Small dark waterlogged curls bounce
glued to the swill of the sea’s tongue.
The blue skin stretches out for birds
banking through the spray, such pilots
using supreme skill to steer
13,000 kilometres are now heading south
to breed, still flying at full speed
though only half their weight,
leaving the weakest to fall behind
and wash up as flotsam for a beach burial,
reminding us that some truth lurks in
Spencer’s phrase “survival of the fittest”.

Avignon games_sm

Beneath our feet rank the ancestors, seams of gold, anonymous children, buttons buried in the dirt
and off-the-shoulder desire kneeling, not in obeisance or prayer
but for a better take on what time discards – from hand to mouth eyeing the mime of a fledgling sparrow.

The art of mechanical reproduction has collapsed; binary thrives on Moore’s Law.
Not being deterministic, but technological triumphalism is in danger of halting the heartbeats of birds
and drowning the vast armies of microbes that are so very hungry.

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Stanley Spencer in Urunga

                                                                                           Dec 2012


Cicada, Urunga cemetery

As we drove in a small mob of roos bound into the trees,

we were birding but the cicadas’ unified lexicon of noise

pulsing regular crescendos made that difficult, so I shot the graves.

Farthing Urunga cemetery

. . . as if this is a dream foisted on you, leaving you bereft, bereaved . . .

beside an old dandelion flower and faded artificial bloom

once daffodil-yellow an angel has fallen fast asleep.


Urunga Angel

I would be buried here, crumpled on top of you as anywhere else.

After a quarter of a century we still share the same bed

but often begin dreaming with our backs turned for sleep’s solitude.

Seperate beds

Angels peek out at the living, and farm animals, a mysterious blend

of fiction and reality. The world is as real as plastic

a currency unknown to any other species

Urunga Angels


cow Urunga cemetery

The dead are deaf. At what stage is medical intervention

to be withheld, or the divine sought? Stanley Spencer

wheels his pram up the dirt road to this cemetery

Sea view

with a view of the lagoon and sea, and paints the resurrection

of locals like Clarence, Lawrence, Florrie, Pearl, Ethel,

Madge, Agnes, Steve and ‘Bud’ emerging in clean white shifts.

Steve RIP

They don’t know what’s happening at first

and stumble around like zombies in a horror movie,

it must be a rush of blood or something. 

Urunga cemetery



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