Bitter brew

March 28, 2016 at 10:53 am | Posted in Poem | 6 Comments
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We’re all out.

Glug, glug, glug, go the dregs

of my dad’s last

home brew.

Not down my throat,

but in the sink.

Testament to

30 years

of continuous


It began as a fine recipe.

With fresh ingredients from a ‘way-out’ 70s

health-food shop

that smelt like nothing else (before or since).

But as people caught on,

prices went up.

So dad started shopping around.

First the hops.

Then the malt.

The sugar.


Bulk buying.

Damaged goods.

All ingredients meticulously re-sourced to shave costs.

The result?

A total price of just six cents a bottle.

Dad’s beer used to be so good, I’d take it to parties.

Fellow teens would gather to marvel at my cooler bag and try a sip.

But as time passed, the beer got leaner and meaner.

Bereft of zest and flavour.

Until I couldn’t drink it any more.

Yet my parents’ thrift paid their home off in just

nine years.

My shop beer costs $6.95 a bottle.

And after 17 years,

my home loan is bigger

than when I began.

Not so smart after all.

Pic by Kristopher Volkman.

Farther lee

September 6, 2015 at 11:37 am | Posted in Poem | Leave a comment
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Parentless husband.

And father to none.

No gift but the present.

The future undone.

Pic by H is for Home.


Bright eyed

May 14, 2015 at 9:40 am | Posted in Poem | 6 Comments
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Greek neighbour phones re

my dead father’s lawn.

A deadly brown thing

manifested at dawn.

‘Maybe he possum …

or maybe he dog.

When you are come here

to take a the look?’

Rain on the freeway.

Pain in my head.

When will I run out

of things to be dead?!

Under the plum tree,

next to the tap.

Your finest form broken

by trauma and snap.

One bright eye skyward,

fresh blood at your nose.

Muscles and tendons

now framing your pose.

My hand in a bag

(might you have the mange?)

But as I approach,

a feeling so strange.

If I touch your paw,

will you leap up and sprint?

I gaze at your iris …

Was that just a glint?!

Could you surprise me

with vigour and bite?

I wait and I hope –

but you died in the night.

I wrap you and bin you

and roll you to kerb.

I’d rather be stroking

that tail so superb.

I go tell the neighbour

and drive home alone.

I wish you’d done 60

in that 50 zone.

Pic by Wildlife Spotter.

Clearing house

May 14, 2015 at 7:08 am | Posted in Poem | 7 Comments
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Dead dad Yahoo note.

‘Your Fun folder is empty.’

Way to sum it up.

The loss of my father

April 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Poem | 8 Comments
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Searching …

He’s with me, physically, in this garish room, but he is gone.

Shut behind a wall of pokies.

Staring fixedly.

Pressing his button.

Eking his way to the next,



This was his idea.

We were to ‘spend some time together’.

Mum was excluded.

Now, alone with him for the first time in years,

so am I.

Shut out from the moment he changes from the machine next to mine.

Looking for

‘the one with the gumboots’.

I scan the soulless devices.

There are no gumboots.

What happened to this man

whom I loved

and thought immortal

for 16 years?


16 more years have passed.

I am stronger, faster and aware

of the dreams and feelings of others.

He can’t even remember accepting the backup disks of my first novel

for safekeeping.

He is a husk.

He is rotting already.

I want to leave.

I look up suddenly from my scrap of paper.

He is walking towards me,


I love him still.

Pic by Newtown grafitti.


July 14, 2014 at 10:16 am | Posted in Poem | 4 Comments
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Holding th eline

Holding the line.



A long, active life – lived to good purpose.

The proof in scars.

A dipping sun gilds fragile bones.

Awkwardly set, but clinging yet.

To this worldly thread.

Brave. Upright.

An iron will holds failing parts.

With fixed stare that daren’t fall.

To the creeping gloom.


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