Monday, November 25, 2013

super-late mega update

Here are the poems I submitted for my final folio in my Writing Poetry subject. There's a sonnet in there, so watch carefully! Some fiction, some faction, some familiar, some totally fresh. Enjoy!


Having never been aware
of the advent of
I failed to prepare a suitable section for 'personal life',
being far too focussed on ruthless and bloodthirsty dictatorship.
The whimsical facts apparently so necessary for modern audiences eluded me, and all I can supply instead are the numbers of lives I took, while defending the voice of freedom.
Apparently though, I look good in a wig,
but everybody wore them,
so I'm not quite sure why that's surprising news.
In your time if a man wears a wig,
he's singled out for public blandishment,
as though it is right to demand a full head of hair til death do you part upon the altar of age.
But no! It is not right! I demand a fair trial!
A people's court!
The swish and spring of the guillotine!

Ah, Madame Guillotine, I always dressed for you in the finest of white stockings,
applauded your efforts to shave the unruly beard off the national escutcheon.

I also quite enjoy having a huge, weapon,
rising up above the crowd,
statuesque symbol of...
symbol of...

My advice to all future dictators is simple,
and garnered from my experience and that of my friends.
Don't allow young women to meet with you in your medicinal bath.
Don't shoot yourself in the jaw (it hurts).
Don't encourage the people into too many rash and swift executions, yours will be next.
Do however make as full use as possible of such words as 'committee', 'public' and 'safety', and I can recommend a little brandy in the morning
to get in you in the mood for
signing endless documents
and meeting with smelly men.

Spurned, or, Human Error

He was a barb:
a fragment of glass, swallowed accidentally.
He scraped first at her lips,
(her words caught)
next, her throat
(shredded, twisted into knots).
But it was the long, slow descent,
through metres and metres that nearly killed her:
internal bleeding the least of the worries
as they lay together,
(her heart screaming)
him sleeping, her distressed.
     Never had a minds meeting,
     never nothing but a near miss.


When you were leaving,
and picking up your keys from the console table,
and rifling through your bag,
and going on about whether you’d need a taxi for this evening,
I wondered if I should tell you that
in my dreams last night
I floated on a magic carpet
in a scene not dissimilar the sequence in Aladdin
that we used to watch together
while mum cleaned the kitchen
and let us eat popcorn
and sang along loudly when we turned the music up.

I didn’t want to listen to the details of your day,
but remember the feeling
of flying without falling,
that even though,
sitting on a carpet is not exactly comfortable
for long periods of time,
in transit, this one felt
like a soft cushion of air,
plush fibres
and a large dose of subconscious recognition
that I was still lying on my own bed,
cradled by the extra, sheepskin layer I put on it in the winter,

and we used to speak of such things
when I was less anxious
and you were less busy
and we generally chatted
between our bunks 
after lights out in the evenings,
so pointless in daylight saving,
as the glow through the plastic venetians
continued to reveal the
shapes and textures of the room. 

In earnest voices we'd discuss
almost any thought that crossed our minds,
the way we felt when tuna-bake was served again
on silent Sundays, 
a gastronomic ritual we both disliked. 
We'd speak about the books we'd read
and I'd advise,
from my obvious maturity
the best way to deal with grandparents.

Are we grown-ups now, 
is that the problem?
The reason I can no longer speak
of frivolous dreams
and vague impressions?
Do suits impose a verbal prison from which
no ordinary words can be spoken,
only business mish mash and 
public speech?

You said, “goodbye, I'll see ya later”
closing the door before my reply. 
“My magic carpet's better than yours,
and I don't give a stuff about your boyfriend”
to the empty room,
the blank door, 
the missing voices. 

word to Derrida

You are a black hole,
whose centre is a vacuum. 
I am a solar system, 
whose centre is a sun.

for Paris

Not cold in her grave she lies,
but hot.
Baked back to clay by unforgiving sun.

Three days have passed,
but life's light does not sink down,
piercing thick layers of soil to touch her.

Life's light has not reached
her stiffening, suffocated body at all.

Her silent lips are mimicked now
by silent stares above.
She speaks not death's dark secrets,
while blind teachers disclose empty truths.
Milk stuff,
to minds starved of meat,
so needed for their journey ahead.

Paris died.
Small child.
And every womb cried out,
empty arms groped for their beloved.

No no no no no no no.

Don't worry yourselves about it,
it didn't happen,
but it did,
so we should shut up now
and eat some chocolate.

Hallmark words will not revive her,
no kiss of life can now resuscitate.

But yet,

your voice may find her,
through soil and darkness penetrate.

Unafraid of death's dark shadow,
powerful truth, now spoken as command.


