Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rob Schackne #785 - "Eight miles high"

                        for Stu Rawlinson

Eight miles high
nearly five thousand miles
precision & accuracy
I recognised almost nothing
is it a red thread poem
no immediate danger
the smell was incredible
she saw me I saw her
it was a carpenter’s dream
furtive with an obvious lean
that everyone could see
is it an engineering poem

one slowly disappears
what reason to be bitter
unreported for years
& left with faculties intact

Kerri Shying R # 529 - places I can go ready to flip over

already  you aren’t doing what I want
I want movement   and actions   and goals
across all the indicators   like the old
boards   on the railway platforms
the names   of the stations     of the

places   I can go   ready to flip over

not this   self-starting  make your own
adventure-world   I rise in    brush
my teeth in    wish I was  a little  better
at      welcome   to the wizard of oz 
circa   whatever   year we’re in

Stuart Rawlinson #90 - Counterpoint

the smell of burning
ash on the breeze

flutters and fragments


the endless drift of entropy
melodies unchained
skittish, vectorless

randomly calculated

they obliterate
the ordained

perch on a kerb
rock back and forth
a false pivot
to the wind

to the seasons which
         (if not deceive)
disperse something

Kit Kelen #1020 - if only this world were widened

if only this world were widened

when the world was wide
how narrowly we went

and saw through glasses darkly
before a lens was ground

about our business, we might say
crouched cringed in narrow forms

which might be words
or hearts to flag
skins pumped in our blood –
a wrap

in coracle or caravel
around until the ends

there were ones strayed from –
damned forever
along a path we never knew

even with the whole orchestra
just in the one little head turned

with axes and we’d burn them too

how hard it has been to get gone
to other-end yourself

just the one way
you could be
just one love could be right

and now we’re mainly wider
know how narrow this world
how little we know
how little we are

how tightly
the infinite must fit
forever and a day

then all aghast I am
thinking what we are, could be

hat and hurry
soon be gone
along with the ghost
and understanding

now we rub up narrowly
despised, excited, all disgust

when did we open our minds?
and how do they close?
when was that?

you’ll see on the streets
and in the box
all corners
we’re they’re painting
we are!

think past what we could see
see past what we can think

the frog well boiled by now
braised, baked, roasted, poached
sauteed with a few fine herbs –
we find ourselves delicious

and learn to accept
how everything
and one
and where
we all
and each

if only this world were widened

if only
we’d think past what we could see
if we’d see past what we can think

James Walton #123 At Kilcunda in the centre of October

the sun is saying summer
two mothers and toddlers
separated by exposed reef
shake a day’s experience

one is reading Faulkner
the other Austen under shade

we’re spread thin
as ducks holding on dawn
the membrane stretched
taut elastic pegged to places

how a body still wants flight

the trestle bridge is exposed
tide out as far as it goes
the bull kelp collapsed
all rolled dragon pieces

an old surfer ties up flippers
squints into his helloes and byes
he’s had that dance with colours
where the water never lies

way out on the graphite
a fisher takes her chances

there is a lull of wave
you could be here tomorrow
like a note left in a pocket
gone through the washing

but the laughter comes in
deep down an undiscovered thing
where the lead runs smudging

writing, but I want to live forever

Tug Dumbly # 31 - Stripper World

Stripper World  

‘Come on boys, come in
and see the dirty little World
stripped of mystery …’
‘garn, get your gear off  
ya filfee little planet,  
show us ya Himalayas …
your San Andreas Fault …
your Mariana Trench.
Garn, gis a look at cha
Brazilian Rainforests,
shaven and waxed,
come on, ya scuzzy little blue ball,
get wet and raw and Poledance
roun’ the Milky Way,
we wanna see it AAAAALL!’

Monday, October 15, 2018

Rob Schackne #784 - "Take up a pen"


                     Take up a pen 
                     upper left side
                     the bottom right
                     so much paper
                     is it a doctor poem

                     the same island
                     defenders of the faith

                     how did a tree ever
                     give us so much
                     where did it go wrong
                     is it a religious poem
                     this cartography
                     of another world
                     oh god I think
                     I am premature

Danny Gentile #80 - Bingo and Purgatory

a broken down
Mercedes Benz
(not mine)

an oil stain
like Texas

the rain
gives its bows
on the pebble-
creek paving

and a tow truck
all “Star Wars”
and roar

 to M.E.S. 
 for that

science fails 
and we look
for words

to enshrine it.

