Thursday, 30 July 2009

desert daze

desert daze
rust red, deep blue
feverish confusion

Australian sweat
the toil of sandy days

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


have none
live, that's enough

be nice to people
it's a hard challenge

don't hurt animals

get practical things done
and stop protesting every issue

if not stories

if not stories
then what?
art? the sensation is too short
work suffices for a while
but drains the soul
and tv creates a void

if not these then what?
follow the breath
watch nothing in particular
be nothing
accept the universe

difficult poetry

difficult poetry
is too difficult
to read

bad poetry is good

good poetry is bad

this is bad poetry

this is a manifesto for simple poetry

Some ghosts

"the ghosts of jews are everywhere"
Helen Degen Cohen wrote this
and i shivered with sadness

Monday, 27 July 2009

ignore facts

ignore facts
they breed rumours
which turn into lies

surf the world on instinct

the sparkle hair

the sparkle hair
her defining feature
could not hide her despair

for all the pain inside her
she seemed bald
and blanched
like a damned soul

not all poems work

not all poems work
but that's ok
they're not made for sharing

they're made in order to be born
that's all

if anyone else likes them
that's a bonus

and maybe this is not a poem anyway
who cares?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

bools in their mooths

bools in their mooths
they kept the plebs from the privileged

pretending to give the lowly
a sniff at the bone
they proceded to offer
a feast of salmon and champaigne

to the ones that mattered

all this in a democracy too
all this in the people's parliament

can't help but think

can't help but think
the buddha
kind of got one major problem
fully resolved

only to take his followers
into another
albeit lesser one

that of non-experience
of chronic stupidity

without crashing
we can't learn to drive properly
and the trick is not to sell the car

the towel dropped

the towel dropped

it's alright
you needn't avert your eyes

it was against my clothed back
to support a lower back weakness

not that my nakedness
is something in itself
to be squeamish about

even in these days
of false piousness
and brutally judgmental

brecht mocked the establishment

brecht mocked the east german government
for chiding the workers
when they rose against oppression

he said wouldn't it
be easier to dissolve the people
and elect another?

earlier, just after the war
he mocked those who expressed horror
at the Holocaust

he mimicked them (paraphrasing)
whilst war, normally fair and decent
this time went too far
and that is a matter of great regret

good mockery bertolt
good writer too
shame you didn't quite know
how a good society was to be fashioned

then again, who does?

salvage operation

the moon and sixpence
maugham on gauguin

second hand via amazon
2/6 1961 Penguin Modern Classic

i rescued a lost book
lost author
lost age

WSM salvages my fragmentary
grasp on human frailties

dragons aren't real

dragons aren't real
are they daddy?
she asked in a hushed voice

no my dear
of course not

now keep quiet and still
or we may be discovered

the sound of boots
on the creaking floorboards
above their fragile faces

if you put all of history

if you put all of history
in a leaky bucket
the truth, little though there was
to begin with
would seep out
leaving only myth
and lies

and folk would be happy with that
historical truth
is an awkward little bastard
to have to face

stormy clouds

storm clouds
gather on the
polish border

seventy years

the nightmare begins

where are the Allies this time?


tell me what it takes
tell me who you lean on
when things get dark as hell

do you know who you are?
do you know anything at all?

living room incident

walked into the living room
two dead bodies in a skip
one male bleeding
the other, a woman, under misty glass

NCIS on the telly

walked out of the room

jesus and gautama have a row

Jesus: My father, creator of heaven and earth...
Gautama: 'scuse me?
Jesus: My father, creator of...
Gautama: There is no creator, only flow, change, causes and effects of causes
Jesus: I am the son of God, the father
Gautama: No God, no creator, this is all the delusion of a sense of fixed self
Jesus: I am sent down to save the sinners
Gautama: no sinners, no sins, only unskilful thoughts, words, deeds
Jesus (getting a bit teed off): I could clear you out of this temple without blinking an eye; I've done it to others
Gautama: and I would let you without blinking an eye; who needs a temple anyway?
Jesus: You are just...
Gautama: ... a collection of physical and mental aggregates, which arise and vanish in an instant.