And light will blind her,
breath shall find her lungs again.


Soon your hands will wither.

Those veins you can barely see now
will strike new wrinkles in your skin,
rise up over softened crevices.

Your neck will slouch,
descend to meet the breasts that
also have descended
down down down
to meet the bottomless belly
draped over wasting thighs.

Soon, soon, as time reveals, exposes,
your body will fold in, replace,
become unrecognisable.

This skin contorts, transforms,
is plastic
in the image of its maker.

A constant reminder
of your fragility, changeability, liminality,
the fine, filmy substance of your physical existence

in this epoch.

You should EMBRACE
this final, flaming, sunset spark,
the glory unparalleled of being allowed
to dance and shine before your maker.

And then, look forward
to dawning again,
upon a world remade,
fresh light,
new skin,
new blood.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remembrance Day

She knows the names
of the trees
on their walk
through stippled grave stones,
untamed grasses.

Spring sun spears
fat broad leaves
Moreton Bay Fig,

He wonders and wanders,
from tomb to tomb:
the naming of things,
a mythical art
too puzzling for him to scry out.

Oh look! An anchor,”
salvage of ship-wreck,
called in now for memory's mark.

Was it Cutty or Dunbar?”
he used to remember,
worrying now that it's all gone, too far.

It's ok darling,
let's visit your Mother”
nervous of what they called
'undue distress'.

Gently she guides him,
past white mausoleums
small mound,
black cross,
Robyn's nest.

She's dead?”
and he kneels,
Ten years in November”
It doesn't seem possible”
Well it's quite certain now.”

You're angry.”
Just tired. I want to go home.”
Well we shall,
by the butcher's.”

And so they return.

Past Moreton Bay Fig,


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Do It Yourself

The table waits,
cradling the nail he
meant to hammer in that afternoon, but,
lost, on his way to the fridge, he
never now will fix.

Wasted in waiting,
for a blow that never comes
unexpected falls elsewhere.

The busted leg, its
grain split open waits
to catch every passing friend and
every time reminds
of missing piece.

I just submitted this for workshopping in my poetry class, so thought I'd share it with you all :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

word to Derrida

You are a black hole,
whose centre is a vacuum.
I am a solar system,
whose centre is the sun.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

one day I almost died

It was a strange reminder,
a sudden recollection of the past.

For so long, I had lived under the shadow of death,
at that crucial time,
the confrontation of mortality was
face to face
scan to scan
day to day
breath to breath.

It shaped my whole being for a while.

I tossed it off glibly,
in a way,
as soon as that hypothetical threat passed.

But it haunted me,
colouring my view a little darker,
a little greyer,
like the twilight when a storm's approaching.

that tension wore off.

I haven't thought for some time now
how close I was to death,
how far I was from death,
how ever second,
every minute,
we all draw closer and closer
and yet remain exactly as far away as before.

Other cares have crowded in,
smaller in a way,
why should any of them matter
in comparison to the final embrace
of black isolation,
howling rooms,
never-ending silence.

But it's not simply the fact
that my firm conviction
(at least on Tuesdays, some Friday afternoons, and maybe one or two other times every week)
in the resurrection of the dead,
and the life everlasting,
has grown in stature and solidity
since those days.

But that my natural, human forgetfulness,
ability to be distracted,
failure to remember every day,
drags me further and further away
from old scabs I've stopped picking at,
until one day,
I brush against the old place
and realise

the scar is gone. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

ode to winter

Shadows lengthen - winter is here!

Frost breathes sparkling spirals,
transforming banality with fine, filmy fairy floss.

Winter is here!

Time is suddenly found for the long, lingering dinners
frantic summer's pace excludes.
Conversation winds and wends
conquering boundaries, dividing lines;
slow-cooked meals allowing slow, thoughtful answers.

Winter is here.

Summer sun mellows to winter, water-bottle friend,
warm rays become a couch to lean on,
arm to embrace.

Summer heat freezes, stifling no more.
Scarves, rather than suffocate,
caress, encircle, celebrate;
cacophony of colours,
trumpeting life in defiance of somnolent snow.

Winter is here.

I know world over,
winter means death:
frozen ground,
frozen bodies,
for evermore shrouded by the heartless snow,
concealed from summer's verdant glow.

Cold comfort's found
by empty fireplace,
winter slowly asphyxiating,
blue-tinged lips, fingers, face.

In extremity, winter frightens,
clarion call of death,
warning of unflinching finitude.

And yet,

winter calls forth resolute resistance,
brave battle against all-conquering elements!

What can be more triumphant
than the explosion of daffodils
after unrelenting frost?
The burst of bluebells from frost-bitten bulbs,
tingling their colourful victory
over death's pale shadow?

