Friday, April 20, 2018

Mallee Sunset

She knew the tide burned emerald ripples
when clouds froze diamond thought,
rivers harmonised distant moonscapes
and forests hummed futures bought.

He lost a fancy in his haste
and dazzled a cobblestoned alley,
then splashed through bowtied streams
all the way to the dusty Mallee.

They met under a ruby moon
somewhere east of the end of nowhere,
their hearts softly braided with
starlit threads lit ruby fair.

Now when sunset seas blaze
and night fields laze in the breeze,
they stroll past memories hanging
in sapphire galleries of dreams.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


I fight the temptation
to be all things to

I lie to myself that
I'm all things to

I love the thought that
I'm all things to

I drift through a universe where
I'm all things to

I don't think
I'm all things to

I know it's foolish to state
I'm all things to

I'm a fool.

In perpetuity

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Napoleon's Hat

The emperor sits upon his rearing horse
stage draped with blood red curtains,
his face is wooden
a puppet's face
his horse a statue
a theatrical prop
lacking the grotesqueness of Guernica
lifeless as a five centime piece.

This world is closed as any
scene in high theatre,
frozen, stylised movement
action without consequence
remote as a suburban street.

Napoleon's hat drifts above the scene
removed from the stage,
a discarded relic
just another lonesome cowboy
his blood is cold,
cold as greasepaint when the curtain falls
the lights die
and the performance is over.

(From a painting by Fiona Jeffrey, 1994)

Friday, February 02, 2018

Moreland Road

My great grandmother's California bungalow was
filled with dark corners and mystery,
Victorian tapestries of Arab scenes and
tall vases depicting Chinese landscapes,
bric-a-brac scattered across every surface
from every corner of the globe,
a Leipzig piano in the front lounge
serenaded by heavy couches,
a grandfather clock in the hall.

The stained glass windows in the
front double doors dimly lit the hall,
and the two bedrooms were dark,
places only for sleep with chamber pots
under the bed and dark wood wardrobes
for clothes.

The kitchen lived in an earlier century,
although a gas stove graced the the window
next to the sink and a formica 50s table
stood proudly on vinyl tiles.
The chair abutting the wall boasted a potty

The fireplace in the sitting room was modern
and burned briquettes,
magic castles of red and orange flame...
there was even a small black and white TV where I
was allowed to stay up late on a Friday night and watch
Deadly Ernest's B grade horror movies,
lying on an ancient chaise lounge while
my great grandmother
sat in her chair and smiled.

The back door led to a porch which hung over
a long backyard littered with sheds and outbuildings,
a double dunny and woodshed half way to the back fence
faced sheds housing treasures acquired and discarded over decades,
seaman's chests
cylinder phonograms,
boxes of cylinder recordings,
old bikes,
rusted tools, saws and scythes,
dead hand mowers blades long dulled,
books eaten by silverfish and moths,
treasures to a young boy's imagination.

My great grandmother's California bungalow
in Moreland Road West Brunswick
was long ago knocked down and replaced by
cheap townhouses,
the front verandah bulldozed and
privet hedges razed.

Memories float into the clouds with the asbestos
dust of loss.

Friday, January 26, 2018


a new day blooms
as lightening splits the sky

my lover sleeps through
but I feel a pale regret
for lips not kissed
for limbs not stroked
for breasts not caressed
for love not consumed.

She sleeps restless as
humidity steals breath,
breezes licking our skin
from the fan in the ceiling.

I lie and dream
of softness entered.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Logic of Love

When he thought about syllogisms
he twisted the assumption and
didn't think about illogic.

All people are kind therefore we are
all kind of people,
but this is false since not all people are kind
nor are kind people therefore...

Something is wrong in the hills
where the trees die,
when butterfly wings flap in
a cold wind like defunct flags
if clowns smile promises.

You don't laugh like you used to
and grass seems paler,
streets are filled with suits and skirts
but you don't wear them.

You're not there,
a wisp flowing down tram tracks,
a taste of
cold logic hard love.

