Nanya Nyssen

Farewell Sydney, Farewell Dreamtime

Farewell, land of blue skies, where seagulls float on warm currents of air, bleached white specks etched on the horizon.

Farewell, scorched lands of no mercy, where a spark explodes to hellfire, devouring all in its path: the white ghost gum, branches like arms outstretched, begging for water; eucalyptus vapour like a mirage, hovering above trees; humming cicadas in chorus; scampering lizards; greens to yellows to reds of both fauna and fowl.

All obliterated to moonscape in a blink of an eye.

Farewell, white sands splashed with colour from umbrellas, beach towels and sunworshippers. Azure blue seas: the rising swell growing into thundering waves that crash to the shore, licking the toes of those who dare not enter, yet carrying like dolphins the adventurers of the sea.

Farewell, chimes of the bellbird, laughter of the kookaburra. In unison, amongst the tangled vines of the Moreton Bay Fig Tree, its brown tentacle-like roots spreading over the soil and digging deep, reminiscent of earth worms.

Farewell, city commuter’s dream of inhaling fresh sea air from your seat atop the green and yellow ferry, heading to your office perched high in a city tower.

As the ferry passes Fort Denison you wonder how the convicts felt about what you see. Peering from rat-infested cells, skin swollen and weeping from the sun’s burning rays and lack of food. This tantalising sea infested with sharks guaranteeing their perpetual incarceration; or the fortunate one to escape only to be swallowed up by a land, now rendered hospitable.

At least on the surface.

Are we related to those poor souls passes fleetingly through your mind.
As fleetingly as the seagull on eye level with you, riding the wind current of the ferry.
As fleetingly as so much passes through you in this paradise.

Only the Dreamtime can tell you a story of depth.

Voices carried on the hot winds of the outback and blown into the city – a slight hum which sometimes builds to a howl on tropical, burning hot summer days. Beachgoers protect their faces from the spitting sand; city dwellers keep their heads down holding onto their clothes which flap like sails; cars on the harbour bridge blow from side to side, like toys.

All ever defiant. For whoever listens to the wind?

But soon, I will be an eye in the sky, flying these same winds in my man-made bird as I head to the other side of the world. Slowly, as I lift higher and higher, I will see the bigger picture of the red continent from my decompressed cabin. The land will be transformed into the Aboriginal wall paintings of old. Almost the dreaming…

But is this the closest white man can ever come to Aboriginal man’s Dreamtime?

Paul Hardacre

Four Poems

John’s Gita

russian ballet bookstore
intersection of vulture &
boundary shelves ache from
the weight of summer palaces
yachts state banquets troops
in review gold &

lapis lazuli the river god
Lennon carried aloft trademark
specs ramshackle palanquin &
saffron-clad ju-ju devotees
eyes down absorbed in text eunuchs
bound in green muslin

the cover reads Collected Snakes
the frontispiece bears the anonymous
hand-written inscription : colour by numbers.
make a house of the world. imagine everything.

Hand Carved Idol from Minsk

In a packing crate, carefully wrapped in
newspaper I found the key to write on
cardboard in disjointed English spread
out exquisitely embroidered cloths and
blankets on the dirty flagstones curse
smart-mouthed private schoolboys cry
poor hunt neighbourhood cats with a blunt
kitchen knife and strangle all opponents
with standard issue KGB shoelace not as
ridiculous as it sounds the blood on your
hands tells its own story.

In a drain that flows down to the river,
under discarded branches and blood-clotted
syringes I found the ability to strike fear into
the hearts of friends cover my flesh in ash
cut oranges throw them about the cemetery
display scars from landmines and other
fraudulent tales of compulsory military
service three years spent shooting and
butchering your alleged Soviet brothers all
you get is a letter at the end of it all certifying
that you know at least twenty different ways
to regurgitate your medication, and that you
have been known to dislocate your left
shoulder at will.

