Patric aged 4 frog 1



Tom was new to Mallacoota, we came to know him as a man of immense wells of positive energy

“Tom Donovan is dead”-

Announced during the washing up.

In between greasy plates and

A porridge saucepan two days old –

“Tom Donovan is dead”.

They found him in his garden,

sprawled amongst the vegetables.

Not a bad place to be found –

surrounded by good green stuff.

Better than Brukenwald

or an outer suburban wasteland

Tom Donovan is dead.

whale and unicorn


Friday, August 08, 2008. Saturday, November 01, 2008.

I’m not quite sure how this one happened. it started out as a journey to the Para Docks – medieval harbourage in the rain and mutated into something else.

Going down grey to meet you

Wet street evening asplash and drip

Slick cobbles limed by gaslight.

Alleys stagger off, catsick smells

And the rattle of rats scatter rubbish.

The gate mist looms,

Caped, the keeper holds fingerless

Moth gloves over a dull drum

Of flaring seacoal

A spilling light doorway,

Shone through clacking curtain beads.

Taverned– warmed by wine-waft and old tunes

I met you.

You, in your white silk dress,

(the failure of a thousand

grubs to achieve mothhood), waited.

Your face was shadowed by a low hanging lamp

I met you once again to sing.

Orpheus had to gut a tortoise

To make his lyre,

paring out the plastron.

Leaving him red to the elbows

And with the means to make his music.

This time the only guts spilt where my own.

Did I look back damning us to winter?

There, after the chancy coupling,

at fantastic odds,

of how many forebears

I found myself caught

between duration and forever.

I sang and played.

Later in that upstairs room

You took off that white dress.

Look what we made –

Main flying, prick eared,

High proud neck arch

Curveting hooves of spun glass

Treading carefully, its’ unicorn brow

Parting the mist like a prow.

Will I look back.

Damning us to winter

Going down grey





June 2013

What you doin’ tonight?

Liquid dreams splash around you.

Carpet bagging infesters of gateways of desire.

Tracks of crystal white,

Unholy beads of pharmaceutical enchantment

Rosary around your head.

What you doin’ tonight?

Juices sticking clothes to skin.

Ears scared by the sound of your own laughter.

What have you found in your flight.

How many steps ahead of your death

Risk taker?

What you doin’ tonight?

The big deal, the scatter of the cards,
Your flushed is busted,

Your inside sure ain’t straight.

What you doin’ tonight?

Harder than the diamonds of denial.

Glassy faced with the glossies demands

For a designer life

What do you do unwatched and alone?

Count the days

Slaving to feed your plastic

Already despoiled by the spastic

Rictus of the past immediate?

What you doin’ tonight?

Where did you sleep?

Do you remember


The wine was a good year.

The vineyard a tax deduction.

Was the year good?

The cascading days full bodied?

Staining lips with life

Or are you painting them with pain.

What you doin’ tonight?

rays boots


Max’x Dad Ray died and I found his boots still outside the back door.

Elastic sides rippled,

But still with plenty of wear,

If you don’t care what they look like.

Curl toed, gaping foot socketed, waiting.

No one can fill these boots,

Dried out on the hard track, crusted.

Stained with oil, splashed with paint.

That stood firm in contrary weather.

No one can fill these boots,

So worn down on the road to find out.

No one can fill these boots

That trod so carefully, to not offend,

To find the right way, a straight path,

Through mire and maze.

No one can fill these boots.





Gold ore tumble
Light stick crumble
Cloistered dreams
Magpie screams.

Dog moon howling
Scar cat prowling
Sumptuoius feasts
Famished beasts


What price for the
Razor wire, the balm,
The eye-wells of love?
The coming together,
The walking away.
Island hearts joined, sundered
By tides swayed by crazed moons.
How big the hand
To cup that coinage?
No counting the sand grains
On that beach.
World time could not tick so long.
Cats in a bag, kittens in the sun.
Children casting long shadows
Into futurity.
A scatter of straws
Telling enigmatic ideograms.
Hung headed and splay-legged
like an old horse.
What price for a love life?


We who go south
In the asylums of the mind,
Slipping through the dunes
Into the byways of the whale road
Glean what pleasure we may
Drawing our small maps.
Scribing small secrets overheard
From the faceted fractal colloquially
We eavesdrop from
The sleep talking head voices
Of our silently roaring, rattling universe.
Constantly waking into nested moments
What else can we do but wonder,
Or rail, laugh, or cry, luxuriate or suffer?


There is some triumph
For the battered clot
Of grey tumbled
On the sand.
The disaray of feathers
Won for its kind
A brief statistic
Of species survival.
The tumble of babies
That daily, hourly,
By the minute
That do not die
Store future death.
Locusts strip the
World of green.
Worms eat out the
Apple to a husk.
What will You do
Oh man to justify
your bread
And circuses
To your
Children’s Children’s

Don and Anna earth lite web


Knife edges,
a ridge of stone.
Cutting, ribboned webs –
fronds and fins and flesh (casterneted by sideways scuttle).
Chopping great deaths
to hunks and shards
on our shattered beach.

To much is taken
out of times anguish.
Slaughtered seals,
dismembered dolphins
splayed on the alter
rocks in worship to some
dreadful dollar dream.

Echoing child play,
the squeaking sand of a sundowned walk,
wild horse rides,
the frisking
of a legion of dogs,
a sudden rearing
of waves
at breast or feet
in the glory of rampant surf:
all run cold, red, down
from the ridge of rock,
the knife edge,
at the throat
of our commonality.

