Monthly Archives: October 2014




But is it so simple, when one is dreaming,

to say where the realm of the animate ends?


Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Reverie




Not a crazy impulse, a deeper kind perhaps: he steers

left instead of right, takes a fire trail that climbs steeply,

leaves it to chance whether he’ll find the un-signposted site

the other side of Finchley Trig.


The air is still and mineral sharp. A cloudless day.

Dry ridges, red gums. Away to the west Mt Yengo.

If he holds his head just so — worn markings in the sandstone platform at his feet

are bodies, rock divinities


whose dwelling spans earth and sky.  Look up, wide, unblinking eyes

see all the days and nights wheel across this point.

Others come here too. Some add scratchy efforts to the weathered forms they find;

like the bulldozer left tracks


all over the face of this rock shelf. He draws breath,

feels for the length of the place. Sandstone, coarse beneath his hand, leaves deep impressions, unfathomed constellations

fade slowly from his palm. It’s not defeat but he no longer resides in his head, is guided by something like a smile.


And all the way to the Colo

alive in its gorge, ridgelines reverberate and the ground

gives with each step. The run and break of a boy,

who spent every spare moment clambering over red gums and rocks.


Struck down by tiny orchids, immaculate-white they nod their heads on slender stems,

sing out to the sclerophyll litter.

A boy made without his knowing to carry a place, to imbibe spare arrangements, particular angles

and as if already known,

the weight and colour of weathered stone, broken canopy, the scent and crackle.


His hand rests on a flesh-pink angophora. A smooth trunk, torqued limbs

reach out, streaked blood-red

with sap; old wounds still ooze. There’s warmth at the middle of him.

It ranges like oxygen, seeks the crown of his head, tips

of fingers and toes; then back into the pores of the rock.





The wound is a heel print[1]

in the infant’s chest

The photo triggers a skirmish


No No –


No No –

Public display/De-sensitizing

No No


Yes Yes –

I am from this country

Yes Yes –

Tell the world

Yes Yes


Facebook duels

Facebook debates

Facebook rages

Shoot the bloodletting

Fire the images across the cosmos

The war on small bodies still wages[2]


[1]From a media image and caption posted on social media

[2]Alludes to the poem Small Bodies published in Red Bird by Mary Oliver (Bloodaxe Books 2008)

Our first grade teachers and Chicken Little had it right about homeland insecurity.

Our first grade teachers and Chicken Little
had it right about homeland insecurity.

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