Wednesday, 30 January 2013

MoP, Day 31

underneath her feet
she can feel the bass
like the pulse of something slumbering
deep within the centre of the Earth

there are flowers in her hair
jewelry on her toes and ankles
she feels wild and fictionalised
in her long skirt and flyaway smile

surrounded by warm, shifting bodies
the people she loves best in the world
who move to the music together
closing their eyes in private elation

MoP, Day 30

i feel old before my time
my joints ache
my head hurts

i belong to book clubs
where i am the youngest
by thirty years

music is too loud
cars are too fast
sleep is cherished above all else

even my phone feels smarter than me

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

MoP, Day 29

the leaves rustle treacherously
he slides lower and deeper into the ground
he freezes; only his eyelashes
quiver with the breeze.

through the branches he can see him
and his fingers reach
feather light
for the dagger at his belt

a bark of laughter from the blade's intended
a bird takes flight, noisy and abrupt
and our heroic assassin flattens himself
against the forest floor
and prays for deliverance

Sunday, 27 January 2013

MoP, Day 28

'Have you any other objection,' said Elizabeth,
'than your belief of my indifference?'
and two centuries of a million readers
breathe out a sigh of relief and yell for joy
when the original rom-com duo 
are wed at last.
Jane Austen, the master of all literary
sexual tension and satirical wit
smiles wryly to herself,
puts her head down, and keeps writing.

Happy birthday P + P

Saturday, 26 January 2013

MoP, Day 27

the street is singing
with a thousand languages

land that we stole
now a concrete jungle beneath our feet

the pounding of shoes
and street sweepers

an urban anthem
one that makes me guilty and grateful

all at once

Friday, 25 January 2013

MoP, Day 26

I have a collection
of ornamental fans
they sit across the top
of my bedroom window

beautiful colours and patterns
rigid structure unfurling
majestic canvases of moments
that stretch into scenes

some were cheap,
inexpensive knock-offs
from street vendors in
Japan and Italy

despite their plastic frames
their reproduced landscapes
they are evocative reminders
of exotic experiences

others came from my grandmother's house
packed away for years
finally produced with glee
- look, Mum. Vintage.

I close my eyes and try to picture it
elegant dresses and long cigarettes
opera capes and glamorous parties
meeting eyes across the top of a coquettish fan

Thursday, 24 January 2013

MoP, Day 25

O monograph
your tactile beauty;
embossed script
on a hard, regal cover

mixes with your provocative scent
ink, paper
the faintest trace of musty mould

a playground in your brittle pages
brought to life by blots of letters
spewed out and arranged
by mad magic in an author's head

if i hold you to my ear
i hear the echoes of a thousand readers before me
their tears and laughter preserved
encased forever in borrowed words

MoP, Day 24

15 minutes until midnight
MoP has made me


but i will

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

MoP, Day 23

starry starry night
filled with crepes and candles
cobbled streets
lamplit corners
air puffing into clouds
in front of frozen lips
violins and accordions
and old mens voices
like wooden flutes
cigarette smoke
and fur-lined wraps
theatre and art
and expensive restaurants
Paris, je t'aime

Monday, 21 January 2013

MoP, Day 22

plaid pants and woolen jumpers
make me think about
The Famous Five
and that makes me think about

picnics at the seaside
blancmange and jelly
dry grass and pebble beaches
steam trains and
bunches of daisies

all from a childhood
i didn't have
but not nearly as fun
as the one i did

Sunday, 20 January 2013

MoP, Day 21

i will
drink more green tea
eat more organic food

and i will take walks
and bike rides
and the weather will always be warm
but not hot
and the sun will not burn me
because i will wear
coconut scented sunscreen

and i will read books
and engage in intellectual discussions
and i will see thought-provoking theatre
and write more damn poetry
and i will rhapsodise on whatever
i can think of to rhapsodise about

and i will be so serene and-

oh, look. Nutella.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

MoP, Day 20

the wind is warm
but not hot
and the trees move prettily
like dancers
the grass is endless
and the kind of green that makes you
for summers past

a new plaque
bronze and gold
names and dates
neat and ordered

ashes are interred
and the family wonders at the beauty of the view
that their loved one can enjoy forever

Thursday, 17 January 2013

MoP, Day 19 (Posted a day early because I doubt I will have access to a computer tomorrow)

make a knuckle-duster out of your keys
and walk with your head held high
shoulders back

don't go out at night and for goodness sake
don't drink anything

carry pepper spray and yell FIRE
instead of HELP

also, never wear short skirts or provocative clothing

after all, boys will be boys, and who can blame them
if you look like a whore

because whores can't be raped

you silly, silly girl

MoP, Day 18

and cellophane wrappers
once crinkled around
gourmet chocolates

the curtains are always drawn
in this house
the air is cool and
faintly sour in its dryness

lace and doilies
and floral tablecloths
squashy armchairs
like melting chintz ice-creams

a vast collection of
costume jewellery
that turns your skin green
with inexpensiveness

expired hand cream
perfume fermented for years too long
layers upon layers of bed linen
not cleared out for decades

and in the top of the wardrobe
two plaits of hair (with ribbons)
cut clean from the head of a teenage girl
eighty years ago

