Poem Every Day - Volume 4

Forgotten Landscapes

When I'm dead I'll haunt this place, that owned me
My land which held me like a newborn's heart
That gave me food, form, and art
And whose closeness I knew like no other

My ghost will hang in the air and watch it all
Barely blinking in the corners of your eyes
Still living inside pictures - made of thought
As my body rests in the dirt & I return

The wide brown embrace is waiting
Eternally patient, and forever giving & taking
My footsteps will be cast to the wind
That old carrier of currawong song

The Outside

Greeting the world when woken
The air crackles and blood pumps
Through pulsating tangled vines
The pull of desire tugs slowly outwards

Mightily tender and standing strong
Rawness exposed to the world: naked
Now waiting for a downpour to come
It's the tick tock of nature persisting
Through every drop of action

Staying sensitive is the trick here
When blows come striking down harshly
Not to harden to the wild elements
To fully embrace and open out

But still
You'll return to familiar slumber
Hidden from the cold
And you'll probe out again


Staring into eyes so different from your own
Making the most of every breath blown
Falling headlong into the blackest of pools
Games we all play to make us fools

Blood poured down out into tilled soil
Finding silence in which to spoil
Mouth agape with so much to say
Words like soldiers join the fray

Maps unused folded in back pockets
Cherished pictures hidden in golden lockets
But don't pack up your things just yet
The die cast has not been set

For motion continues in every single beat
Our bodies burn bright to give off heat
Don't flee the scene off into the sunset
There are still so many stars you have not met

Stone Mattress

You are the colour of the dawn
You are the evening breeze when it's singing
You are a forest before the dew is gone
And you bring out the morning sun

I'll cross the sheets and hold you tight
These arms like roots will anchor you
When your mind floats on high
I'll always wait for your return

You're reaching out, and sailing through my oceans
Overflow me - make clear waters to swim in
I promise to miss you when you're gone
But for now, just keep rushing through me

I thought my feet were giving: but they just run
Burning with no direction
Itching with ambiguity
They only ever take me further away

There's so much twilight now
Slumber - cast down from the moon
Cuts me a slice of sleep
It'll keep me where I belong

My nose bled and all I smell is burning

I'm dreaming of ash tonight
The Grey-white powder floating in the air
And scattered on the ground
Like leaf-litter coating the bush

Energy sapped through the flames
Burning until no ember is left
With only soft rawness remaining
Nothing is left to give

But comfort is found in carbon
Unifying matter threads us together
Ashes, Dust, Dirt, and Fire
That same spark we all share

Smoke signals can be seen
- off in the distance
Where others still burn bright
I'll follow them onwards


Pry off your scales
You don't need your tough hide here
Slide out of your shell
To reveal your soft underbelly

The crows are nesting in the black brambles
Feathers no longer slick with blood
Having finished drilling for today
It's fine to lay your shield by the fire
Unpack your heavy load on the table

And drink at the unguarded waterhole
Quench your thirst through grateful gulps
Built up through the heat of day
Then laze stretched out on tender grass
The evening air hushes over you

A gentle hum sounds from inside
Only here can you hear it

Something Borrowed

Affinity held with the skies
Taken in by endless hues
Reflected in the Ocean's gaze
And dissolving, slowly into sands
Grain by grain they shed themselves
Leaving me, forever.
I can't take this home
Like a library, everything is borrowed
And no matter how tight we hold:
We are returned
Exactly on time.

Input, In place

Let the notes wash over you
-be with the night's sky
The backs of your eyes
While the world slowly spins

Watch the shadows of eye-floaters
Dance in the watery pools, you hold
Listen, to your constant breath beat
Those lungs that never reach rest

Feel: the hefty weight of your head
The sensation of teeth against tongue
Clothes clinging, on knowing skin
And how tightly you hold your shoulders

Watch the vibrancy of redness in you
That input which you create by being
All of this is you - everything you know
This form which will be let go


Regrets are stacked up like dunes
Vast nebulous things - shifting with
The forever winds blowing dry
Once one is held like a baby bird
It's whisked off to join its siblings
No purpose in pursuing
What doesn't want to be caught

When there is nothing to call home:
The shadows are distorted and stretched
Cragged black trees paint the ground
As the sun makes, its endless journey
But my tracks I leave for others
Which I'm certain aren't a mirage
And if I find a clear path, you can join me

At the waterhole, before it too
Is taken by the ceaseless sky

I can't breathe

Blood is spat out of mouths
And air is squashed out of lungs
Boot. Knee on neck. Cries.
Violated by violence
Bones splinter, snap, and break
Rights are eroded through force
Pen. Ink on paper. Smiles.
"That doesn't exist" echoes out
By those who have never known
That monsters do live - in us
They will look you in the eye
Never as Human. Never like them.
Their claws have rendered flesh
And teeth have burst warm blood
From objects, and never people

When I squint things get brighter

The lights are flickering,
They sparkle off in the distance
Between them, I don't know
Space isn't understood right?
It's still shifting. Otherwise -
Otherwise everything is solved
Then we've found the ending
But now is different from then
And we can never begin again
We're still stuck on this passage
Where the past only lives in memories