What can only rise
with slashed and anguished voices but anger
and more death?
Golfers laugh
like drunken ravens
while it stalks the edges
of their tidy time traps.
Mourning mists cloud
friendships arcs.
Anger brutalizes
chance street meetings.

Small men,
in their self important fancy, count the spoils of desecration.
Money drools shallow fantasies- mansions far from here.
There lives full of things
like them
and their sycophants and dupes,
are bought and sold
like cans of abalone.

Betka Breakthrough


The cat that is alive and dead in a cloud
cries in it’s box and is not heard.

When the box is opened –
We count it’s deaths – one and one and one
and never find the cat: just the numbers of its deaths.


Gamma was the drama

when Star Wars came to town.

Our children came out crooked

and the forests crumbled brown.

We fought with futile fury ‘gainst

their contrived armored might

and our children came out crooked

from the Star Wars in the night.


Hey, on some tangential lolly pop

Blows the breath of Ghod.

Maybe somewhere

between little Giddings

and the Melbourne White Pages

lurks the poetic exfoliation

of the meaning of art.

As revealed in the arts pages of The Age –

scrawls on a toilet wall

are not art unless the toilet is

an art gallery.

Giddy as a toilet flush

A brush with importance

Exalts petty minds.

Wine connoisseurs

in self indulgent self delusion

smack their lips

at the hint of berry and chocolate

As they quaff cardboard wine

from old bottles.

Toto where ever we are

It ain’t Kansas

Or Oodna data.

So it goes.


Hollowed under hill.

Under stone

A scrying skin of bright seepage,

shows the stars.

Underlights the face that watches,

phosphors in the dripping stones.

Curdling, the stars swirl like milk in lemon ink.

And colors run in the bleeding light.

Focus. The water stills. An image –

A track hung about with greys and green –

shedding columns of ash and box.

Light glitters on the hanging leaves,

brightly rattle the molten air.

She – gravid on spindle legs,

sun faced, shadow painted on the dust behind.

Standing –

with one on her hip

and another curled inside.


As I slept, a stream rose from under my bed.

swirling eddies, blocked by the bedroom door,

(brief flashes and an ozone smell from a power point)

slowly drowned the room and eventually found

the open window it waterfalled down the wall onto the roses.

Creeping down the garden path, found the back gate,

bearing on its crust of dusty foam

my: shoes, box of pens and leather hat.

Out over the footpath, into the gutter,

burdened with garnered butts and struggling ants,

gargled down the letterbox mouth of a storm drain.

While I slept, my bed abob nudging walls,

bumping flotsam, water-logged, sank

And settled to the ruined axminster.

Drowning failed to wake me.

Sodden socks tumbled like drunken fish

And spent newspapers swirled and circled

Like nappies in a top-loading washing machine.


Mary Mary quite contrary,
Dog at heel and airy fairy.
Bewildered often sadly
Caught by life’s contortions badly.

Dog at heel and airy fairy

In the moment laughing merry.

Caught by life’s contortions, badly

Planning, dancing, tripping madly.

In the moment laughing merry.

Bewildered, often sadly

At a loss there in your eyrie.

Mary Mary quite contrary.


All the world is wet and weary
Soggy, boggy, grey and dreary
Not a reason slight or blatant
To make glad in colored raiment

Soggy, Boggy, grey and dreary,
Sudden wonder brightly eerie,
Making glad in colored raiment
Things will grow, lifes true engagement.

Sudden wonder, brightly eerie –
Not a reason slight or blatant
To make you think (dull, complacent)
All the world is wet and weary.


This came out of conversations at The Angry Pigeons. No Lights No Lycra is a world wide movement (started in Fitzroy). They are clubs for dancing without all the impedimenta usually associated with public dance venues. Someone presumably still has to clean up afterwards.
No Lights, No Lycra.
No visceral sub-sonics.
Just the drift of dust
through lines of light
penciled by nail holes
in the tin roof.

No Lights, No Lycra.
Circling slowly in
sun-punctuated gloom,
humming ‘Some enchanted evening’,
with thongs flapping softly.
Dancing with the mop,
ignoring the steaming bucket –
no lights, no lycra
on the morning after the night before.


Stones: are they keeping in or out
What love, what dread, what awe misled
with a heavy slow lithic dance?

Meaning scattered as time winds blew,
Broken, do they adore or dread,
Stones: are they keeping in or out?

Did Hecate dolorous strew
rue to drug the unquiet dead.
with a heavy slow lithic dance?

Did Estre splash and scatter dew,
in joy consume the wine and fed
stones: are they keeping in or out?

Seasons dawns flickered and flew,
Stones tumbled, bright purpose fled
with a heavy slow lithic dance

Order ended, stones askew,
Their final spell left still unsaid.
Stones: are they keeping in or out
with a heavy slow lithic dance?


Black cats are cool, those cats are free,

They dig Ornette and noir coffee.

There are beatnick cats called Bryce

Or Minerva or Licorice.

If you’re not a b c man

Disown your parents that’s the plan.

Then learn to play the saxaphone,

Eat cheeses bleu and drink alone,

Grow a beard and write poetry.

Black cats are cool, the cats to be.



From tree shadows

Something stirred

Ancient bell-song

The hidden bird.


Jewellery bright,

Flowering gum,


Bee-shinning hum.


Broken branches

Craze-stark the sky,

Lightening forks,

Dead leaves fly.


Rooted ramparts,

Fig tree fancy.

Finding ripe fruit

Always chancy.


Flicker, dazzle.

Bark strips swinging.

Trunks sky-lined,

Wind bough singing.


Dark tree hollow,

Bright eyes gleaming,

Possum peering,

Fruit thief scheming.


