things

The long bones of my fingers
and the thin skin of their tips

and the pink cloth around my pelvis
and my knees cold on the floor

and the bare face of my belly
and my fat nude lips

and the plastic christmas conifer
and all the things I didn’t like

and the noise of the kids next door
and the phone lying silent and blank

and the laptop and the laser copier
and the list of Things To Do

that doesn’t include
make love

First published in Love Poetry 2014 (WA Poets Inc)

quite a thing

To stay warm, I burn
living and fossil wood,
dry leaves and sticks of dung
I smoke my lungs to black lace

For eons cool Earth
has tried to chill me out
as I sit at the firepit
in my charcoal clothes

If I asked, she’d let me
be the wheel in her water,
the panel in her sunshine,
the turbine in her wind

But a woman who doesn’t smoke
is missing something, and I
have quite a thing
for fire

(From lemon oil)

At Diamond Creek

Only this, the blue whisper of the leaves
and strips of pale bark
hanging high by the creekbed,
quiet, decorative, inconsequential, only

this, the black flower that blossoms
in the chest of a woman
until she can no longer breathe,
until her voice becomes

silently strangely sneakily
slowly this, the blue whisper of the leaves
and strips of pale bark
hanging high by the creekbed,

quiet, decorative, inconsequential,
awaiting the next storm of flames.

(From lemon oil)

The test pilots

The moon is a piece of rock in the sky.

One watches through locked glass
as the other shuts a steel door and drives,
under the black sky,
under the moon that is a piece of rock,

that couldn’t feel the test pilots
brushing its surface,
taking some samples,
planting a flag.

The moon is not a place to stay:
it’s a place to visit,
and you’d better have your spacesuit on
or the lack of pressure and air
will kill you.

But go.
I recommend it.

It’s breathtaking there
under the black sky
on the untrodden moon.