vi – preview

vi-6by9

Here’s a little sample of the poetry to be featured in IV 🙂

Looking back, I realise that it’s been at least four years since my last poetry collection featuring new work (between giants, 2012) was released and so around Feb 1st 2017 there will finally be more poetry available!  (I also hope to announce another haiku collection with Ginninderra Press in the near future too).

 

 

 

shreds

if you’re somewhere beyond
that keyhole
Alice-like maybe
or sleeping so soundly that
the thunder of
my chest collapsing
does not stir you
and if your pin-cushion veins
are the first things to
change
I want to see it
beyond the rustle of bed sheets
and quiet green bleeps
of equipment
so empty of love that they
must
have never been sad,
which isn’t to say you haven’t made me
happy – Christ no
it means only that their electricity
cannot grow lonely
and that it is never going to be a match for your lungs

and if you don’t wake
for many hours yet
I’ll be listening from the kitchen,
my hands like dull spiders
on the cutlery and pots and dials
and I’ll be listening
for the moment you stir
so I can smile as you wake
try to be strong
as you have been strong
for me
stronger than the pain
that
like a wretched ghost, wrings out
its song in the whisper
of your bones,
but a ghost you will nevertheless tear into a million shreds
and then release,
each one now thin enough
for the clouds to swallow.

 

 

 

menu

up the back
and not quite hidden by the menu
his voice is an idling engine
until he orders again, broken crockery for lips
as he grinds words out
for the girl at the counter
who’s waiting for a tip
with miniature scarecrows for her hair
and an expressionless distaste
that rattles mugs, catches in the fan
then falls across us
with the feathery touch of a sigh.

 

 

 

boat or cloud

the road slithers into hills
lined with awful
plastic and paper breadcrumbs
before flinging the car
up against the ocean view,
a line of silver and blue
unbroken by any boat
or cloud

houses have been
deposited on the cliffs
like white pieces
on a mountain-range-chessboard,
each move taking years
and years to complete

on the other side is Amalfi
stuffed full of buses
and sipping at the water,
lemon cream and refrains
from the Tarantella,
the bubbles in its cafes
racing one another
up the glass.

 

 

 

3885

the clothesline
swings
in a dry wind

and the echo of our voices
runs
down from the river
to where I stand
in yellow grass
eyes fixed
on a horizon swollen with blue

the river
where we’d swim
through the black gold of the water
rapids
gnashing teeth
and water dragons
nimble
as we give chase

how sharp the bite
of the sun
who we would
more or less
worship for the entire season
no sand too hot
no bike seat too hard
no hole too far
and nothing
nothing
coming
even close
to lasting long enough

 

 

a long yesterday

the train clicked over sizzling rails when
I saw you in tall grass

a pink dress

speeding away

I saw you and thought of home

where the border was softer
and where you could slip into a long yesterday

___what a hole a dream leaves

I was a hawk as God’s arrow
my feathers left vapour trails

and far below
in the cobblestone square the shopkeepers smiled
and nodded and rested

and when we met
there was a heroic shiver of butterflies within me

leaves were always fluttering
___– you moved and I moved

the bones in your hand sung beneath flesh

slow clap

in photographs of me
in the canals
my face eating the sunlight
I smile
because
it’s amazing
in my memory
and even now that
winter is heavy
upon us
I somehow forget
wanting to push
my fellow tourists
into the green
and simply get on with
taking comfort
from once, years ago now
once being so far out
of reach
and no longer
thinking of jackets
thick socks
or desperately
hot showers,
just the slow clap
of feet on dry stone.

venice

pink oceans

here he goes
the boy
into the fairground
now
spitting, kicking spinning
bleeding
words
new words
little angry
fire-cracker words,
he’s trying them on
with squeaks
and bright fists
those words
the ones
that belong to others
with bigger hands
workman-like
hands
hands of dark
grease and hair
and thumbnails
huge
moons setting
into their pink oceans
and all gone to hardness
now with the snarl of steel
and blooming fire
all forging
all holding
the usual panic
and promises
but mostly just holding
all the rage
he’s trying to copy
down there
by the teacups
spinning their blue handles
into the night
as he paces
and plans
the crack of each word
hitting skin
and the hiss
of every syllable
cutting deep.

March Poetry Sale (and fiction)!

Let’s have a bit of a sale!

For the rest of March, signed copies of all my poetry collections are on sale (and my fiction titles too) so if you’d like to grab some poetry for cheap let me know here or send me an e-mail 🙂

mountain0ash[at]gmail[dot]com

(that’s a ‘zero’ in the address)

 

 

P o e t r y

 

All titles $5 posted

pollen and the storm

pollen and the storm cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stepping over seasons

stepping over seasons cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

between giants

betweengiants(web)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

old stone: haiku, senryu & haibun

old stone - haiku (larger)2 - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$3 posted

orion tips the saucepan

orion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Years

7yearsPP(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F i c t i o n

 

$10 posted

The Fairy Wren

tfw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$15 posted

City of Masks (original cover)

CityofMasks(final)

between giants (a poem, not the collection)

I am slow of words
tired to speak them
mouth confetti-ed
making plausible
the unsurprising
with dull iron
wrapped, drawn
beneath eyes
no moondog, no
not at all, I’m thrilled
I’m thrilled and com-
pletely stopped
by his lament and
not even close to
keeping up with his
shadow, of course
I do not expect to:
I am rusted to chair
I am part of the class
I am between giants
I am lamp light
I am pots on ledges
I am blooming in-
doors with the scent
of rain crowding
glass and I am ever
having to repeat honey-
ed phrases to placate
tadpoles lining up
to be thrown into
the pond by my frail
hands.

 

(this one was going to be in the collection but I didn’t feel like it was strong enough to be the titular poem and so it never made it in at all in the end 🙂 )

bone patch

this house is made for
our bones, with grooves where
the right things rest

such as ankles in couch cushions
or invisible targets
for my elbows when I
lean on the kitchen bench
to watch your magic

or the dip in our bed,
where bossy hip bones have
carved out so many dreams
from the old fairy floss
of our mattress

right down to the small bits
left over, like the hair tie
gone missing in the laundry
once a thin python for your wrist.

Boneless

the notes pour me, boneless,
between the sheets
and I flick the light off,

sleep has become holy.
dreams stay just out of sight
and the slumber of the church bell
that has not been rung in years
is absolute.

brittle, teenage slang
floats through the night
and puts fear into the great,
conservative houses
who are most perfect at being still.

I set no alarm.

the white of hunting lights
from tennis courts
keeps part of the town awake
and the moon slinks away,
still unable to cough up
armstrong’s footprints

so I lie on my back, breathing
but not counting as each note
sinks me into the mattress
carefully,
like a countersunk man.