in the changing rooms, what are you? you, wet and warm in muscle, you open-eared behind cubicles, finally safe from aqua profunda and a fear of limbs seizing and drowning, dialling for more hot water from the shower timer.   it’s a slow collapse into the steam or maybe it’s as simple as the pleasure […]


Earworms of Road to Gundagai and Qantas advertising make something snort within my gut, and retch in that cultural cringing way you get in piazzas of Naples when you hear the accent cut through air like chemtrails on blue sky, Barbecue sauce for the pizza, mate? Or when in Turkish towns a grieving young man […]

Urban Birdsong

One’s still asleep the other pounding over Harbour Bridge in his new Christmas runners.  I lean into right hip  the way the physio warned  was a bad habit and stare  into morning: gifted  like crinkled sheets  of tissue paper, unfolding  pale blue from open concertina doors.   A few optimistic fruit flies  hover over scraps […]

From Small Beginnings

Beginning with the smallest sign, a tiny wisp that seems benign, the embryo of devastation glows, till embers stir to spread, ignite, as suddenly they flare alight, to catch the scrub with vicious seeds it sows. The smoky tendrils feed the flame determined to release and claim surrounding vegetation parched by drought, then in a […]


How late our lives have moored up side by side. I, in my seventies, you, in your eighties; a coming together of deep accord. My world is suddenly richer as the power of your giving fires up ambition in me I thought was dead. As you present your wealth of gathered facts to eager learners, […]

The Field

Once I stood in a field very far from the city and said –  Your will, not mine   as if I was a believer.    The sun beamed down with its strong, almost blinding light.  I felt it on my back, stroking me,  then enveloping me    like a blanket of dandelions and daisies so […]

Mangoes & elephant bones

How do we make elephants bones our origin? We pluck them from basements between late night projections when we linger on the outskirts of friendships for decades. These are our museums, our artifacts. Singing Toto at the top of our lungs, so loud you miss the plane out of Melbourne. This despite, our blessing. How […]

Sacred Country

At a Goolmangar acreage on Wijabul/Wia-bul Country, a camphor-laurel sun-faces. The sky’s lion speaks light day & night. Year-by-slow-year,   day-by-slow-day, growth rings seasonal stories about nearby trees – some long-gone, some still present, all a community of devotion.   The owner, a carpenter, treads revolutions around the tree’s base. Head bent in deference, his […]


Your poems make me feel like a refugee cut off from my homeland by some nondescript disaster.   The start of some new war, perhaps? The ending of another?   I wonder if it matters – either way, the way is shut.  Now I must raise my children from this plot of bloody ochre.   […]

Personal Best

She sabcos the floor with the babies on it sitting amongst the saucepan lids and cake tins. She moves them round as if sweeping them up they love the ride and the ruckus as she slides them across the floor until a wet patch puts the brakes on.  Lids bang on pots as she muscles […]