Winter is here.

But it shall not stay.

Friday, April 5, 2013

best blogs

Have just been flicking back through some old entries, looking for inspiration in a new project. Came across this one, Tabernacle Series #2 - Rahab's House, and thought, gee, who wrote that?! It's pretty good really! I barely recognise myself... 

So, anyway, my only actual update for you today is this... 

That's right, we've reached that time of year again where I measure your love for me in volume of votes ;-) Vote early, vote often, and vote for my friend Josh too, because his blog is HILARIOUS!! 

Love love.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I wrote this yesterday as an example of a group poem. It's a writing exercise I stole from the magnificent Adrian Plass - each member of the group finishes a sentence such as "our God is..." or "the righteous are" and the results are read out together. I've done this in a few sizes of groups, and it's magnificent every time to see the variety of emotional expression in our individual relationships with God. It's also quite thrilling for people who'd never attempt poetry to see what is possible, and, I think, brings a new depth of appreciation. 

I'll be sharing this exercise in my bible study group next week - maybe you could try it in a group you're in? It doesn't have to be on a 'religious' theme!

Our God is...

Our God is a breath of pure oxygen after a day of smog.
Our God is awesome, mighty and powerful. 
Our God is the reason I get up in the morning. 
Our God is a far off Father who always seems angry.
Our world is a desperate place, full of striving and wasted energy.
Our world is startling in its beauty, terrifying in its terrors.
Our world is full of people who need God.
Our world is a place that makes me tired.
The wicked are many, and seem to get away with everything.
The wicked are probably misunderstood. 
The wicked are as in need of grace as I am.
The wicked are people that think only of themselves.

The righteous are ridiculously lucky, they don't deserve what they're getting.
The righteous are failures saved by grace.
The righteous are really annoying sometimes, because they think they know it all. 
The righteous are people transformed by God.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

quote mis-quote quote

Be still and know that I am God
you said.

More like,
shut up! And keep your place!

A terrifying command at first.
The kind that sends little kids scurrying to the bathroom,
minuscule bladders trembling with fear.

Shut up! Stop your chatter and clatter!

A bruising command at first.
I don't really need to be told yet again to silence my self-expression.
My whingeing response?
Or the heartfelt cry of one who's been silenced too often?

Keep your place!

At the dinner table.
At the kitchen sink.
In the back row.
In the uncomfortable pose while I fiddle with my lens.

A frustrating command at first.
Pure restriction,
when the spirit wants to soar and spring,
shout and bellow.

Be still, and know that I am God.

On second glance,
a calming statement,
even though shouted.

It's the silencing of all those busy body noises,
the sniping, griping, swiping. slandering,
muttering, grumbling, nattering, chattering
of voices that need to be quieted.

It's the settling and subsiding
of the nervous twitches,
needless, ceaseless, tiring travelling,
relentless wandering and chasing of the world.

It's the subduing of the angry fist,
the brutal boot.
The pacifying of the raging and roaring.

It's the order from chaos
of a minute of silence
in the heat of battle.

Shut up! And know you're not the boss.
Shut up! And listen to what you've been doing.

Be quiet, and rest in His arms. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Can I get a sling for my whole body?

A bandage for my soul?

When you poke me, it hurts,
whether in jest or no.

When you slap me, it stings,
old wounds re-open.

I can't cope with much more at the moment,
please soothe my sores,
bind up my broken heart
and re-make me whole. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Hey friends, 

Just letting you know I've entered the Australian Writer's Centre Best Australian Blogs 2013. 

There'll be a People's Choice Award which I'd love you all to vote in, and I'll let you know when that kicks off.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, February 25, 2013


So it turns out it's not normal,
this feeling that my eyes are always three hours more tired
than the rest of my body.

The optician asks,
"have you noticed anything abnormal recently?"
I say, "what's normal?"

She smiles quizzically,
thrusts the machine in front of my eyes,
makes a few adjustments and says,
"not your sight".

So, now I need to wear glasses.

So it turns out it's not normal,
this feeling that my body is just a body,
with good bits and bad bits,
bits that I quite like,
bits I think other people like.

The photographer grimaces in concentration,
stands back with his head cocked to the side,
then tucks me in behind dresses, bridesmaids and the flower girl,
my concealment now bringing the photo back to balance.

So, now I feel like the photogenic failure, and just want to hide.

So it turns out it's not normal,
this feeling that every day is a melancholy farce,
another opportunity to feel disconnected, depressed and alone.

The friends smile in happiness to see me,
warm hugs, loving eyes,
offers of support and an understanding attitude.