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

MoP, Day 17

my imaginary friend
walks with a limp
and has a lazy eye
it was born this way
and it was told
in no uncertain terms
to smarten up
or ship out

it shipped out
limping onto a boat
that sailed over clouds
and stars
it worked the rigging
before abandoning ship
at a foreign port

so then it travelled
on a drop of dew
sliding over spiderwebs
and resting when the sun came up
after a close call with
it left the dewdrop

and let itself fall
through two decades
and a lifetime

before it landed
in the pot plant
outside my bedroom window

and it has been here ever since

MoP, Day 16

smoky silhouettes
wreathed in jazz
with ancient hairlines
and long eyelashes

long, slim cigarettes
nipped-in waistlines
beehive hairdos
the prettiest avas
dressed as audreys

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

MoP, Day 15

dead grass and dry dirt
the sound of gunfire
the spark of flint and flame
twin palms dressed in blood
the white of bone
like a beacon in the dark hotel

bleeding out the jugular is no way to go

a hero's death, or a coward's?
a suit of iron
a strip for eyes
limbs ripe for the picking
the wail of death sings across the valley

the young constable shakes
retches into the shrubbery
father, mother, sister, brother
their voices fill his head
and lament their fallen hero
(there's that word again)

and he cries to know he'll never be equal in their eyes

Sunday, 13 January 2013

MoP, Day 14

the smell of coffee beans
wakes me up
makes me feel like writing

a cafe with green walls
and wooden chairs
regulars reading papers
we cannot hear the traffic
in our cocoon of chinking cutlery
and the hiss of an espresso machine

cinnamon, sugar and chai
cappuccino froth
and crumbly cake
all the tools a writer needs
to imagine something completely different

Saturday, 12 January 2013

MoP, Day 13

underneath the sky
is a tree
stretched out in the sun
leaves rustling busily
boughs strong and bold

underneath the tree
is an umbrella
made of white lace
(most impractical
but pretty all the same)

underneath the umbrella
is a lady
sweating very daintily
but holding her breath
to try and control it

underneath the lady
is the ground
caked hard in the heat
cracks running through soil
hidden by grass

underneath the grass
is a beetle
burrowing away
unaffected by the sun
wrapped in a cocoon
of cool earth

underneath the beetle
are the remains of 
an ancient civilisation
sunk beneath the surface
thirty thousand years ago

MoP, Day 12

why is a raven like a writing desk?

oh yeah?


you think you're a big man?



i got nothing.

Friday, 11 January 2013

MoP, Day 11

wreaths of woodsmoke
the scent of pine needles
grass beneath bare feet
lakewater over stones
smooth and cold

[Hmm, not my best effort, but I have to get something in today!]

Thursday, 10 January 2013

MoP, Day 10

it is january and
decorations are limp and faded
people emerge from food comas
and cocoons of holiday sleep

hot winds form fingers of sweat
through bodies and
bushfires crackle threateningly

the practice of writing dates is checked
and double-checked
and resolutions hold up with gusto
before deflating like a balloon
once the birthday is over that year

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

MoP, Day 9

je t'aime
mayhaps you will take a walk with me
through the city of the dead

the prettiest place in paris
peace and beauty and history and culture
wrapped in the fragile skeletons
of the past

heloise and abelard
oscar wilde
kissed by the world
a century too late
la mome
able to rest her voice at last

and we cannot help but smile
to know their Heaven is also on Earth

MoP, Day 8

the smell of chlorine and salt
makes my skin wrinkle involuntarily
and my mouth water

Sunday, 6 January 2013

MoP, Day 7

shades of cherry and persimmon

under trees with leaves like tears

in breezes laced with moonlight

with roots curling into years

MoP, Day 6

she ran in front of me
patter patter, bare feet on cobblestone
branches whipping fragile feathers
of blood across our cheeks

her smile flew across her face
like her hair, crazy in wind
her words were incessant
never ending
like a broken pipe that
one day

the castle loomed above us
I felt myself melt
beneath its stare
vines crept across the walls,
eyeing us off, sizing us up

the air grew colder, quieter
ever her voice melted away
though the words kept coming

Friday, 4 January 2013

MoP, Day 5

waves mulching the shore
into a soup of
life, fresh and current
and death

shards of what once lived
preserved over millennia
a cocktail of salt and sand
pieces of an ancient earth

like man-made glass
jagged edges worn smooth
Nature is patient
until we are all returned

to what we once were

Thursday, 3 January 2013

MoP, Day 4

(AN: This one is inspired by the heat, as it is literally too roasting to think of anything else. Red fireant hotwater chilli dog. Okay, I'm done now)


a crashing collection of sibilance

in the mouth

and in the slickness

between valleys of flesh

MoP, Day 3


Victoriana bustles
and spaceman helmets

an army of bronze cogs
in a steampunk paradise

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

MoP, Day 2

the vapours of the dead
rise, mingling with
blooming flowers of poison gas

blood red, Agent Orange,
the purple
of a bruise

trees of flame burn
hearts of mortal meat

and civilisation hums
on the edge of a new day

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


MoP (Month of Poetry) takes place in January and is coordinated by Aussie children's author Kathryn Apel and you can find out more about it here. I have decided to take part for the first time this year (which also helps with #4 of my NY resolutions - see previous post) but I haven't formally signed up. I'm just going to potter along quietly and post them on my blog as I write them. At this stage I plan to post all of them here, that is, one a day, but if for some reason I decide I'd rather not attach it to a blog with my name, if it turns too personal or something, I'll keep it to myself. Disclaimer: I AM TERRIBLE AT POETRY. You've been warned.

So, numero uno:

moon, fat, yellow
hanging wet and spider-like
windows made of tree branches
and stars
an upside-down sun