Sunday, August 30, 2009


What should I confess?
That I stole a bottle of nail varnish
when I was ten and gave it
to my mother for her birthday?

That sometimes I throw my vege peels
in the rubbish instead of recycling,
and occasionally I see a woman
I'm attracted to?

That I find the idea of a God who bred
a universe to worship him, and allowed
thousands of years of crime and punishment,
to prove a point, cruel and egotistical.

My sins are small, but my fear
is fifteen fathoms deep, and my guilt
is all the vast oceans, with only a rock
on which to rest my feet.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Equation

They gave me an equation,
x equals span times tan A,
divided by tan c plus tan A,

and I was happy with that.
It was simple and elegant -
answered the question perfectly.

But my teacher said:
turn both sides into a fraction,
cross multiply them, or
multiply them out to a single figure.

The figures will be different,
but so long as you do the same
to both sides, the equation
remains the same.

And there I was - back
in my muddle puddle
smiling my blank smile.


Seamless script
burns fire
around your finger,

the legend
of my love

Monday, August 24, 2009


Soft winter sheets enfold me,
night opens her arms in welcome
and darkness blesses my eyelids.

But sleep -
sleep dances a haka
and throws down the challenge spear.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Daily Meditation

I sit -
in my lotus of solitude
and observe as thoughts unfurl
like saffron petals,
rise and disperse,
in twists of sunlight and dust.

Memory arises of conversation
with a kitchenhand
of indeterminate gender.

I said, 'You can never
make something clean
in a dirty place.'

Together we emptied out his dishwater,
lifted handfuls of meat scraps, bone,
vegetable peels, from the drain,
and scrubbed - sink, bench, walls, taps,
rinsed off plates and pots,
then refilled the sink
with hot soapy water.

I watched as he took this as a metaphor
and applied it to his life -

father who beat him,
stepfather who belittled him,
mother too timid to protect him.

Watched him scrub down all his benches
till his pots sparkled in the sunshine.

Saving Light

Rain plunks
          like a Japanese guitar.
Drops tumble
          like words in a poem
down the page.
Cherry tree boughs
          shine black and sturdy
through the petalled
          blush of blossom
It's the end of September,
          the beginning of daylight saving,
and the dark of the moon.
There's a cascade effect
          of water and new openings
in the absence of moonlight.

The Diet

She tries to survive on vegetables -
that, and the occasional fruit.

Sugar Plum Fairy -
come dance with me.
You're all I have for sweetness now.

The Roads are Paved

Clouds braid and interlace,
intricate veils, diffusing blue.

Beneath them the glacier mirrors
identical patterns in snow and ice
as it mouths its slow song seaward.

The sun has paved a road of gold
across the polished ocean.

Looking for Lewis, Finding Gene

I wanted to wander
beneath giant poppies -
Alice with her nightmare hair.

Instead I'm stuck in a Star Trek loop,
looking for surreal, an alternate reality.

Which side of the mushroom
shall I eat from today?

Politician Birds

On flightless wings
these sightless things soar
amongst the degradation of machines.

Their progeny are sterile,
hatched from yolkless eggs,
with songless beaks.

Their sticky tongues
lick each other inside out
till they're full of feathers -
fat pillows - laying us
in the beds they've made.

Wounds displayed on palms
and feet are made with sauce,
there's no real blood,
and no intent to sacrifice.

Palette of Words

The face in the moon tonight
is a Buddha sculpted from pearl.

Put your words into my mouth
like baby quail eggs, they hatch
- flutter - and escape,

run their scribbled
haphazard way down the page,
scratchy midnight cracks in the light,
where darkness seeps through
into monochrome.

I wish for a splash of lime,
a scratch of aquamarine -
even the rainbow glimmers
light elicits from pearl.


the light falls like water
your hair is drenched with it

Thinking about it

all endings are dead
when you think about it

Monday, August 10, 2009


She locks the door,
unlocks the door,
relocks the door.

She is in -
everyone is out.
She's afraid.

It's the glimpse of swallow's tail
flicked across the corner of a windscreen,

that golden thing
moving its slow thighs
through the desert to Bethlehem.

She's changed the locks three times,
changed partners,
raised a hedge of children,

read every book
on the power of the name -
but no name occurs to her.

Like a pearl in a bathtub
crying for the ocean,
she's trapped by fear
of fathomless salt water,
and the myriad upon myriad
grains of sand.