all being welcome

17 Mar

islands and forests

Coconuts abound but
I miss the scent of gums
the dry crackle underfoot
and that particular silhouette;
leafy dangle
laconic descent
down to scrub
(accompanied by a cacophony of bird)
but under this it is the
birch oak ash
of ancestors I miss
forest not bush
the epigenetic inheritance
of everything I don’t remember
and can no longer claim
having been orphaned over eons
over oceans
to wake one day
with whatever it was that meant anything
replaced by the eucalypts of now
and by a longing to make a home of unhome
and all this anyway
on the here then there now
continuum of time space place
to be later usurped by the coconuts
of lovers and children
(who could not love a coconut?)
where I found a banyan for a brother
(who could not love a banyan?)
and where I learned that jacarandas, frangipanis and framboyans
come from somewhere other than my childhood
and belong nowhere and everywhere as much as youme
and if my heart is girt by seven seas
then all the twenty seven islands of my identity
are still home for what I once was (for sìle, for morwenna, for fiona)
and who we might still be
on this
the long walk of forgetting
we pass under and amongst the tall cousins
or we see them on screens and having lost all their names
we hold tight to the ones we still know
that belong now to the meta language of human;
the frangipani, the banana, the palm, the fig, the fern, the gum, the coco;
ignorant of borders and transcendent of tongues
we plant them (again)
in the islands and forests
of hybrid hearts
grafted for growth in foreign lands
escaping soil
to survive our own disaster
and after (again)
shoot new.

17 Mar


i love you, pandora
you and that box full of misery,
the workings of which
you cannot leave alone
so offended by the wrongness of this world
that birthed and beat
and left you with those five score
bruises on tender thighs
manacled wrists
and now binds you and box
to self destruct in
twenty more seconds
always twenty more seconds
endless looping twenty more seconds
staring at misery
no mystery
just you, pure, puritan
flogged by external failures
seer of pestilence and greed
divider of and divided houses
seeker of alien
being the only possible harbinger of hope
but only possible in that alien by definition is
nothing if not other
and how you hope for other
(some any other thing than this)
and there is your secret sweet dear lover friend
you, of all,
you hope
for hope.

Closer now.
Photo: Diego Meyreles
17 Mar

now and then

IMG_6098then the surface simplicity
of catholicism in the australian nineteen-eighties
was a made to measure mould
within which little more than children parents
might bring up a brood in what was
in spite of dogma
for me, an ecstasy of childhood
then if i was confirmed
i was confirmed in
wonder and awe
now knowing these as
the only and the best
to take from sunday’s schooling
(i pray to find them once more)
now my children think
they want nothing more
than for me to kneel down
and be a child with them
but after three decades on the planet spinning
and the various
and the ongoing
of innocence
i can finally see that
needs a shield to be
and it’s only me between
the unadulterated garden they inhabit
and that hungry machine
that awaits their adult selves.
now i realise i am a human shield
taking blows and wounded
but not wallowing
and still smiling
and when I die
then will that make me
collateral damage
in life’s campaign
for continuance?
now i sometimes wish to take me back to then
to pre language memories in
dark green corduroy overalls
a being becoming
sitting on the front steps
of my childhood
feeling an ant up my nose
holding sweaty tight to
a toy harmonica
and in my heart the first time sensation
of siblings in plural
already going off ahead
away from me
up front paths and
over the hills and far away
out leading me
leaving me
in a number four’s forever attempt
to catchup matchup
starting with the
sharing of a womb
yes, I was the last one to use it
through a common
time space continuum
of places that can only be got at
by magic
for what else is
my mother’s womb
a place where only we four have been
just like a wave’s curl
a forest’s pool
a mountain’s peak
a deep’s cave
magical places
the off limits
that we are only ever always
leaving in lament
even as we arrive in a now
that was a once might be

17 Mar

inky pool

I step out of the inky pool
to look upon its surface
glittering back
on shiny black
are galaxies of love and purpose.

Now by its edge I stand and see
all water falls away from me
flowing back
to shiny black
will I too dive or am I free?

If I step up into abyss
take leave of love and purpose
no singing back
into womb of black
will take me soul nor surface.

So dive I will, I shall not flee,
deeper into source I’ll go
joyfully back
to expanding black
I dive down deep to surplus.

17 Mar


i walk about and
weep desire
cheeks and thighs,
wet with want
a gnawing, silent, constancy
that is yours
an everbloom
a stigma
just for you
the requisite stamen,
exactly as with the specificity of a plant species
i want you, you
(oh please stigmatise the stigma)
i spill and it feels like the sacrilege
of endlessly shuttered dawns and
dusks denied
thirty two quartered moons
an apple, cored
yes, everything is more beautiful because,
and the presence of your absence
numbs me to my extremities as if doused in icefire
but everything is also less because,
the to and fro of everything that is you
is not
and sleep is the tide that only ever recedes
your gravity such that
everything is always going away from me.

17 Mar

milk and honey


Finger tip
gliding down
her spine,
goose bumps
on her skin
side by side.
the reflection,
her breasts
in the mirror.
her expression,
red her lips
eyes slightly
white her body,
her daemons,
her moan
the room.
a twist,
a groan,
a hiss,

By Diego Meyreles





17 Mar


Down highways
into open arms of love, we go
into the immediate expanse of place,
to listen for the roar of childhood oceans,
to take shelter from the glare of fiercer sun,
to speak of ties familiar, and always
to yearn for homes to come.


17 Mar


i can only not love you
in the vacuum.
where there is only
everything else
and nothing of you.
when you are,
then I love.
i block my ears and hum a loud tune.
i shut my eyes tight.
i rock into rhythms long lived.
i fill up on bitter pills, tragic dreams, sorrow memories and palliatives.
but i know that like this i’m a dead woman walking,
and divine grace will not allow it.
not forever. no.
not even for long enough.
grace; she would walk the straight line.
grace; she would crumble mountains
grace would.
and grace knows
that even if I never saw you again,
I will love you into tomorrow’s tomorrow.
the tomorrow of tomorrow.
when will tomorrow come?
grace knows.

17 Mar


what to give a shepoet
precious stones cast in tears
the broken rings your soul still wears
the secret tear your heart must/cannot bear
snakeskins and hides and human furs
the wrong flowers
silent days
midnight mass
your wall of opaque glass
and a hammer.

17 Mar


Between yesterday and today
I grew a second head.
It sits atop my shoulders
just like the first, only quieter.
Such a strange and out of place thing it is
no-one can quite accept it.
I’ve got yesterday’s outfit on
I’m eating yesterday’s dinner
and reading yesterday’s paper.
Everything still fits
outwardly at least.
But quietly I’m migrating myself
to this new home
leaving the first
just a figurehead.
A memorial to yesterday.

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all being welcome