Kit Kelen #1019 - listening


5.30 am, mid-October

rooster and bellow
a paddock off
in still star dark and turning

cloud again
and dripping
through the highest leaves

frogs down
birds like a motor begin
and moss – you’ll hear that too

then a real road
and a last bat flits
I must be a silence to them

all soft inside
damp, warm, well fed
listening for first sun

Rob Schackne #783 - "It's a copper coin"



                   It's a copper coin
                   dropped in the sun

                   a bird on a crack
                   anger for beauty
                   or the sun at rising

                   is it sacred ground
                   a small presence
                   how it matters
                   struck against hope
                   the pain & sorrow
                   we’d hardly pick it up

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Clark Gormley #51 Bircher Muesli

a blancmange of
nuts and grains and fruit
with yoghurt and juice
inserted in the
fridge to brew
comes out the
consistency of spew

tastes much better
than it looks
it would want to

I'd postulated
that it had been
as sustenance
for Swiss foresters
to fortify them
prior to felling
an acre of hardwoods

turns out it was
concocted by
Mr Bircher-Benner
with help from
his sisters
and marketed
along with cornflakes
as a healthy
breakfast meal

the truth is seldom

Danny Gentile #79 - Tract

Non Stick
Frying Pan

I heard

Frying Pan

and with this

enough said

Jefree Skewes #48 He's not that kind

He's not that kind of gay
more spit venom and grey

hurls hate on radio waves
spins advertisers pay

into selfish limelight
a wriggly wobbly chintzy jelly

he positions himself as nobly
the winner's pseudo advocate

every time he says
listen here I know it all

from his cardboard tower
little stacks of money

trickle down to fund
the next new suite and rant

a circus yellow and red triple extra wide plaid
doubled breasted with six inch cuffs

he's all tucked in and a matching
pork pie hat tops it off

this portly Dickenesque caricature
all thumbs and full of ruddy bull

still they come 'cos he speaks for them
their champion man of their people

if only they knew that in this simple ugly theatre
they play disposable not so silent unpaid extras

themselves scared just like sheep keep calling-in
undercover desperately cloaked in the bigot's flag

sneering giggles guffaws and sleazy gutless sniggles
rhyme with bucket loads of hate and incorrect mess

let's pull the plug on the dinosaur
whose single trick be spouting bile

some think funny mate

oh yes he's not that kind of gay

Rob Schackne #782 - "Life's illusions"

Life’s illusions

a slap in the face
write me a love song
where are you going
is it a silent poem

almost enough
landing the words
in the wild sea

is it environmental
watch the grass

snakes don't stand
wouldn’t stop writing
broken wrist etc.

Kit Kelen #1018 - pronominal deictic

pronominal deictic

weather tested
sung to be
all putting out for season


scratch at
old joys up to

every kind beginning


on such a day
percussion of merely afoot

and sometimes

a one



know what I mean

a generality
of let’s say feeling



the rain

and why
more wonderful

but guess again
and give it


tanks filling

the saying so

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Kristen de Kline # 231 Random stuff on a Saturday

wispy clouds flock in the
distance with the crows

hovering by the Waratah trees
it’s all blue when you lie

at the river bank on cutty grass
staring up at wasted skies, paper

cuts criss-crossing your palm
in a dream he sings: everybody

bleeds, there is something ominous
in the air tonight have you ever

loved a woman

what happened to the light

when you wake, jet planes crash
a man with half crazy eyes

chases after a bulldog mastiff
his chainsaw buzzes, pull the throttle

harder     don't drop that bomb
on me     the vinyl's scratched

the fifth track of the Violent Femmes
stutters on REPEAT:

don't shoot, shoot, shoot that thing at me

the door slams

why can't I get just one kiss

where did we go wrong

Lizz Murphy # 375 Skylines (1)

Posting on behalf of artist Michele Elliot (a previous Project 366 month guest) and myself. We are experimenting with an online collaboration of words and images as part of Belconnen Arts Centre's One Sky Many Stories project (ending November 22). Great to be here.