More twinkling lights signal
Other beautifully unsolved things
Still surrounding us all

Maybe god is a synonym for life

The reflection of yourself
Wading through - deep pools
Ripples waving
Salt crushed to a fine mist
Breathing amniotic warmth
Never punctured membrane
Floating still

You're glowing

Imagine that you're falling
Deep down into an abyss
An endless great cavern
This place without borders
An infinite unknown black space
Filled with flickering flames
Dotting this vast desert of nothingness
Shifting sands which never reach a point of rest
You can feel it deep in your marrow
That embedded ember lies in your breast

But you're not falling at all

You're a shooting star
A meteorite leaving a spectacular trail
A brilliant beacon –
Which guides like a lighthouse
Cutting a fresh path each day
Through these dark stories
And fighting off the nightmares


The cold soot of winter clings
With digging fingers - freefalls
Down windpipes & nestles inside
Lungs, to needle away quietly

Curled up by the concrete coughing
Teeth chatter - footsteps running
While shivers creep, up vertebrae
And circle behind tired eyes plainly

Sleep comes all too often here
Dreams caress: softly & coo
As they cart you away from
This place of fog & delirium

Wash the grass stains clean

Like the raven's in the sun
The winds constantly turn
All these plans that were laid
Instead, we are carried to the sea

Spikes grow out of the dirt
Walls are cracking from the vines
Grey skies leave for leaf-green sunsets
As bricks erode with the spilling water

The dog in the garden spoke
Of snakes coiled on loose leaves
In no uncertain terms

So oil is spilled –
A match will soon be lit
Gimme your hands
The flames are rising fast

It whispers around the roots
Gum trees boil in the scorch
Mirages distort the sky
Snail shells lie blackened and crunch
But seeds crack open in ashen dirt


Jutting out awkwardly
The chick spreads its wings
New limbs to search the skies
But not just yet
Now is the time to turn
Inwards, and grow
Time will fortify
Known wings will soon soar
And won't break on first fall
Don't wait too long though
Cerulean skies are calling

Not for me

Sights I cannot see
Will still be seen
Mountains I cannot climb
Will still be climbed
Stories I'll never write
Will still be written
Songs I'll never sing
Will still be sung
Things I'll never know
Will still be known
Thoughts I'll never think
Will still be held
The people I cannot love
Will still be loved

The promises of mirrors

Waters meets me, feet first
Gently lapping at the land
– which I'm a fixture
It rises with each passing wave
But then retreats as always

Seeming endless in scope
The shimmering surface stretches
Out, like a galaxy of stars
The first mirror of ourselves
Not on canvas, or polished stone
Eyes reflect in each other

Sound rebounds over the sand
In a roaring, constant, lullaby
That calming beat of change
Rocking us to sleep
– sinking ships

Salt sprays in light mist
Droplets escape the bulk for a time
I know I'm just like them

Hands off the rudder

When bones are made of smoke
They don't break, they evaporate
So uncertain of my being
That it could sputter out;
When I close my eyes for too long

But fires inside continue to burn
More carbon escapes lungs –
Just as clouds plume from a furnace
The machinery ticks away quietly

Hairs sprout tiny meadows of greenery
Blood is carried into palms like royalty
Neurons fire ball lightning, perpetually
Without a conductor, the rhythm continues


Creeks echo in the hardwood
Nails rust deep, throughout
The mites and dust cling heavy
To floorboards hardly used

Stale air stands still here
While cold permeates, old brick
Fires lay dormant in ashen heaps
And kettles slump blackened & dull

Grime is so long lasting you see
It builds and layers over years
When feet don't tread the halls
It creeps in when you're asleep

Dishes scattered like slain soldiers
Battlegrounds, waiting for blackbirds
A final call of surrender to nature
To wash us back to the open sea

Make & Unmake all the stars

The sky heaves with relief
At the end of the day
And blows deep breaths into lungs
Air & relief mix in equal measure

Have you heard the Mudlark's Song?
As it bounces off the water
And skips out into the forest
Notes are raindrops hitting the earth
Forming puddles
Which light the path like quick-fire

Follow it and find the place
When time hasn't begun

Before the unending love
Between cliffs & the wind
Before the first pools coalesced
Before letters, and before lies

When all the children were safe
In their beds:


Nestled within the wilderness
Lies a singular dying tree
It is as old as the heavens
With bark made out of the sun
With roots as deep as the oceans
With leaves like billowing bed-sheets
And with a trunk as wide as the desert

It stood strong the weather
Witnessed all before it –
But no-one will remember
As green turns to brown
Turns to black

Eager beetles are already scurrying
Deadwood makes for warm homes

The Quiet Heart

When the skies are slow & easy
The sun warms the ground like pancakes
When the breeze lofts over hills –
It carries a delicate azure sweetness

Warm hand, comfortably holds yours
While a song sings from the earth
Sigh out your worries in one,
Sleep could come to kiss you now

