Are You Lost?

Are you lost? he asks.

I don’t know, I say. I think so.

What’s that bracelet around your ankle?

Oh that, it’s a monitoring device in case I get lost.

So are you?

I guess so. I was wandering like Wordsworth. Only he saw daffodils.

So what do you see?

I was just looking at the windy lake, how the waves arch like dolphins through the water and i thought of that song

What song?

The one that goes: ‘I wish I could swim like dolphins can swim’

You see that?

Yes, don’t you? Excuse me, that’s my phone ringing. I really have to take this. Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m coming right now. I have to go, I say.

So you’re okay then?

Yes, Someone’s waiting for me, waiting out the front.

That’s good. Anyone you know?

Yes, someone I know very well. But it’s okay.. He found me. We lose each other from time to time.

Pardon?

Soon as I get home, I’ll lock myself in. for the night. That’s when my mother used to wander too. It’s for my own good.

Bring Out the Sultanas

Whenever the bowl

is boring, bland, stale , stodgy.

I bring out

the sultanas,

those frisky little pellets

of goodness,

that add

zest and zing

to cereal

that put the sing

in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop

nifty little metaphors for writing

that needs an uplift

a whiff of lightness.

that needs to find its funny bone.

open up its Id,

roll like a dog

in

the muck and merriment

of language

A Cozy Crucifixion

Harvesting the cane would do it, so would elite tennis,

pounding the pool for Australia,

all fodder for the physio:

you lie prostrate on the plinth,

narrow as an ironing board

head down in the gap,

arms at yr sides, feet fastened at the base —

a cozy crucifixion,

planking for Jesus,

while muscles are massaged, kneaded.

coaxed into submission,

the little pummeling fists of current bringing you

to the shores of bliss

Wish I Could Come Up with Something

I wish I could come up with something,

I really do.

I mean how long can it take for inspiration to strike?

Do I have to stand outside in an electrical storm under the tallest Norfolk pine to be struck?

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

I know slouching around doesn’t help or reading Beth’s poem on Cheetos and working up an appetite for snack foods won’t do it either.

Maybe if I played with my Rubik’s Cube like Maro does might do it — loosen up a few brain cells.

I’m desperate.

Perhaps if I go outside and wail beneath the full moon like uncle did before they took him away.

God, there must be something.

They still do ECT, don’t they?

That’s what happened to uncle. He saw God, angels, the whole shebang then settled down among the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

But he found something. He wasn’t wracked anymore. He found quiescence. If you got that, you don’t need anything else.

Shit, did I just write all that?

I Wonder if Spiders

I wonder if spiders

in their webs

at night

spin poems

‘bout me & you

nattering away in the moonlight

in neat little haiku

you with your cigs

me with my brew

of jasmine tea

spinning our memories

wishes

of how things might be

or would they instead

taking a jaundiced view

spin snarky little

senryu

Come Closer and Listen

I reckon if someone calls a book, ‘Come Closer and Listen’ they ought to have something to say.

Something vital, urgent, new. Provocative.

I leaned real close and listened. I wanted to be shocked out of my stodginess.

Take something away, to share with my mates at the pub Friday night.

Something revelatory.

But there was nothing.

Admittedly the poems are well crafted, And there are a few good ones

and even one stand-out poem but that’s it in 60 + pages.

But really it’s the same old stuff as in the previous 10 books.

God help us, we;re all in danger of repeating ourselves and if I do I pray someone

calls me out.

But it’s like I said of the Seinfeld book.

You coulda done better, Charles. You coulda done better.

A Thing of Beauty

Five skips in a row

is a thing

of beauty

says

Nik

in ‘Wakefield’

referring to skimming a flat rock

across the smooth

surface of a lake;

so too

is that bamboo toothbrush

I used this morning

light as those balsa wood gliders

I flew as a kid

over the paddocks

behind the school;

and those opening chords of ‘Sugar, Sugar’

like being tasered

by God





+pic courtesy of Wikipedia

Listen to the Hum

O

for the ears

of Gilberto Medina,

the 69 year old foreman

of the laundry room

at the Hotel Pierre

who could detect a problem with a machine

by a slight variation

in its hum;

if I could have listened to the hum

of my relationships

like that

I might still have been with my ex,

avoided an eight year trainwreck

I was warned about

attentive to the dangers of the cult I was in

but as it is

what hope had I?

I’ve always had a tin ear.





  • pic courtesy of Unsplash by pieter-van-noorden

That Little Imp

When my writing ‘seizes up’ like my laptop

when it gets too stiff, formal, clunky

I call in my little imp

that firecracker of mischief

to get in amongst the words

like a dog

amongst the sheep

to shake them out of their torpor,

their locked in state,

nip a few ankles if necessary

give them the run-around

so everything’s loosened, wide awake,

shifted,

moving again

then ,

I can call him off

& when the dust settles the poem settles too

into something like

normalcy

relaxed, loose, easy.

The Beasts’ Revenge

Those rosemary & garlic sausages

we bought

to ‘beef up’ the barbie

in case the eye fillets weren’t enough

were beginning

to stink out the fridge:

‘the beasts revenge’ ;

so when we took them to your place and you declared

your barbie was ‘lamb intolerant’

we hit a snag

so when I said, I’m going to have to put them in your fridge

I thought you would say,

my fridge is ‘lamb intolerant’

but you never did;

in spite of those setbacks

we had a pretty good evening

though when we left we forgot to take home

the snags

so we hope you enjoy them

in one form or another

and no, we do not need them back