In a cigarette box on a shelf above the
refrigerator I rediscovered an old amphetamine
habit, found myself laughing at the thought
of you explaining motifs symbols languages
then acting dumb playing dead so to speak
the cities of the world know the story a bitter
testament to those unfortunate comrades who
perished in a queue for bread or were incarcerated
for sitting on the floor of a grocery store, staring
at the empty shelves where once there had been
colourful American objects, perhaps even a
can of coke.

In the fire in the sky at night, I remember your
instructions : marry Irina flee to Lithuania make
a home in the forest contemplate the mantra of
the owl draw pictures of God on the inside of your
skull intimidate local troublemakers with an axe
if need be but above all else be patient find salvation
in the fact that the storm, like most things, will find you.

Pacific Star

clutching its chest
pink knitted resignation

a clown
wears knees for medals
blue synthetic flower

eyes slouched against
a mirror
witness to extinction

high in the mountains
no mercy from the Japs

only barbarous poison
stew on Good Friday

night seeping through the wall
filling a hole with silence,

a single-pointed star
on the horizon.

Minotaur (A Prayer)

Inside a stand of mango trees
home to spiders rot and shade
you lie before me taut and ashen
pumice-flesh bound in course
hessian cerements. Archaic
and naked photographic flash
burns my mind with murderous
suns I am under the house in the
cool with no memory of bottles
or hands or ancient brown reliquaries
filled with every kind of nail screw
fragrant polishing oil barley sugar
shellac or sweet meat. A mouse
feeds somewhere in the dark night,
cutting ambrosia for food. I do not
know the colour of the mouse. I
have fallen into the sea or sky. A
round of applause. A television.
I know the silence of ground zero.
A dream without sleep.
Barefoot and crouched over your
corpse, I cut. Into your chest I
pour a mixture of warm menstrual
blood the froth of rabid dogs
aromatic gums the tongue of a
corpse-fed hyena and the fresh green
leaves of plants on which I had spat.
You return in a wave that takes me
downstream for days, fearful of
dark expanses that take and do not
give. Photic excitation brings the
journey to an end giving way to
recollection and volumes of photographs
filled with every lunchroom we had ever
spent time in and outside if you look
closely you can just make out through
the window behind me the streets
filled with the bodies of hanged soldiers
and together we sigh and say oh yeah
and recall how the families were always
walking around gingerly in an attempt to
avoid the ejaculate and piss. We talk of
sleep and burnt-out railway carriages
and departure lounges and the mist and
rain of that morning at Varanasi when we
typed the execution orders and threw them
into the waters of the Ganges and bought
prayers from holy men and I can still smell
your skin and I resign myself to the truth
that it is only in my dreams that you are

Ruark Lewis

something just in case I die




Angelika goes through her great break in the book’s spine, a go like never before, creased edge air the face of the page slips onto the floor

all of the same and cut. and again the bird noise screech call bus and cars

there the drone climbs up Kings Cross Rd, I hear the minuture sounds frictions call out loud. My tears more than before

that awful sun sends the harbour always grey, strip the silhouettes beat a path with your hands, the empty farm a desert, as she looked out nothing happens

that stage three steps climb the illusions and those other ’souls‘ below look without much care, leave the surface leave it to move by the air speaks broken breath

not far away she grew old wrapping salmon in sugar and spice and something drained her of all the fluid and froze her stiff and unspeaking

where the old boy was concerned he was and remains not so much blind but deaf to actual innovation, his 3 rooms in Crown Street rented out of habit rather than his need

we found her needless thoughts grating even years later distilled and errie, floated through couldn’t be beaten off eventually led into deeper water and was drowned. nice

