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March 8, 2019

a time to go amid the people,
to look into their eyes and hear their stories,
and then a time to leave the street
and watch from the balcony

I wallpaper my room
with ephemeral paraphenalia
like papier-mache over
invisible memories

if we have such a thing as
a personality, a tunnel through which
our train of thought runs
how can we forget what we were going to say?

never too old to start
figuring yourself out,


in my head

February 27, 2019

I have a face in my head
that I just can’t place

a character is attached
but not a name

the background will not
pull into focus:
Phnom Penh or Paris
or even Prahran

or a scene or a sequence
or a film or a show
or a stage or a dream

like a line from a song
that goes around and around
again and again
but will not resolve or
get to the chorus and
reveal itself

I have a face in my head
that I just can’t place

patient holy trio

February 20, 2019

Jesus is auditioning
practicing his lines
hoping that he’ll get a part
in this story of mine

Buddha underneath his tree
as I’m waiting to be born
wondering if today’s the day
I’ll come strolling across the lawn

Mohammed and his mountain
so far and yet so near
waiting to see if I will be
moving on from here

the un-bunging of a career

February 11, 2019

they told me the road was long
but offered me no maps

they told me I would struggle
but didn’t mention it would mostly be
with myself

they told me rewards were to be had
but they were mostly rewards
that made no sense

they told me about the luck of the draw
but they didn’t tell me how lucky were
the circumstances of my birth

they told me there were options
but ignored all the best ones
probably because they didn’t know

they told me there were paths
but they showed me the wrong ones
again, probably because they didn’t know

and so I learned to keep my own counsel
and so I learned to look past the labels
and so I learned to filter both the foolish and the wise

and so I learned that one’s tie is another’s noose
and so I learned that one’s vinegar is another’s wine
and so I learned that one’s safety is another’s cage



February 10, 2019

life gives them to us
and then takes them away

the braver they come
the more they are missed

the larger they live
the harder it is to believe that they have left

turn up the amps
to drown out the silence

there are some failures of the heart
that must always be forgiven

because the countless inspirations bear the fruit
of the enormous heart’s ceaseless ceaseless ceaseless



February 2, 2019

the colours of the water
blend, like the surface of
a watercolour
against blue green reproductions
of ancient Chinese
wilderness landscape inks

ripping with shadows
of wind and gentle
curving of the relentless
turndown of advancing water

backpacks trudge across sand
in a socialmedia foreground that
got them here
will propel their stay
and get them safely back

and still they come
and still they leave
across the watercolour bay
of ancient tones
that was beautiful long before
I got here

playfully the greens
chase the blues
back and forth
rolling in and out
moment by moment
as we watch the moments
pass each other
gradually coming back
from where they’ve been
around the watercolour bay
that was beautiful long before
I got here

would we have a mind
like Li Po
waking from drunkenness on a spring day
thence to go on to attempt
to kiss the moon’s reflection
and drown
adding our colour of wine
to the water
and die happy?


January 20, 2019

unroll me open a sunday
and glow it with sunshine
dust it with the kinds of things
that slow the hours to
frozen treacle speeds

whip me up a sunday
with a sprig of mint
and a hint of lemon
in a long tall glass of let’s not get up just yet

pass me a sunday
woven through with nows
and strums and poems like grapes
little juice balls with a lingering aftertaste

ah yes, linger me a sunday
by all means