May as well melt into grass, here
When there's nothing left but this
Softness surrounding the landscape
Like everything's painted with watercolour

But this feeling is fleeting, after a spell
Squinted eyes discover finer details:
That cracks are imbedded in this picture
And tar-clouds smudge blackened edges

Don't get lost, don't ignore them

Food for thought

Orange poppyseed cake and apple juice
Days as high as a dishwasher
Of hands on the floor
And so much running outside

Chocolate pudding and golden dumplings
Days of sitting on the ground
Of mysterious bruises
And weekends of coins & soft drink

Ovaltine and jam & cheese sandwiches
Days of lugging sweaty backpacks
Of snapping velcro shoelaces
And being told to use an inside voice

Sultanas and packets of chips
Days of feeling bored and lost
Of riding bikes
And staying up well past bed-time

Weetbix and oats & orange juice
Days of afternoon television
Of new games discovered
And old Simpsons reruns

Homemade muffins and baked pears
Days of coughing on the couch
Of rewinding videotapes
And calling for more blankets

Shattered Secrets

The words we don’t say
Are hanging between us
Getting fed by clear silence
And growing steadily, like mould

Breaking them before they
Become bigger than us,
While they can still be uttered
Without causing us to implode

Because the living unknown comforts
When untruth caresses softly
A warm blanket to retreat in
With a night-light, they tell great stories

Now, voices can be hard to locate
When they don’t want to be found
But send out the bloodhounds anyway
Otherwise, you'll be forever lost in lies

They’ll sniff, dig, and find the bones
All those bodies respectfully buried
Dragged out, into the town square
So they can see the lights of day

Shatter the life you held in one
These packs of dynamite detonate
Leaving the past behind us
And can never be undone

A pivot, a tilt, a shift

Turning from one point to another
And finally walking away from the past
The new light shines just as bright
As it did yesterday, and the day before that

The peach sun shines on shadows, and whispers
Of greenery & rebirth – it banished ghosts
These visions always being, but uncovered
Through the dirt and grime on unkempt windows

This lightness will lift spirits from the earth
Hold heavy heads gently in understanding palms
Pouring warm water through you, as if newborn
Promising that life will welcome you back

And a new tomorrow will come
Sodden footsteps

Sublime stillness shines out of the landscape
A vibrancy of colours too rich to bear
From fine details held in hands, before the storm
To the colossal mountains surrounding us

Snow isn't just a single icicle hanging on a branch;
It's the pillowy mattress consuming all it sees
The Lichen doesn't cling to rocks all by itself –
The waters run & feed into every stream

Worms, like washed up seaweed, writhe in the rain
Hanging mists will act as cover for a time
But soon, feathers will be upon this sacred place
Digging between tough shells of creatures once veiled

Take a step back and see the patterns play
From the ancient trees to the cracks in the dirt
Feel how small your footsteps are and keep pace
The weather can't wait, and the ground is unrelenting

Moon Dust

Like a stone, I'll sit patiently down
Waiting for the moon to shine
The clouds will bellow & blow
Seasons rumble, while cities will fall

Thrown into the river I'll sink
Pushed onwards by currents: please move me
Flow after flow washes over crust
So I'll reach the shore one day

The sea will settle like morning frost
Tides will turn, then evaporate ever upwards
Weathered away until I'm sand
Broken and thrown out again & again

Scattered to the wind I'll go
Floating on; just like before

Sleight of hand
I’m learning to become a thief
But my fingers are still clumsy & stupid
Awkwardly, my bandana doesn’t sit straight
And my shoes still squeak when I sneak

My jewels are going to be Moments though
Stolen Moments – which I’ll slyly carry away
Those that you can sit with (and live in)
Where the rest of the world just dissolves

The rippling at the water’s edge
The curls of steam from hot drinks
Dust motes, weaving through the air
Or the shadows dancing on the wall

I’ll carefully collect them myself
Never asking for permission
Hoarded greedily they’re mine
My snatched prizes – cherished

And when I’ve mastered this art
I’ll wrangle up the street-urchins
To teach them how to pick-pocket
How to pull-off grand heists:
– That other’s won’t believe
– That other’s won’t see
– That other’s won’t notice

I’ll set each up to lock-pick locks
To get to the gems hidden in plain sight
They’ll run off into the night
Arms heavy with contraband

At the edge of your mind you'll find hidden treasures
Thoughts which have escaped the daily tedium
They are not fully grown like the rest of them
Abnormal, juvenile: not clearly cut refined glass

They are messy tangled things, born of uncertainty
But they are special and should be nurtured lovingly
Not cast aside and told that they are freaks of nature

Don't lock them away in dark musty cupboards
Bound, they will fester & rot but never die
Malformed, these outcasts will grow ugliness
Like mould - where there simply wasn't any before

When these creatures are banished from being
They turn feral to the core - mad without a home
Occasionally prickling with a bitter taste
In the back of your throat, like harsh medicine

Instead, collect them tenderly and be quiet together
Quick wings and childlike shyness come naturally
But if you sit with them and don't look directly
They will introduce themselves after a fashion
And you'll get to learn them by name