© Michele Elliot

skylines treetops
clouds scratch flag

Michele Elliot



a stellar creature

rubs its back

against the sky

Lizz Murphy

Rob Schackne #781 - How To Leave A Life Behind #2 (after Kit Kelen)

How To Leave A Life Behind #2

                           (after Kit Kelen)

I'm not Orpheus
and you weren’t Eurydice
although we danced
like crazies
pretty close to the hole
and even joked
was it spirit
was it water
a substance in the air
made me look back
a thousand years
things I left behind
all vanished
the laughter
the foolishness
the poems and stories
that will be different now

Kit Kelen #1017 - two poems - all rise & mulberry is our Tyrian purple

two poems

all rise

ribs of a certain pale and blue
we’re having a little winter again
all in blossom with it
every green come

all rise
courtly, tendril
like a parliament of prayers
to simply turn the world

and only air up
till the last breath’s gone
and only sky up there

mulberry is our Tyrian purple

everyone gets it in the beak

and as they come ripe
up in the branches
out of the blue
it’s berry to berry
the channel billed cuckoos
have all of Spring away

James Walton #122 Ghosts of 1847

it was a hotel
that felt like Europe
the sky fool’s gold

I carried the stain of onus
a swathe of estate

a piano accordion compress
then lungs heart hands unbound

it was all I could do

a diaphragm of circling words
to reach to hold a falling flower’s
want of translation here

if only the secret in sails
an advance of witness
had broadcast in canvas

that our slavery introduced
two genocides side by side

Friday, October 12, 2018

Rob Schackne #780 - "Reading about Su Shi"

Reading about Su Shi
a boat going to Hainan
that island of exile
is it a performance poem
I’m on the city tram
it’s a birthday present
I’m grinning like an ape
seeing a fellow wearing
the same pair of shoes
I catch his eye
& point at his feet
is it a road poem
he frowns & looks away

where’s yr paintbrush
I get to my train on time

Kit Kelen #1016 - book of numbers

book of numbers 

sometimes only counting
backwards forwards
a way to sleep
a way to know where
how much you are
and yet to go
how low you can fall

this street
and you were born
book of numbers
your code

so  many spokes
and revolutions

sheep creep
numbering the hills
to conquer

proud of how far
scared too
all climbing

horizon after horizon
retreating as we come
book of numbers

I remember finding out
that they went on forever –
past seas, mountains
sands and stars

past anything to hold
backwards as well

you could count yourself out of this world
and then would you be gone?

among the numberless
these variable signs
the fuel remaining

and better than x is

think of the uses to which they are put
the cure was by this means expressed
and how much milk?
the acres per cow
the inch by mile

time since
and time until

so much alone
among them
when they are ever more

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Gillian Swain - #14 - Twig-snap and lemons

  In response to Kit's homecoming pics of the Markwell garden and in response to his poem:"Paradoxes of home".

They were waiting for you,
when you were on the tree house balcony
enjoying breakfast  sipping coffee and
drifting in the morning   the dam
waited patiently below  ready and mirroring
the day-start embrace.
Enough is the light spring from this small lake
to have you waking slowly.

Up to you the skyward flowers turn
typing denimed thighs with fingering petals
you wade back to  the earth of this place.
Reed and grass tall-ly wipe the sky into
hand's reach  it meets you
hangs cooling shadows from your back.

Twig-snap and lemons
land happy into hand  the other world
can surely wait,
this purity of yellow gold sings vast across
your welcome  branches laden with gift,
they were waiting for you.

Time is read by leaf clocks here and dirt cool.
Rest up in the heat  of what we call afternoon
Blue Tongue full with sun wakes
late from Coleas' door
reading boot-steps in dirt
floor language.

All the other world stays well away
in strangeness that cannot sit
among the garden it
doesn't mind how messy it gets
when you're gone
the work making is for you-
this soft riot and harvest of
reasons for you to stay.

