Friday, 7 August 2020



Thanks to Marilyn Hazelton for publishing this sequence in red lights. I wrote it years ago on one of the many times artist Nancy Tingey has exhibited at Belconnen Arts Centre.  I always find Nancy's work inspiring!


flights of time 

that turn into a nest 

the care 

she takes selecting 

textiles for a patchwork quilt


life's scraps 

of twigs leaves and moss 

she recycles 

extra bits of cloth 

from a skirt or dress 



intricate and soft 

art honed 

working day and night 

singing with each stitch


speckled eggs 

beneath a feathered breast 

warm and safe 

a mother waits 

resting from her work


creation's gift 

how can we express 

the wonder 

of a tucked up child 

a fledgling in its nest

First published in red lights 17:2, 2020.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Fast Garb

Clothing rushes from the factory faster than possible. Products of stolen childhood days in buildings of hopelessness. Mould in the air, teaming with dust mites and particles, finds its way into lungs of the young. Speed feeds and shelters workers and families on a few taka a day till others take over.

buzzing flies
the distant rumble
of a school bus

Invisible fibres detach like seeds in the wind pour from our washing machines, clogging the waterways. Brands we’re ashamed of, we cut them from necklines wear for a season, send to thrift shops, then dump in the landfill of affluence. Where are yesterday’s cotton and wool? Have they dwindled away?

bargain basement
detecting the texture
of fake

First published in Presence 67, 2020.    

Friday, 31 July 2020

Recent Acceptances and Publications

In the last few months I've had work accepted in the following journals and anthologies:

The Haiku Foundation's per diem 28 June 2020. Haiku.

2021 Dwarf Stars Anthology (by invitation): Haiku.

Red Moon Tanka Anthology: Tanka.

Prune Juice Book of Senryu 2009-2019 (peer selected): Two senryu.

Under the Basho: Two monoku.

Under the Basho: Two tanka.

Poets Salon 22 July 2020 (by invitation): Tanka sequence and image: "Masked Shadows."

Ribbons: Tanka Prose: "Out of Yesterday."

Ribbons (by invitation): Essay: 'Five Lines Like a Music Stave."

Failed Haiku 56 2020: Two senryu.

Presence 67, 2020: Haiku, tanka, and one haibun: "Fast Garb."

into the warp and woof. Best of Frameless Sky, Volume 1 (peer selected): Three tanka.

Kokako 33: 2020: one haiku, one tanka and one rengay with Kathy Kituai: " Close to Missing".

Friday, 15 May 2020

These Strange Outcrops

This is my second poem from These Strange Outcrops, 2020. The anthology is edited by Nancy Jin and Rosalind Moran.  For a while I was wondering how to finish this one until the students came along and finished it for me!


I want to bask in brilliant light.
No athlete wants bronze.
Typical, the way they treat women.
Left out in the cold, teeth chattering,
arms enclosing frozen breasts.
This frosty wrap won't catch
anybody's eye.
I'm hardly seen in these shadows
as people rush in and out
of the gymnasium.

A bus stops. Schoolgirls tumble out.
Stop, stare and circle.
One has a supermarket bag.
They giggle. Let's do it, says another.
Takes out a fake fish tail.
Ties it round my waist.  Arranges
the silvery scales over my legs.
I'm stunned  by the way it gleams.
Isn't she amazing?
I'd die for those curves.
Quick, get your phones.

When I hear that,
I feel condensation
over my cheekbones begin to melt
and drip down my neck,
although it's still

Guy Boyd, 1981. Swimmer. Australian Institute of Sport.

These Strange Outcrops

Ah! The way we must be politically correct!
I was pleased when Nancy Jin and Rosalind Moran from Cicerone Journal accepted two of my poems for its Anthology These Strange Outcrops. Here is the first poem.  Thanks to Mike Dinn and John Saxon for their role in recording the first minutes of the Moon Landing. I've coined the term "sonku" to describe a new form I'm exploring: sonnet plus haiku:

Words Remembered

It wasn’t Parkes, but Honeysuckle Creek
Namadji, where a crew of engineers
tracked those first seven minutes on the moon
(the dream-dance in slow-motion on its crust).
Dinn and Saxon, snapped at the console,
have landed on the Aussie dollar coin
to mark the Fiftieth Anniversary
beamed up for politics, yet etched
into yesteryear.
                        The cigarette
in one man’s hand has disappeared; perhaps
lost in an Orwellian memory hole.
Back at Namadji, six slabs hit the spot.
announcing: One Small Step, One Giant Leap
. . . other words remembered obsolete.

taking another
bite of the cherry
. . . gibbous moon

Recent Published Haibun

This haibun will be included in my collection Quiet Passage: Journeys through India. It was published in Presence 65, 2019:


Legs crossed,
back a perfect sapling,
you sit, head held regally,
coaxing earthenware to deliver
waiting for the cue
when rhythms of rain
in all shades of the spectrum
will splash on tuned earthenware,
like fingers of the potter who
once shaped the clay
you'll trace your intricate patterns
tossing gifts to listeners, as if to say:
Come, sit with me, on the low podium,
breathe my beats, thrill
to the tani avatanum
unfolding like sunrise
till it falls away,
back to the arms of aum.

discovering what comes
from emptiness

Ghatam (South India) a tuned clay percussion instrument
Tani avatanum: a percussion solo showing the skill of the player 

Recent Published Haiku and Senryu

These short poems were published in Presence 65, 2019.
This haiku from Presence 64 was shortlisted for best in Issue:

evening's end
the jangle of door keys
in his voice

This tanka will be part of my Die Moldau series

watching the rapids
my life's becoming
a roller coaster

And these senryu/haiku were also accepted:

carpe diem
a blackbird marshals
the morning star

first crimson leaf
testing the latest
shade of lipstick

old miner
the lines of lode
traced on his face

These short poems were published in Presence 66, 2020. 

scent of cloves
a gamelan answers
the frogs' chorus

starry night
he dips his paintbrush
in argent

to life around me
a child sleeps
on a tattered sari
beside an ice cream stall