Her Necklace Glistening

Inspiration is not worth the perspiration
of justification denied red-headed lovers
licking wax,
turned into candlesticks
flickered flame flashing.

She had flowing dark hair
tied back with a red ribbon
luck was her fancy but
he was not home when
she was found,
her tears a necklace

He stared with red-ribboned
vacant inside
then touched a tear drop
and moistened his lips,
then kissed her eyelids
as the night closed.

Her Lover

Her lover vanished in velvet
soft lips
subsumed by silken hair
and tender fingers
consumed by eyes which
knew his depths.

Her lover lost himself
on a plateau of ecstatic regret
wandered along her limbs
until he faltered as her
gates opened and his
world spun madly across her valleys.

Her lover roamed her wilderness
a madman wrapped in
cloaks of brilliantine desire
stroking her cheeks
while stars whizzed around
her galaxies of love.

Then they slept together
in a bed of feather light.


is a polysyllabic word
too long to use in casual

is mostly defined as
an existing power structure,
'The Man'.

enables entrenched interests
to maintain authority over

can be a subtle influence
on perceptions and values,

dictates opinion but
opinion is not determined by

is opposed to opinion
and opinion reinforces establishment
so we become

in my opinion.

So I cut Establishment and
let loose the cats of wail
blow the walls of agate
scream the screed of shadow.

The break
turned into muddy flowers...
follows an incomplete
by a bespectacled frog
the true brain of
the swamp.

Look to the skies for
missile trails
but forget our love of
mottled blazing shades of red
could well be nuclear debris.

Shut up!
There's nothing more to say
when butterflies cry and
seeds fail to climb
to a dying sun
in her coruscating pyramid of


New Year

Cheers to the new year
as the old year fades
to well earned oblivion.

Brightness is our hope
but experience shrugs
with 20/20 hindsight vision.

Promise leads the way to
swishing waves on the beach,
light reftracts through the prism.

Truth is a whisky dream
but still flowers bloom in an
obscure life-giving mission.

So let's dance the Milky Way
and watch celestial fireworks,
may we be all love driven.

Christmas Day

Christmas is a series of freeways
with traffic forever changing lanes

Wrapping paper blows across
the road

I grip the steering wheel
and think of pudding

as the bay seduces me with
blue beauty

and the vineyards clamber
across festive hillsides

someone has left bags of rubbish
outside the gates of their farm

Wrapping paper blows across
the road.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Rose Wept Dew

When I plucked a rose
dappled with dew
I saw the face of
a lover I knew.

When I breathed
your perfume in
a boyish lark
there was no
possible smart remark
to make.

When you danced
upon my grave of dreams
and saw the rose wilt,
all hope left
our reflected lake
too late.

Lost faces laughed
without care
as you smiled at
at an inner joke
so true, fair and cruel.

But I made peace
with your yoke
neck stretched
across that failed pew,
beauty fled while
the rose wept dew.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Suburban flower
I see in your yellow teardrop petals a
universe sly as the glint in a magpie's eye
your flower symphony
epitome of beauty with a
hint of mortality
final encore beneath a rising tide
of marching antennae astride
housing estates of the future
razor wire and concrete walls
anomie of backyard bonhomie
hope abandoned among dead gums
barbecue of dreams
lifeless minds with TV screens.

She saw nothing special in orderly rows
brick by brick building a wall of solitude
mortared with guilt
watered with tears
demolished forests replaced with fear
longing for destiny
mystery of inner light
sewing holes in happy memories
singing to escape mundanity
to no place special
where sirens crush life from footpaths
windows are sightless eyes in
urban cemeteries of rusty gutters and
twisted tram-tracks.

It's always five to midnight in the cell where
his body hangs
where each elegy is a suicide on the track
where the street is drunk and each house an untapped keg,
where dreams are lost and scarecrows found
somehow to awake and
gaze at a flower
see a place far from here
another world
where reeds sway to a chorus of frogs
birds sing to the melting rain
far from power lines
far from smog
as a blizzard of petals obscures the street
and a yellow flower stands alone.

I walk home from the station
glance over my shoulder at a stranger following
she smiles and hands me a dandelion.