Michaela A. Gabriel

Five Poems


fingertips focus on careful
shapes, odd colours
rectangular sounds tentacle
their ways around
red-cheeked rooms

babies‘ eyes scream with
dreams unheard of

i swallow blithe bubbles,
meandering mouthfuls of life
and push the darkness
back into sunlit corners

orange crush

on evenings when
the sun sips
orange crush
i fall in love again
with your torn

deserted playground

another deserted playground
i can see the guardian angels
hovering above the rusty seesaw
reclining on the yellow plastic slide
idly gossiping on a cloud,
hanging low

and one of them,
a little chubby one
in the corner behind the swings,
is devotedly biting his
angelic fingernails


i butterfly across
your belly and
once i’ve landed in
your heart, i’ll
grabbag it
spiderweb it
and some day burst
the tight cocoon

ich in allen dingen

ich baumwipfle in den wäldern
eichhorne von ast zu ast
schmetterlinge über die wiesen
dunkle nur, um nachts
erneut zu monden

Grant White


The voyager in the foundry amidst the hot pots of metal, cooling in shafts of internal light, slowly darker, was finding the origins unclear and less than helpful.

The foundryman, overalled and bucket fisted stares amused. A cigarette’s glowing coal drooping from his mouth. He points to the ladle, a crucible laden with the viscous flood of creation. „Here is the world“ he shouts above his own laughter and the smash and whine of machines, flicking spills aside with a broken handled shovel.

The voyager staggers by the hearth seeking depth, bottoming. So much electrical current near him that his hair frizzled and the semi secret pops of ozone in the air are transmitted painfully through his core. The foundryman grimaces at a miscast world and flips it back into the maw of the furnace. Sparks spewing, to cast again.

Somewhere deep must be the stone upon which it was all based; down through strata and subsequent pourings, liquid hot, never apparently solid so it could not be mapped and known. Not from any angle of inspection. Take a bead, make no finding.

The foundryman has blackened stumps for teeth in his cackling face. While puzzling over a mold his tongue takes quick leaps out of the side of his mouth, licking a stubbly spot. Here and there the foundryman adjusts the form that will contain new life with a steel trowel, burnished silver by his deft recalculations of success. Every move a cataclysm. The shape in the mold is inverted and unrecognisable to the voyager who stares unknowing into the gap. Finally satisfied, the foundryman clamps a mate into the mold and calls for more liquid to blast into the form and seal it.

Some fundamental law now operates and controls the grace of creation within the foundry walls. Liquid overruns and is gathered still hot and resubmitted to the arc furnace, the better to pour next. Induction transfigures the concrete turning it to structural jelly. „We cast our life like this!“ the foundryman shouts and watches the plumes of igniting gas hiss from the mold.

The voyagers fund of knowledge is expanding with each subsequent cast into the refactory heart. The heat within contained and cooled, contracting slightly until the light glimmers shut and forms the core of the voyager’s discovery. „You must allow for the shrinkage. Make allowances for everything. You can never wholly know what will happen here.“ The foundryman, probing deep through crust and belly to locate the fundal height of his progeny with a thin strip of metal looks up to say. He frowns, triple folds of grime streaking his face, huge shoulders delicately lace with muscle and relax as the heat in his divining rod indicates the absence of incomplete development.

Some unheard music makes the core tick and jump. Rhythmic internal hummings sluice and vibrate before ebbing back into itself. After a time of this, the mold is cracked apart and the foundling opened to the light. The Foundryman, too eager, leaps upon it to look first hand.

The voyager is now more at ease amidst the varying levels of hard and soft that cascade about him. Bits of broken form hover like dust in the furnace light. Each mote a universe of its own, briefly lit before foundering helplessly in the world. The foundryman crouches and dusts still hot flecks away from his small beginning.

The doors to the foundry swing wide and show the broad days light beyond, pouring inside to the lip of the hearth. The foundryman withdraws the sections of his cast and holds them out to the voyager. Looking at this he knows that the fundament is still young, each small part handled delicately by the foundryman’s soft hands.

