinking!”

Before he could answer, Mum turned around again, and Dad pulled over to the side of the road. “‘Bout time for morning tea”, he said, and everyone agreed. Dad was good at that—cheering people up, making Daniel stop fighting. I didn’t like the conversation anyway, so I bit my tongue and let it all slide.

I was confused. Who was the dark boy? Why would he disappear? Why would I see him? I knew people could see things when they went crazy, especially old people on medicine—like my great-auntie Melissa who used to talk about feeding the cats who weren’t really in the room at all. Mum said she knew they weren’t real, but that it was hard for her, because she could still really see them. I guess you have to believe what you see.

Maybe he was real. Looking out at the dried grass, and the wide, wide sky and horizons, I could almost certainly believe in ghosts. They sort of made sense here. This whole place felt strange and unknown: felt just like ghosts. What if he were some dead child from an unknown past, in the empty houses near the creek—and now haunting us? Why? I tried to tell myself it was ridiculous.

Clicking my seatbelt back on, I slammed the door closed. Mum handed me my apple juice in the yellow plastic picnic cup. “Don’t spill it in the car!” Dad said. “Be enough trouble just cleaning the outside.” He was smiling, and I could tell he didn’t mind. It wasn’t often that we got to go on a holiday like this. I decided to try to enjoy it as much as I could; after all, I was fifteen, and not immature and boring like Daniel.

Even though the satnav said we weren’t lost at all, the track seemed long. It was all repetitive. Nothing really changed. The same sort of trees, the same grass and sheep, sometimes cows. A little while further, more cows, and the sun staying high and hot in the sky. I put my pillow next to the window and leaned my head against it.

I think I must have started dreaming, then, but it felt real. Everything felt just exactly the same, as if the world had gone into my mind without changing at all. The dried out grass, the broken down fences, the same hills rising to both sides of us near ponds; all the sheep, and tall eucalypts spotted over the landscape. Just when we’d passed a paddock with a few cows further in the distance, the car stopped, so I opened the door.

When I got out, I saw the boy. He was galloping towards us on the road, still a long way off, but coming fast. My heart leaped. He was chasing us. I wanted to know who he was—but I knew that I couldn’t meet him. I started to run.

I ran, with the galloping sound growing louder, louder behind me. The fences were all still the same, repeated over and over on a long dirt track that I couldn’t see the end of. The sun was very warm: so bright and eerily red, in the dusty sky. The horse boy had almost caught up to me. I could hardly breathe: my legs were like lead, but I was running as fast as a greyhound. He passed me.

I stopped still, breathed hard with relief. He mustn’t have seen me. The curious figure sped away to the darkening sky—still glowing, but it looked heavy, as if it might storm—and I knew that I needed to chase him. To find out who he was, and why he was following us. Everything was dark by now. All the grass was replaced by a deep orange dust that glowed under the moon, the flashes of lightning and the bright Milky Way, peering through wherever the clouds parted. Large drops of water hit the ground, and my skin; I started to run again.

It must have been at this point that I realised I was dreaming. The boy on the horse was out of sight, but there were others running with me. Jenny from school, and the twins from down the road, and a whole hoard of animals on foot and birds flying—calling out, screeching and shouting as we went. Even though it felt completely mad, all moving so fast, it felt like we ran for a very long time. Somehow I forgot I was dreaming, and realised how much I was enjoying the chase: if it weren’t for that nagging, lingering wonder, dark inside me like the night. Who was he? Where was he?

I knew where he was: he’d gone into the bush. I sped to the front of the group, past the dingoes at the front, and turned off the track onto the fine sand, soaking under my bare feet. “Into the bush! He’s in the bush!”

They all called after: “In the bush!” Their voices a cacophony, under the sweet, white light of the sky and its opening clouds, growing louder and louder as we ran through the wet trees and leaves to a clearing. It looked like a billabong (I’d never seen one before, so I wasn’t sure), wide and stagnant under the light of the full moon. Everything was silent, and I was alone again.

There were definitely ghosts here. I threw stones over the water, making them bounce, skip, then splash, down into the murkiness at the bottom.

