ere is a small sample of my recent poems. Themes for me are diverse- I use poetry as a commentary to life, and it's hard to find one subject matter in something so broad. Generally speaking I try to keep my poems knee-deep in observation, in tune with nostalgia and sprinkled with quirkiness. As I develop as a writer, I am sure my direction will appear more clear to me.


A History of Shoelaces

At first they were small; wrapped with care 
next to the sweet, new skin of my foot. Delicate laces
nesting on my slippers, like silkworm.

In later years, forgotten. Trodden into mud. 
Left trailing – sometimes lost.
A friendship bracelet, a trick, a cat’s cradle.

Then bold black and pink –
looping them through steel hoops, like piercings.
Standing at my best friend’s door. Undone.

Lucky ones in clover green. Tied to a fret board,
loved and taken abroad,
but never returned home.

Once I chose a shade that matched ribbons in my hair,
the shadows on my eyelids,
and what lay beneath.

But now the prim and proper. On sensible flat shoes,
bound like a corset. Sweating under polished leather.

Someone else’s laces now. Flapping at the laminate floor
in our new apartment. And after that, 
perhaps one day, undone shoelaces again.


Now Then

Eat a grapefruit –
first thing; get the bitterness out of the way.

Take a walk –
kick dusty pebbles like a bored school child.

Talk to a stranger –
laugh at the ducks together and wonder why they laugh at you.

Order ice cream –
a generous helping.

Bake some bread –
inhale the heady smell of yeast and knead, knead, knead.

Read a book –
smile at how the Russians talk of love these days.

Roll a cigarette –
seal your liquorice paper with a quick pink tongue.

Call your mum –
ask her how her day has been, and be patient.

Run a bath –
soak in the steam and feel the last of the sun fighting through frosted glass


Botanical Gardens in Winter

A rusty name hangs from the neck of a tree,
it nods beneath the brittle branches.
In the weak wind and pale sun of a winter park,
a Magnolia creaks like a tall ship’s mast.

It nods beneath the brittle branches
near the Sweet-gum, Willow and Indian Bean trees.
A Magnolia creaks like a tall ship’s mast
in the breeze. Somewhere, a magpie calls.

‘Sweet-gum’, ‘Willow’ and ‘Indian Bean tree’ –
lacking in the life that their names suggest;
on the breeze, somewhere, a magpie calls,
and the rest of the air is still.

They lack in the life that their names suggest.
Exotic roots trapped under harsh frost,
the rest of the air is still,
each silently mourning. All is lost.

Exotic roots trapped under harsh frost,
weak wind and pale sun of a winter park.
Each silent morning, what more is lost?
A rusty name hangs from the neck of a tree.

Fu Dao 
or The Blessing of the Upside-down Bat

One time, for luck, I gave my love a bat
carved from jade and made into heaven’s shape,
with mottled emerald that willed and ached
into a shade of moss and mutton fat.

It sat proudly for years upon blue tac
on our simple bed, next to the bamboo,
hemp incense and enamel bowl; we grew
our own home - our own love
 - from what we lacked.

That bat bought us about as much luck as
torrential rainfall on a wedding day.
Its smile was smooth benevolence, whereas,
the peace we sought for never came.

Now look how you’ve weathered and chipped the jade -
I fear for us both; we should not have stayed.


Remaining Sleep

With crumpled cheeks from morning skin,
facing the outward rain within,
I watch my coffee slowly steam.
The air revolves and coffee breathes
rich life to air, but still I hide
within forgiving sheets of life.

I stay, remain, consider life;
comfort my unfurling skin
around my coffee cup, and hide
for hours, and hours hide within.
My chest rises, and bravely breathes –
releases a cool air of steam.

I curl around the cloud of steam
within my cup of warmth, and life
creeps into me and my soul breathes
reflective in my rising skin.
And when the cloud lingers within
I then drink deep and hide.

It is a foolish place to hide.
Somewhere, a trace of trailing steam
will lead the demons deep within
and steal my mind, and steal my life
and steal my crumpled skin.
But light within me breathes.

The light is breathing now, it breathes
and all at once the demons hide;
unsatisfied with tainted skin.
I slowly watch my coffee steam
again, and once again my life
comes shining from within.

If mornings taunt the mind within,
the very essence of me breathes
and strives to learn my outward life
and teaches me to never hide;
so comfort is then found in steam,
refreshing, crumpled, morning skin.

And now, the skin within will rise
like curling steam, my body breathes
and will no longer hide from life.


Villanelle for a Fallen Branch        

The log seeps deep into the ground beneath,
loosening its knots and shrugging off moss
to emerge as leaves on the redwood tree.

Its wood lies twisted in sad self-pity,
admits defeat and sleeps slow as it rots.
The log seeps deep into the ground beneath.

Full of lice, and life, and living it breathes
into the earth – broken bark will be lost
to emerge as leaves on the redwood tree.

In dignified dirt it sinks so strangely;
bravely it ages, and as the mud clots
the log seeps deep into the ground beneath.

This branch will be the best bloom ever seen -
it will swim through soil and make it across
to emerge as leaves on the redwood tree.

And when matter dreams it longs to be free,
it holds no sorrow for its recent loss -
the log seeps deep into the ground beneath
to emerge as leaves on the redwood tree.


And then she sings

She breathes and remembers: everything.
Fills her heart to the ocean brim,
folds in on every emotion beneath
her heart-shaped lips and perfect porcelain cheeks.

Sorrow pours into pathways,
every sound floods the shore -
she is weeping a storm.
Her back contours with thought
- a voice like water.

The pause
using the trace of memories
this distance builds up around her,
people almost nervous with their
expectant, honest eyes,

watching her light
silhouetting her voice,
nothing prepared them, she thinks,
and then -
she sings.