Map of moisture,

Root-lattice net.

Water whispers.

The leaf-loam wet.


Green sky shining,

Leaves a-glitter.

Sun stars flicker

On leaf litter.


(Apologies to Kurt Vonnegut Jnr & William Blake)

Chanted and drummed around – the stones.

In the time that was no time, for no one counted,

except from moon to moon creeping sickle

spilling blood under oaks.

The conquering sun cast the stone shadows.

caverned – blood sacrifice blessed us.

The world was measured with pulse and pace.

So it goes.

There was a man on a tree, wounded by a spear,

Thorn crowned and a yen to save us from ourselves.

His failure was to see that nothing that was true

could outlive the wine at Canaan

or a handful of bread and fish.

The mounted sermon foundered on golden rocks,

bought with Caesars scattered change

and we pay and pay.

So it goes.

Where everything has a price, all is worthless.

This ‘time kept city’ was bought with blood –

the blood of our children and the blood of the turning world.

We abandoned our mumbling stones

and the myths that made sense of our wanderings.

We wandered heedless.

So it goes

We found Australia – here there was no conditional tree

that measured the scope of mortality.

Just trees, and the people that walked among them.

Their stories taught no redemption,

No ideas trying to make you better then you can be.

You Are, and so no redemption is necessary.

So it goes.

We killed them, the walkers under the trees

trying to save their souls.

Their souls, already safe under the shadows of the walking trees.

We, who had sacked Byzantium tried to build Jerusalem.

We raised the ‘dark satanic mills’ – the steel hill, the uranium pit and

the counting houses that counted the things, but not the spaces between.

The tree walkers dropped through to die of the poisons we sold.

So it goes

The middens – the piles of their lives are dug up, walked around and learnedly discussed.

Now we say we’re ‘sorry’.

So it goes.

Don Ashby

Saturday, 31 May 2008


(Apologies to Led Zeppelin)

There’s a lady whose sore and knows something for sure
That she’s wearing a bucket on her head.
Now she’s just lost her bits and her gizzards are stitched
Now she can’t seem to get where she wants to.
Ooh ooh and she’s wearing a bucket on her head.
She’s going up the wall and she knows she is sure
That vet’s going to get a demeaning.
A big bite on the nose and a mouthful of clothes
Are bound to cause her misgivings.

Ooh it makes her blunder.
Ooh it makes her blunder.

There’s a feeling she gets, that is really a pest
That her head is crying for rescue.
Out of sorts she has been with her head stuck in trees
And the laughter of those who stand looking.

Ooh it makes her chunder.
Ooh but it makes her chunder.

She’ll be a doggy loon if it’s not fixed up soon,
That vet she is guilty of treason.
Now she knows she looks just like some weird kind of prawn.
Mallacoota will echo with laughter.

Can’t move a muscle in the hedgerow, being harmed now.
It’s just a big pain, she’s a has-been.
There are no paths that she can go by to have a long run.
She can’t see to change the road she’s on
And it makes her blunder.

Her head keeps jamming and it won’t go where she wants you know
And even eatings a big pain.
Now listen, it’s not fair, a low blow, and don’t you know
Her bucket is just so boringly yuk.

And as she blunders down the road,
And clumsy falling on her nose,
She trips and stumbles side to side,
To try and find a path to go,
But everything just bumps along,
And if you listen very hard,
You’ll hear her singing to herself –
‘If all were one now, I would like
To be a dog with out a cone’.

But she’s wearing a bucket on her head.


Iron wrought brazier cages charcoal flame
Dancer – flashes pale planes of armpit, thigh.

Trapping folding shadows of flying skirts
High instep, toe point, ankle bone shadow.

Kalamata black eyes, straight brows concentrate.
Sweat drop glitter, damp darkens dye.
Bull – Gold dusted hide catches.
Brazen tipped horn filigreed flame.
Painted hooves mash flowers strewn

A bellow hurt the echoes,

piss gilds painted stone..

The broad skinned drums mimic thunder
And the skeleton sistrum patterns feet.
Cymbals make the air taste metal
The lyre chimes the tumbling limbs.
Worship that dares a horn death,
Praise dance for the thundering earth.
The stamp, the stink, the rolling eye.
Royal crowned with misstepped death.

All done and the courses run.
Toss of head, The final leap, the flashing edge,
Rush of blood caught in a golden bowl
Badge the brow and slake the tongue
Pent exhalation, Carcass sprawl.

Will this stay the pitching world,
Gentle the quivering flank of stone?
Maiden and Master flower limbs
Fend the tumbling stones,
The cracking roof,
The buried bones?


All here in the broken breaking day

are found splashed by light.

It cannot both be ‘here’ and ‘now’

there are indeterminate emergencies.

I am contaminated with time

and you, my love, who swung away

in your orbit are forever out of reach.


Verse 1

Come all Australians and meet Joyce

He loves to chop a tree.

He’ll frack for oil Pollute our soil;

And overfish the sea.

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

Dreamtime, possums, trees.

It’s all for sale

Cheques in the mail.

Advance Australia Fair.

The buck stops there,

Now that’s the sting.

Advance Australia Fair.

Verse 2

How sad our radiant Southern Cross.

Our toil has been for nought,

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands.

For those who’ve fled across the seas

He’ll lock you in a cage

He’s sold us short,

made it hard to

Advance Australia Fair.

The buck stops there

Now that’s the sting.

Advance Australia Fair.


Those little deaths

The early mornings

And late nights calling

With flesh for some

Higher communion.

Not finding, never finding.

Dazed by chemical desire –

Calling it love.

