A better pen

I want a better pen.

This one came from a chainstore packet dozen.
Its cheap opaque plastic hides its ink
and its barrel is too narrow for my hand.

Its medium point is sadly blunt.
It’s rough, sluggish,
dragging its ball:

it doesn’t dance. I want
a well-built fine-point,
grip-milled, translucent.

I have a particular brand in mind.
They’re difficult
to find.

First published in Positive Words

Writing Powerful Poetry workshop 17 May

A student once asked me, ‘When I read a great poem, I feel something. Why?’ This workshop will focus on some of the answers to that question. Learn how to express emotions in your poems. See how great poets manipulate words to make magic and mystery. Find out how form creates feeling. We’ll read and discuss a selection of published poems, and get inspired to write our own. Whether you’re a curious beginner or already well-versed, you’re sure to have fun. Don’t forget your writing materials!

Sunday 17 May 2015
Peter Cowan Writers Centre
1:30-4:30pm
$38 for Centre members, $48 for non-members
Please book with the Centre

welcoming teeth

In the glass-shielded propaganda frame
mounted on the bulkhead
of the driver’s
compartment

a carefully-chosen chubby bloke-next-door
is white     in a uniform     straight     smile

I can almost smell his
cheap aftershave

Someone else
has risked the cameras
to rim his welcoming teeth
with crimsonned lips

First published in Uneven Floor

A bricklayer

He starts at seven with the others, warming up
in the cool shade before the sun surmounts the trees,
radio chattering, playing songs he knows.
He begins a new line. The mortar, right mix
of cement and sand, lies heaped like mousse on the board.
Lifted, distributed, lifted, distributed, then levelled
with one long light sweep of the trowel.

Each brick weighs just one brick
and fits his hand. Brick
buttered, placed, tapped, and softly swiped; brick
buttered, placed, tapped, and softly swiped; brick
buttered, placed, tapped, and softly swiped; brick
buttered, placed, tapped, and softly swiped; brick
buttered, placed, tapped, and softly swiped:
he signs each brick with the necessary flourish.

He makes the ancient movements evenly.
His arms and neck and chest. His back and legs.
The wall
rises,
rises,
rises,
and is done.
Long after he is gone the house will stand.

First published in The Mozzie