Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A year on, the man gone.


It’s the smile I miss, the simplicity of acceptance
without the need for speech, his eyes
that cut to the soul and still his smile came -
the way the sun rises each day
or promised rainbows for the pact that things will be better
than we may let ourselves believe.

I miss his faith in me,
his interest and assistance
no matter the project.

I miss the conversations
that often rolled into arguments, like shadows
and sunshine across the paddocks he and Lee painted;
He gave as good as he got, did Kev
and then would put another thought on top
so that when I think of him
it’s his mind that follows the smile
the way he knew so much about so many damn things
yet remained humble so people, if they did not pay heed,
might miss the insight his words gifted.

I miss the shared coffee (milk on the side) and wine,
the way he finished our meals for us
and his cheerful greeting
after I would hear the bike roll up the driveway
with Nelson’s tail thumping ‘Kev’s here” on the tiles -
it occurred to me today I had not heard Nelson’s tail thump
in a year and isn’t that the measure of all our pain,
our hearts beat but where is the thump?

He is the gap now
that I must fill with my own thoughts,
the provocateur my mind must supply to myself
to propel me forward,
the smile hidden in every cloud
calling for rain and blue skies and all the in-betweens;
reminding me that life is about the palette
and not the preferred hue.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Goodbyes:


Star-man sits securely strapped, the weight of no weight
pushes him upwards as if his mother’s aged and firm hand
still held its familiar place in the small of his adolescent back,
her insistence his actions propel him forward. Star-man’s eyes
stare into the void, at the edge of vision, between his visor
and the metal, he catches sight of his family in the stars,
distantly they beckon,  star-man remembers words, he wishes
he could sever ties with, send them spinning, end over end,
into oblivion. The thrust of it all is that somewhere behind his family
remain, moving on their own path forward into a future without
his input, his future has become a journey to leave them further
behind, watching them grow smaller and smaller, like comets,
once close, now a million miles, and growing, away, they recede
with every overused thought he has as he tries to forget them.

Monday, 3 April 2017

an Alzheimer's evening sonnet: (edit 1)


Childhood, early sixties, less populated times, less a flurry
for all that could be got, more a psychedelic dance as night skies
bewildered the innocent mind as if each twinkling star,
each marauding nebulae, was a whisper from gods,
long lost in time’s contacting funnel, to follow them, discover
the source of light; my sister and I, dizzy from whirling
because the atoms in our bodies demanded movement,
would fall to the grass, the crickets serenading the summer nights,
and stare up at numerous stars so bright: now I have lost the gods
and so many humans fill this city, the stars appear to have shrunk
into themselves, old star-men and old star-women who twitch
as they scramble for memories of those faraway days
while fearful, lost in the terror of the bewildering present
and above their grey heads the stars fade further from view.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Call:

Star-men ride on solar winds, arms stretched
wide even though they remain inside,
not the spider look and feel, held by the fake
umbilical while around them distant stars
sing songs with words no star-man can understand,
yet they feel them, deep within, suited or naked,
floating in the lack of gravity or earthed, feet planted,
the weight they were born to hold giving them time
to stand and listen, to feel within the pulse that makes
the heart quicken ‑ yes star-men long for the hyper drive,
seek often the craziness of the wormhole, that elongation
of the mind and dreaming, time lost then re-found,
but nothing matches the wide-legged stance, unhelmeted
head thrown back, arms on the hips and the eyes, the eyes
for that certain sun’s light,  open to capture in sunrise
and at dusk, the first and last rites of stars, their light
like strands of hair, flickering in the solar wind as they beckon,
shyly as Sirens and the Odysseus post called Earth
must lose the battle as star-men seek  ever to answer
that unrelenting call, return, leaving again the planet home.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Star-people spinning through the universe: (edit 2)

Take the super strings strung (not “up”
 like a failed god, Odin in cosmic attire) as stage lights —
they dangle; decorations for the universe,
an eccentric design that calls to mind an intelligence
so sense can be made — throughout the obscurity
of spread matter (what knife, what hand, what majesty
 covered the cosmic bread with the dark butter?)
mysteriously strumming with mathematical tunes
none understand, though we dance,  we mortal
marionettes on the playground’s whirling stage.

Test the theory that if a hand moves up and down
(like a cello player’s fingers plucking cosmic jazz)
the sounds are dimensions of possible outcomes
meaning mistakes happened once and once they didn’t
or they did differently or they weren’t mistakes at all.

Next, take the quantum leaps – the vaulting fields
that are waves that are particles that aren’t
even there just a potential or a probability
and probably
when I look here something else happens there
and when I look there I have no idea of what happened here.
(As for the cat; who is counting that purring time bomb
offering us an infinite number of only one life?)