Gropping in the dark

For wet places,

Or maybe

Some reason

To open eyes

On the day.

You are not Mine,

You are not even Yours:

Shifting in the grey between

pointless and purpose.


Nothing more to say

Now my birds are roosting,

Silhouettes against setting dreams.

A rack of tools

Still offer promise

Of something to be done.

The intricate geometries of leaf

And stalk recalculate their various angles:

In the wind, in the garden, in the world.

The trowl crusted with yesterday’s soil

Waits to evict the choking weed.

The dogs, nose between paws,

each with one eye aslit,

Fool no one, waiting to walk.


Really the first for real

Judy taught me surprise –

that beautiful

Women picked their nose

And chuckle throatily.

Deeply bedded –

Lynx-face watched

The machinations

Of cats

Through the louvres

From our loftbed.

Amazed me

By wanting


Hung her nickers

To dry on my bed post.

Jay taught me what came

In small packages.

Maz taught me to love,

Till it hurt



Played on her

Harp of bones,

Her flowering flesh.

What else could I do

Burning like a Guy

On her bonfire – wanting?

Amira taught obedience

Misha how shameful I could be.

Walking without explaination.

Two deaths.

Deirdre was an Irish illusion

I made in my head

She wanted real and fled .

Claudia lessoned the real

The quantum

passioned moments

That counted

For so much


The shadow lands.

Glenda taught me

My superficiality,

left a Glenda

shapped hole


Max, Max, Max.

For the longest time,

Still – the Rubricks cube

Of the heart, the tangle

Puzzled will.

Teaching/taught longing

And regret.

Building doves,

Homes and houses,

Boys and dogs,

Hammers and paint pots.

Rushing the

Headlong maze

For the longest time

In confusion



Narrow in the bed

With dogs

At the chiming midnight:

My lessons

A long strange

Tarot lay

Dapple my ceiling.


Dog longing for couched ball

Cat stare at mouse door

Only a glance for us

For the wanting

We cannot invade

With concentration

The focus of desire,

The overpowering wish



They that support the bombing

Hourly kill their children and grandchildren.

Those that hate the ‘other’

Hourly hate their children and grandchildren.

They that are profligate

Hourly pillage their children and grandchildren.

They that look the other way

Hourly care less for their children and grandchildren.

They that are them,

They that are us,

They that look out of every mirror,

They that sadly shake their heads

And change the channel,

Or scroll quickly past

the suffering of their children and grandchildren.

Drenched in so much blood,

So much loss.

Teasing the waving nerves of pain

Of their children and grandchildren.



Not surfing,

I can appreciate

the topology off waves

for other reasons

than the ride.

Like snow flakes

There is no repetition.

There is the thunder.

They are implacable.

The ticking

Of the clock

Of the sea.

They take away

The land.


Joni said

We were stardust

On that Woodstock road

She didn’t travel,

Except in a smoke dream.

Joni said

We were stardust.

Born, we were,

In the heart of suns.

That had to die

To pave

The Woodstock road.

Joni said

We were stardust

Singing like the

Crystal spheres

Bouncing down

The Woodstock road.

Joni said

We were stardust.

That gilded the

Giddy dreams

In our antic heads

Hitching down

The Woodstock Road.

Joni said

We were stardust and

When our sun goes new

We will all be one

With the Woodstock road

Streaming out


Joni said.


So there is time

Slipping between the knots in our lives

To find corruscation

Bright forks, electric choices

Between the knots

In our lives.

The curve of a neck

The twist in a tree

A cascade of words

Falling down to silences

That snag on the knots

In our lives –

Painted maybe,

Etched in colored glass,

Sung in a ringing cave

Dripping with stone.

Found for free

Amongst the harping trees.

Sudden reason. Sudden meaning.

Dropped like a stone

In an ice sheltered pool.

Outwards the rings

To rime the rim with crystal rind.

Bigger than dreams:

They are reals,

Lensing life

shards into

New shapes.

New paths of mazey mind,

New mind mazey paths.

Foot falling through a

Trip, a dance, a stub,

A slip to a silky knot.

There is time

To dance

To new tunes.

Unriddling the rope

Unsnaggimg the skein

Unmaking the shattered egg

Into new skies

Above A new kind of day


Here are no bones bleached and scattered

On the tide line of this terminal beach.

Lost, they all are, in the forgetting sea.

All that is left you’ve printed in the sand,

With your perfect feet.

Wandering behind, they are, Waiting

for the diurnal impartial hand to

smooth marks of a desire exceeding grasp.

From the wind-mithered, abraiding sand.

At the end –

only the ignorant preach

The hope of heaven or

hell’s bleak despair.

Only the ignorant look

further than flowers and stars

Or a reaching hand

For healing and purpose.

At the end – only the ignorant.


Lest we forget

Those who stood ranked against the tear-gas

In protest against an abominable war.

Lest we forget.

Those broken under the treads of tanks

As they marshalled in support

of something called ‘democracy’.

Lest we forget

The queers and the blacks, casualties, kicked to oblivion

By the steel caps of mean street boots.

Lest we forget

The families in headlong retreat from hell to hell

colliding with the barbed wire we have built.

Arresting them in sight of their last hope.

Lest we forget our fathers and grand fathers

Who fought and died for peace,

freedom, tolerance and security.

Lest we forget.


So turning

Like the screw in cork

And the forced easing.

The face ln the train

Unaware of vacuum beneath diaphragm.

The impossibility

Encrypted .

Tubed in stretch black

Tapestry tabard

No phone

No wires

Just eyes and black brows


No love,

No contact,

Just wonder gravelled with despair.

