Inches away from millimetre perfect


Hanging around in Melbourne pubs and clubs in the 1980s, being cynical and feeling sorry for myself. Ah, to be in my early thirties again! Not!



Teenage fashion junkies
Playing poor
Fifty dollar hairdos
Labels on their pants

Hip shack rhythms collide
Push through the sweat
Women yawn together
In the breaks

They wait for the split
When boy meets girl
Wishes of fulfillment
Played out on the dance floor

Coats on stranger’s tables
Melting glasses left
To stand bereft
Throb of disco calls

Ears and necks offer
Glitters of fleshy bait
For the bodies below
Cynicism blocks easy flow

Too many night clubs
Around the world
Make the watcher wary
Everything’s a game

Time loses meaning
Lust remains the same
Dancing video sets the pace
Tempts awkward dancers

With existence
In another place


Stars in the carpet


(Bronte space thoughts 2012)


Vacuuming stars at midnight
From a grubby seaside carpet

Nick Drake background hums
My seventies London soundtrack

Feel sixteen at sixty-one
Rushing fast to sixty-five

Single bed room
Sanctuary and prison

Full creative life
Empty of passion

Put away childish things
Time to be a proper man

Right.


Bermuda Palms


In 1977 I spent 9 months in Bermuda programming and installing a database for an international insurance company. I worked hard and played harder in those days. I also spent a fair amount of time alone and introspective, observing stuff. Like palm trees.


Who do the palms wave at
When the wind blows cool
With the rain slanting down?

Is it washing dancing on the line
To a private sunshine tune?

Or a bedraggled puppy
Racing home in soggy confusion?

Are they just moving their bodies
To nature’s ancient rhyme?


Smoke in the darkness


(Bermuda race riots 1977)


Smoke in the darkness

Unspoken fears
Bubble to the surface
Like scum or hatred

Anger blows away

Illusions of friendship
Reveals another racist

Jungle bunny talk

Makes me want to vomit
Out the unctuous stench
Of misplaced white pride


Understanding “sweet sorrow”


Ah, love and loss and heart ache. Where would poets be without it! Better now thanks. Twenty year old poem that still works, I think. Feel free to shoot me down in flames if needed.


She’s gone
Through the aperture
A last glimpse
Then
She’s gone

Tears at the airport
Happy kind of crying
Home in an hour
Found the I-love-you-stones
Just on departure time

Later in the bathroom
Blubbed a bit
Having a leak
Looking at the shower cap

Then her toothbrush
Her henna shampoo
The telltale towel

Not to forget
The well placed
Hairy hair bands
Around the doorknob

Remind me daily of her absence
From this place
Yet her presence in my life


springs cumming – november 1983


Living in Melbourne in the early eighties, I became obsessed with the poet e.e. cummings for a while … this is my stumbling attempt at his style.


captivated

by smiles gestures and rubbings

he was

funny

when it happens along

i thought

when you least expect it

and

straightens your back

with a spring

in your step

into spring


Day-Glo Daze


Re-worked this timeless oldie … images and observations from a northbound road trip to join a hippy sports day in a distant valley.
I made it up about the hob-nailed thongs! 


Day-Glo spacy waistcoats
white overalls hobnailed thongs

modern rural highwaymen
armed with stop/go signs

bright pink earthmovers
make a night-bright sight

stunning moonrise on the full
achingly cold mud puddles

Day-Glo orange Frisbees
scorch the long emerald grass


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