12 March 2021

Intimation

We've come to the still days
strung in a garland at the end of Summer.
A mellow sun warms my wintry wool.

Flavours of old years rise and gather.
Sweet apples melt like snow in our mouths
as we lend our deep mind to windless silence.

I thought of you rising in an earlier dawn,
a different season.

I travelled through time and saw you
holding in your arms a little girl.

Through the cold foreign winter
came the scent of unborn blossom
stirring in the frozen ground.

And the world breathed Spring into your arms
fragrant with the promise of Heaven.

01 March 2021

Love and art

Loving is an art:
But I ask you, what is art?
Form and freedom, 
frame and vine,
flesh and veil.

Intangible qualities attach
to a habit, a pattern, a lattice
that allows the unforeseen,
a mad brush, a breath of soul.

If your soul were a vision,
what colour would you be?
Warm or cool, could you name it?

If touchable what texture,
silken or bristled?

And what shape?
Are you a swan or a brindled bat?

Give me a frame to suit you:
Are you circular or square?
A triangle perhaps.


And as for composition,
do you dominate the foreground,
or is that you
slipping away to the left?

Only a detail of your face remains.
Only your finger with that curious ring.

And then you're gone.
A memory — that's all.

I recall the day — that hour, that light —
when your voice first touched me,
the imprint irrevocable.

Love, I discern the edge of you, glowing and hazy.
I might force the search for a definite line.
I might make of you an image never dreamed.
But love unfree is never love to me.





23 January 2020

Rain comes to Australia

Crickets sing in the wet grass
behind the garden tap.

Crickets sing in the geraniums’
joyous greenery.

Rain strafes the streets of the cities.
Hail like golf balls pelts the lawns.

Rain douses the fires of Australia.
Rain quenches the drought-dry heart of Australia.

Rain saves us. Thunder and lightning 
spell the word of God.

Rain has come to douse the fires of Australia.

Thank God for the rain.


03 January 2020

Smoke


A pall descended on St Kilda 
has bleached the high summer day.

White cirrus floats in a white sky
on a breeze from the east – Gippsland ablaze.

The scent of wood smoke appals
stealing through the summer night
in at the window from the burning forest.

Out of control the bushfires
burn the country down.
Animals scream to extinction

and the trees and the trees and the towns
Mallacoota, Mago, Cobargo
melted into the ground.

I cannot stand the scent of a winter hearth
and a billion creatures dead in agony.

I cannot count the cost of a hard heart
that loves a lump of coal more than a planet.

27 May 2019

Moon play

The moon’s hare sits on her haunches,
her ears a-glimmer with night.
She leaps in circles around the earth.
Such a shadow play, a movie! 
Silhouettes flicker on a gleaming
silver screen round as an eye.

Dear moon, bright moon, look down
with your hare-filled eye. Let your light
swim into the garden like a little fish.
Spangles splash among the shadows,
silvering the weeds.

Dazzling bright, stung with light.
 Hare on her haunches sits. 
An ear flops over her eye.

Down into the garden I go after midnight
not knowing how, somnambulant, white shining.
I fly along Punt Road to catch the late, late,
late-night bus.  A car near misses.  I am nearly
white shine on the asphalt.

The moon long set lies chuckling under the earth.
Like lava, but cold.
A rock with a hare-filled eye.





07 March 2019

Heart a glitter

Sunshine through the rain-hazed pane
shatters into rainbows.

What of perfect form —
an arc, a circle, a perfect
diffraction?

A world in a window
haloed to distraction.

Light like love
ensouls an old rose.
Colours spill on the cold stone.

The summer sun sets
in a riot of rose.

The rain-hazed pane
is blooming.

28 June 2018

Ghost baby

Possum on the balustrade
holds on with tiny hands,
possum tail hanging
under the yellow porch light

with a ragged coat and a gammy eye
looking like something resurrected
from the sodden earth
under the fallen leaves

as if a ghost baby had climbed the stairs
on mincing feet and sits and stares
curious outside my door
as if we'd known each other
years before.

30 May 2018

Noon


a cabbage butterfly

         lands wings as white as   icing sugar

  on a spike of lavender    to drink

         from tiny flutes     blown

     with  butterflies  in  mind       as  if

 at   a   wedding  with   a   thousand   guests