Gypsy Driver


From the days when I drove taxis in the Sydney nights. When mikes were live and we talked to the operator. When we didn’t wear grubby uniforms and cash was king.


Skirting another peer group,
Avoiding another clique,
The party round continues as he left it years ago.

Manic panic weekend living,
Crowded driving solitude,
Cruising the neon nightscape.

Ferrying the stranded and the loaded,
Taking their money with a smile,
A quick-change conversation to the meter’s ticking tune.

Two-way voices static his dreams,
Wrapped in the smoky cockpit,
Trapped behind the wheel.

Visions of urban mansions,
Myths on the edge of town,
Peopled by frightened ciphers jogging home in gloom.

Faced with traps of security,
Lighting another smoke,
He cracks a crooked smile and cruises vacant into the night.

Another gypsy driver chasing the moon.

Eastgate


Here’s one for my mates in the old neighbourhood … Bondi Disfunction.


Eastgate they call it
But that’s just a name

Down home and funky
Where real folks roam

Not like its neighbour
Smarty pants Westfield

Upmarket and spunky
Where names are chains

Chrome gloss enticement
On levels and floors

Flashy visual excitement
In half-empty stores

_______________________________________________________

Sad smiling Aphrodite


An attempt at a poem in the referential academic style.
You know, like the consumptive poets of previous centuries who seemed to have to make classical allusions in their poems. Taking the piss, really.

But it is a kind of love poem.


Returning home to no Penelope
I’m no Agamemnon
Armageddon leaves me for dead

Again the observer

I watch

Time’s myths unwind

Sad smiling Aphrodite
In limbo from Thebes

Homeless and humbled
Caught in Love’s plot

Down from the mountains
Lost to the sea
Facing the jungle
Bluestones of steel

Tiresias is learning
The price of sight
Razor sharp options
Limit his choices

Blinded for truth
A snake in the grass
Feels for his breasts
Gets it all wrong


Men in Tracksuits


Another one from the vaults, reworked and updated. I have no idea what it means!


men in tracksuits tell you lies
their shadowy shades
reflect your eyes

fast talk street merchants
with brave moustaches
menace mentally into your life

immaculate misconceptions
werewolves dripping suspicion
space invaders with cell-stories
mingled whiffs of incarceration

theme intruders in your dreams
clumsy storm troopers
of the digital ages

never trust men in tracksuits
driving fast with vacant steel eyes
skimming the edges

bringing the bad boys into your life
bringing the bad boys into your life


La Donna Maria


Until about three years ago I had been living for twenty years in a small beach-side suburb not a million miles away from Bondi Beach.

This poem is an attempt to pay recognition to a wonderful woman who has been living there on the beachfront for far longer than me. Everyone is touched by her. Respect.


Enigmatic twinkling and stylish
Describable only in sound bites
She gives and receives respect
Throughout the sleepy village

Generous open-hearted and kind
Bearing pain with stoic bravery
Shares her patronage with all
Tells their futures in espresso

Defiantly on the Jarmusch diet
Air and cigarettes and coffee
Fragile and powerful at once
Links us all to a receding past


Punt Road Bus


This one I started in about 1980 when I was being a down and out unemployed actor in Melbourne. In my early thirties, the usual themes of urban alienation and confusion are apparent!


Sitting down the back of the bus
Peering through the glaring dust
Trying to get to feel and taste
What it’s like alone in the waste

Above the freeway.

Oh Collingwood
Where are your arteries?
Oh Collingwood
Where are your veins?
The demon’s armouries
Won’t free your chains

Walk along the street
Eat fast frozen meat
Join the lunchtime march

For an hour of illusion
Moomba confusion
Society’s delusion

I’m a taxi-truck aimed at your heart.

… and the Army’s on parade!


Blue Dayz


This is one from the vaults. A friend was experiencing a bad case of the blues.

I wrote this poem to share with her and others my experience of the black dog’s bite.


bull aligns with ox
projects are on hold

make dreams happen
channel abundance

survival mode sux

black dog prowls
snarling
nips at vulnerability

then bites down hard

beyond the blue daze
we look back for clues
grateful for love support
gentle kicks in the arse

triumph mode roars

happy dapper chappies
give it all to all
and it’s worth it

make dreams happen


Our Island Prince



Sitting on the sand with my evening smoke

Watching the surfers at the end of the day

Spotted the prince of the sea gliding alone on the edge

Majestic on his birthday mal in his hibiscus shorts

Brown body and glistening mane

unfettered by suited protection

So different

from the tide of darting penguin wasps surrounding him

Flipping and flopping in the churning tide

‘til they catch a wave

Then these teenage aerialists excel

like acrobats on their little boards

While the sea prince floats languidly in his element

A resplendent ocean liner surrounded by pilot boats

Waiting for a nice big fat one out along the edge


Wham



Speeding towards fifty

Trying really hard

to avoid patterns

from my past

Half-read Mars & Venus

learning how to listen

without calls to action

talking through feelings

listening to her needs

Opted for commitment

Then – WHAM – out of the blue

live across the wires

across the ocean

She’s got another playmate

so I’m on my own again

She’s connected with her birthplace

enchanted by its spell

found a worthy playmate

so I’m on my own again