Walking Fast

The schoolmates, having grown up from the past,
Streets ahead vast, they hold hands, walking fast.

Old white man in a straw hat at boarding
With his last pot of honey, walking fast.

Swells of round hips can push a path through crowds;
If asked, she’d say the key is walking fast.

Cities are crawling over the thick jungle
Earthen crust never masters walking fast.

Peeling from glass, the café sign flutters
At half-mast; still the queue is walking fast.

This is where your ‘can’ becomes a ‘must’ –
How dastardly that time was born walking fast!

Fern says: never fish for hope in airspace,
The lines you cast are walking, walking fast.


The form of free verse
is always your own
pickled words removed
from jars of salad;
Shaking a new spice
from old cabinets,
each day, month or year.
And if you could hand-make
measuring cups,
invent new units?
Then that is just what
Your form could be.

Cotton Candy Machine

The cotton candy machine is out of control.
Sugar, cycloning from the epicentre
And now we are breathing bright dust.

The worst is this: I can’t see where you are.
You are dark scribbles on the pink cloud
A crayon drawing – disintegrating.

But maybe I pick this apart with thin sticks,
Twirling together a thread that leads
From Point A to Point B,
To your hand along the way.


A lumbering predator
Cornered by prey
In a dark room
Lined with wire.

Stone feet pick between
Spindle-sharded grass;
The appetite dulls, I say:
I’m not hungry.

Hysterical rabbits
Spin flustered clouds
Of babbling acids
In moisture-muddled air.

Pinwheels of red
Darting in darkness;
Their wild whizzing fears
Frighten them dead –

They are still screaming
Long after I leave.


Soft pale gold sunrise
Falls in spindles across seas
That are filtering
Silent through my closed fingers
Casting droplets on the grass.

Skyward, grey wisps brew
Rolling waves of white thunder
You don’t see the rain
Looming there with frigid stare
And anxious crows departing.

Bottle Caps

Bottle caps may be holding out on us,
Puckered, scrunched up, plastic stoppers, they are
Do you ever think bottle caps repress?

Bottle caps may be holding out on us,
Screwing so snugly against a glass rim
Stubbornly hiding away the contents.

Puckered, scrunched up, plastic stoppers, they are
Keeping us from the taste of the juice
The feeling, the smell – only colour gets through.

Do you ever think bottle caps repress?
For what is colour? the lie of the juice
That could be sugar water dyed orange.


I live in a room of ambiguous walls:
Walls bearing dubious expressions,
Where lines of light and dark are blending
Making it hard to make out friend or foe.
I don’t know what to make of this all.

I do believe the plaster paint
That peels when I’m not looking
Hides something solid, albeit
Of a different shade.

But when I chart a map of this place
The points swarm on the page, like ants
And the contours, they dizzy me;
So dizzying it is to map our shallow surfaces.


Excavating from the self, the monster,
Self sees Other with eyes of a monster.

Alone on spiraling paths they wander;
They’ve lost their map to an ancient monster.

Sifting through books, she tries to joss the
Fables the imposter has spun of a monster.

The thick purple dusk will lie and conjure,
But longer golden dawn lets in the monster.

Two clones – same bones, the flesh, systemic roster;
Which is truer? this itself, a monster.

I say, your mirror image will alter;
You best lie with weapons, await the monster.