Mark Pregartbauer


Sie sind Kinder am Strand, die lachend vermögen die unüberschaubare Masse feuchter Sandkörner zu ordnen. Majestätisch überschattet nach getaner Arbeit dann eine Sandburg dunkel den flach abfallenden Strand, keine Welle erreicht das kunstvolle Gebilde, ehrfurchtsvoll, angesichts der spitzen Türme, den sorgsam modellierten Zinnen die auf der Wehrmauer die Burg umspannen, wagt sich salziger Schaum kaum den Strand hinauf. Hunderte Fenster erhellten das Innere mit dem von allen harten Strahlen gefiltertem Licht und böten den Bewohnern einen Blick weit über das massive Eingangstor hinaus, hin zu den sich fern brechenden Wellen. Nur der weiss glühende Feind hämmert riesig groß, weit über den höchsten Turmspitzen zu erahnen, erbarmungslos auf alles das wagt sich zum klaren blau zu erheben, ein. So verdunstet das Dunkelgrau zu einem matten gelb.

Irgendwann hat sich die klebrige Nässe soweit zurückgezogen dass ganze Türme ohne Berührung in sich zusammenstürzen, beim Fallen werden Teile der Wehrmauer samt den Zinnen mitgerissen. Dann ist die Burg aber schon leer und tot, vielleicht sitzt noch einer der Adeligen zeitvergessen und verstaubt in einem der imaginären Turmzimmer, wartet darauf dass sich das ehemals kunstvolle Schloss nach und nach zurück in den Sand faltet. Als dann die Flut am Abend über den gedunkelten Sand streicht deutet nichts mehr darauf hin was hier einmal war.

Wie Kinder am Strand sind sie, wenn sie sich nach der ersten Enttäuschung daran machen eine neue Burg zu bauen, mit Eifer geloben diesmal alles stabiler zu konstruieren und dennoch nicht beachten dass Fundament und Material dieselben sind.

Eddie Vukovic

Shadows of the Soul

The night was alive. He watched as revellers brushed past him. He watched the lights as they shone blue and red, gold and green. He watched as streamers cascaded from the sky, twirling rhythmically along the air currents. His eyes were drawn to the limitless possibilities of the city. Moving steadily through the shadows, he tried not to think of it. Tried not to allow its hold on him to strengthen. A hard task. He quickened his step, the pain swelling. His head, a cacophonous arrangement of thumping drums, tortured squeals and lowly growls, throbbed in accompaniment. He needed to… Needed to what? Escape? From what exactly? And why? Many questions, no answers. Thud…

The pavement looked up at him. He looked back at it, tasted its harshness on his hands. felt its hatred toward him. He surveyed his condition. A minor mishap, nothing broken, nothing missing, no blood. He felt the breeze upon his brow as he looked up. The skyline no longer dazzled with colour, no longer awash with celebration. No people adorned the streets, like Christmas decorations on a tree. No glitter, no music, no anything. He stared at the sky as it leered at him, the occasional flashes of silver bolts illuminating the street below. He could feel a change in the air. Could feel a bristling sense of expectation or omnipresent foreboding. Again he felt the pain.

He staggered across the path and ventured out into the street. No cars to watch out for though. The world around him void of life. The air crackled, electric. He stumbled over the curb. Another meeting with the pavement. It showed no quarter this time. A warm sensation trickled over his face. Cursing his stupidity, he lurched to his feet, hand clasping his head. Staggered steps taking him to a wooden bench, to a place of rest. Eyes closed, head throbbing, hands trembling, he sat. He could feel sleep’s friendly hand upon him and waited for it to drag him under.

But tonight it recoiled, not wanting to grace him with its beautiful presence. Not wanting him to join in its sweet, sweet intercourse. No not tonight, but something else invited him in. Pain. He felt it gripping him. Squeezing him tight, refusing to let go. Slumping forward, he could feel it pulsating within. Could feel it wreaking havoc as it ascended through him. Then, release. As suddenly as it arose, it was gone. Relieved, he looked at the green, yellow and red puddle on the pavement. The lightning glistening in the quagmire of sickness. He leaned back against the seat marvelling at the hostile sky.

