Saturday, August 27, 2011

Captain Cook Fountain

A wedgetail quill,
Held quivering aloft
By a submerged black fella's hand,

Turns into the wind.

Feathers flicked leeward
At the nation's wheelhouses

Vaporise within sight of the coast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

By the Power of Greyskull


You know, this is a little embarrassing
But last night, with the kids all at sleepovers
And the wife out of town, I,
I built a fort in the lounge.

I capsized coffee tables into a castle wall
And on the tall backs of dining chair joists
Hoist a sheet ceiling over a great hall;
Released seat cushions were jigsawed into a crazy paved floor
And a corkboard became a drawbridge door.

A sign from the ripped side of a
Cardboard box was the final touch;
Pinned to the sheets, it read:
‘No girls aloud’.

When all was done I stood wide legged proud
The King of Chateau Awesome.
Arrayed in my finest kingly armour
Of ugg boots and flannelette pyjamas,

With ceremony I entered the castle keep.
With the portcullis raised
And my head back through the castle gates,
I surveyed all my lands, of
….the plasma TV.

Where I watched the Goonies and Stand By Me and,
I don’t care, but I hid when they found the boy’s body
I drank creaming soda from the bottle and
Ate Cheezels one by one in sets of ten
Crusty,
rust-coloured
rings.

I raided the shed and on my Walkman played Kiss tapes while I
Read to torchlight the Avengers and Swamp Thing and X-Men.
I even worked out how to plug the VHS into the DVD
So I could watch my collection of G Force and Masters of the Universe on TV.

I fell asleep giggly and warm, thinking of She-Ra and how I had a sword and that made me someone, and though I woke slightly sick, lips sticky with soda syrup and crusty cheese crumbs, I think I felt better than I can remember I ever have.

Anyway, I’m not sure that she’d understand, son.
So, please keep this to yourself
And don’t tell your mum.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Night is Paranoid


Sunday night is paranoid.
When the alcohol clears out
Taking the ladders but leaving all the snakes;
Unease seeping up my back in creeping shakes.

Sunday night is paranoid.
When the alcohol flees my body
Like islanders escape the volcano;
Shame down my face in lava flows.

Friday night, Friday night is short-sighted;
Friday night has twelve hours to live;
Friday night is a taser, charged;
And a lifetime of sweet static to give.

Friday night and I met briefly
As we passed outside the first club
When the lizard in my head tasted the air
With his tongue and grinned, knowing and smug.

Sunday night is paranoid.
When self-pity is jaundiced and bloodshot
And bile tastes like guilt;
Feeling in the mouth like relationships spilt.

Regret sticks like a night-club floor
And smells of sick sweet booze;
Crude sketches of memory appear uncalled
Like Saturday night tattoos.

Sunday night pins my eyes open
Imagined or remembered films running.
Friday night’s flotsam rising and rising
With nausea waves and waves coming.

Sunday night is paranoid.
Never again will I drink.
Sunday night is paranoid.
What will the rest of the week think?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A poem from the past

Three things compete for my favourite element of poetry slams: experiencing the audience's reaction to my poetry; hearing the performances of others; and talking to the fascinating people who turn up to these events. At last month's Traverse Poetry slam, I met someone I had not seen for twenty years.

It was a very nostalgic meeting, for several reasons. One of these was that my re-found friend reminded me of the period of my life when I last wrote poetry regularly (but not necessarily well). (And not to say that I write well in this period, either).

This poem was inspired by her. It makes me cringe a little now, but I did smile when I dug it out of an old notebook.

That Black Foal
(For Danyell)

Look there! That black foal that
Dances and speeds
On the fields like velvet.
Shine, dark horse,
Your sides foaming with life,
Wheeling and turning,
Chasing and breathing,
The sweet thick smell
Of mown grass in your nostrils.

So gloss her sides
So bright her eyes

I saw her glance at me,
And I swear,
She flashed white and
      From her brow
            A horn.