With all this going on and we star-men and women
brimming with the need of each other (if only
so we revisit all the things we wished we weren’t) is it
any wonder we all choose to travel into the wild dark wonder
where stars Morse our names as we attempt to forget
that we have nemesis Time to defeat before we ourselves
are irrevocably defeated (monsters rejected
by unseen, unheard creators already off plundering
new experiments in dimensions forever closed to us)?

(And really, thinking about it, we are just
that damn cat anyway, a pet, caged and forgotten,
dead and living, the ying and yang of us all.)

And for those that believe, waiting for a Cosmic God
to cast His baleful eye our way (or is it
the damning universal devil nova
that flips the lid, delivers judgment upon us)
truth is, the strings can make order out of chaos
but only for the fleetest of moments
before the next chaos comes casually along
and firmly plants us in the middle of it all –
a singularity of impossible, giddying movement
as if we all ride wild stallion rocket ships
through the wastelands of space, managing
(every so often) to discover new, innovative ways
of smashing our tiny tin cans into each other,
thus ending, or starting ,what had just begun
or inversely, finished (Schrodinger’s cat put out
and brought in at the same time ‑ ad infinitum).

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

An Alzheimer's evening sonnet:

Childhood, early sixties, less populated times, less a flurry
of all that could be got, more a dance, a release, the night skies
bewildered the innocent mind as if each twinkling star,
each marauding nebulae, was a whisper from gods long lost
in time’s funnel to follow them into the dark and discover
the source of light; my sister and I, dizzy from whirling
because the atoms in our bodies demanded movement,
would fall to the grass, the crickets serenading the whole night,
and stare up at numerous stars so bright: now I have lost the gods
and so many humans fill this city, the stars appear less, dwindled,
shrunken into themselves, old star-men and old star- women
twitching, scrambling for memories of those faraway days
while fearful, lost in the terror of the bewildering present
and above their grey heads the stars fade further from view.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Star-people spinning through the universe: (edit 1)


Take the super strings strung (not “up” like a failed god
but dangling, decorating the universe in a strange manner)
through the darkest of spread matter (what knife, what hand,
what majestic intent covered the cosmic bread with the dark butter?)
mysteriously strumming with tunes none of us understand,
though we dance, marionettes on the playground’s stage.

Test the theory that if a hand moves up and down
(like a cello player’s fingers plucking the cosmic jazz)
the sounds are dimensions of possible outcomes
meaning mistakes happened once and once they didn’t
or they did differently or they weren’t mistakes at all.

Next, take the quantum leaps – the vaulting fields
that are waves that are particles that aren’t even there
just a potential or a probability and probably
when I look here something else happens there
and when I look there I have no idea of what happened here.
(As for the cat; who is counting that purring time bomb
of an infinite number of only one life?)

With all this going on and we star-men and women
brimming with the need of each other (if only
so we can revisit all the things we wished we weren’t) is it
any wonder we all choose to travel into the wild dark wonder
where stars blink our names and we have nemesis time to defeat
before we ourselves are irrevocably defeated (monsters rejected
by unseen, unheard creators already off plundering
new experiments in dimensions forever closed to us?)

(And really, thinking about it, we are just
that damn cat anyway, a pet caged and forgotten.)

And for those that believe
we’re all waiting for Cosmic God to cast His baleful eye
our way (or is it the damning universal devil
that flips the lid, delivers judgment upon us)
truth is, the strings can make order out of chaos
but only for the fleetest of moments
before the next chaos comes casually along
and firmly plants us in the middle of it all –
a singularity of impossible, giddying movement
as if we all ride wild stallion rocket ships
through the wastelands of space, managing
(every so often) to discover new, innovative ways
of smashing our tiny tin cans into each other,
thus ending, or starting ,what had just begun
or inversely, finished (the Flintstones cat
put out and brought in at the same time).

Before 1969:


In early life we swam in the time
before man had left the planet,
a dream time then, the savannah before us,
our imagination rippling
with the hunt of self pulling away from the sphere
without concrete proof we could - or if we did
what we would see: It is hard then, now,
to settle on an everyman’s couch and explain
the difference between that then
and this improbable now where everything appears the same
except in the gathered percolator of our psyche
where drips an insistent truth - we did leave,
did step on the moon’s dusty crust,
planted that flag so many of us detest,
yet ponder sometimes the truth - it is there still,
a monument unseen, poignant as it waits, frozen,
for a return to the dreaming of the great beyond.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Star-people spinning through the universe

Take the super strings strung
through the darkest of spread matter
mysteriously strumming with tunes
none of us understand,
test the theory that if my hand
moves up and down
the sounds are dimensions of possible outcomes
meaning mistakes happened once
and once they didn’t
 or they did differently
or they weren’t mistakes at all.
Next, take the quantum leaps –
the fields that are waves
that are particles
that aren’t even there
just  a potential or a probability
and probably when I look here
something else happens there
 and when I look there
I have no idea of what happened here.
As for the cat;
who is counting that purring time bomb
of an infinite number of only one life?