He watched as the lightning danced before him. Watched as each bolt scattered itself across the black expanse. It comforted him somehow. He leapt to his feet and drank in the howling wind that had suddenly arisen. The cries of thousands upon its wings. He howled with it. With them. Felt their pain, their joy, their every desire. The lightning continued its tirade upon the Earth. His tongue flicked across his lips, searching. His eyes fierce, burning with hatred. His muscles alive, his dick aching. Hungry. He gave in to the night, letting it take control.

Watching. Waiting. The figure steps out into the street. It glances toward him, but sees nothing. How quickly he has learnt. It moves out into the dim light of the overhead lamp, checks through its pockets, then crosses the road. He continues his vigil, watching from the shadows, watching the youth. He can smell his delicate aroma, a dizzying cocktail of innocence and perfection. His senses coming alive, anxious for pleasure. He follows. The youth, oblivious, stops and peers into a shop window. He smiles, and waits, waits for the moment. The boy turns, and continues homeward.

Again the sky lights up. And again he feels it. Feels it burning, writhing, struggling to get out. He moves swiftly, the wind his guide, his companion. It howls as he nears. The boy turns. Tired eyes see the wind approaching. Screams echo in his ears. A vision. A cold, malevolent face, inhuman eyes, screeching mouth, blood red fangs. Thunder bellows as the fear tightens. A flash. Cold hands wrap around his neck. Searing heat ripping through his very soul. Tearing through him like a scythe through satin. Darkness…

The figure hangs limp in his arms. His head rocks back, a thunderous roar erupts from within. He can feel the boy’s life drain. Can feel the energy course through his hands, rush through him like a drug. His senses finally appeased. His hunger sated. High on the rush he lets the boy fall to the ground and sniffs his hand. He relishes the scent, the taste, the power. He turns from the corpse and looks into its lifeless eyes, reliving the penetration. Reliving the thrill. And the wind has ceased. The city is silent. The sky no longer in turmoil. Smiling, he drifts into the shadows. There is still much to be done.

Thrusting. Deeper, faster. Sweat dripping, blurred vision, stinging. Harder, harder. Practised movements, a gentle caress. Faster, faster. Feel the flesh, taste it. Deeper, harder. Can feel it building. Faster, harder. Soft squealing, heavy breathing. Harder, faster. Can feel it coursing, a raging river. Faster, harder, harder faster. Feel the power. Release.

She watches him as he lays still. Examining his entire being. Still unsure of what had transpired. Unsure of how she came to be here. He turns to face her, a strange smile on his lips. She opens her mouth to speak, but he raises his finger to her lips. Shhhh! She looks into his eyes and sees herself. A gaunt face, colourless, frightening. It was like looking through an icy window at night. She turns to move, but he holds her back. His cold hand clasping her shoulder. She can feel his slender fingers digging into her flesh. Can feel those heartless eyes fixed upon her. Her fear grows, as another hand clamps down on her.

He wrenches her towards him, her eyes locking onto his. Grinning wildly, he wraps his hands around her neck. His fingers crawl about the base of her skull, a droplet of spit oozing from his lips. Her eyes, alive with terror, watch it as it drops onto her naked breast, then return their gaze to his face. She feels his fingers boring through her flesh, writhing like worms deep underground. Glinting eyes look upon her, hers unable to look away. The pain is so great. Her heart feels ready to explode. Her pulsating veins twitching like dismembered snakes. A silent scream escapes her as her back arches violently. Her spine splintering, the fragments shredding her within. Her heart, dead

He can feel it again. Much stronger this time. Can feel her strength withering, her life draining with each moment. Feels satisfied as her energy becomes his. He savours the feeling, the rush, the high. His body shudders as he consumes her, as he bleeds her dry. She slumps to the floor, a scarlet puddle forming round her as he withdraws. Bringing his hands to his mouth, he licks his fingers. His tongue darting over them, scavenging what’s left. He looks through the window, still savouring the taste. Daylight approaches. Turning away, he lets out a sigh and falling upon the bed, immerses himself in sleep.