The badlands of cirumstancials,

Aphasic histories.

We journey ended

At Flinders Street.

Lost her in the crush.


Shining on the glass top table

Painted tin cock rattles feathers

Haughty plumage proudly postures

Eagle in the arms of heaven.


Dog longing for couched ball

Cat stare at mouse door

Only a glance fot us

For the wanting

We cannot invade

With concentration

The focus of desire,

The overpowering wish.


Moon, reaching in actinically, past the frame,
Fogged through the tarnished glass.
Distance, as definite as a shut gate,
from the silhouettes of framing trees
that do the fatuous illusion of
sentry-go on my silver sixpence.
A coinage so profligate with light.
The unausagable grief of so much seperation
Freezes deep in the bone.
Even filtered, moderated, by the transitory permanence
Of the square paned windows of my home, vertigo
Of a fastly receding perspective
Aches the eye and the stomach.
The clenching of a hand.
The sudden urge to try to write
Down the impossible, exiled Moon.



The Rolling Land is a patina of small places
Laced with paths and light dry bones.
Edges and cross-paths excite
The little gods that congregate whispering.
Surely everything is woven out of bones –
The trillions dead,
A mat, a tapestry, a net
Figured with the patterns
Of recursive breath.
Since mud first stirred,
Rippling the water skin,
There has been death.

There could be no ghosts
Before history.
If they are there,
They are piled high,
Tangled together,
wailing wanton death
Along the edges of the roads.
Spectral mountains of the dead –
wombats, roos, possums, black-fellas
Hedging in the heedless,
scurrying to urgent destinations
Of the poison fueled wheels
of the dead to life.

Lurching monsters cart away creature homes
Or crush them under their treads.
Now rains come no more or all at once.
With these rended corpses of the forest –
We build our houses,
Fuel our comfort fires.
Wipe our bums.
Feral exotics prowl the stump wastelands
With claws and teeth and hook and bullet.
Thickets of bramble arch over the killing fields
of fish, reptile, marsupial and tribe.
A scattered calligraphy remains
Scribing the dry curses of our
Heedless doom.


There are 7 billion skies
Seen through 14 billion eyes
Weeping countless billion tears.
From dark to dark,
Flying through the room of light,
Tumbling in a curdle of stars,
Lost in the cascade of spacetime
In an endless fall.
To what purpose is one bird?
Do not speak about poetry,
Let poetry speak:
Whisper like a passing snake,
Snag like brambles,
Trip like a shoe lace.
The stars that light the sky
Do not light the earth
Casting no shadows
Before us
As we walk forever west.



Eurydice Dixon June 2018

There: at the beginning of the end,
we thought we had invented sex.
Our parents,
in their fetid dark embarrassments,
cast long shadows on land
Puckered with the scars and scabs
Of bomb and bullet,
Had nothing to say to us.
Lest we remember.
Baby booming –
The click-track of the Geiger counter
Was not the beat for us.
In beads and feathers, banded with braid
We made up new dances,
pin wheeling with limbs of light
through the smokes of dreams.
The four piece band in the corner
Strummed ladders to the sky.
Embedded urgent tyrannies,
Gaudily repainted,
garlanded the old dispensations.
A new shine on the old crimes –
Repression, possesion, disparagement and the
Selfish thrusts of the wagging pizzle.
There was some sort of joy
Under ragged blankets,
Though the love was not free.
Women still paid the long old debt –
the children that came,
The affirmations and love songs
Left to blow down the road,
The abandoned luggage.
Nobody asked Alice.
New songs echoed from old barrels
As the tunesmiths took the money,
Parleyed it for all that glitters
And rotted out the earth and sky.
Lives that strives and burgeons
are beads on a wire.
When all that breathes
Becomes things:
We sour like the dumpster
Of a derelict’s dreams.
Thin hands that thought to play the lute
Tear with thickening fingers
at the crusts of our daily bread,
Leaving crumbs and ashes.
Reclining on a tourist terrace, gin drunk,
funded by the superannuated
Investment in a million bullets
And the burning of a million forests.
Oh my children,
to have been gifted with this!
So lost now. So lost.
Limed with the light of myriad flickering screens,
Days spent in pointless posturing,
With a bucket full of lists to tick
In a con-trailed frenzy,
Leaving the quivering shreds
Of a browned, curled dry waste
where once tall trees waved.
Yarrow stalks are scattered
In the hot winds of
the burning of the brain.
Oh my children,
what have we done to you?
Stalked in the afterdark park by Death
In a drugged-raging travesty of the act of love.
Bought and sold by sweaty
Men in suits for the privilege
To scramble in the gutter
For their loose change.
Broken by blasted bricks
In the suburbs of some proxy war.
Floundering up the beaches
Of an unwelcoming shore.
Turned back from the gates
Out of which shines the last
Of the light of the darkening world.
Cellared in a godfull stink of hate.
Strapped with bombs
emerging to murder street market,
Mosque or kindergarten.
Oh my children,
With what have you been left?
Shun each other?
Flinch from smiles and hands?
Will your lonely children
Nurture the last flowers
In armored hermitages
In distant valleys?
Hand feed the last fish
In the last plastics free pond?
Watch the last lion die of old age?
Each alone for fear of the other.
Which one of your lonely children
will be the last to see the last star
Through the last gap in a shrouded sky.
What will be your excuse
When The Red King finally ‘wakes,
At the end of the end?


Now I am gangrel grown,

Bent to the beam of my back.

Sanded joints and unexpected weaknesses travail.

All that was once so sure

Balloons softly and slowly

As dust from the boots

of some lunar explorer.

