Saturday, April 28, 2007

photo essay series

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Francesca Haig's first chapbook 'Bodies of Water' (due for publication in Famous Reporter 35 )and was really struck by one of the poems 'Koonya, Tasman Peninsular'. It set me thinking about Tasmania again. I can almost hear the moans coming from those who have heard me going on about it off blog...During my trip to Tasmania with Ray during Christmas (2006) and into the first week of the new year this year, we spent a lot of time walking around and seeing some places we both wanted to visit again. Both of us were blown away by the Tasman Peninsular, just love it there.

I had not been to the Saltwater River Convict Mine ruins before - found it a really beautiful place - the ruins there (unlike the Port Arthur ruins) are unsupervised. People can move around freely and almost all the ruins are allowed to decay and crumble back into the earth. They are all the more striking and poignant as a result.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Queensland Poetry Festival 2007

From Sptember 7-9 at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, the Queensland Poetry Festival will celebrate some fantastic poetry and related events.
This year's programme - performers and events - will unfold on the website over the next few months.

The Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished poetry up to 100 lines and the Thomas Shapcott Award for a poetry manuscript including publication are open and details are now up on the website.

I'm happy to be accepted for inclusion on the programme this year and look forward to presenting some of my new work, maybe selling a book or two and generally catching up with some people and poetry and having a great time. Brisbane is my home town and I always look forward to getting back there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

and so it goes

I have finished (part one) of the Job sequence. I'm hoping to continue with it on the blog as the inspiration and time permits. I wanted to design a writing project where I determined numbers of poems by having the found language first and then writing towards this. The amount of the found language in this sequence will now determine the number of responses that I can address. I am enjoying writing these poems in this way. With any luck, the end result should produce thirty poems. So that will mean a part two and part three. Hope you can stick with me as I try to stick with the project aims.

Holding Job's Hand - (part one)


you will remember it as waters
that have passed away

river of smiles a sky that is summered
dry blue vivid and the sky weathers
the still bright lives greeting strangers
friends alike rare pastel dust tones
a landscape dreams its people
streams tributaries branch
into the barrage


will hope go down with me?
shall we together go down into the dust?

guess the probability be
that most charge on and so many slip
from the task the frightening
always present out of the blue
shift into a darkness one descends
the dazzling territories cautious
hope is to climb back from
the phosphorous dust clings
hope is the homecoming

Friday, April 13, 2007

Holding Job's Hand - (part one)


should not the multitude of words be answered?

gain morning and its fine light
words as greeting
a house where books fall sideways
the smooth shape of a child's hand
outside on the grass a chair
the air moves around and
all day the light sounds
of talking


its measure is longer than the earth

you were afraid
because it was so much
what you wanted to open up
it's amazing how large how fast
close enough to touch
happiness is

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holding Job's Hand - (part one)


the One speaking to the sun
and it does not rise

it could be cold so you
take memory to coat over
all the days come they complete a circuit
and days are sunless now
you need to keep up to note what passes
with an eye on the road
where it turns lowers rises
memory warms the formidable path
and the darkness


now days are swifter than a river
they flee away

it was further once and 'o happy days'
was a constant
shed something loose over time
it can't be noticed
so each slight piece falls
there's no way to catch all that
it has gone into air
it does not stop and wait
is oblivious to a plea for a replay
the small processes
laws of probability gravity and something
faster than hope moves forward


i am afraid of all my sorrows

news broadcasts sadism starvation war
night terrors are conditioned on innocence
soon there's going to be nothing left

evil acts on the good skin its night carts
pull away with the broken
blood feeds its flowers

and there's always some dearest
part that isn't ready
something precious and laughter gone


and will you bring me to dust again?

where i can stand at this moment
crystallise the unspoken and wish
that i could outlast the last moment

as if knowing this would help
as if searching for something else
could bring any fuller comfort


as though i had never been
carried from the womb to the grave

make the journey on foot
take to the road with eyes open
play the whole of my part
and what could i leave
as token? if i close my eyes
i have already forgotten


even the shining is a darkness

dreamed and dreamed and dreamed once
an ocean and the moon glowing
bright sails on the mast
white lighthouse before me
or ahead and slip the jib the wind
it's blowing stars and the
sailboat someplace sailing

Note to Holding Job's Hand - (part one)

The titles for each poem are taken from Bible text references relating to Job

Saturday, April 07, 2007

you are multitudes project


sometimes words are so shy they are ghosts
better to exile them first than to rush
have them spoil on the page on the tongue

(and it was now and at this point
that i thought and thought about
it being the great selfless act

saw my shadow stand taller than myself
its matter-less touch rise and tilt
wherever the light on the body was cast)

words are said / they're typed consequence
unsaid they are sounds / shapes / thinking
shy words are disolving they are ghosts