I jumped in to swim, hoping there was nothing there lurking, watching me in the depths. It seemed that there might probably be, but I loved the squishy mud under my feet. I loved the sweet, warm air that filled my senses when I closed my eyes, letting it sweep around my wet face. Good thing I’d practised my swimming in Mitchell and Daisy’s new pool. Hundreds of fish wandered around me; I opened my eyes to find that they were leading me, in a long, trailing school, towards the other side. A shadow stood dim beside an immensely tall tree.

I reached the bank, and everything was darker. The moon must have gone behind thick clouds: only the stars were left. A voice whispered to me, and I knew that this must be the beginning of my adventure. “Lily?”

“Yes”, I replied. It was very solemn, all serious and grown-up. I sat down next to the person, who wasn’t nearly so tall as I’d thought. He was a platypus, with sleek, deep brown fur. I didn’t want to seem too high: he was very old, I thought, and held too much authority and wisdom.

“It’s so good to meet you”, he whispered again, with a sort of richness; he really meant it, I knew. “I can tell you this: that the horse boy would very much like to meet you, and is waiting for you at the Great Mountain.”

“I haven’t seen a mountain,” I replied—and then realised I shouldn’t have spoken so loudly. “Where is it?” I added softly. “Where did everyone go?”

“I don’t know much”, he said gravely. “Not even the wombat knows, and I must confess I’m only a messenger. But if you go back into the lake at midnight, and follow the moon on the surface, you will certainly find out.” He nodded slightly—kindly—and then darted away into the water.

The sun began to glow against the horizon, almost immediately; then, there was only one bright star left, cold in the grey sky. All sorts of birds were singing, and the kookaburra was cheery, joyful as anything, up in the early morning gum tree that seemed to reach to the ceiling of the world. I supposed there was nothing to do but wait for the day to pass—so I sat down, to watch it begin.

The blush of the heavens in the east was beautiful enough to look at for hours. Even for Daniel, I thought. I wondered where he was, and realised that he must have run off with the others.

About half an hour later, a sound caught my ear. A puppy came swimming to me on the lake, and came out panting, smiling, wanting to play. She looked like Felicity, the brown and white dog we used to have at our other house—the house with the really big back-yard, and the ice cream truck that came every single week. She was smaller, younger, though. I patted her wet head, and laughed as she ran off yapping, pretending to howl at the newly born sun.

We set off running again, all refreshed from the night’s swim; we welcomed the brightening morning, while all the birds were still singing with full lungs and happy hearts. The dog wound her path into a field full of soft, dry grass, which was not nearly so prickly to run through as it looked to be.

To our right, in the north, were piles of great red rocks, as if giants’ children had piled them all up for a game. I couldn’t see the sky beyond them, except through a few gaps in the structure. Their origins were impossible to guess at. They looked like something a clever animal might make for a shelter, or maybe a sort of landmark left as a sign by some ancient race whose great footprints were long covered over, and eroded. At the same time I noticed that there was a strange, almost inaudible singing, coming out from the bushland behind us.

When the puppy suddenly stopped ahead, her wagging tail moved the grass so that I could see where she was. She’d stopped by another pile of stones, almost only pebbles: this time only ten of them, just sitting there together on the ground. I wanted to know what they meant, much more than I wanted to understand the boulders. This miniature mountain belonged not to some distant time, with only its remnants in the present, but to someone still alive. Someone close. Someone, or something, who still had things to say. It was all very strange, exciting, under the jubilant sun perched once again as high as it had been while we were driving. Even brighter and much clearer, now, I thought.

The breeze came strong from the opal blue sky. The singing grew louder, and I could hear clap-sticks.

All at once the bushland was in flames, growing quickly higher, and all full of smoke, threatening to crawl into the grass where I was standing. The puppy barked softly, and scampered off too quickly for me to see where she’d gone to. From behind me came a boy, a few years younger than I—and he wasn’t concerned about the fire. His skin was streaked in white earthy paint, and he was pointing at the pile of stones.

“D’you want to know what they are?”

“Shouldn’t we run?”