Desire, except for solipsistic spasms,

Has lost all purpose and strategy.

Leave me to forge:

What I can,

What I must,

From old dreams

And new surmises.



Alley dancer


Delicate amongst the broken glass

Wings of hair

Snagging the catching light


Dirt badged


Dapples of bright

Claw ’round drawn blinds

Breakout stacatto

Calligraphy of limbs.

Cheek bones, .

Eye pits

Catch fire

Deep night distant

Jangle and rumble

Last trams clack home.




The bell birds

Ring in ears

Whether clean

Or dirty.

They call from the gullies

While our priests

sodomise our children,

Our police and farmers

Murder our ancient precursors

And our politicians take

Their wages in brown paper bags.

The small birds you never see

Will carol on.

They will sing

Until the last brIght jewel


To the relentless bulldozer.

Come, my dear,

Let us walk together

In the dusk

And think of words

That rhyme with rat.

Let us talk about

Ashes and bones and

The Burial of the Dead.

Do not walk alone

In the park.

The creeping grass will twine

Around your knees

And hold you fast.

The magpies will

Peck out your eyes.

The remnant birds

Will pluck and gather

Your hair for nests.

Do not go into the park.


We scatter the small coin

Of our vapid sorrow in the dust

At the feet of Enormity.

Eventually,  we will line up to

Mouth platitudes to the

Victims of our proxy wars,

Made prisoners, without hope,

Irreparably maimed by fear

And indifference as they tried

To save their children.

Men in expensive suits

With complacent bellies

Cast stones and bones

Across the ritual floor

Of stylized faux acrimony.

At the birthday party

All the presents were wrapped

In pink paper.

There was lemonade

And greasy sausage rolls.

We cried in the corner

Because no one would

Meet our eyes

Or hold our hands.

Living inside a cube of glass.

There is no end to sorry.


She passed the audition

With outrageous behaviour.

Hired on the spot.

Our company saviour

Was not paid  alot –

The human condition.


The company went bust

But Jillian forged onward

French horn and french husband

Gears stuck in forward

Ambition unbludgeoned

Can’t see her for dust.


Singing her socks off

Life lived operatic

Full speed ahead

With directions eratic.

Children were bred.

And now comes the payoff


Live life in the sun

With a gin in each hand

Sing songs for yourself

In an opera that’s grand

Bugger the wealth

Just go and have fun.




I found him crying

On my veranda.

The Long and Winding Road

Playing on his phone

And on its screeh a pix

Of a women with whom

Hearts were no longer shared,

Though children where.

He brushed his eyes

With the back of his hand

Sniffled, grimaced at me,

stood up

and shaking himself

Like a dog,

Went out into

The sunlight,

down the path

And out of the gate



My stuff behind your couch

Was home that summer

When the freckles on your face

made me flinch

With wonder and desire like a knife.

Drowning in eyes

Sinking down without a struggle.

Sunlight caught the crystals

In your window. Shattered rainbows

In your flaming hair like a sunset.

Tattered jeans and tie-dye.

Danced like a birdwing.

Sang like a stream.

Thumbs rode the road.

Guitar and cement.

Sandles slapping.

My heart behind your couch.



When the huddling dead

Crowd around and memories

Drift like smoke

In the shaman dark

Come sit by me.

Lean over your scrying bowl,

Hair swinging,

And talk to me.

Tell me stories

Bright as the sea,

And as salt.

Yarn me.


When limbs meshed

And laughter danced

Like watersun

There was no narrative

Only the imeadiate


There was no reflection

But sundazzle.

Awash with chemicals of joy

Dreams of eternal complicity

Are called Love.

Come sit by me.


Tell me stories

From the book of tales

We name as memory.

Scry for me,

Your bowl screened by your hair,

Speak the spell

To unravel the trip wire

To sprawl me back

Into impossible inchoate time

Where there may be healing.

Come sit by me,

You are warm.


Frank, a short man,
With all that that implies;
In his annecdotage –
Garrulous as a cold caller.
Strutting like a terrier.
He controlled with charm.
He bullied.
They named a dinosaur in his honor
That he rescued from the stone
Clutches of a wrecking coast
with pulley, winch and wire.
Wilful as a spoilt collie,
Nipping and barking, worrying,
He got his way.
Children, wife: collateral damage
To a story starring him.
There was always The Stuff
To be recycled, hoarded –
Piles, stacks, bins, drums.
In search of gratitude, in search of praise,
The Stuff coopted into
Games of status.
In the mirror of his mind
He championed a war on waste.
Mountains of crap, shaming,
Shredding domestic dreams
and self-esteem.
Love left huddled under a doona,
With the curtains drawn,
Minds numb with
Drugs, God and denial.
Standing on the Darien Peak
of fondly reclaimed rubbish
He stared out over the wreckage
Of his family and saw
The vision of ‘Frank’
Burning bright with self-regard
Bringing order to the
Treasure hoarded,
rubbish tip of the world.



I wake in the night
Cold with a panic.
Suppose there is a God.
If all the reason of my life
Should crumble away
Like a fistfull of love.

Which God?
The one whose will it was to
Maim and hang on two crossed sticks
His only begotten son?
In excalpation for a sin
So carefully engineered
In that garden long ago?
The slaughterer of Egyptian children?
The tormentor of Job?
The emperor of Japan?
Suppose it is a jaguar headed toad,
Exalted by a lost Amazon tribe,
That requires the presentation
Of still beating human
hearts at a forest shrine?

