Man on the Metro

The man on the metro
Dreams of flying
One-leg wonder wriggling
On urine-stained palms
Dragging earth-bound body across
The shifting train floor
He jangles his cup of hope
Says, “Give me wings,
Give me wings,
I wasn’t meant to be
But the commuters, they
Avert their gazes from
The grotesque spectacle
And hoard their feathers
Every one.
And the man on the metro
Drags his one leg
Through the footprints of demons
And dreams of flying



Angsty poetry about having no internet or phone reception, that got all metaphorical and out of hand.


In this city I have no signal
No bars of reception
No network detected
I suffer a small mental conniption
A strung out digital junkie
Denied her addiction

Offline and counted out
I’m counting those seconds I’m disconnected
Halfway – no -all the way across the world
Home blocked by a brick wall of
Tectonic plates and rewound clock hands

No bars
No network detected
Suddenly I shrink to a tiny stone
Stuck in the Doc Martin boot-heel of a
Cyclops with one London Eye
Riding a Shard skateboard
That grinds human souls under
Double-decker bus wheels
Centrifugal force spitting out
Spent oyster cards and
Stolen bike parts

No bars
No network detected
This distance seems endless without
Digital instance
No more beck-and-call borderless world
Might as well be in a boat on the sea
Like my grandma coming to the UK in 1953
How did she survive without Facebook?
Without text message magic conjuring
Homey familiarities into your palm
A postcard’s just a wish
I want electronic certainty I want
My brother’s outrageous textual abbreviations
Hey sis wat up?

‘Cause without my web
I dangle from my own thread
Spider lost without purchase without purpose
No A-B trace just a black dot
Freckle on London’s skeptical face

No bars
And now I’m barred
From the comfort zone
No network detected
And I’m disentangling
Cobwebs of doubt
Wandering out into
Concrete streets
Pulsing pavement realities
Mind mouth
My needle and thread
Ready to weave
My own web

Schoolgirl on the Bus

Schoolgirl on the bus
Black block shoes
Lost-pet-poster expression
Learning every day
Learning words like ‘sex’ and ‘calories’
Learning how to handle drop fumble feelings
Swapping secrets like clothes
Growing up and out and in
Growing shame and joy side by side
Between magazine pages and
Late-night whispers
Up-and-down loading personality puzzle pieces
In Facebook profile pictures
Stolen music and web wanderings
Taps black school shoes to Ipod
Learns words like ‘love’ and ‘want’
And relearns them again and again
Every time she realises grown-ups tell lies
Steps off bus
Ticking tapping learning
Ticking tapping learning

Seagulls in Civic

Inspired by Saturday night Civic wanderings, and the many nonsensical things you see there.

Seagulls in Civic
Clammer and squawk
Hasty waddle walk across roads in darkness
Street lights and headlights flash
Blinding round red-rimmed eyes
And they beat wings at each other
Puffed-up fluffed up skinny legs snap cold
Orange beaks gaping swallow scraps
Of night and old fish bones and
Cheese burger wrappers
So busy looking around at themselves
Don’t see the taxi
Stamps on brakes rubber screech
White feathers fly disperse
Coulda been worse
She wandered off and he
He went home in the taxi


Rush and crumble and
Of my neck prickles and
I shift and blur
Frazzled ends of thoughts curl
Recoil like limbs from flames
Weight like petrol seeps
Into cracks in my lungs
Bronchi ignite like tinder forests
Nostrils flare
Bristles between my toes
Horns bore through my temples
Sucked breath
Beats against a
Brick wall
That I strike my frontal cortex against
First now and again
Then again and again and again and again
Hammering hooves
Hurtling home to wound the wall
But it won’t break
Brick or brain
I suspect they are
One and the same
But still I back up again
Horns lowered
Bronchi burning
Cortex coursing
Cloven hooves molten-hot
Ready to

This is not a poem

This is not a poem
About daffodils or roads less travelled by
This is not a poem about pleasure domes
Or ravens or roses or
Jabberwocks falling to vorpal swords
Or the night they set Canberra on fire
This is a poem about me

This is not a love poem
Woven flutterings and fingerprints
Roped into ballads of first and last-times
Lines so thick with love the ink runs
Turning hairline-cracked hearts into art
To pin down ex-lovers with and
Scream, “Ha! Now you are a poem!”
But not this rhyme, this time
These words are all mine

This is not a poem about home
I refuse to slam about
My parent’s compost heap
Stained old teapot myriad morning cups
Sunday pancakes pets pressed doll-dressed
Into childish memories
The thing growing under my brother’s bed
Butterfly wings on my window sill or
Plane trails in the sky
It’s about me, myself and I

This is not a poem about heroes
Infesting imaginations, hogging
Poetic subject matter with legends of
Champions exultant reluctant
Superhuman like Dr Who or
Robert Downey Jnr sending
Hearts into nuclear meltdown
No! Red capes will not displace
My poem’s sacred space

This is not a protest poem
No flags were set alight with
Fist-shaken verse-fuel
No march for freedom beat out
In iambic rhythm
No couplets hurled, grenades
To crack conservative nuts
No bras burned in phonemic rage
No politicians poetically petitioned
No battle lines were verbally positioned
No minorities mnemonically learned
Into the public memory
No might resisted
These words are enlisted
Only to my cause


This is not a poem

This is a cobbled corroboration of

Spilt beans and tea leaves
Lovers and lost things
Homes and heroes
Poems, protests
And recollections


This is not a poem

This is a conversation
And a bottle of wine
With you
At 2am

Big Mama

This poem is about a chicken. Some friends of mine inherited three chickens with their sharehouse: two small red ones and BIG MAMA, who is suspected of eating the fourth chicken, though no one is brave enough to ask her.


Menacing chicken
Pint-sized velociraptor
Egg-cracking beak
Bold-black sheen striking feet
Clawed and ready to run

Not a fan of cuddles