Tag: nature

untitled haibun

Ferried by the wind, salt shoots up my nose. Blasts of air, not sparing in their rhythm crawl over my skin and I pain for water. Untrammelled waves crush any sand that lays crumbling on the beach. I see the man I was with last night – a half-smoked cigarette pendulous in his mouth like a secret.

He is still. As though he is stranded and doesn’t know where to go; not sure about how to spoor one foot in front of the other, or even how to breathe. The cigarette recedes to his lips and he spits it onto the sand. I don’t know who he is.

I walk to the bedroom, my eyes drop to the sheets and remember – nodding at the colours that I know have seeped through to the mattress. Worry abates, curiosity turns my lips upward. The wind swathes between the terrace door and the kitchen table. I walk to where the kettle clings to the bench, closer to the edge than I would like. I push it back, smell him behind me and drop my head.

Salt on skin
like raw sugar
yet not sweet at all


There is no indecision.

Just the untangling of hair

you manage to do so elegantly

just as your door rises akimbo to the air.


The clang of chain takes a crack

at chipping away your softness,

but nothing can touch you.


You graft to my pupil; that absence of fear

swimming in your eyes; sailing on your skin

to a gentler harbour.


Urban cowboy – smile a tripwire.

Some mornings you are quiet in stare,

cutting a lonely figure, looking past what is in front of you

(restless rivers run deep)

and there are days your body lopes,

moving around all limber like you’ve just walked out of the ocean,

having washed away time-worn algorithms

by holding your breath under water until the panic becomes peace.




The heels of my boots skip across asphalt to cross the road.

Stain my neck with your wine soaked mouth, pour milk into my coffee,

hoist me onto the table in the cantina –

layering up my skirt and ruining my finery.


Do you sell boxfuls of faith?

Because you’re almost here, but just about gone.

Or do I kiss you from a tree, sticky with pregnant fruit

only to fall into your ripened hands?

Poem in Cordite Poetry Review

As promised, here is the link to my poem in the latest Cordite Poetry Review. Cordite’s guest poetry editor for ‘Interlocutor’ is prolifically gifted poet Libby Hart, who has been extensively published. Add poetry prizes, grants, fellowships and residencies to the mix and you can gather some idea of Libby’s handsome collection of writing. Here is a snippet of her editorial:

‘Poetry can act much in the same way. It beavers away quietly and then, when it’s ready, it perks up and listens. It sits up and wants to speak. Poetry can be shrill like a boorish woman. It can be mean like a stray cat in the alley. It can be tired, unwanted and looking for a bite to eat, much like the man who came by here last Sunday afternoon. It can be gentle and polite or layered as an onion. Or an opinion. Whatever poetry may be, it has personality. It has a voice that speaks endlessly of the world and how we experience it. And although I write ‘voice’, I mean voices. I mean diversity. I mean array.’

‘Interlocutor’ floods its readers with all manner of outstanding prose, reviews, critique, interviews and even recordings. Now, finally – here’s the link to ‘After Janus’. Enjoy!



Do you remember dashing through sheaves of pampas grass

until we were in that breathless light?

Milling through the darkness with frayed hope;

our hands still with pallid knuckles of rural decay.


An umbilical tug of energy – tender and unsettling.

We passed bridges like blood lines

where ducks freckled the water plain,

gliding and sending a sonar signal across that Adam’s ale.


Birds shook from the trees and the wind scalped our skin like a tin roof in a cold wind.

With a hunters moon and arrows on our back for the night,

there was an anarchy of feeling in our bones and I said,

‘Go, and when you come back, bring the world with you.’


You found pieces of us so we could sleep on feathers and fear,

kneading breath and water; serving air and platitudes.

a fine education

I want to find a body; learn it like a map.

Bones, skin, veins – all leading to a midpoint,

with a laconic walk to the core on a trail nobody knows about.

The elegant curvature of clavicles pushing through skin

then a dutiful SNAP.


Common chunks of bone, hanging with meniscus and snapped nerves

like the blade of a butcher’s knife.

I want to name insects that I sight.

I want to drift on indifference, just so you look at me with your

letterbox slits of eyes and cat’s asshole of a mouth.




I want to scatter your stones on a pock-marked riverbed

where all you have is knots of bird shit for company.

I will:

cut down your teeth,

strip your skin of oil,

strap your ugly mouth so you stay silent forever.


I will:

sew your hands together so you cannot pray,

and when you try, your palms will breed blisters,

that will pulse and weep with your sour juice.


Like the cutting of a quick,

you will be a blood filled gap

where something important used to be.