If she should drop in,
Passing by, on her
way to Armageddon,
Would she thank her
Paedophile priests
For their sacrifices of innocence?
If he’s a grinning fat boy
Would he be even more amused
By the rape and murder in Myanmar?
If God lives
There will be no justice for
The virtuous unbeliever.

I wake awash in sweat.
The god of ‘love’, who
Looked down with (presumably)
smiling benevolence
On Ruanga and the agony of the Cathars,
Will judge my soul.
If we are made in his image
Wouldn’t a better job be being done,
Floating here in the cloud
Of all possible universes?

Is that the sound of thunder
Or the approaching feet
Of some huge vengeful toddler
Clutching a quiver of lightenings?


Big white room, Hung with frames.

Cell windows looking out on a frozen world,

The poor souls who pick a pose

Create a good impression.

The real things are outside the frame

On the otherside of the wall.

Trying to capture the ephemeral merely achieves it.

Big white room. Full of people.

Holding wine glasses and conversation

Laughing like the slide of gravel

Down the face of a shovel.

Finding only mirrors in the frames.

Unsatisfied and unaware that

They are what it’s all about.

The joining of the dots

The coloring in, inside the line,

Finds you gasping breathless in

The panic attack of a reciprocating tomorrow.


Your bones glow fiercely

Shining pink-red through

the opal of your flesh

It is in the dark places

You find pleasure.

The moon in June, the red roses  and the

Incongruous blue violets championing

The lost cause of true love are left

Kicking cans down the gutter.

All our poets squat in the offices of academy

Playing Scrabble in broken lines

Or crochet colored squares on Castlemain porches.

Chins dripping with kombucha.

No longer lurching to howl and jibber at

Clapboard doors for one more apple breast of

honey or a fist of crumpled bills in the overheated night

Watch alleys that once were forests.

Dark emus, peck amongst scatters of old bones

And the rags of abandoned love,

Casting shadows like impossible coat-hangers.

On the dim margins, spider-walking over the sucking

Mud of saltmarsh estuary, flocks of shadow saxophones

Wail like acid.

Wail like the inchoate longings of sadly beautiful boys,

Or bone hollow girls starving

for the expectations of an Instagram future.

Tears splash down, blurring flickering screens,

While fingers dance the lies of confident achievement

And buy wellness, excitement and fulfillment on credit.

Abandonment of life as a fulltime occupation in favour of Facebook..

Ice freezes out hope, reduces all futures to a craving maw.

Your flesh shone through your clothes

Shadows radiated from you – the shining hub.

All those boys you have burned;

The girls you have left quivering like flayed flesh;

The sofa stained with the leaking ichor of desire;

This is all that remains after you have slammed the door.

The coffee rings on the laminex, like a drunken olympics,

Are time stamps recording to much waiting for nothing.

To much disappointment at the frayed ends of a furtive night,

Whining like a rag rug dog tied to a dumpster in some Salvos car park,

Eyes catching fire from the lights of passing cars, has left me

Hollow as a bird’s bone.

Sitting in the park

An old lady on a plaid blanket

Shows rheumy eyes

And a dissatisfied mouth

To anyone who should

Look her way.

The dreams she once had

Lie on her shoulders

Like immensely  heavy dandruff.

One day she will die.

Maybe she already did.

Her bones turned

Dark as charcoal.




There is some relevance, some purpose

When the realization comes that the whole rigmorole,

The tangled, some times frenzied, posturing

Is only about sitting still.

The impossible thing – being still.



The midden in the dune hollow,

The waiting gyre on swellcurved air

The hump of basalt, stubborn,

After the mountain has washed away.

The mumbo jumbo, the cackling guru,

The breath from the navel diamond

That lifts the hair and flushes the nerves with light,

The blowing leaves of a thousand books

Are about doing nothing.

The ultimate contradiction



The water and the air are the fish and the bird,

The dull plod is the man.

The endless gravity that drives to do.

The effort of one foot in front of the one left behind.

Walking a meandering circle

In brief memory and/or anticipation of time.

No place for nothing.

The bubbling effervescence of creation,

The scurrying scrabble of the denizens of decomposition,

Crowd the moment.

Some shaman bright eyed with irony


Takes your money and talks of silence.

The ones that smile, that laugh,

Wait for you to wander off in exasperation.

Maybe to sit down, one day, under a hollow hill

And suddenly chuckle


And do nothing.


Vote For Me

Hansen is a leper
Morrison means black
Palmer means a pilgrim
Shorten just gets smaller
How they chop and hack
The Canberra fat bellies
Trotter in their troughs
Dual with knife and fork
Over our old southern bones
Dragging  steel combs
Through the scaberous
Pelt of the dying bush.
Flushing out the huddled
Weeping over their
last children’s tiny deaths
Mines like ulcers
Canker land life.
Springs trickle and weep no more.
Burning effluvium
Waste the sky of it’s choir
Rivers run with rotting fish
But the island banks run with gold.
Come on!
If you’ll have a go
We’ll give you a pavement
To sleep on.
Come on!
Raise your hand to Heaven,
And get a sucker punch
In the guts or a
Bullet  or a bomb
Or your children gone.
Come on!
Vote for me
This is the lucky country
Best that money can buy.


The owl has her claws in the moon

And the starlights’ drunk by her eyes.

The tree shadows cast a dark rune

On predator wings as she flies.

Small life hides in the hollows

Wild eyed with panic and shame,

Reason has fled with Apollo

And terror consumes like a flame.

Bloody spots spatter the tree skin,

Crimson drips the blade of the knife,

Hatred has sundered our kin,

And life takes a life takes a life.

The spark is extinguished in leaf mold

Compassion is lost in the dark.

