Day 28 – holidays (& queues)

28 butterfly-3561191_960_720.jpg

After a hectic week, this is just a simple little word sketch of part of my afternoon.


last day of holidays

a dozen monarchs dancedrift
in pepperscented air ,
translucent against blue ;
my neck crane tracks
their unscheduled flightpaths .
the holiday happy kids
next door bubbleblow ;
while in the lofty gum above ,
a crow mocks their efforts ;
his chainsaw pull laugh
repeatedly kickstarting the air .


BONUS POEM: April 28, 2018

Travel, sightseeing, culturfying yourself is predominantly about standing in queues with people you’d prefer not to be seen in public with. 



from the French qarrsewhippe
a late 16th century heraldic
term meaning to “quickly despise
the people nearby; this stupid
attraction; the whole goddamn
country; indeed every living
human being on the planet”

i say every since you’re the fool
still standing seemingly forever
in this purgatorial procession
of humanity’s dregs
who fail to comprehend
basic tenets of hygiene
conversational volume
or personal space to view
a monument of no doubt
dubious merit in the first place


To the jerk in the queue in front of me

almost coping with your incessant
OCDesque  side to side pacing
& intermittent backwards  bump
into me  despite the large gap
i’m attempting to keep between
us  since your first unexpected
incursion into my discomfort zone

but honestly, if you don’t care
to keep possession of the lint
from your shorts’ pockets
when exactly did you realise
it was what i want
             blowing    over    me

28b queue for castle.jpg

Day 27 – intertextuality (& instagram)

27 Sienna On Mushrooms III by atreyu64.jpg

Yet another poem about the joys of reading — which took on a life of its own. And even though the last line might be a wee bit much, I still love it.



a startling line of text hooks me sideways
from ancient sword & sorcery Cimmeria
arcing me skywards, belly to the sun;
into other stories, real world experiences
& perfumes, already lodged in synapses flash
light silver-gilt sparkles quivering
from networked neural nest to another;
whirlpooled into the closeted green
dirty underwater of the Black Forest
where we each tread our paths on the way
to Red’s Grandma’s little log cabin.
breathing heavily behind a tree, see her skip
basket-swinging foolish innocence knock
of knuckle on the old crone’s red door

— but miss what happens next when a tap
on my shoulder reveals one angry looking
wolfskin-wearing weapon-wielding woodsman

BONUS POEM: April 27, 2018

Self explanatory.
NOTE: 2019 edit. Various minor tweakings & enjambments to improve the pome.



despite gut-dropping
disappointment upon discovering
every shot of the castle
I’d ever seen had been
carefully crafted to crop
………………………………………… out
all neighbouring car parks,
camper vans, hotels, the town,
tour buses, & souvenir shops
I’m relieved to realise I need
not set an Instagram filter
on the sublime Andrews-esque
middle-earth mountains

27b neuschwangstein.jpg

Day 24 – glory (& well, more glory)

24 climate-and-seasons-bgwa.jpg

Thoughts which have been broiling round in my brain while driving round the Barossa these past few weeks as Vintage wraps up, have finally coalesced into a reasonable poem. (After a bit of a biological brush up on the process of leaf colour changing.)



with the arrival of mechanical harvesters
the Valley lost much of its vivid autumnal charm.
over violent shaking of the vines strips a quarter
or more of the leaf cover & startles the remainder
into a state of shock. though improved technology
has recently reduced the trauma & restored slightly
the brilliant explosions, breathtaking feast-your-eyes
yellow-golds, gorgeous scarlets, cheekblushing-crimsons,
redhued-rubies, winedark-purples, outrageous-oranges.
but still, slowly, the old ways die.

a smilier malaise is affecting the less prevalent,
but still present, deciduous population. normally
as daylight declines & the nights grow long & cold,
chlorophyll production slows as plants recycle
& ship to storage those molecules ready for next season.
the domineering chlorophyll, no longer in the ascendancy
allows the always-present but lushly masked
complex chemistry compounds called carotenoids,
yellows & oranges, to have their moment in the sun
(as it were); before the red, pink, & purple pigments
responsible for sunscreen, light protection & pest prevention
kick in to complete the slow motion fireworks display.

but this year’s long dry summer means unhealthy
water-stressed trees seem to be cutting their losses
carte blanche by snap-drying then rapidly dumping
instabrown dry paperwisps; terraforming the sky
to the same dusty brown as the droughtbaked dirt
                                                                                          it mirrors


BONUS POEM: April 24, 2018

A place Mum & I had to visit. & somewhere I think I’d love to live.

