The poem below is a reworking of a piece I had thought lost, about what has come to be one of my most treasured memories. The original can be found here, for the sakes of posterity and progression: Treetop Chatter
this stricken rock, spilled, newly struck-
tossed like so much salad
from the sea’s swift clutching grasp-
claims the volume of all
the rice I eat in a year
but not the weight
(or so I hope)
So many words caught within
Twisting through the turbine that is conscious, concise thought.
Standing in an orderly chaos queue,
beating arrhythmically in protest,
as purposeful thought sidelines creativity;
opening a path for emotion,
allowing only the presence of ‘smile.’.
For without words, ‘joy’ quails before basic focus, leaving unconscious action to enact.
Happiness in conversation.
Concern in perceived absence.
Contented, simple thought.
Sorrow at distance.
Shyness when facing truth, when facing you.
A two-layer jetty.
Rust speckled struts lie above solid supports –
once bent, twisted by tidal storm and high-moon’ storm rage.
This, a million dollar fix.
A patch-up job.
Destined to be repeated when the salt-burn cascades inwards.
There’s mystic in the spray,
in the meld of light and liquid.
In the refraction, the extraction
of sight beyond our eyes.
This joy. Such wonder.
The smile on our faces is haunted
and though I could meet your gaze for all eternity, you leave tomorrow
and I’m glad.
As I sat, simply thinking, where the air bleeds to thin,
I plucked a flower from the hillside to breath the pollen found within.
I kicked the sand at my feet, for the green had faded long since
As I gazed upon the desert where Aladdin once was prince.
“How do you do it?” I ask her. “How do you swallow sand?”
Staring into the mysteries of nature
Stalking the fold and erosion of stone
Seaside to wander
where tide, high doth stride
hence, now cast away, low.
Left behind are its torments
and this day in shadow,
twas hither and thither –
by the tide’s ride, a metre –
where I cast forth my gaze.
Here, rock pools unsullied
by the denizens of the cleft –
nay, the sandstone was
of all but the lifeless.
Bones of the land, grinding
their will in the sand.
Now I come, to observe
to wonder at creation
for I, caught in words
am beholden by rock.
To see the cosmos of shades
laid down correct to an age
now wrought and torn
by the whim of the sea.
To witness the happening
that beckons to the heart of all –
beckons to the breadth of life –
in this pattern, we breathe.
In this existence,
where we create a life
the patterns continue unsullied;
the whim of us, no matter –
Tide and stone ignore us, true.
artificial sights infuse
the records of humanity
a tweak, a filter, distorting fact
the truth is lessened
as is history
an answer, and a promise
Twould that we could wake
in a dream of endless twilight,
shattered only by storms.
Ever on the horizon.
As we gaze at the setting sun
the realm of evening
beckons to the soul
There is peace, waiting.
Always, waiting, like tomorrow
for adherents of the promise.
Who arrive instead with the night
behind the winds of change.
Where havoc plays amok –
in the twilight, even havoc breathes deep.
Seeking peace in the silence
while the sun slips quietly away.
The oddest bicycle I ever did see
With a view over water, salt but not sea
On a hot day, but dry, where the wind blows from ice
Between she-oaks and cup gums
This bike standing staid
with salt-rust patterned plaid specks
Where the wind’s breath had long laid
on Instagram, I cannot see the life in your eyes
cannot be certain I am looking at you,
and not just a wax
model of you enjoying life in a far off land
in a far off time
how can I be certain that you’re alive?
do you truly exist?
I have to look you up
on facebook – thankfully, you have a profile
to be sure that you exist
that we met
that you weren’t a figment of my dreams
in a life I never lived
I don’t want to realise that you don’t exist – again
in person, I know you,
I’ve embraced the fire within you
basked in the warmth of your smile
but if I turn my back
will you vanish
back into the nothingness
you ever were
have I been talking to
hugging – myself?
am I paranoid?
am I mad?
am I still dreaming – again?
sitting amidst extended family
listening to the expanse of experience
I lay dormant
in my own mind,
in my own words,
my life is simple
I exist in the joy of this moment
I live in the smiles,
finding refuge in the breath
of windblown trees
I contemplate possibilities
surviving from day to day
as moods change
and joy is shuttered
I’m not ever sure I’ll finish
I may never complete
seeing existence in
a way I cannot translate
what else is there to do?
what is there to say?
The brightness, the artificial stories promise.
The fences, the locked doors promise
Upon an absent whim, I wander
through the textual memories of 10 years past –
through the pain and progress of identity creation
and explanation discarded without context
or aware consent in a server farm
In the archives
of our ‘favourite’ social media platform
I discover the confusion set to define then cloud
my recollection of Melbourne.
The loneliness and despair,
from memories thought discarded,
that has me tracing
broken days in alienation
and wondering how self-conscious the anxiety
that made solitude the default pattern
and the night-time streets my absent comfort.
Discarded, as were the friendships
living now only in this mausoleum of scattered bones
and in the meaningless shrug –
wondering what she’s doing, hoping he’s still alive.
In these memories, I find the spiral
that appeared in multitude upon my arms
describing my descent
and with the wisdom of distance
wonder whom else could track their fear of living
through their lost submissions
to this electronic
Who else can loan out their madness to the world?
Who else can demonstrate their current sanity with archived proof?
And wonder, should I be tempted to wipe clean this slate?
an unknown spider.
she and her kin hung waiting
on a path through prickly acacia
set to fly safe,
beneath the gusting wind.
too large to be her anticipated feast
I provided safe passage for flies
which clung in swarms
to the shade of my back
far above her patient need.
but her greed?
I would be wary now,
for the sight of such prey, such delicacies
might yield a web set to catch the next hiker
the next kangaroo
covered in flies
covered in delicious goodness.