Now nothing can warm the old cold,

Every dark choice leaves its mark.

Dead love weighed down with piled stones,

Dead heart staked hard to the ground,

Wind makes rattles of dry bones,

The Dreaming dead utter no sound.

Fang shadows lurk under bone trees,

Talonned death out of the sky,

Twig lattice scribbles  a star frieze,

A backdrop for creatures to die.



here’s a hole in the sea

And the fish are falling away.

The ocean is empty

Just plastic emulsion is

Tugged by the moon

Sea dreams are all over

There is nothing  to sleep.


The playground  sound of distant children’s laughter.

Brings nostalgic grins.

Providing  you are not to near to see who is being

Laughed at.

And see the cowering shaking shoulders.


Hear the bullies ego,

Hear the bullies spite

Scope the embryonic adults

And pity their future partners, children.


They called it Aspergers then –

Exceptional children with special needs.

Now the neurotypicals dismissive,

Call it – ‘On The Spectrum’.


The  children in our town drove

My boy to the edge of self destruction.

While his school looked away.

All those years ago.


He’s so tall now, broad shouldered.

From bearing so much.

Says he can’t really love anyone,

To many betrayals from when

He believed what he was told.


Why do you not fly?

Stop dragging your tail feathers

In the dust,

Taste the burning air

With the tip of your tongue –

Take wing, go.

The fiery thermals

Will take you far from here.

Fat blokes with big boats


Fat blokes with big boats dig

Up your nature strip trying to

Reverse a boat into their drive

With out-boards as big as their egos

And fourteen fishing rod holders on the roof.


Fat Blokes with Big Boats

Get their rocks off

Pitting their intellect and physical prowess

Against small creatures

With brains the size of a pea.


Fat blokes with big boats

Always speed up on an over-taking lane

in case the shame of being passed makes

them impotent with their secretaries

who just want to keep their jobs.


Fat blokes with big boats

Park across three parking spots

Outside the local supermarket

So they can buy a packet of fags

And then pop in next door to the pub.


Fat blokes with big boats

Wash down their boats and cars

In the middle of a drought and run

The water off into the storm drains.

Poisoning the fish with carcinogen cocktails.


Fat Blokes with big boats

Invest their superannuation in coal fired

Nerve gas plants and automatic

Weapon manufactories’ because

They supply the best returns.


Fat Blokes with big boats

Like to holiday in the places

Where virgin children are not too expensive

And are delivered with the room service.

And cleared away in the morning.


Fat Blokes with big boats

Change their wives like socks

Buy their friends by the dozen

And drink themselves to sleep everynight.

Fat Blokes with Big Boats


I am of the Dragon Times

I wild ride high in my she oak

Jeweled Insects are my werefolk

Leven flashing in their eyes.


I am of the Dragon Times

From the thickets wild bulls bellow

Small birds flash: red, blue and yellow

Threaded on the curlews cries


Born of the wind: song exalted,

On the ridge the horseman halted

High in my tree I saw him stoop

Eye patch shadow, his ravens swoop

With his staff (carved narwhale spike)

Sharp as the tree thorn of the shrike

Scored our runes in the dust

Dark red as blood or crusted rust


I am of the Dragon Times

Seconds are a drumskin rattle

Hours are merely wineskin prattle

Dawns a horncall out of the light


I am of the Dragon Times

Ride with me on dreams forever

Rainbow  clad, gay and clever

Astride the fire drake burning bright.


Amongst the trees and ferns,

That grew like hair

On an old worn possum skin cloak,

(Thrown over a sleeping

Child: for warmth,

For comfort)

The people –


Co-contingent with the trees

With the ferns

With the twisty waters.

Laughing ghosts.

Crying ghosts.

Loving ghosts.

Not our sad gothic lost, who

Blunder down dark corridors,

Through stoney walls,

Wailing silently  or reaching

Out Insubstantial  hands

To the oblivious.


Between the mountains

And the sea.

Along the banks of short rivers,

Traversing the ridges

The people were.

Ocre hand shadows on stones,

Fish traps laid down before Rome.

Fenceless fields of foods.

Slowly shaping and shaped,

The dreamtime that was no time

And all time.

Was the puff of dust

From the first drop of rain.

Was the wearing away of mountains.

Was the snake sand track.

Was the river in the valley.


So much time, that was no time,



Divided into increments of pain.

By horse foot, bullet, small pox

And a bottomless theft built on

A greed made potent by alien laws

Bought wholesale from a foreign land.


Do they kill us in rage?

Wage war on us with guns and bombs,

For the suffering of their children

With infected eyes and petrol habits?

For the suffering of their land?

For the fracking,  the coal pits,

The endless bulldozed bush,

The squalid huddling with the

Rusting tin, tangled barbs

And limping cars with ragged tyres.

The contempt.

The prejudice.

The empty eyed apologies

And crocodile tears

From fat men in suits

The empty children’s bed?


They kill themselves –

The slow suicide of booze,

Of drugs of despair or

The sudden hand that says ‘Enough!’


They reach out to us

Out of their pain they can find love.

Out of their pain they can seek reconciliation.


Everywhere we go, with our

Weapons and gods raised high

We leave footprints of blood.

Churning the song lines

Breaking felial ties.

Taking the land.

Taking the children.

Tearing out the heart of even

Of our own suffering God

As we tear the heart

Out of the suffering land

Out of it’s suffering people.


With a manifest destiny

Like the snarling indiscriminate roar

Of a brush cutter,

We have lacerated their Forever

into an intricately  random Present of pain.

This enormity goes beyond injustice.

This enormity goes beyond reparation.

This enormity goes beyond.

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