2019 EDIT: minor tweaks to improve flow, rejambed enjambment, & various images given extra bite. All in all, at least a 50% better poem than previous incarnation.


sitting on the Doc’s step

after driftwalking
half in the world
the rest in my own head ;
limbo rambling in
artfully framed narrative ;
& the much messier
more inconveniently laid
out reality ; I sit on
his fake slate step —
wanting ; wishing ; hoping
to someday leave
such a through
looking-glass legacy
for other daytrip

24b doc martin's house.jpg

Day 05 – the moon (& too much travel)

05b BluMoon cropped

Another one of those last minute ring-ins (it is one of the blessings of NaPoWriMo — firing up the creative cogs after something of a lull).

After pottering round with two others pomes for varying parts of the day, this one roared at me about 45 minutes to midnight. There are other myths/folklores I would have like to have worked in but I stopped tweaking at midnight.

NOTE: the formatting may be a bit out of whack: Wordpress doesn’t cope too well with unusually spaced lines. That said, it is meant to be staggered, messy, abstract.


the many things we see in the moon

over millennia in the long night darkness
human eyes, seeking patterns, discover them:

a weaving woman;
                                 clusters of laurel trees;
an elephant jumping off a cliff;
                                                        a girl
with a basket on her back;
                                               many rabbits:
one working a mortar & pestle;
                                                   two fiery,
      one self-sacrificing,
                            & one thrown into a sun;
          yet one more carried by a crane;
innumerable frogs & toads:
                                             an immortal
goddess hiding
                         in the likeness of a toad,
another hiding
                         from a wolf,
                                             a marriage
broker for a Sky Maiden …

but of course it’s none of these
— it’s the Man in the Moon
sometimes carrying a bundle of wood
sometimes just his face (though many
Pacific Islander peoples see a woman)

the real mystery is comprehending how
others could see such bizarre things
when our interpretation is clearly correct



BONUS POEM: April 5, 2018

Mine haven’t arrived yet, but I’m sure we won’t be like this. Probably needs a good edit which I don’t have time for (sorry for long pome, I didn’t have time to write a short one 😁 NOTE: this incarnation, edited)


Pax Familia

visiting endless iterations
of the long dead past
taxes the best of us
today I touristed more
   tears, tantrums & hissy fits
   pleas to be carried
   how much longer whines
   and demands to go home
   or archaeological knick-knacks

despite non fluency in your tongue
I get you are
tense annoyed fully aggro
or just plain over it

such is the beauty
of traveling solo
no one to blame
for arriving late
getting lost
taking too long to decide

no, I never do those things
have never done  anything  so foolish

05 Crowds

Day 02 – twilight (& touristas)

02 twilight

No longwinded introduction needed tonight.


twilight: autumn roll call driving home

in the 25 dusky kilometres
between work’s end
& my welcoming door
i choose the slower route
the winding back way
through hills

by so doing, i glimpse three
glitteringly furred foxes;
half a dozen twitchy roos;
two scraps of darkness
reveal themselves as bats;
a crossing echidna forces brakes;
& a stealth owl i can’t identify
skims the windscreen
in an unwise game of chicken 

& although these are all
common enough creatures
for my part of the earth
every one ticks the box
inside my greengrass heart
labelled TINY THRILL



BONUS POEM: April 2, 2018

Wandering round Rome’s big Roman attractions (the Flavian Amphitheatre, Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, the Forum) has been somewhat surreal. I loved classics since a kid; read countless histories & fictions set there, that to experience them firsthand was bliss (despite the blisters, boom, you’re welcome).

But this is the subject of a separate poem. What you get today is somewhat lighter & more whimsical 😬.


Selfie Schtick 

something about me
clearly implies trust
(or an ability to fake it

for today, on top
of Palatine Hill,
i’ve been requested
to supplant
the selfie stick
almost a dozen times

i quickly developed
my own schtick
by the second request
— a trio of American
boys who laughed
at the result

which of course
meant the joke
grew with exposure
till its inevitable
demise with a Russian
(perhaps) family 

who failed to see
the humour in having
one photo of my face
& two blurry ones
of their own four
(so poorly framed
owing to gross self
congratulation with
my cheekiness)
i neglected to include
the Vatican
in the background