Mystery Ships


When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, she’d be there or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen for a glass of milk, she’d be in the hallway.

Passing ships in the night.

He’d look at her, and she at him, then both look away.

After eight years, off and on, they were still a mystery to each other.

Her cat. Not his. They’d never bonded.

Supermoon in a New Light


And I know there’s a supermoon out tonight

& all i have to do is go out and look

above the treetops

and exclaim, Wow! Wow

& the stone dog will be pissing on the pavers again

& Mad Meg reeling ’round the birdbath freaking out

the other chooks

& the thoughts in my blood skedaddle like a cat

over the page

& I can barely keep up

& I know I’m going to be crucified for what I say

but hey! it’s Easter, the season to be crucified

but a rebirth is coming, a renewal.

I just don’t know what it’s going to look like

on the other side

You See Things


You see polio.

You see the boy down the street locked inside

an iron lung.

kids in callipers.

You see the abducted children from your home town —

Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirsty Gordon from the Adelaide Oval

and the Beaumont children taken from Glenelg Beach

on Australia Day ’66 who are never found

& the parents who die not knowing

& you witness the epidemic of fear that keeps yr children

in lockdown

& your own daughter whose boyfriend is taken off a suburban street

and killed by an infamous child abductor

and there are more: the Truro murders and it never stops.

And Debbie Anne Leach who you taught in Year 11

murdered at Taperoo Beach after school with her dog.

And the drug deaths and the suicides

and that lovely Year 9 girl who found her inner poet

And the darkness that swept the world after 9/11

But you’ve seen nothing like this.


A Quiet Place


We’ve come to a quiet place

a harbor

beyond the squalls and storms

of yesterday

where nerves frayed

we tore each other’s hearts


a quiet place

a harbour

to berth our frail vessels

a good place to stay


  • photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



The world can be divided, the philosopher said,

between two groups of people: those who leave

pegs on the line , and those who don’t:

my first wife was a clearly a proponent

of the second school & I the first which might explain

why we split


even two marriages later

I am hesitant to put the pegs in a tray in case

my new partner is an adherent of the first school

though the presence of a peg tray clearly indicates

the second


I pause

between the two schools

but my old self reasserts itself:

a leopard cannot change its spots.


  • which school do you belong to?
  • have you changed from one school of thought to another?
  • can a leopard change its spots?