Monthly Archives: October 2013

written in wire

written in wire



Everything’s expendable –

first tenet of a ________.




There is no grammar you can trust.


Take this one spark – follow it in.      Be lost.


All sorts of things are so in a shed.

Tune for a start, though it will find you.     What’s

furthest from mind.

Take tip of the tongue, thus the piece joins it all.

Whole clans

have gone missing with one mad idea.


O wilderness of shed

and manna, old meteor is home here.


And otherworldly

light for treasure. A shed’s worth of something is

much of a much

and that’s good homespun.

See these posts?

They’re from my day.


In a shed there must be room

to stretch,

a beam that you can dangle from      to let limbs loose.


So many things

shed are lost but memory holds all in

and so it is elemental with tin.

You can have fire,

chimney to point. Air’s fresh where window’s gone.


Great outdoors are all in a shed.


Chooks are possible though they should be choice,

better still spectacular unheard of breeds which do

the zombie walk, great rooster deeds for emulation.


Form follows function and a shed’s always getting ahead

of itself.

Corner turns to alcove, aisle – this is the result of pile,

because there’s nothing new here but everything

is born again, and messianic so.

I knew a bloke whose shed

sloped down and down as added to

till it was well in the ground

with demons, dark woods, Dante and Beatrice close

in a corner when the council inspector came.


Can anything can be done?

Yes, you can paint as long as

there’re cobwebs and cold. There have to be gaps. You mustn’t

live in shed unless expelled, doomed for a certain time

to tread and so on

till invention makes up for misdemeanour.

Then you slink back with smart new prize, a lick of paint.

Fresh as a pet – you’re a puppy. Gis a hug and all’s forgave

and you forgive as well.           Go rude. Good night. Enough of that.


You could have a fridge, but mouldy.

Liquor is hard or else

you brew it.

Joint apt,

though once smoked


you must construe it.

Go for broke, run into strife, philosophize.

A few mates come round,  get carried away.

So in the morning

a shed will reek of unexpected – enormous oven, collection of gnats, piano

that won’t go but teeters stairs.

How’d that get there?


Life’s short but here’s all you’ll need later. In a shed

there are some good bits of iron.

Ceiling’s okay

if you can see sarking. A little rusty gal should show though. Tend

to the noggings and in between – you can see next door and also tomorrow.

No one would guess

you were looking from there.


Best sheds all predate the homestead.

Geometry is patching. Indicative of woman’s lot –

how the longsuffering have come to glory.

See here the chimney years?

By yarn shall we know them, walls

turns rotting.  Chock the totter over above all.  Battens sag? Lay buttresses.

Make differential sprocket. Why not?  Draw breath is illywhackery. We hate a man

who blows.     Everything’s

expendable – first tenet of a paradise. Fruit must find wind fall.


Leaves should blow through a shed –

gives a good impression

of drought. And there must’ve been water once or trees wouldn’t

hang about. See seven sisters and the saucepan –

there used  to be a door.


It is an act of irrigation, out from under radar.

Smile in a shed or smirk half knowing – to do with facts of elsewhere,

what-if, worlds to come and without end. Hear the possums snore.


Sit in dad’s last chair, until one better’s found .

You’ll still think his thoughts. No matter.         No need to split ears

in the place of treaty and scheming. You can be dad yourself. Go on!

Shed’s something we have

long since hatched.          Can’t see the shell though. This is solitary

patch, where one among the eachlings does as all expect.


to England must once have been, forelocks tugged

towards those Thames-shed hulks, whence we digress. What’s past

is makeshift to belief. The lungs abrim, the prod of hearth.

Tin long

to reign over us. Next to the missing number plates, suggestive

of a wreck, imagine the young queen’s purloined portrait

turning of heads who did but see old lottery tickets tucked.


While with three wishes, you’ll admit         a parliament is mainly shed.

Wait for the others to clear out then       spill the vision.  This is the bottom drawer –

democracy of one. You’ll wear your gumboots there because…

To limp’s all right – implies past wounds.


In the gout afflicted shed

a stumble to secret best brew stash or life’s last anchovy. See, shed

is an heroic place – no screens. You wear a singlet and yours are

the human arms in the cage of all the world’s mosquitoes.


O hallowed shed

raised once in penance,

a man could fall to his knees in there

when God is bloke to him.


And cenotaph because the dead. Though they won’t weary you with seeing.

There’s billy boil for fervour steadies. You can sing if there’s a song. Mainly though

an ear out on into the night. Flag can’t be seen inside. That glow from a distance –

next planet. And in the gormless dark, when gremlins come, from miracle

to miracle       a shed’s laid bare.


Dream the secrets

in the big soft chair.

Dream a sun –

it rises.


So many perfections to life. Then death must be perfect too.

It follows, fits.

In shed we dwell on it – there’s time. Rain on the roof’s a kind of proof.

And also it’s a dare.  There’s grief.

Apologies are best framed here. You can rehearse

them on the way because to shed there must be distance. And purpose?

Where’s my stick to point intelligent design?


New fences are imagined, the strainer posts.

Right wire made tight, pumps primed.

Whole kitchens, bathrooms planned.

Effortless overhaul of machines (as it much after seems).


It’s in just such questions the shed survives eternities, transcendent

all sorts. No one can be said to have built it. I call that theology.


If ever one’s knocked down (forbid!), that ground is consecrate

to those of hushed deport who place the spanner by, sight the apt bolt gone.


Though true bottle may bring to the brink, never get maudlin with the beam.

There’s nothing drugs won’t mend. Shed is site of sacrament, covenanted so.