“It won’t catch us. It’s a safe fire. We make them so the bush grows, and the seeds fall open, and everything comes back to life: like the morning of the trees and the earth.”

“Wow.” We stood and watched the scene for at least five minutes, those lapping red flames in a wall that ran on and on through the bushland, but didn’t come near us; only grew taller, brighter, over the sky. “What do they mean?” I’d remembered the rocks, thirsty with curiosity.

“I don’t know what they mean. Just what they are.” I’d never thought there was a difference: I hadn’t really thought about it at all. “I put them there to say to the big rocks, ‘You belong to me, just as much as you belong to the great men who heaved you into the earth, in the time outside the time.’”


“Because they’re here.”

“Why’d you want to say that?”

“Yesterday, I asked Auntie if the rocks could think or hear. She said they could understand the earth and the hearts of people, whether they belong to the sky, or flee from it into the caves.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I put them here this morning, when I came into the grass. But we have to go up to the mountain now.”

I knew he meant the Great Mountain, and my heart jumped inside.

There was nothing else to say. So with the bright heat of the fire and the shining depth of the ocean of sky bearing in on us, we started to run once again. We ran until we reached one of the giants’ mounds. “This isn’t the mountain”, he said quietly, looking up high to the top. “But I’ve always wanted to climb it.”

“Are we allowed?”

“When we walk at the top, you will tip-toe.”

We climbed up. It was easier than we thought, because the stones were uneven, and there were places to clasp onto, to put our feet. We felt strong in the smoky afternoon, under the wheeling of thousands of birds over the grasslands. We explored the dark hollows inside, where the sunlight crept through in strange columns; then we wound our way up to the top, watched the sun set, the stars coming out one by one. They were gliding slowly over the sky, precisely where the birds had been before. There were rivers on the ground in the far distance, shining and winding like earthworms that wriggle when you dig them up and hold them on your hands.

Night fell quickly. As the glow from the fire died down into ashes, the terrain took on a blanket of surreal black shadows, each merging into the inky flow of the others, and softly reflecting the lights held high up in the sky.

“You’d better go down with the birds”, the boy spoke into the silence, after a while. “You’ve got to reach the waters.” I’d half forgotten about the mountain quest, and about that riding horse boy.

“Will you stay here?”

“Only till morning.” We sat for some time longer, and then he hollered an unfamiliar call: singing out and out, so that a frightful, flapping shape appeared in front of us, landing on one of the giants’ rocks. “It’s safe. Worry about some things, but never the birds.”

“O.k.” I looked at him to make sure, and then jumped half a metre down. I landed on the warm and feathery back. The boy smiled large, and waved. I snuggled into the plumage, each feather larger than myself, and held on as we plunged and soared far, far under all the constellations. There were also two planets out. I flew over all the landscape I’d seen while it was still day. When it was time to come down, I slid down the great tail feathers, into the layer of sweet-smelling gum leaves that littered the earth in the clearing. There was the water, and there on its surface lay the moon. There also was the platypus.

It all seemed very familiar; the night that had passed came back to me, like a gentle flood. “Are you ready?” The platypus seemed happy to speak more loudly, now. His voice was funny, hardly human, but really endearing in some sort of way; I could tell what he was saying without any trouble.

“You’re coming?”

“If you like. I have nothing to do tonight, and I might say I fancy a bit of a swim.” I was pleased. Instead of a cold, mysterious journey, I would take the adventure with a friend. We both waded in, and I was surprised at how well he could keep up with me.

It wasn’t long at all until we reached the reflection of the moon. We treaded water there, all the white light rippling around us. The platypus seemed to be deep in thought, and then decided—“Keep swimming on, I think, till we find your mountain”. There was nothing else for it. We swam on, my loose hair wet and cold about my face, and came to a place that changed to be as narrow as a creek. It was deeper than anything I could get to the bottom of. We swam on and on, through the same trees, and the same darkness, as if that night were all that ever had existed on the earth. As if the morning, and the boy, and the afternoon, the light and the fire, all fell back into the dream—like a clearing mist—and gave way to the truth of darkness. I knew that like all nights, it had to come soon again to morning; but while we swam on, there was nothing but the silvery light on black water.