I wish I knew.
Socrates asked this damned
question as did
Julius Sumner Miller.

Why? Do you see it is now a question?
It's the biggest, most fabulousistantic question of all.

So why do I exclaim?

Is it because the question is both
an appeal and a declaration?!

Do we have
to be
we see?

Or perhaps we should fly
and somehow defy
the intransigent
gravity of defecation.

Damned if I know, and
I know a helluva of a lot.

Do you want to know?

The swan never feeds
on halal fish.

A galaxy is painted
in watercolour

Death is a colour.

Light is waves and particles.

Mass is a mathematical illusion.

Poetry is truth
and I'm a liar.


Seamus Heaney

When great poets die
there should be a wake.
Irish poets should be
with pints raised and
songs sung
words wrapped with green
our thoughts turned to
the world we share,
dewdrops in the morning sun.

August 31st 2013

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Dark Side

My dark side snidely remarked
"you're not the man you thought you were"
and he was right,
I'm worse.

I thought I cared for all
I thought love gave meaning to life
I thought truth was stronger than lies
I thought art illuminated the world.

My dark side snickered
"well you were a naive sort, weren't you?"
and he was right,
I was stupid.

I thought people are fundamentally good
I thought ideas really mattered
I thought reason would win an argument
I thought compassion would win in the end.

My dark side laughed
"how stupid can you be?"
and he was right
I am a fool.

My dark side sneered
"see, there's nothing left but me"
but my dark side is wrong
because I'm right
and my dark side slithers back
into the slime of mind.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


No poem is capable of expressing life,
no lyrical phrases adequate to the task,
no bleak aphorisms suited to the tears,
no adjectives alive to expressions of joy,
no metric rhythm sufficient.

So we have to try another angle,
weep like babes torn from a mother,
laugh like kids playing hopscotch in the street,
frown like scholars pondering Sartre,
make love as if death is ruffling your sheets.

See how simple it becomes?
Love and Death dance around
autumn blown leaves,
soft lips brush your cheek
as doors close on starlings.

But, and there's always a but,
you peer around the corner of
desire and find only mist,
then touch the stars and cry
for lost words.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Bridge Road Blues

Well I remember inner city life
but the inner city doesn't remember me -
or perhaps the chic eateries and boutique bars
are too recent,
blow-ins from some weird new world
of patisserie and ennui.

Bridge Road Richmond used to be hard core,
an iron bar brandished against
the toffs across the river,
but now? Merde!
Too many posies of posers and
overpriced drinks...
give me the 'burbs,
at least out here we know when
we're being ripped off.

The factories are now apartment blocks,
oh so trendy, oh so cool,
but goddamn how good it is to get outta there,
out to the 'burbs where philosophy
hinges on the next pay day,
and kids skip along the streets after school
protected by lollipop people,
and the takeaway food is better,
and doesn't come with a
side serve of snobbery.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Darkness Rolls

So hatred is the norm
and decency is hated.

So honesty is dead
and liars are delighted.

So bigots enjoy free speech
but honest speech is hated.

So truth is false
and lies are feted.

So science is rubbish
and reasoned thought dated.

Let the darkness roll.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day Off

On my day off
we drove through peak hour traffic
for over an hour.

On my day off
we sat in hospital waiting rooms
for over two hours.

On my day off
we sorted house moving rubbish
for far too long.

On my day off
the temperature soared and wind bit
for hours and hours.

On my day off
we went supermarket shopping
till the end of time.

On my day off
I finally sat in my chair

Saturday, January 23, 2016


When the dove died
we heard the final flutters
of her heart.

Her last thoughts were
of clear blue skies
and dewdrops.

When cities died we
heard anguished screams,
saw visions of blood.

When the world died
no-one heard her cries,
only silence of hate.

The Slipped Mask

When he felt that sad slide
into darkness
he remembered her mask.

A mask of laughter
A mask of pain
A mask of tragedy
A mask of dreams.

So he listened to
the rustle of leaves
shuffle across the footpath
and touched blue night.

If light could sing
her song would wound,
your heart would hurt...

