Something is bothering

this silkie

She wanders

round and round

the yard


a solipsistic fluff

driving us round the bend.

She worries the others.

A few days later

when we let her out she resumes

her circling

then huddles beneath

the bird bath

and will not move.

We shift her.

She crawls under a bush

hard to reach.

The cat who often bothers the chooks

leaves her alone.

That night it rains and rains.

In the morning

she is bedraggled

and dead.

I lift her into the earth.

There isn’t much of her.

The chooks settle after that.

So do we.

Even Jesus

Perhaps the stars weren’t aligned.

Perhaps it’s in the DNA.

Either way the reboot sags,

flaccid as a spent condom.

It walks around the ABC studio

with its hands clasped behind its back,

that gesture of defeat,

It is laboured, lassitudinous, much in need

of a cattle prod up the ass, as my old

friend, twelve years in, would say.

A bit severe perhaps.

It’s lost its zest, its zing,

It’s dead on its feet.

Even Jesus couldn’t resuscitate it.

A Petulance of Poets

Not a tower of giraffes

Nor a bloat of hippopotami

But a petulance of poets

Gathered in a side room

Of the library

Each champing at the bit

Wishing the bore out the front

Would bugger off and let someone

Worthy get on

Not really listening

But when their turn comes,

Oh the words, the words,

Such melody, such sweetness,

Was ever anything ….

Barely noticing that many who had already read

Had buggered off home or hit the bar.

I have heard Stand-Up Comics are much like this.

It is no laughing matter.

  • pic courtesy of Wikipedia

Do I Have to Call the Police?

I’m on the phone to my insurance company about a torn car seat,

We don’t cover wear and tear, Sasha explains. Unless there is a third party involved.

There is! I say. My comb.

There’s an embarrassing silence.

Your comb? Your comb is the third party? I don’t think combs can be considered culpable.

Hear me out, I say. It was in my back pocket, the place where I sit down and a few of the teeth — I hate to use a melodramatic term here — a few of the teeth clawed the stitching.

I need to speak to my supervisor, she says.

Music plays in the background.

Sash comes back.

You’ll need to get a report, she explains.

No problem.

And you’ll need to pay the excess.

How much is that?

450, she says.

I almost hit the roof. But the repair only costs 340, I say. It costs me more to go through insurance than if I paid it myself. Bloody comb!

Now, now … Sash says.

I’m going to thrash that comb to within an inch of its life, I roar, channeling Fawlty when he flays his car with a leafy tree branch.

Oh dear. we don’t need to call the police, do we? Sash chuckles.

I won’t use a closed fist, I promise.

Well, that’s alright then, she says.

And we both double up with laughter.

Interview with the Statue

It was hard at first .

Coaxing him down from

the white pedestal .

But when he came

he complained of the heat

how it was melting

the grease paint

on his face ,

how someone the other day

had written

“ I Love Fish ‘N’ Chips “

on the back of his white jacket

and how the gold statue

chased him down the mall when he

came too near his spot .

Of the monotony of standing

for four hours .

And how he came

to life

when people gave gold coins

bending down to thank them

but that didn’t happen

nearly enough .

And anyway , he added ,

looking at me meaningfully ,

time is money .

I put two dollars in his white hat .

He climbed back on the pedestal

and froze .

  • if you did choose to become a living statue if even for a day, say for a dare, what would you be?

You’re invited to join a Zoom workshop: Sunday the 24th at 8.30 pm Adelaide time. I will be running it. It will be fun, you will meet other writers, and have your imagination sharpened. You will be the sharpest pencil in the case 🙂 just click on ‘Vienna , online workshops for details

I Once Played Godot

I once played Godot in a high school play.

It was my big moment. My first step to stage stardom.

After all, I’d be playing the main character, the one the play’s named after.

-Where are my lines? I say.

-You have none, I am told.

I grow suspicious.

I once played a tree in a Xmas play.

-No Lines?

-You wait in the wings. You’ll get the hang of it.

It sounded dubious but I hadn’t been picked for anything all year.

-I’ll give it a go, I say.

          On the night I am a little nervous. I peep at the audience, the anticipation on their faces. I hope I perform well.

          The curtain goes up.

          I keep waiting for my cue to come in.

          The play keeps going and going.

          By intermission I still haven’t been called.

          -When do I go on?

          -You don’t. You’re the guy they’re waiting for.

          -Then why don’t I go on?

          -If you did, there wouldn’t be a play.

It seemed a pretty flimsy premise to hang a play on, but who was I to argue? My big moment would have to wait.

Talking to Strangers at Bus Stops


I know my mother wouldn’t have approved

but my bus was late

I was idle

and this bloke on a bike

pulled in

“to give his bum a rest”,

a privilege he did not extend

to his mouth.

I learnt about his five year bouts

with ‘the Mike Tyson of cancers’,


& this pugnacity encompassed drug pushers,

wife beaters, power utility scammers.

He wore black like Johnny Cash,

had two brassy skeleton rings

& he strutted around like a rooster.

Still he kept me amused till the bus

came along and took me away.

I waved as he sparred with the bus shelter.














That Helicopter Kid


There was this kid who stood at the back of the class

When I came to read my poems

And whenever I got boring he’d rotate

His arms like the blades of a helicopter

& the more I banged on the faster

His arms would whir

Until it looked like he’d take off


His teacher and the other kids paid him

No mind.


In the pause between poems he’d say,

You done yet?

And I’d say,


And he’d say, Good and slow down.

And when I stopped, he’d stop.

The eagle had landed.


Whenever I do a reading I see

That kid at the back

His arms set to rotate.

It keeps me honest.