The dawn came slowly, and this time silently. The sun brought his face up through the distant leaves, and we saw that we had nearly reached the end of the stream. We began to clamber onto the slippery rocks, and then out onto the bank.

“We ought to follow the fence, then”, my small friend then suggested. There, deeper into the scrub and trees, was the white, half-rotten fence, leading into the invisible distance. He had to be right. “You’ll have to carry me, if it’s not too much trouble. Not too good on my feet these days, you see.”

“Of course.”

We followed the fence all morning. As time went on, I began to hear voices, and everything was muddled. Mum’s voice. What was it? I began to wake up, my eyes still closed, with the sun on my face and arms. I was glad we’d had to put on sunscreen: the light was sharp, as well as hot.

“Just try to enjoy it, o.k.?” Dad sounded frustrated, but still excited. Nothing was to be taken seriously on a holiday, and I loved it.

“So boring!” Daniel fumed. “I hate this trip, stupid cows and stupid fence, there’s, like—nothing here.”

“Not really,” I murmured, half to myself.

“That’s enough.” Mum hated fights. “We’re not going back yet”.

Dad opened his window to let the hot breeze come streaming into the cold air inside. We came soon to the end of the long fence, and he steered the car off the track, onto even rougher terrain.

This adventure was going to be good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

emptied. (rest.)

That was the year
when we crossed the salt-water:
cold on my ankles
and sand wet underfoot
I wandered in.
Walked tentatively
and then plunged,

went with feet so heavy
from the desert that
I stayed on the sea-bed,
for years, holding my breath
and almost bursting
from the sound.

All the sound
under the water.

When it was time, I opened
my eyes, and you opened
the waters.

all fragmented.

Survey the wild walls
blown high
over one’s head—
not so far from
where I first began.

Wander here with me,
on the ocean of dark rocks
and a fate that calls you,
leads you ever deeper
into the mouth
of night
in a conquered terrain. Else,
come. Hold the hand
of one who protects you,
leads you by quiet waters.

See. I will follow the moon,
just once

as she wanes,
and surely waxes; I will hide
in the soil, and then
grow back. Emptied
of seasons and cycles
except for your own.

I am travelling with the birds,
simplified. Clarified
that the marriage was all wrong,
that at this time of year I belong
to another, made
at one
with another.

I’ll breathe and fly away.
I'll wake before the birds
of lovers’ morning.

I will give myself away
to the autumn light,

if you’ll take my life
and make it
then I will be yours.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Do the birds speak?
They’ve told me of your augury,
and I have mentioned prophecy;
there is no overlap

between such songs.
Voice of the sky’s vast life,
clear, bright and true,
or puppetry,
your tomes of magic rhetoric
devised. Fables
and lies, set to

Dreams and shadows
breathlessly divide.
Asleep, I woke to Maytime
ringing with the tinkling
murmur, singing
to the coloured glass
of glory and desire,
crowds of choir perched
cheerfully near my room,
in the morning fire
of autumn worlds
beneath the world.

Such enjoyment.
Dreams, like vapour, often
swim away.

on the snowy sea,
in sleet
and fleeting gold
of older days;

that April steals
our maiden queens to
truer, brighter fields.
Are they winding themselves
into circles?

Binding themselves
to the ring gold of fever,
ruby-deep, their fate’s delight
and ruin,

Wheeling, the eagle
of sight, in this dream,
pierced the crowd of swans
in the clamour and night;
water and flight,
death all confused!

So it was
among my sleep.
"Do not trust them,
flitting wings
of everything
and of nothing
at once."

Here is all we feel
and love,
awoken into naught.
Mountains carried
wailing cries
from the heavens,
and wrinkled eyes of stars
wept for an age gone by.

Birds collapsed mid-flight
and fell,
fell to the ground,

yet alive.
Bind them, wind them
in waking,

find an essence
fallen true.

Earth and sky are telling
the rumours and movements
of what is inside.
Eagerly they fly
the road of heights,
of rising
from all that collides.

The dream is fled!
There are no markers
except for delight;
watch them. You will need
no magic. Listen

two on wing
fly often by, in
such a song, each one
pressed near her brother.

