A flower surprises from the stoneworkmossgrows on a wall ‘How do we live in ruins?’ Rootsentwine and tangle upa vineclambers through a roof ‘A magical place.’ A treesoars up from the loungebirdsflit through the rafters ‘Retain heritage.’ A brookburbling by the windowsa breezetumbles through the trees ‘It’s a dance.’ Treesrotten and old fallsunlightinvades and burnsContinue reading “Place”

Basic Mathematics

1 + 1 = 2Me plus youThis is nothing newWe knew But something’s missingFor you to forceThe issueWhat’s true? You don’t love meWhen I don’t let youHave your way You hate meWhen IHave my say By the way, I’ve been thinkingOf what happenedYesterday I was downDrowningCrying and frowning Never lashed outOrCast you in doubt ButContinue reading “Basic Mathematics”


While I wasn’t lookingI learned a new word todayIt popped up in a most unexpected way Still trying to discern the originOf such an unpleasant toneUnawares since I was a child it’s grown ‘We cannot know before we know’I often taught my studentsAnd I now I have the sense Of contemptBrutalColdDetached ContemptMaternalFamilialSocial Still puzzled atContinue reading “Contempt”

Whiteout at Te Papa Tongarewa

‘He protected the settlers from the Maori’SettlersInvading Maori landsShowing no respectKeeping no wordBreaking loreBetraying all ‘You see your new homeland for the first time’Which is someone else’s homeWhich you were not invited to visitWhich your government took with lies and violenceYou step ashore ecstatic to be aliveIgnorant of who stepped ashore before ‘The inter-tribal fightingContinue reading “Whiteout at Te Papa Tongarewa”


The towers are short and somewhat stubbyThey haven’t the money to build like JapanTowers fingering at the cloudsClouds flowing about the tips of buildings Look out the window!Not gray concrete and icy windowsGreen parks wet with rainAnd the clouds – the sky! – flows by close by. Mount the bike and peddle up the hillWhat’sContinue reading “City”

The Ethics of Silence

What you’re finding with all this side-liningis a dangerous repression ofrealityso stop your crying and just beminding your own business No one likes a cry baby and heywe all got our problems Shut your mouth and play by the rulesthe rulesthe rulesand say nothing scary Climbing outta the gravebeing bravemonsters lurking in your caveterrifyingyou back inContinue reading “The Ethics of Silence”

In Between

Fight for diversity at your peril. Many people, regardless of skin colour or heritage, have vested interests in maintaining segregation. I am not one of them.Truth Telling. Dignity. Courage. I want these to be the defining characteristics of Australian society.

Lesson at the Yorkian

Luka Lesson takes the stage and you can already feelPages turning in his mind as he recites with powerThe ages we’ve waited to hear these lines Live it is with ‘May Your Pen Grace the Page’Delivered to the crowd they grow loud and cheerTo the rhymes that clear the message through the voices Ringing throughContinue reading “Lesson at the Yorkian”


Given the timeto produce a rhymesaying with grace andkeeping rhythm in time Find the path to say the ideasthat everyone hearsin their soulsthe vision sears Through the yearswe find new partsin our heartsand make new starts Making arttakes timewe sayit’s mine Me is on the pagegoing into your earand through your mindyou find Nothing queerbetweenContinue reading “Connected”