So, now I have to remember that I cannot measure normal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

the leaf

Worn thin
by long neglect between the pages of this book,
once plumply green
now anorexic grey.

Leaf between leaves,
but not of like kind,
separated by alien processes,
mass produced mimics of this fairies paper:
a leaf whose veins can no longer suck
green blood from sap-filled trunk,
cut off,
withdrawn and yet

beauteous still,
fine, frail skeleton reflecting fierce,
fearful life of the original.

There's wonder in a corpse,
and reason finds
fair cause for treasured burial.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

surprise me

The Comedian stood,
bold, sardonic, creative, generous, thoughtful and wise.

a howl from the rooftops,

a quiet question, echoing into the night.

"Who is the lucky one?"
The quick or the dead?

The ones who've exited this plastic fantastic,
super-charged and
super-disappointing earthly existence?

Or the ones left behind.

Like us.

Scattering our wonderings to the wind.

Answer back some time won't you?

Trump logic.

Give an irrational but truthful reason to continue!
Bless us with an unjustifiable, unreasonable basis for drawing in breath.

Beat my brain down from it's arrogant, desperate, frightened, weary, wounded sanity,
and let me live,
not in ignorant bliss,
but astounded enlightenment. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


My life with church has always been
a fruitless, frustrating, wearying carousel
of weekly sex with no orgasm.

It's so exhausting and unfulfilling.

I don't wanna go!!!

The technicians stand around the bed making suggestions,
the number of participants,
the verbal content,
the soundtrack,
tweaking these things will increase arousal,
and on our system,
you'll be screaming with joy
on a rostered basis.

Well it never happens,
and the appointments,
and the discussions,
and the arguments
just make it worse and worse and worse.

Heightening the expectation that is already disappointed,
calling for a something that is never going to


Why torture me so?

It blinds me to the other values of this bride of Christ,
the other reasons to pursue her.

If satisfying sex is on offer,
but never delivered,
just like any horny teenager,
I'll dump her and move on,
seeking nourishment for my deep
spiritual need
somewhere else.

But we're engaged,
not married yet.
The consummation awaits,
the glorious union with you.
The truly orgasmic, exciting climax
when all creation will find it's fulfillment.

So stop dangling this dangerous fruit.

Like all long engagements,
this situation has its pitfalls,
not least the seeming stretching
of every second into an hour,
every hour into a year,
enduring the not-so-great while waiting for the best thing ever.

So when we launch into the same routine again,
next time,
turn the lights down low,
turn the music up,
but never get to the point where the heaving and sighing gets anywhere,

help me to remember that it's a lie to expect anything more.

There are other reasons to love her anyway,
and to continue to hold at arms length
those doctors who promise easy solutions,
but no real answers.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

being kathy bates

So apparently I think I'm Kathy Bates in Misery...

That anyone trapped in conversation with me is just wondering,
"when is she gonna break my legs so she can keep me here?"
"how can I escape?!!"
Hoping that I'm not going to further display my mental disturbance
by drugging them,
tricking them into something resembling friendship.

Cheerful isn't it,
the assumption I'm blackmailing, manipulating everyone.
That they're being polite at first, because they have to,
but soon would rather be anywhere but in the room with me.

I think like that about you sometimes too.
That you're just loving me out of obligation,
and soon you're gonna leave me too.

In this room,
where I rightfully belong,
with only the emptiness and waste to talk to,
a fitting punishment for whatever it is my mind thinks I've done.

Why do I think I'm Kathy?


Monday, January 14, 2013

the parable of the lost sheep

I'm not lost.
I just stopped.

Srsly, there's no point coming back for me,
you'll just put the other sheep in danger.

Seriously! GO AWAY!!

I'm not worth it.

I'll just stay here, and eat this grass,
til it's gone.

And then I guess I'll lie down.

And then I'll die.

No probs.

You're making me feel guilty staring at me like that.

Seriously! GO AWAY!!

It's pointless trying to pick me up.
I don't even know what you're doing here.
Do you want some sort of stand-off?
See who'll flinch first?

Well you know, and I know, that this is stupid.
I'm just one sheep.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the fire

Acrid scent,
not the promise of well cooked food,
but of animals screaming,
Firies fighting, straining,
helicopters hovering, covering
hot fields with precious water.

It wafts on the breeze,
this reminder of death and destruction,
simply an annoying tickle to the nose,
when spending your day on other things,
like a fly that won't stay swatted,
or a neighbour that can't be avoided.

The smell is not the worst of it.

Perhaps that's why,
even though it lingers,
permeates hair, clothes and rooms,
acts in every way possible to scream it's deadly news,

we can still ignore,
revile it.


I'm only covered in smoke,
the fire holds no real fear for me!