The Match

by


An ambition of princes

lit that brushfire.

With kindling of privilege

& an excuse of the chill

they’ll go on to burn most of the forest

then clear the remainder as prophylactic,

a plan for a future.

 

Eventually nothing now left to incinerate.

Certainty is like asbestos

protects so well

it kills you.

 

Rain comes.

There’s a new narrative, a story or excuse

about the wildlife overpopulation problem.

Potential Farmland is wasted on

invasive waves of ochre-brown fur,

hundreds riding the glut. Just so many pests.

 

I wanted to write abundance

full lakes, cascades

& then tease a twist of blue from the sky.

Marsupial eyes in the underbrush,

interested but aloof.

Waratahs free to tell rich crimson jokes,

we really need a good laugh, not

this polemic (unified as it is,

so many screeching the same complaints

like an electrocuted choir).

 

But we are tied onto the change

& now when sky drops its smoky coat

that torn blue is just another mockery.

 

Share This

Peck

by


When do we stop looking?

I know some who have pulled the carapace tight.

They view our flawed, fractured outside-world

with a righteous suspicion.

 

I’m told there is a dating app for people with fat-bellied debts, high libido, non-life-threatening STDs, back problems, filthy artistic urges, a few small skin cancers, jazz fanatic, drinks in massive moderation, poor sense of style, extensive body hair, ex-military pacifists & a loopy laugh. Men or women or neither.

 

Toby logs on daily, waves & winks

to a point it looks like seizures.

Half the responders don’t want sex,

the others don’t want coffee.

 

Stephanie previously just sorta tripped into relationships,

no recollection of need or strategy.

But now the bars are all crusty,

work is more fences than friends

& 54 is (but doesn’t feel) bloody old.

 

These two catch a movie, the 14th remake

of a 19th century classic (guaranteed chick-magnet)

then off to dinner at a favourite place

that Stephanie was sure used to be classier.

Toby remembers to ask her about herself.

There’s laughter as they both stuff it up

& as a result, I have every hope.

Share This

Backtown Boys High School

by


Feel old, it’s been 50 years

since the screaming sure

I now have a river that is sleek/lazy

her lap takes me like a newborn

& sings the songs of drowners.

Enviro reports reckon dirty, but the government

says there’s jobs to be had upstream

so that has to be good?

 

When I was 15 I screamed

with a cracked stupid voice

that thought it knew about pain.

There was a boy involved

then a girl.

I was drinking at the pub

where Thommo once served a kid

who had to stand on his globite schoolcase

to see over the counter.

 

School half-heartedly pretended knowledge

but I was taught elsewhere.

Jerry’s mum gassed herself.

The woman next door to Derek

had been fucking him since he was 11.

 

They shut down the place.

I stood there last year,

with all its windows broken & few arson scars it

still forced me to be furtive.

Hans became the local mayor

Derek’s tradie shorts are a size bigger each year

& he’s fucking the apprentice.

Jimmy Jones was the apex predator,

word is he couldn’t kick a habit.

 

There’s been some death

my worn-out arms couldn’t carry Tim’s coffin.

We’d both talk about the school days

in cardigans of forgiveness.

I’d take it in then dump the lot.

We’d laugh.

 

I look others up,

there is no surprise that

some worked out wiser than me.

Most are divorced.

So much to lose… your mind, your family.

 

At the local Men’s Shed

we make more than cages & coffins.

The privilege of men

is sometimes set off against

the heap of garbage that we hod.

It doesn’t seem quite real, back of the cupboard stuff

with the tie-dyes & sarongs.

It’s a suit that really needs to see a tailor.

 

I occasionally come to visit

the forest down my working-class road.

They say you can stand in it & scream.

Cockatoos labour at their nesting hollows

make homes of a world’s rot.

Wallabies peer from the shade —

spectators at a schoolyard brawl.

It hasn’t rained in months

that river down the valley

has asthma.

The peace here folds like paper

could have had solace

perhaps hope

but I scream.

 

Share This

On Living Tomorrow

by


A new hat at my age! Miracles

still howl about the parklands

& will surprise any one of us.

 

What criteria? Is this sorcery, karma

or the stubby immovability of numbers?

I see across the bay to my death –

 

it is surrounded by the ghosts formed from aviation fuel,

the benzenes of experience. Watch the battle:

my impatience versus the resilient torpidity

 

of laughter, love & glut.

I have consulted all the experts as they range

parameters of my biological assembly –

 

the magistrates of rot. Yet somehow that nonsense

still pales beside touch –

this moment is proof against

everything certain & our bleak romances with nullity.

Share This

Back to Authors