Thursday, January 19, 2017

Weather Warning

Today's question – Is it going to rain today? – courtesy of Zoe (@SaidHanrahan) so:

for Zoe

How do you make a river?
You feel one on the tip of your tongue,
taste it as it runs past,
trickling down the page.

We hang out our washing,
gather it in, fold it up, put it away, take it out,
put it on. It only stops being laundry
when we wear it.
And in the meantime
fine days turn to dust.

There is the rain you want,
and the rain you don’t want.

Right now, outside,
the air is so still,
it is holding its breath.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Do you like pomegranates?

For Mark Lawrence, who asked the question

My girl’s asleep
Absence of earth
What is hidden
Remains alive
Things within things
Mother and daughter
The seeds of war
Hell’s garden tended
By Hell’s gardener
Seeds bit into
Sour and sweet
Because she was hungry
Because she was curious
And sharp
Because, in a way, he suited her
Because she already lived
Between two worlds
Because she liked the taste
She sucked the tingling juice
She lingered
My grief is winter

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More Than I Love You

What’s the most beautiful thing a child has ever said to you?
Question from Jessica Obersby 

I love you more than I love you.
He speaks in tongues, honey & milk.
I breathe his breath, summer sweet,
as I lie down to sing him to sleep.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Is that music?

For Thirzah

It’s late, the guy next door practices bass,
Silence staggers between sounds,

Two, one two, one two.
Hurts so much, human.
And it’s not easy, but you think you’re alone, only
Thirzah and I are listening.

Meat, muscle, memory. Not music, but
Undermusic, the subaquatic strum.
Ssh. I hate it but I love it,
In the dark you are the song of the dark, impure,
Counting out loud, in your head.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How do I defend myself from a territorial cassowary?

Dedicated to Sean M. Elliott

How do I defend myself against anything?
I can protect the body but not the soul, not the soil
of the soul, not its rich cake. Nothing will ever become of us
so you have time to think it over, but still
cassowaries love cassowaries. Something has occurred
in this space, like a cassowary word: too low for the human ear,
the only recorded human death.
A boy who threw a horse's bridle at it,
and took a claw in the neck.  He died of negative blood. 

If you should see a territorial cassowary,
drive your car slowly, back away, keep your dog close,
place something between you and the bird
like your backpack or a hundred a years of history.

Live as you would like to be remembered 
by the cassowary, father of sons.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


He kissed her lips
and she fell asleep for a hundred years
of the fully mouth,
wordless conversation
which is, somehow,
all about him

(After a challenge set by Kathy to write a 'kiss' poem)

Friday, January 13, 2017

On the chances of running into my 21yo self in Brunswick Street: Sevenling

For Jessica Louisa

Then: time was the consistency and colour
of pumpkin soup, nicotine stains, last night's beer bottles.
A night would last a week and summer went forever.

Now: a deck of days – can't be held in one hand –
shuffled, dealt, played, swept up. Ever played 52 pick-up?
52 cards, 52 weeks, pick 'em up.

Science of subjective time travel totally checks out.