With all this going on and we star-men and women
needing each other if only
so we can revisit all the things we wished we weren’t,
is it any wonder we all choose to travel
into the wild dark wonder
where stars blink our names
and we have time to defeat
before we ourselves are  irrevocably defeated?
And really, thinking about it, we are just
that damn cat anyway.

And for those that believe
we’re all waiting for Cosmic God to cast His baleful eye
our way (or is it the damning universal devil
that flips the lid, delivers judgment upon us)
truth is the strings
can make order out of chaos
but only for a fleeting moment
before the next chaos comes casually along
and firmly plants us
in the middle of it all – a singularity
of impossible, giddying movement as if
we all rode wild stallion rocket ships
through the wastelands of space
yet managing every so often
to discover new, innovative ways
of smashing our tiny tin cans
into each other, thus ending or starting
what had just begun
or inversely, finished – the cat put out and brought in
at the same time.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Star-man is dead:

Something precious, something luminous
that shone inside my own heart was jettisoned
the day my star-man friend, died.
His funeral captured the ache of space, how all
that vacant expanse can stretch out before you,
colourless, so large the eyes must look down,
study toes and tiles, ponder minute things
like when will it be time for the next coffee.

I have so few, true my star-man friends,
his visits, like the rising of planets in the night sky
lifted my spirits, helped me avoid the collisions
space junk can deliver when you’re not looking.
Echoes of the funeral ripple through my mind,
the way leaves can rustle across the tarmac
warning the journey may mean leaving
but nothing meaningful can be left behind.

And sometimes, lying in bed, I can imagine
how Armstrong must have, perhaps secretly, felt -
 his dreams echoing with sights of the moon, the view
of all that white space in the rocket’s porthole;

the knowledge very few would ever really understand.

People think its the landing (a star-man's sonnet)

All those G’s, though not as many as many think,
the cheeks rippling in waves, a like a deck of cards
flicked, the isotonic heart pushed into the back
of the cushioned chair, considering the heck with it all;
the outside metal red-hot, a fluid shell of consideration –
“should we explode?”  The fear the angle is wrong, that the rocket
will bounce off the atmosphere, careen back into the void
with no more control than a pebble skimming the pond.

There is something, I grant you, in the landing, intensive heat
and free-falling, rockets stalling, and a peculiar acrid smell,
as if the devil’s  devious hand wafts hell’s painful promise
across your nostrils, but the landing, in the end, is the easy part;
the difficulty is the decision to return; all star-men recognize
that taking flight, and remaining absent, is the easiest option.

Friday, 17 March 2017

A Comet's Tale

Through the freeze of Pluto
and the heat of Mercury,
beyond the breeze of  Saturn
and the scream of Mars
in the shadow of Jupiter’s dreams
and the lost hopes of Venus;
through, beside and ignorant of them all,
in a constant flight from reflection —
the comet heads for the outer planets,
hopes there the solitude may redeem
the failures that streak behind,
a tail of woe.

star-father to star-son (edit 1)



my son, it seems,
begs to differ
with everything I have been
and everything I have thought.

Visors misty with our words,
we sit, smug in the bloated suits we don,
on opposite sides of the universe,
prepare to re-plunder each other
with words and looks
in an out of control spiral,
two hearts re-create the bitter belt
we call asteroids.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Conference with shiny moonface:

Above the crackle of the helmet’s two-way,
words, like sticks expertly flicked,
stripped away the vulnerable creases
of my protective suit; the atmosphere
suffocating - his purpose was clear.

Young astronauts on fledgling journeys
should never forget the stepping order;
the ladder, the dust, the gravity-reduced leaps
demand an order or consequence.

Others sat and listened, in visors,
like plastic travelling birds,
their occupied heads sagely nodded -
I am certain I heard them swallow
in sympathy and relief; the scraped goat
is preferred to personal flesh and blood
forced to bear the brunt.