„He is here“

„Here, really?

„Yes, and growing stronger each day“

„What do we do Ellis?“

„I’m not sure. I’ll need to think about it, but believe me, if we don’t do something quickly…“

„I see.“

„But don’t worry my dear friend, we will find a way to stop him“

„You’re sure about this?“

„Positive. For our sake, I must be“

„I hope you’re right. I dare not think what might happen if…“

„I know, Nigel, I know. I must be off, there is much work to be done. I’ll be in contact.“ Click.

That smell. The smell of flesh, of sex, of blood. The smell of the night. He stares out from the window, watching over the city. Watching the mindless minions of God as they trudge drearily through their lives, unaware of the limitless possibilities he could bestow upon them. Unaware of the true meaning of life and death. Unaware of the night. He opens the window, the cold air caressing his cheek. He steps out onto the balcony, the night enveloping him, complimenting him. Sniffing the air, he perches himself on the railing. Time to feed.


„Yes. Nigel, it’s time.“

„You mean…“

„Yes Nigel. We must put an end to it.“

„But Ellis, how?“

„Never mind Nigel, just meet me at the Middleton Park in ten minutes, I’ll explain all then. Oh, and Nigel. Be careful.“ Click.

The shadows are perfect, hiding him from view. Hiding him from the world. Until he wants to be seen. He absorbs the essence of the night. His soul is as dark, his heart as cold, his hunger as great. He smiles as the stars above disappear. The storm clouds have gathered. He feels the electricity in the air, revels in it, exhilarated by its power. The wind has risen, bringing with it the familiar symphony of the damned. Each cry bringing joy. He floats through the dark, his eyes piercing the very night itself, searching for their prey. He can feel it building. His body trembles as he grows nearer. A gleeful gasp escapes his throat as each overhead light extinguishes itself, and he listens intently to the chorus of beautiful pops of shattering glass. His smile widens as the park becomes as it should always be. Dark.

„I’m sorry Ellis. I got here as quick as I could“

„I’m glad you made it Nigel. I was getting worried. He’s out there, I know it. We haven’t much time.“

Finally he sees it. His next victim. His next meal. And not a moment too soon either, for the hunger is overwhelming. He moves behind a tree and watches the young man sitting on the bench. The hunger insatiable. He watches the man as he moves closer, a perfect shadow in the darkness of the soul. Closer and closer. He can sense the growing anxiety in the air. The man appears apprehensive. He watches as his prey looks uneasily into the darkness, at what he doesn’t know. And neither does he care. A flash of light overhead. He grins knowingly. He creeps through the darkness, the guttural rumbling of the sky widens his smile.

Smelling the fear, he sinks to the ground, tapping the bench as he does so. The stranger looks around, his eyes wide, brow glistening, lips trembling.

„Wh, who’s there?“ a quivering voice questions the night.

No one important he thinks to himself. Just someone looking for a bite to eat. He circles the man and lies in wait before him, a silhouette in shadow. Lightning crashes as he rises before his prey, frantic eyes, burning with hunger. A screech echoes in the air as the man stumbles backward over the bench. He leaps onto it as the man cowers before him, crawling desperately on his belly, eyes a window to a frightened soul. He growls murderously, the thunder echoing his call.


Angered he propels himself toward his prey, his hunger inexorable. The man rolls onto his back, his hands darting into his coat. AAAHHH! A light, brighter than a million suns, shines into his eyes. He crashes to the ground, hands flailing in a fruitless endeavour to cover his eyes. Nigel leaps to his feet and thrusts the lamp into his face vehemently. A triumphant holler fills the night as Ellis steps out from the shadows.