Friday, 24 July 2009

it's urban rural Hamilton

it's urban rural
this blade of grass
this air

the breath
is freedom

the town comes to life
and the trees still rule

the precious alone time

the precious alone time
early morning
everyone sleeping

is finished

i hear movement upstairs

time to emerge
from micro-universe
and be a social presence

i try to do

i try to do

that which needs done
which is very little

that which ought to be done
which is a lot
here i must be careful to observe and laugh at my distate
for what deludedly appears tedious

that which might be enjoyable, enriching
gracious even
which tend to arise or not arise at random

i try not to do
that which won't affect me badly
if i don't do it

things lie undone

things lie undone
but what needs done?

sleep, eat, the chance to know life

thanks Kung Fu for the quote
forgive the adaptation

but I'm not a Shaolin priest

nor though maybe
a fictional character
in a tv series

Thursday, 23 July 2009

did a painting today

did a painting today
called Z4
five minute job

is it good?
hardly Titian
did a computer version
for this blog
not the same as the acrylic original
but it'll do
so that's now two new paintings

what is good?
what is Titian?

wrong grieving right loss

i admit to a trail of sadness

but in the wake
the shimmering gladness

of knowing my cat
for these past ten years

our rescue of her
from matted fear and decline

makes me smile
and the sadness retreats into a tiny shell

beautiful vava

beautiful vava is dying

she's purring as I lie beside her
at the radiator

one eye half shut
she's shutting down


life is leaving her
the purr is last to go

blocked freedom

we build to protect
and in protecting

welfare become burial

public service
giant walls
and obstacles

arises from risk

brick by brick
pull down walls

wrestling with simplicity in writing

towards simple poetry

away from showy

that no one understands
so no one buys
and no one reads

poetry isn't narcissism
isn't indulgence

most poetry isn't poetry
but masturbation


we set in motion consequences
trains of reactions
chemical, physical, emotional, nonsensical

sometimes we mean it
but have little control
over what then happens

mostly clumsily, stupidly

life is relentless collisions
of trains of consequences


library books sit unread

library books sit unread
on my other desk
alongside the waiting easel
and two necessary but worthless
legal documents
i have to read and, if in order, sign

life is on hold

in the mainstream morning

in the mainstream morning
i pondered petals holding teardrop rain
then Toto's tail brushed the stem

and the water sucked into the soil
and all that was left
was the flower, the cat, the soil

and my pointless thought

do not contend

aye right she said

and i gave up instantly

why argue with a force of nature?

it's 11am get back to work

it's 11am get back to work
said the tyrant inside my head

this stuff - poetry
that's not work
that's indulgence

there are causes to be won
businesses to be met
plans to be planned

but words must have their moment too

love the rain mum said

love the rain mum said

and it drenched me
from the day i was born

and it will
drown me in my coffin

six feet below
the sodden turf

but that's ok

milosz wrote

milosz wrote
the grass between the tombs is intensely green

not on my grave
the rain in Hamilton
pours incessantly

and my tomb-lawn is bright and cool
as spring


is the best we can do

better to fail
to live up to purity

than to fail even to aspire
to possibilities

mantra for the moment

talk write family sit
watch the mind
don't cause harm

on concentration in my time

life goes so fast today
we're the generation who can't focus
on one thing for more than twenty seconds
so i now write my poems to fit
the attention span of a gnat

i have a mind to write short poems

i have a mind to write short poems
because i can't concentrate long enough
to read others' long ones

so i figure if i write short poems
at least people can read it all

instead of giving up
after the first six lines

Friday, 10 July 2009


nor the robes
nor the shrine

not bowing
or prostrating

neither statues
nor exotic names

no priests
no monks

not buddhism
this clutter of religiosity

just this mind
this space
this crazy empty mind space

is all

do it

ugly mind

a snooty voice -
my mind recoils
at its own prejudice


i switch the light on
and everything dims

fait accompli

Jesus on his cross
No way back for Pilate


zen has no future
buddhism no past

Age of anxiety

grey tomorrow
covers the sky

rise early with Thoreau

the yellow corn
announces dawn


the crimson skull
beneath the fragile skin


nothing remains to be said
so I'll say it


bow & scrape
the economic system

time for bed

the consequence
of not being tired

literary criticism

there are no bad poems
there are no good poems
there aren't even poems