I knew
even as the silence fell
swifter than an eclipse
the journey home
would be long and awkward –
its sails spread like an angel’s wings,
a rocket can soar upon the solar waves
and still encompass hell.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

space poem #9

Out in the ether
floating outside the cage
the line no better
than a monkey’s tail
promise it will one day let go

Visor captures the sound
of breathing within
hollowing it
carving breath into moments of birthing

Outside silence is given free rein
no language exists
in that place of speculation
possibilities and debris
past rotations, failed novas

In the void
insatiably whirling through galaxies
seeds chase their own tails
while unhatched stars
cry to be found

Starman spins slowly
waiting for sunrise
to sear away black holes
his singularity
bears the smell of used fuel

A million miles away
three children backs resting on dry grass
stare up at the night sky
see if in the patterns of the stars
they can discern their father

space poem #8 (edit 2)

Beyond the belt,
planets undone by circumstance,
out where light dwindles into dreams
of all that will one day be and then not;
recurrent themes orbiting,
a line of lovers all different, all the same.

Out with the small rocks, planetoids, comets,
the bang and the whimper, tied with strings
or severed knots, a starman can think -
though, with the absence of light,
ideas fold in upon themselves, become  wormholes-
and in the warp of all that contemplation,
a starman can drown beneath the memories of what is
compared to what could have been
if only opportunity was weighed
instead of the reinvention of past whorls.

experiment with heroin (edit 2):


It is understood by people adorned in white coats,
expertise hanging off them like bright lights
flickering on the conifer trees,
that mice and starmen succumb to the white taste
when denied access to companionship,
when freedom and interests are deprived,
when the sun and stars are hid,
the lid closed, the maze too well known.

Astronauts understand the white coats
they once had a smile as worthy as any
but the smile
came at a cost and the payment
when it came
took the smile and flung them back into the cosmos.

It hangs there still, orbiting forever,
a slipper frozen…if studied, the shimmer
of a dance, listened to,
the joy they once held perpetuated
as flickering cries into the void; a hope they might return,
unable to fathom — permanence is
the fluid state of letting go.

Monday, 13 March 2017

star-father to star-son:

Through the freeze of Pluto
and the heat of Mercury,
beyond the breeze of  Saturn
and the scream of Mars
in the shadow of Jupiter’s dreams
and the lost hopes of Venus;
through, beside and ignorant of them all,
in a constant flight from reflection —
my son, it seems,
begs to differ
with everything I have been
and everything I have thought.

Visors misty with our words,
we sit, smug in the bloated suits we don,
on opposite sides of the universe,
prepare to re-plunder each other
with words and looks
in an out of control spiral,
two hearts re-create the bitter belt
we call asteroids.

experiment in heroin (edit 1)

It is said by people adorned in white coats,
expertise hanging off them like bright lights
flickering on the conifer trees,
that mice and starmen succumb to the white taste
when denied access to companionship,
when freedom and interests are deprived,
when the sun and stars are hid,
the lid closed, the maze too well known.

Astronauts know what the white coats mean
they once had a smile as worthy as any
but that smile
came at a cost and the payment
when it came
took that smile and flung it back into the cosmos.

It hangs there still, orbiting forever,
a slipper frozen…if studied, the shimmer
of a dance, listened to,
the joy they once held perpetuated
as flickering cries into the void; a hope they might return,
they can never — for permanence is
the fluid state of letting go.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

experiment with heroin:

It is said by people adorned in white coats,
expertise hanging off them like white lights
flickering on the confer trees, that mice and starmen
only succumb to the white taste when denied access
to the companionship of others, when freedom
and interests are deprived, when the sun and stars
are hid, the lid closed, the maze too well known.

Astronauts know what the scientists in white coats mean
they once had a smile as worthy as any
no worse than most no better than the least ‑
but that smile
came at a cost and the payment
when it came
took that smile and flung back into the cosmos.

It hangs there still, orbiting forever,
a slipper frozen…if studied, the shimmer
of a dance can still be discerned, listened to
the joy they once held perpetuates itself out loud,
crying into the void that they might one day return
though they can never stay no matter how hard
it is desired— for permanence is
the fluid state of letting go.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

space poem #8 (edit 1)

Out passed the belt,
planets undone by circumstance,
out where light dwindles into dreams
of all that has been conceived but not yet,
out where things will one day be and then not,
over and over again;
a recurrent theme, a line of lovers all different,
all the same.

Out beyond the small rocks,
sometimes planetoids, sometimes comets,
the bang and the whimper, tied with strings or severed knots,
out there a person can think for days,
that, with the absence of light,
fold in upon themselves, become alternate realities,
about decisions made
and under the swell of all that time -
for without light and in the vacuum, time is a guest
at best, at worst
a shape-shifter between past and future tensions -
and in the warp of all that thinking
lose themselves to human red shift;
drown beneath memories of what is
compared to what could have been
if only selections were made by weighing the opportunity
instead of escaping (and so reinventing) past whorls.