colour wheel

i.m. Mervyn Barnes


the American-
barn-red off-centre

through blood &
bone the glasshouse’s
yellow stars

the front yard’s statue-
sque rooster
screaming blue
murder till blue

in the face     
Bay of Fires’
orange lichen,
zinc-creamed lips

a pine plantation’s
green rose-
llas      that Tasmanian
Tiger snake’s

slurping at the
truck’s driver window

quick wound
the moon
whitely over the almanac



Bursaria spinosa

from Cyclone Songs

You hold it like a lit bulb,
a pound of light

—Jacob Polley, ‘A Jar of Honey’


though technically it’s less than a pound,
this Prickly Box, this jar of Unheated
Honey, gift from a haver hunting for
tinned tuna, thing to lighten your morning

cups of tea, to ball with tablespoons
under a swarming cluster, a waxing moon,
the only lit bulb in this city
where cops patrol broods of electricity

where you drone the common names: Australian
Boxthorn, Boxwood, Castanet Bush, Christmas
Bush, Geapga, Kurwan, Mock Orange, Native

Blackthorn, Native Box, Native Olive, Prick-
ly Pine, Spiny Box, Sweet Bursaria,
Thorn Box, Whitethorn, You’re-Sick-To-Death-Of-Stars


poet's biography —>