Street after street held back in unanimity
drowned in brick and tile containment
flat suburbs of white bread television stupor
droning and drowsing out to the rivermouth.
That paradoxical question from philosophy:
How to live?
Above, the sky is radiant with risk
turning shadows, luminous glances, break
throughs in motion, charge and discharge.
And if I was
and without echo, the mirror in my skull falling
away — dimensions swallowed
sensation voiceless, stilled, diminishing
The broken suitcase, the ladder
a whole neighbourhood quieted
night forcing its way down nerve paths
to the eyes. full, lithe
On the driveway of my own house
looking forward rather than back —
the car locked in its carport
lighted windows reach out
stars that compete with countless cities
with the spun thread of story.
Step back into the old self, jarring return
hard to ignore that void
— the day careless, brightening.
Mount Coot-tha staked with television masts
a parrot, a flash of colour superimposed.
Pale-headed, its cobalt wings
rearrange to brief respite on a backyard fence
top wire quivering slightly.
The morning air held, like breath expectant
not even a distant lawnmower
where the river dawdles along pockets
shifts past the point
then out, out of sight, under the bridge.
You’ll come to cliffs
with equipment laid out: ropes, harnesses,
other tackle and instruction
shouted from the rim.
But first you must stand on the river path
searching for footholds in your mind
for a way through
to a vision of self, climbing like morning
The pale-headed parrot balances
lacking the effort required
to lift from entropy
— gravity reaction sleep, poised on cyclone
wire in the misfires of its boundaries
all pleasures held a moment
Or a map — alive
no different than forgetting
hurt held together by dust,
ashes mingled with spit and blood to carry
in our heads, to navigate the day
The body fails
there is no guarantee of semblance.
Biomechanics conceal rougher modulations
electro-chemical properties of matter
that fail to shape the poetics
will alter absolutes
The substance of the earth, the figuration of sky
the realm between
where we believe
the indivisible self in disarray
as time erodes, disorders, without repair
pivot tipping, trapped by desire
to be of some other clay.
at unbroken coastline an incoming tide
sea-edge at the moment of imperceptible turn
nothing is settled
Listen now for the wind to elide
instead it picks up. Stencil clouds jostle
within an empty frame. As if the body’s interlocutor
is free from its own weight or responsibility
— until flesh forgets
to pressure surrounding air.
None of it need be
A wholeness ghost-limbed or absent
gets caught in the machinery
tongues fail or fade and birds in half-light
colourful, silent, hardly known.
I risk my body to
a pharmacopoeia of change
blinded certainty that buffets against closure
the mirror searches for reflection
new-made — on water (in others’ eyes)
light pools collect under cloud gap
rainfall already passing
the air in motion
A man paddles past on a bicycle
a stream of cars
yellow flash silver flash
words spray painted under bridges
a differential is at work
skin shuttered against itself
a horizon few dare recognise
We take leave of ourselves
then cannot follow
Each of us unfinished
will not survive our own upheavals
the rescue trace
of boundaries mapped by others.
I’m capturing pixels
photons as they hit the plane of the lens
an idea that shape-shifts
ever-absent, ceded to and distracted
— birds make song pathways in air.