Category Archives: poetry

Ignoratio elenchi

   The sunbeam that glides over sleepwalking water is catching the wink in the sail, where clumps of the claystone of glazed orange ochre rub shoulders with wet inks of shale. Some say every silver-grey cloud has a mudrock, and every such mudrock its day; others say all the good silver-grey clouds have been taken so take come what may.
   So when did the silver-grey cloud of the day become the new fish in the sea? It all sounds like herrings of cherry conflating in snowclone to me.

Alisha slipped to the side

The moment I saw her I thought to myself,
I’m sure we have met in a book before.

“Alisha slipped to the side, pressing herself
against the wall outside the door.”*

*The Phoenix Law
by Cate Dermody

Transitional words and devices: a technical exercise.

I used to speak donkey in dust bunny slippers
and cotton duck ghost in a drop cloth:
my weight was half short of my salt in smoked kippers
(once I went shopping for shoes wearing flippers –
earned an HD
in Sociology
for pretending to be a sociopath).

I could build any argument from the design of a noodle—
to coin a collective—of numismatists,
which demonstrates everything kit and kaboodle
goes back to the very first dust bunny doodle
(doodle is drop cloth
for what the duck quoth)
to found the Canoodlist movement;

and every argument future proof cast
since I also spoke donkey in sandals and socks.
If numismatists ever were things of the past
the noodle would be where the smart money’s at.
But lately my ghost has gone crusty,
and what’s left of my donkey is rusty:
my time may have come to return to the flock.

Same spider

This spider has been my deskside companion for three summers in a row. I believe it has been the same spider since it has for three summers appeared on the same door.
Same spider, three summers, same door.
One summer I saw a spider on the door beside my desk. That was three summers ago. It couldn’t have been the same spider as this one if I had not seen it before.
Same spider twice, three summers, same door.
This summer the spider is on the door beside my desk. It couldn’t have been here three summers ago if this summer isn’t a summer ago.
Same spider twice, two summers, same door.
One summer ago I saw the same spider
that wasn’t the same one two summers ago.
This is the spider that’s been my companion
for three summers now, in a row.

Third Rock War (2008)

White light in fright fled the virtuous mean
Upon gathering mist laden shrouds,
Donning bright colours and offering hope
With an arc through insidious clouds.

The promising blade then withdrew to its sheath,
Replaced by a streak of milk chocolate
Suspended below a dark blanket of hate
That groaned with intention to slaughter.

Scuttling into the Banksias high,
Armies of natives retreated.
A breeze tugged the collar and licked away tears
From leaves that would soon be defeated.

A pitter, a patter, transformed into clatter,
As sleet suffocated the earth bound.
Sonic fists punched at a trembling crust.
Lightning forks plucked at the high ground.

Relieved of the tension that led to the war
Between heavenly nation and Third Rock,
Survivors surveyed the remainders …
And promised to honor the shell shocked.

Red String of Fate

When heat huddles by white-hot horizons
and puddles black bitumen blue,
you don’t stop for water poured into a cup
to become cup before it is in you.

When white-hot horizons burn into the wind-
screen and ghost the glass over with ghost-skies,
you’re up to your nose in the end of a road
you’ve been driving so long you’ve gone cross-eyed.

When a breeze cold as glass can be cold in the heat,
and puddles of blue on black bitumen meet,
and plenty of dry leaves and dust are about,
and your eyes are on straight, and the ghosties are out,

the invisible Red String of Fate will rise up
like water still spinning is not yet the cup.


The forest is closing in
black and white, twigs snap
underfoot ghost stories
told in the night. In those days
at least you could tell
your stories from ghosts
and see the confusion
of laughter and fright
in the glow of her face.

As for these days you have
grown to know how to use now
to locate her glow
in the face of your art,
though surely you know
she would doubtful consider it that
or see the confusion
of laughter and fright
in the rock-steady glow
of the black and the white.