The Lions

Do I have to tame you?

You’re not lions.

And this little backyard outside my unit

is not a cage

so why don’t you behave?

I only watered you a few times during the week

and you burst out like a prison break.

You leave me no choice.

No, no, it’s too late to plead.

These shears will prune you back

to more modest dimensions.

Don’t worry. The bees will still come.

the yellow-shouldered honey-eaters and wattle birds

still visit

& I’ll still write poems about you.

All will be well.

But such profuseness ….

*pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Treetop Torment

How high can you fly,

clingy black flies?

20 metres,

30 metres,

40 metres high?

Even here

at 50

still you multiply.

in nose,

ears, eyes.

Were you on the moon

when the astronauts

came by?

Are you

in Purgatory

picking at our styes?

Is there anywhere

you’re not,

clingy black flies?

  • pic courtesy of Pexels.com by Matej Cerkez
  • from a draft in my commonplace book from December 2006

Early Morning Walk

On my early walk

I passed a group of musicians

Under the bridge

It sounded like

They were tuning their instruments

In preparation

For a concert

Perhaps a twilight one on the bank

The notes

Bouncing off

each other —Boing boing — like hollow

rubber balls

banjo frogs

amongst the rocks and reeds already

drawing a crowd

On Cue

The fat crow caws

from the top

of the peppercorn tree

kraak kraak kraak

loud, loutish, laconic

& the bloke next door calls out

to his wife

what’s that, dear?

what’s that?

Bull Ants

They do not graze in meadows.

Nor do they stare listlessly

over fences at traffic .

None , to my knowledge ,

are brindled or patchwork .

Few , if any , have horns

or tails to swish flies with .

I have never heard one moo .

Nor been charged by one

when I crossed its path .

They may see red

but are little sought after

by toreadors .

Yet they are big .

And they do pack a bite.

Okay, I looked but I didn’t stare

On a road trip the other day

we got talking about birth defects you don’t see

any more

like hunchbacks, birth marks, cleft palates

though Simon

whose father was Lord Mayor of Mars had one

and spoke with a lisp.

Then at this café in the mountains

we were served

by a barista

with a raspberry stain on his left cheek

the shape of Africa.

Is that a birth mark, I asked him. We were just talking about them.

Yes, it is, he smiled.

It was just another feature on his face, like his nose.

or a mole

It was nothing special.

Yet it had a strange sort of beauty.

He poured me the greatest cup of coffee.

I was glad that I had asked him, that I didn’t wuss out.

It’s okay to be curious.

Spiral Staircase

My extension cord is kinky.

It winds around itself, gets tangled up in knots.

What can you do?

Iron them out?

I have kinks too.

The world would be a straighter, sadder place were it not

for kinks.

Our quirks, our oddities, the little handbag we carry around our talents in.

How we’re wired, the way we spin, the bands we listen to.

Kinks.

They’re in me and you.

Those pairs of long thin strands coiled like the banisters of a spiral staircase.

Our DNA.

You don’t want to untangle them.





post courtesy of dykeanddean.com on Pinterest

What I Saw on the Way

Beth put up a post yesterday about the joys of walking, not just the health benefits but what you come across on the way.

Here are some of the things I came across:

water tumbling over stones

a brindled dog all skin and bones

frogs jamming in baritone

the bumblebees’ gingery drone

horses cantering on their own

one jet black, the others roan,

sad girl sitting all alone

hunched over her mobile phone

Dragonflies: a Quartet

the Maserati of the insect world

they leap from dawdle to dash

in one second flat





at one moment hovering helicopters

the next fighter planes

daredevil pilots at the controls





coupling in mid-air as if refuelling

how do they do it?

sex on the run





& here comes junior, red-headed

as a matchstick, parents in tow,

learning the ropes

Midsummer Murders

We’re marching towards mid-summer now.

Midsummer can be murder here,

the heatwave capital of Australia.

I can feel the heat in its loins already,

smell its sweaty armpits

hear the swagger in its step.

I’m coming, he says, like a general

on the march with his troops,

heatstrokes and bushfires,

& his meddlesome minions,

mozzies, snakes, spiders,

outcasts from Eden.

Not looking forward to this

but at least there’s the beach to go to,

the air-conditioned palaces of libraries

and shopping centres, the reverse cycle at home

and, of course, beers with the boys!