Tanka

5 November 2016
in European
winter the crows sound alike –
mocking, and angry
they speak their minds for us all
“I’m only just hanging on!”

2 November 2016
In the bus window
the floating woman at street
level, looks away,
disconsolately alone.
Her Art Deco sunset weeps.

29 October 2016
Learning about The
Decemberists. Listening
to Colin Meloy
sing Morrissey and bemoaning
the weakening of tea.

29 July 2016
Hilary Mantel
slowly leaving the packed plane
in my back pocket. Blue jeans:
everybody soon standing;
suggestive of narratives.

30 March 2016
from the air, cities
like feather stars creep slowly –
a pulsing landscape
that, directionless, consumes
hope…as if it were the sea

18 March 2016
If this rain don’t stop
Bury me with my bookshelves
So I have a tale
To read as the ship goes down
As the light, fantastic, trips

13 November 2015
The Spangled Drongo
Seeking shelter from the rain
Quiet, suspicious
Of the unfolding terror
Striking at our scared hearts

21 September 2015
lights go out, briefly
thumbs like desperate insects
sunglasses aglow –
the passage of time, nothing
people on the train, nothing

16 July 2015
July Santa Claus
Peeking through the glass
The cheeky wattle
A stylish fringe of yellow
Decaying through the ages

12 April 2015
the telephone pole
unbending in the gale force
wind; wooden, old and mindful –
like a silent secret monk
flicking sand without a care

20 January 2015
The wolf at my door
Bringing the morning in his
Ornate, snuffling maw –
At my feet day breaks apart
Whispering impossible

9 December 2014
The bug, smaller than
the letter ‘d’ it lands on;
illiterate and
hungry – lost in some Utah
only the Beats know about

17 November 2014
Photos of handshakes
Police in a rent-a-truck
Into another tropic
The fencing evaporates
Everything like a dream

13 October 2014
Just like this poem
Makes only a small attempt –
Tightness in his chest
Catastrophising again
Syllable by syllable

10 October 2014
I didn’t turn to
booze (much) as I thought I might
when the swift end came
Instead, I turned to tiny hearts
in large and colourful forests

12 April 2014
Costa fiasco
The compost in the spotlight
A secret no-chin
declares his schedule full
Ministers at the cafés
Gloomy with the worms

24 February 2014 (currently submitted for publication)

23 February 2014
Trapped in history,
a heart’s broken as rain falls.
Written in the stars,
the happy future self is;
though the sun refuses it.

4 January 2014
In the baking heat
Poems unfold humanly
Hesitant at first
As if air fully made them
Likely to forget their flesh

For pre-2014 tanka, visit my former website