Rosemary

There is a dead rosemary growing out of the Cafe table, dried silvery and leaning. It’s a victim of the vogue for indoor greening. Planted in a corner, where it is too sheltered. Rosemary is a full-sun kind of plant and its paused form is expressive of this love.…

Bubble Man

There is a man making bubbles by the Archibald fountain in the park — a street entertainer drawn here by the crowds. In this place at the northern end of the park all the pathways converge and the sound of water announces the confluence, a pedestrian eddy of suits, tourists, joggers,…

Antenatal Classes

[a nativity poem in three trimesters] The First Trimester Miriam’s chromosome in courting spirals Embraces another, such an other — an unfathomable Y. All the junk, viral, evolutionary, specific, sanctified, elected, DNA of humanity in his threadbare pockets. An utterly adopted son. A why of Adam and of Miriam’s…

The Dancer

[For Nat, 3 years old] Morning for me is all about weight. I rise and balance myself on the precipitous edge of the bed, teetering there and staring down into the day, feeling the flesh take hold. Gravity sucking on my bones. Bureaucratic little mind voice already listing off the…

Bed

I read to him most nights. His freckled abandonment to life now absorbed in other worlds, eyes searching out that uniquely human distance, seeing and witnessing. Hiding behind his hands to peep out at the unseen when it threatens our adventurers. Three stories, sometimes five, sometimes only one if Rabbit…

How a tree waits

Leaves don’t fall. Not in any straightforward sense. You really get a sense of this if you watch widely, unfocus that point in the centre of your looking and gaze from the sides of your eyes. Delight your peripheral vision. Wait for the great exhalation to pass over an…

An Essay on Lent

I. It’s the time of year when we awake from the drowsy hedonism of summer and jump to our feet, only to glimpse our plans and projects getting away from us. The year is getting into swing. There is a rhythm, like a Dave Brubeck time signature, but you…

Words Between Us

For Nat, turning 2. I. It seems to me that, given the course of things, years will come when words will be no obstacle but catching each others’  meaning more than ever will elude. That’s my intuition anyway and I believe it has some claim to a foundation in…