Brandishing a silver and gold rifle he moves towards the beast. „Vile fiend. I have waited long for this day and I regret the day that I ever laid eyes upon your hideous form. Finally the world will be rid of you. Begone!“ A brilliant blue and white flash erupts from the weapon as he squeezes the trigger. A deadly stream cuts through the night impaling the beast.

The pain grabs at him, tearing at him from within. Clawing, biting, ripping him apart. He can feel the energy stream draining him as he would others. His eyes dart desperately around him, but see nothing. His hunger grows stronger each second the beam is lodged in his chest, but there will be no appeasing tonight. The realisation has arrived. He cannot contemplate it, but must. Still fighting the pain, he lurches to his feet, clutches at his chest and howls indignantly at the night. And then, silence. He falls softly to the ground, his body withering, melting like ice cream in the sun. His killers stand over him, the light still shining serenely. Finally he can enjoy it. He no longer needs the dark. No longer feels the pain. Is no longer a slave to the hunger. He is free. And as death’s welcoming hand grasps his, he feels one last thing. Release.

Marcus Poettler


exit: moon

wir enden
sag‘ gibt es eine nacht?
wir denken
so viel
menschen im universum
neben mir
frisst unersättlich
mein auge
eine droge
erzähle mich
im gnadenlosen kuss
abschied gnadenschuss
ungeschlafen im seichten licht
birgt mein mund ein lächeln
wie lächelt ein lächeln nicht

Christina Conrad

Poems not for Stoneking

To Paola

down 2 flights of stairs
into your room

your jewels of lapis lazuli & amber
in the dust

your black knickers are thrown
over books of knowledge

by the legs of your desk
a naked heater grins

a kauri cupboard spills velvet dresses

whispering of love
i lie with you
not knowing who is mother
or daughter

in dreams
i seek your arms

little matriarch

last song

you come
you and your claustrophobia
to drop in my lap
you never thought
i could have changed
from a wooden martyr
in a bath of your blood
my feet

your moon is not in the same place as mine
the river flows fast
over smooth rock
where you lie
that red fish you catch with your hands
gapes from a bowl of rock

i never saw the snakes
that glide round you
your letter comes from a summer far away
you cannot feel the winter
that has come down on me

Blue Ape, 1996

sometimes he
14 stairs
to my room
so big
he reached the ceiling

he could look like
a dusky squirrel
a monkey
a lion
even a blue ape

when he looked in the mirror
he’d try to press his collar
into shape
crying out against his reflection

erected on Loves Altar

1970 – waiheke island

the room with the black stove
small – bare

its window – cracked
the child played in this room
on a cold night
creeping over the floor
dried oil paints
under a naked light bulb

in the corner
above a huge mirror
was a hole in the ceiling
shewing the dead leaves
of a rats nest

around the peeling walls
were pictures
by my first born
of people in 2 faces
their hands
exploding fireworks
whirl pools

Sydney, 1993

when night falls
i wrap your bear
he has accepted the harsh judgement of life
all morning i have fingered
his limbs
gently seeking places
worn by time
& the rigors of love
in reverence i stitch
head bowed
it could be your body i take
in my hands
my needle thrusts
in & out
banishing all memory

Sydney, 1992

i am jealous tonight
i am jealous of
a white stone
i am jealous
of a black cross
i am jealous
of a moon
i am jealous…

fox glove poem

it was last year
same time
same time as this
the sweet peas were black
by the side of the road
i did not know the fox gloves then

last year
same time
same time as this
i was hidden hidden by the walls
dark red

a long road
lay between us
the hills were burnt black
black the manuka trees
black black the sweet peas
by the side of the road

i did not know the fox gloves then

the throats of the fox gloves
are spotted spotted inside
the black storm has passed
leaving the river yellow & swollen
at the foot of the house

the leaves of the fox gloves
are pale fur
between the hills

i shall never know the river
yet i bathe my head in its waters
walk on its smooth stones

i shall never know the trees
that stand on the other side
i know only the fox gloves
the fox gloves