Rob Schackne #779 - "Are you really Dr Wu"

Are you really Dr Wu
what we came to do
forced into a phone box
between Confucius
and Lao Tzu
is it Chinese porn

what was I thinking
does time tell
the years in detox
where did it go wrong
the shit you’ll go through too

Clark Gormley #50 Canberra

a place of secular bell-towers
and sacred kingfishers
foul hardhead MPs
and fowl hardheads
private lobbyists
and public servants
white administrative buildings
and black swans
choughs and currawongs
magpies and ravens
and large aggressive black birds
that enjoy their bad reputations

Clark Gormley #49 Reversing Alarm

the truck reversing alarm
is the call of the wonga pigeon
having smoked ten cigars
and drunk two bottles of red

Rob Schackne #778 - "telefon"

             arms like a rattlesnake
             legs like a willow tree

                  Townes Van Zandt

the bush
full of honey
twenty-five days
to summer
a celestial event

render it all
& just not
the one makes
the bees speechless

Rob Schackne #777 - "windy day"

windy day
plain sailing
a silky strand
of flying web
flew into my eye

the little spider
already bailed out
that was 2 days ago

the new vistas
I'm almost home
still learning
how to operate
the thing

Kit Kelen #1015 - how to leave a life behind

how to leave a life behind 

it doesn’t matter here
it doesn’t matter now

no truth to tell
but must have wished away
must have been told to here

thus far in my element

what is
we are
and you by

kiss yourself somewhere
be all I am

and faded also air

in all of a journey
and nowhere to go

so sleep
so wake till

still headfirst into

not a word in the orchard for light

beyond my bidding

not for us
not for me
to know

as far as stretch
and that’s the body

off on those legs again

the clock ticks nothing off
the heart until it goes

Kerri Shying # 528 - Xiao bao zi ( little bun)

Xiao bao zi  (little bun)

motherhood   at this age
it’s   a beef cheek 

well-seasoned  in
the slow cooker

all the mystery
of flavour   introduced 

so tender
how you smile

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kerri Shying R # 527 - the anodised metal cups we all had in the sixties

slid the bangles   down     my thumb
the slim brown seat belt    keeps   the floor
from being littered   with clatter-thin
steel rings   we got for a fiver  at the reservoir 
at Paddington   same bright colours as

the anodized metal cups  we all had in the sixties

childhoods     roamed  the east coast
in station wagons    three in the back
two in the   well    today  you’d get pinched
then   it was the cups   got all   the padding
the kids   rolled  loose and played

Rob Schackne #776 - "p.s. suddenly"

p.s. suddenly
it’s not right
the shadow
on the trees
wait   it’s the sun

Rob Schackne #775 - "yesterday"

the difference
between wet
& dripping
is sunny
the sky is
all blue again
my mood is dark

Kit Kelen #1014 - frogs all foretelling

frogs all foretelling

then the stars come out
scud moon for
no gainsaying sky

and all night reign

cicadas will later on declare

dust from the world before
dust falling

throw a breeze through this head
let spring then summer

it is all as once must imagine

slippers off
into the dance

Tug Dumbly # 30 - Found Poem, Cooma [For James Walton]

Found Poem, Cooma

How sweet to find a poem in the footpath
that doesn’t start and end with Shalee Sux
or Wazza Wuz Ere!

But there it was, etched with a conviction
to outweather decades:


Enigmatic, evocative,
demanding to be puzzled at.
Who was the Shane who so boldly carved this rune
in the concrete of a Cooma Street?

A modern Marvell?

One who, having spent his rhetorical stock
failing to coax from his mistress her chastity,
was now washing his hands of the whole flock
saving themselves for the Savior’s knee?

That knee. That’s what got me.
Not in the Lord’s arms or bosom
will all the pretty girls be blessed,
but rest upon the knee of Jesus.

A cracked world joined in a small word stressed!


It had been a bleak day Shane –    
six-hour drive from Sydney, hungover
and hunted by murderous semis, clocking
the monotonous mounds of roadkill
I was trying not to become.

I checked in, the lone guest of a Bates motel
and took a walk through the Alpine dusk,
armed with a bottle of rough red in defence
against the cold and my own company

sought the church where my mother grew,
maybe searching for something of myself
in the melancholy proximity 
to my flesh’s distant past.

I found no trace of the minister’s daughter,
but did find your poem, Shane,
a little wonder in my path.

I studied the words in the dying light,
trying to riddle out the narrative of you,
the pretty girls and Jesus,
but at best could only second-guess.

Yet you lent me a spark. 
In years to come your blazon will remain,
testament to a man of fire and heart.

Decades down, others may stop and wonder,
ponder your puzzle with conjecture and rumour:
who was this Shane who rocked the world,
enigmatic street scribe of Cooma?