The Flowering

The Flowering

In this female ground a root is struck

stalking the labyrinth near the heart

it pushes through the soil to break the ligature

Of an infant’s supplicating lips

drawing life unto itself in grateful ecstasy.

With soft fingers she finds the swelling bud, disbelieving calls,

“What is this? What is this?”

“We are many, we are legion

we are the blossom of desire,

we are beauty replicated

we are the orchid black the dying rose

we are the chemical product the poisoned node

we are the pill the cure the food the drink

we are everything you feel everything you think.”

Storming the maze turn by turn it sows new beds

Of sickly florae, stamen, stem, leaf by yellowed leaf

The bruised petals falling from the bloom

lying where they fall and blanch

The weeds grow mad with fecund power

All life begins and ends with flowers.



Up and Down the River

Up and Down the River


Tides of clandestine force drag the great brown ribbon

In a diurnal dance over a rolling world

Water hyacinth embroider the surface as if a woman

Squinting in the sultry sunlight had stabbed her needle in and out, in and out

Clumping green nonsense along the moving weft and weave of the wide band.

Morning moves it left evening moves it right, a conveyor belt of water

Pushed and pulled by the calm circulation of moon and tides

Divides the diners on one bank from the workers on the other.

On the river’s edge we eat and drink

A sample of human tribes under the flame trees

With ardent red candles held up to the monsoon sky

Here clouds stack impossibly high

peaking white with light somewhere near God

Dragonflies zizz and zap above the bank their eyes seeing us in millions,

Like human dong, the ridiculous currency of this place.


On the next table four people sit.

She hovers over one, lithe and young against his livered skin.

He impresses her with Snapchat and laughs hoarse as a gander,

A Don Corleone to this little skimmer, oohing over his talk of casinos

And sailing on Sydney Harbour in his yacht.

She has dived and scooped up a golden future with her wide young mouth

And sits like a gannet on his fortune

With a snort another guy gets going, hips locked, tendons tight

From too many years thrusting and lying afterwards

A balding chimpy man, his nads swing in his shorts as he rolls away

Under the flame tree whose candles burn not for him

down to the pontoon of cast aways

where desires rock in the soft caress of the water hyacinths

drifting in verdant islands towed by a force greater than any man’s dreams.




I have been a slacker. To be honest I really lost my mojo in a very big way for a long while to the extent that I packed up my studio and swore never to paint again but what was that except an act of immaturity and self wounding? It was a kind of sand pit moment. Now I have a house to live in again instead of the kind spare rooms of friends and rellies, a good big space to work in in a great country (Vietnam) with  great colleagues I will be back into it. I can feel it happening; the hunger to express, the observations that translate into ideas and images in my mind, the poetry that is starting to happen as well (which I will post here too). I have moved on a bit. Do you think artists have a linear process of creation? I know some that do, some that are entirely free and embedded in a daily passion of creativity. Perhaps for most of us it isn’t that way though because other circumstances take over. I have had a horrendous year in fact and couldn’t for the life of me find my way through it all. Some days I just cried and cried and like my dearest sister who died in 2005 said “Take me now!” It was too hard and yet, here I am on the brighter end of the process grateful for my life, grateful for the people who love me and able to continue.