Noah’s building an ark in his shed;

            quod erat demonstrandum –

Flood’s the thing to carry it off.


So each to own sheds are. Some are bone yards, some are tents. There are

museums, crystal palaces, world fairs that no one saw. I’ve heard of sheds

Hiroshima bright with something none should see. Pit bull to guard.

A season or so of shed heads sold, you could retire

and world go hang.


Why bother with the grid?

A blowfly drone’s annoying

but one day it will power the place. The thing just needs

some nutting out. So leave it on the bench.

The peasant

is the king here. Where monarchs tinker with old crowns

no need for revolution.

Nor is there call to rhyme in shed.

You wear whatever pants you like – sarong, sari, jellibayah.


When light tires of the garden, there’re still these leaning posts,

this tarp. Smell of dam water imbues, a pinking of dusk clouds looks in.

Gets all nostalgic for oil and battery acid fumes.

Nights on the turps, just that.


You’ll make your own false idols.  See how a shed

is existential – binning the chocolate wrapper, there’s a sense in which

it never was. Nor does guilt enter into.       Shed itself is graven image

but kind thoughts will Christianize. Hear words with wings unseen in shed.

We won’t call them angels.  The lesson is time’s preciousness,

so go where time won’t reach.


Once out of nature

one shapes the golden bough to sing

exceptions of a proven rule –

such accidents as showers, frogs

goanna, or less – salamander.

By incident of refuge come,

a web is wove baroque perhaps.

But all that grows here is by hand,

else phantom of limb long lost.

A conjuring and tricked together.


Radio pours to the paddock

and this is a heart to heart.


Because the shed’s a mongrel thing, has every mix of paint.

It is best blasphemy against those sainted aunts once set foot.


You can walk out of it pure into the night

Just a puff of breeze between stars and doom

and guess the way we go.



(winner of the Local Award in the Newcastle Poetry Prize for 2013,

another version published in  the 2013 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology)




Too bad that Hammond organ (Earl Van Dyke)

doesn’t have an ah chi attachment. Had it we might

have done a better wheelie, a mile of rubber

& not so flat. And so of course it’s incumbent upon us

to cancel the visitation! Am I the onliest one to be peevish

about your peregrinations? If you’re sincere

(about that ban on surfeit) you’ll stop hugging

Marvin. Puts me in mind of… of what we paid

for those looney tunes for elk kills – Dolor, for the years

of our lives. How long were we at book? At table? Were

we why Gladys got her dander up? Why them hounds

wouldn’t hush when Jesus walked through our door, us

to save for what? To go to Law for succour? Whatever

it is you’re thinking I’d like to think it too. Could

I presume to suggest: that we carry sandwich boards

Don’t bother to knock.

No one home.

Donations gratefully accepted.

Or better: a charity raffle, yours truly the prize.

I was (if you can cast your mind that far back)

quite the gigolo in my day. A pusillanimous

business, that – a waltz with an old girl could feed me

for a week. So swank I stank, my just dessert. Car-

buncular now, a glow-in-the dark dandy with

a cobra-headed cane, if you’d like to slap my wrist

please do. Too bad that baritone sax (Pepper Adams)

doesn’t have a hex on sex attachment. Had it we might

quit whingeing about not having a pot to piss in because

in fact we do – Grandmother Lilly’s chamberpot, sat

beside her bed for years, surely could beside ours. It’s

incumbent upon us to go on a low church crawl, shake off

our horse & buggy attachment to that hunchbacked vicar

who beggared belief, his cup held out for oils good,

bad or indifferent. Too bad that bass (James Jamerson)

doesn’t have an ah shucks attachment. Had it we might

have the grace to quit this rave while we’re, if not ahead,

only a mile or so behind (that wheelie as good as it gets).



October 8, 2013



my cousin graveside began to slip … my mother and I caught her … one on each arm … held her upright on the carpeted ground … she threw red roses into her mother’s grave … my mother and I threw rosemary and lavender stolen from strangers’ gardens … tied with ribbons cut from our clothing … a baby laughed — waved a fat white fist at the rolling sky … the grandsons lowered my aunt into her white sand grave … my uncle’s ashes went with her … unmentioned … it was Mum’s day her second child said … afterwards as we had homemade cakes and sausage rolls prepared by the Anglican Ladies … who stood at the servery window and smiled as we ate…

at the wet dry interface
wind builds sand grains into dunes
waves lick the beach into hard dark wrinkles










squabbling birds around a low shrub:

poets feed on a single blossom


whose mobile telephone chimes Mozart

through a grey cement wall?


millions of our young have died

of brave delusion –


they, who will never face television,

plain age & wisdom.


grapefruit falls from the tree,

skulls bleach in the Sun.


trucks carry cans of coca cola –

counterfeit wine & the blood.




the storm is rising from the South,

buds cast seed in the leeching wind.


why does earth shiver as though

determined to shrug us off?


you laugh & sing as you walk

all the stations of the cross –


that steel chess board bolted in the park,

where have those old men gone?


taut power lines pegs a grey sky

above an indifferent spire.


fat superjumbo rumbles low,

steel fingers probe your ears.


a blind silver eyeball is seeking you

through a bandage of cloud.






That curved path is paved with broken glass

–           Don’t walk on the grass.


This evening I meet my generals

In Allman Park .


We wear old uniforms & stare po-faced

At Private Parrot as he patrols.


A cold breeze whispers from the West,

God’s open toilet door.


At sunset you drink blood from buckets –

The evidence drips in the fountain.



Follow us on LinkedIn