Stars are soaring bright
in the inky low tide
of dissolving silence.

Friday, April 16, 2010

walking, early morning.

Sleepily lingering,
piles of soft snow—
I'd thought them all melted
until I walked further,
where trees were whiteblanketed
up to my ankles

(though not anymore to my knees).
In my heart the ice lay wet,
bright in the sun.
I walked deeper in
through the quiet and birds.

Cold is blamed for death,
for our eternal springtime buried, stained
by waves of blacknight soil.
Silent stars bear songs
of distant months a world away.

Still, that Winter showed her face to me,
much sweeter than I’d heard;
daylight blushed with joy
of dripping, lightened branches,
softly brushed by the quiet and birds.

Friday, March 26, 2010

of the woods.

We couldn't climb that wall,
so lofty its stones. All of us scrambled
a few steps up, jumped
hard—down to the grass,
in clapping and cheers.

I was the highest, that year.
Standing on shoulders, we'd reach
to the top, no one daring
climb or jump from there.

When we saw their branches,
saw those woods,
craning our necks to the flight
of birds with nests on high,

We longed to explore—

shadow paths, sun setting
on dark leaves, wet against your clothes.
Stories we were told
of chases, songs
and the tip-toe beasts
we could catch, if we circled them
(quietly, quick),

till sometimes in our sleep
we'd hear those songs.
Often gathered near the wall
in daylight afternoon,
we'd speak of the quest
to be Climber and Champion.

Wearing time now, stubborn erosion.
Walking on stilts
and long light shadows,
all the walls are gone.

There were boats with wings,
swallowed in the sky's heart,
meeting on roads without markers.
Only the past can trace them
when the future laughs.

Towers and glare, traffic and wear
might have found me,
except for those days.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


(-Nothing left)

You made a fire in the room,
which ravished the ceiling
and took down the walls.

You could have opened the curtains
and riven the sky, come close
to the hills that watch over me golden;

I would have thanked you.
You of the unbending flame,
autumn hue searing.

Unblinking eyes,
the sun shines
and the world turns.
Cold, the fires that tell
that day is surely somewhere,
but not here;
you are the beauty
my heart has escaped,
but not now.

The curtains were stuck, and I tugged
until silence filled the room,
distant face that beckons. I can’t follow
roads made clear
for broken feet.

Fierce the words come
over my body; deep these ocean beds,
and dark (the fish have moons for eyes).
He who formed the waters
is with me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

words without names.

Everything close is indistinct,
all that is held seems stolen—
once was a gift, brilliant and true,
but the throne feels far away.

Where are the ones
who can hear and remember,
even who see but a little?
Where is he who moves among the garden?

There is a path we believe in,
but grapple to find
not imagine. Ache to love,
and search to please.

Quiet, still and listen
to the voice who stands outside you.
Still, until the silence bends
into the sky, seen emptiness,

and promise that cannot be broken.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

the wanderer.

Two went out, to find
a field. Rough it ought to be,
with brambles, tangled weeds,
and rocks of a perfect size
to protect their endeavour.

Eager expectation
greets the great undoing.
Fierce, renewing,
sun on his back—
he who sifts through rubble.
He who imagines his hands
like a carver of stone,
and surrenders to fire.

Hours glide softly
over earth, with such simplicity.
Listen! From your
humble heart ring
rhythms, blessed fealty.
Tired with age, the joy
of gold at dawn,
for those who watch.
Softly ringing,
May the earth
break always heavily

I have songs as well,
but they are different.
We still seek for fields, yet softer;
we are freer. Oft-times we have wandered,
slumbered, ‘til the evenings fell
and bled together.

Still, the emptiness. Please,
take this away from me—
all these barren words,
like plunging oceans, knotted vines

Bare feet stung
and scratched, from
wildness, endless treading
here. Heat from which I hide.
Thoughts that break against
the stones, and I
can hardly lift them
after all this time;

one anointed whisper
falls, unfailing.
Catches my ear,

Wander here with me, on
unfamiliar shoulders.

Hold the life of buried hearts. Wander
here, with me.