Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Recent Published Work

The Waiting Day

On Hearing an Early Morning Raga at Apollo Hospital, Chennai.

patrolling nurse

the quiet pad of fingers

on a drum

Still fatigued, I wake at first light. The television is running. Perhaps you were watching it. Your pallet is empty, near my bed. Did you tiptoe off to catch an auto rickshaw? Scrounge a dosai and some chai?

The day is waking, accompanied by an early morning raga.


a feathered choir

. . . dawn sky

As I float drowsily, the drone glissades through my room. On the screen, waking blooms stretch dewy petals as the alapana unfolds.

Is life is a raga, beginning slowly, finishing quickly? If so, I've been given a reprieve. Each note inhaled vibrates a blessing from Guruguha, the great master of healing. The pain has drifted off. My lungs are clear. The Ganga banks are far away . . .

keeping watch

in dawn's cadence

. . . the poet saints

Not Very Quiet 4, March 2019.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Recent Published Work

The Good Discomfort
Ford Maddox Brown: ‘Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet’. 1852-1856. Oil on Canvas. Tate Gallery.
Poetry d'Amour, 2019.

Jez is digging deep into Pete’s aching plantar,
focussed on the good discomfort that brings relief.
He wants to become a holistic healer,
help those in pain walk straight paths again.
First, you must soak the feet and wash them, 
feet weary from shuffling
on unmade roads in sandals under burning sun.

Working for his stepfather has made Jez
strong and supple. His jaw is keenly chiseled,
biceps hard as mallets, hands dexterous with nails.
In the beginning, Jez blackened three fingers
while driving tacks into a box he was making
for his mother. Joe, his stepfather said: Son,
that’s all right. Part of creating is finding joy
from pain. They laughed and Joe showed Jez
how to turn the legs of a fine table he was building.
It’ll hold at least twelve or thirteen, he said.

Joe's almost as close as a birth father,
yet Jez always senses the other one
guiding him silently from some unknown place.

Pete watches his pal kneeling, intent on the sole,
knows Jez loves him like a brother. Sometimes
he suspects that that his best friend's too kind
to survive. Pete feels uncomfortable, worries
that he's not good enough. But Jez says:
It's all meant to go around.

the cock crows —
echoes pounding
through my bones

Recent Published Work

There will be Noise
Not Very Quiet 5, 2019.

All perfectly legal just
a tank in the market
crammed with lobsters, each
with serial number marked dpi NSW
on a label tied with string. Some tags
branded with a flower
like the red cap on a banana.
Take your pick from spiny black crustaceans
(don’t worry they’ll be prettier in the pot).
Some are restless, upended.
Could they be attempting
to escape from the tank?

Perhaps it was like this
on trains to Treblinka,
when people, stamped with numbers
from the Warsaw Ghetto's Umschlagplatz
huddled at the cracks
of overcrowded railway trucks,
vying for ventilation,
grasping onto life until the chambers
and the screaming.

Now miles from the markets,
I can’t blot out those creatures
climbing on each other, trying to find
a spot to settle. Not being sentient,
they won’t know the end.
There will be noise.
Trapped air expanding in their shells
will begin to escape through the gaps.
They'll become pink butterflies.
They will not feel a thing.S

Recent Published Work


home late
this deep spring evening
still she places
his folded kimono
on the shikibuton

Moonbathing 20, 2019.

their narrow road
to the deep north
I watch
a pod of humpbacks
and silently rejoice

Skylark 7:1, 2019.

passionfruit vines
and tangled stories
the taste
of forbidden fruit
belonging to a neighbour

Kokako 31, 2019.

the silk tree fairies'
a white cockatoo
leaves its calling card

Poets Salon, October 2019.

Recent Published Work

Haiku and Senryu

school picnic
a trickle of gin
in the lemon squash  

Failed Haiku  43, 2019.

one bed flat
a hole in her sheets
where his promise slipped

Failed Haiku 43, 2019

sunlight trickles
through my fingers

Stardust Haiku, July 2019.

heart surgeon
the student nurse’s

Failed Haiku 44, 2019.

meeting my ex
our granddaughter asks
for a group hug   

Failed Haiku 44, 2019.

crowded bus
the girl in the seniors’ seat
pretends to sleep  

Failed Haiku 44, 2019, p.50.

eyes of night —
the spotted quoll runs
 for cover  

Kokako 31,  2019.

earth hour
I turn off the power /
and switch on hope  

Kokako 31,  2019.

new horizons
the tenacious glissade
of an eagle landing    

BHS FB Page, 5 August, 2019

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Under Buzz

I'm very happy to have my sonnet 'Under Buzz' published on the ANU's Website Promised the Moon.

The poem can be accessed using this link:


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Recent Work

Here are two of my haiku from Echidna Track's Landscapes:

sale yard
herds of cattle
stand in their shadows

all positions vacant
galahs at dusk

These haiku were published in Stardust Haiku:

setting sun
in the daisy's petals
a prayer enclosed

December 2018

the artist tries
a deeper violet
midnight sky

January 2019