Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tide Watcher

As she tosses and turns
in the desert of night,
her tears kindle an oasis of fire
where scorpions haunt
the perimeters of dreams
and birth nightmares
from their glowing eyes.

Too hot to sleep,
she's laid among weeds
to choke or breathe as she will,
watches heaven light
to flesh tones
over tufts of cloud,
then deepen to amber and rose,
tangerine and violet.

The sea, tied against time,
washes in and away.
Beneath her lids the hourglass
of clocks and tides spins -
a bowl of flames and scorpion nests -
hidden by shade.

In her room full of mirrors
there is no rest.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From Outside the Glass

In her blue mood
she has one-eyed vision.

Her mouth becomes a black stone
in a pool of white
where silence rises in ripples
and tumbles in drops-
perpetual turbulence.

All of her days
have been a signature of noise,
quieted by blue,
lost in ceaseless motion.

The cat-like eye, blue
as a Siamese star,
watches all her planting
clipped and shorn,
her ascent of staircase
upon staircase twisted back
to a downward snake.

Somehow she will find strength
to muscle up her arms
straighten her back, retrieve
the twin star from shadow,

but for now she retreats
in her sapphire cradle and watches
the soundless cascade.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


She's the colour of weeds
on a background of night.

Sea witch, with starfish lights
in her eyes. Hunger

shapes her mouth
like a wasted child,

turned out
into loveless corners.

She mourns the sea mist,
the roll of breakers,

starves for the crunch
of baby fish in her teeth.

Marine, aquatic, anivista,
all her shadows are liquid,

all her flesh is stark.
She cannot hold her bones

as they splinter and turn
beneath her skin,

a skeleton of holes.

Dancing the Wild

We’re blue as pansies
on a weird nightfall.

One twist and day
is taken from the sky.

Our breaths are shallow,
our bed is deep.

We sleep in drifts
against scrapes of pulse,

the rusty rhythm lurches
around resting forms:

the shape of chest,
a finger space.

Long and long,
measures distance,

measures time,
measures all the daily run

come sweet undone.
On breathes the night

and how we run
undone, undone

through silk trees’
velvet threads.

Those who weigh you with a stare,
how they itch.

The unblinking eye sees
just another calculation,

though we have pencilled in our own eyes –
had not considered size.

I live between the black river
and the river of light,

behind the hill where the dead are buried.
I have chosen not to carry a gun,

and stood while the great bear looked at me,
Let him run his wild paw over me,

know me for a dream child,
unfitted for the racket and tumble.

I have tried to show those in my care
the pathway through the vast expanse.

We are painted with sticks and feathers,
the wild runs free in us.

Choose your own way
and set your feet upon it.

Dance to the tune of the wild.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I got an email today to say my poem, My Light, has been nominated for a Pushcart! Here is the poem. It's one I'm especially fond of:

My Light

Could I take your hand?
In my mind the skin feels
too close

walk with me
there’s this fence
one two three …
five strand wire
and sheep

amidst the sunlit grass
blade by blade step through
how the hillside climbs
away in rolls and slides
tracks and shelves
where the sheep trail
little feet climb

from the top
where the Maori cemetery
hushes your mouth      gaze
out to the glass horizon
where the whales boom

I want to show you
            the sea wall,
the tiny huts two beds bunks
outside dunny

and the wood pigeon
carrying the sound of five hundred
journeys in each wingbeat
fat with plums

show you the cut cross
clean above the salt bones of driftwood
sparking up the dark

take my hand
I'll try not to mind
how close you are

see the morning rise?
This is mine.