He couldn't listen to
the glissando as it
rose to meet his blue
lyrics dredged from her depths.

Then a V8 screamed defiance
but he twisted the dream,
and softly flowed lovers
naked in a stream.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I Wonder Why

I wonder why
life is cheap
water is pure
space is vast
trees are tall
mice are small
mist is cool.

I wonder why
music moves me
words are ambiguous
wealth is worthless
love is priceless
thought is hard
grass is soft.

I wonder why
art is good
dogs are friendly
cats are aloof
philosophy is dead
books are unread
hearts turn cold.

I wonder why.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I Refuse

I refuse to accept this
I refuse to submit to fear
I refuse to be a victim
I refuse to be a bigot.
I refuse to succumb to hate
I refuse to reject compassion
I refuse to reject reason
I refuse to lose hope.
I refuse to accept injustice
I refuse to accept oppression
I refuse to accept deception
I refuse to fall for lies.
I refuse to lose my humanity
I refuse to lose our freedoms
I refuse to lose democracy
I refuse to become refuse.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


She sings but all
we hear is pain,
mellifluous in agony
each note a needle,
melancholy inserts
a forlorn chord as
sadness licks her

In silence all
she hears is a rose scream,
but vacuum sucks love;
so sad...
loss levers hope,
an exquisite equilibrium
in her satin night.

So she drinks the little death
and luxuriates in his arms,
and why should she wake
when hope lingers
amidst the lingerie of
her better world?

Dreams drift like mist
through her screaming sky,
never again fulfilled,
pregnant and bereft,
gone with wisps.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Carnations and Angels

Visiting the City of the Dead
is an odyssey of traffic lights
dissecting nondescript suburbs,
children sucking lollipops on
footpaths outside shopping malls,
churchgoers fulfilling obligations
on Autumnal Sunday,
and obscure folk singers on the
CD player in the jeep.

Springvale Road is legendary for its length,
cutting the Eastern suburbs like
a cut throat razor until the chaos
of Princes Highway messes everything up,
an ugly blotch of roads, traffic lights and cars.

Somehow Police Road is comforting even
knowing where it leads,
the bone yard
the ash grove
the vale of lost love
the farm of tears
and wilted flowers,
a parade of plaques portraying the
perfection of death,
the smiles of the lost.

Clipped lawns conceal
our despond as
carnations and angels
grace the grave.

Monday, January 12, 2015


He was alone in a purple desert
littered with indigo outcrops of
razor quartz,
the desert wind was light as a butterfly's sigh,
but hot as a forge in summer
smelting dreams.
Moonlight slapped sand and rock
as he wandered through knee high gorse,
another pinpoint of thought
amid stars and dunes,
a nomad of the mist.
Then he woke in a sweat,
sheets drenched,
to news of slaughter in Paris,
and the desert was red
and the stars fled
and butterfly sighs became tears.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Turtle

The turtle slowly releases her head,
looks around and searches...
like we all search
to solve the enigma,
that cryptic puzzle without answers,
a swaying head searching
for continuation
to just keep living.

The hospital is anonymous
like all hospitals have to be,
corridors and meaningless machines,
a world where life is
absence of tears,
where masks are the
and eyes can't seep for
fear of the void,
knowledge of that dark.

Birds scatter from the road
as our car devours sorrow,
and our hearts scour depths
beyond laughter,
despair without dreams.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I'm alone in a grey place
of pain and fear,
for my son whom
I will never see
through my eyes
never touch
never hear his laughter,
never caress,
no more gazes of love
between us
all gone
as I lie between

(for Alison)

The Groaning Forest

The forest groans
mature pine
corpses in strange soil
waiting to be cut.

Tracks rip and gash
creeks turn brown
soil weeps along runnels
dew drops crying.

Insects blur
sunlight filters leaves
pine cones litter
leaf rubble
plantation cemetery.

Tourist roads lined with
tree ferns a
dismal fa├žade,
we camp by the creek
logging trucks slice the night.

The pine forest rustles
hate and pain
there are no flowers
no birds
only loss.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


The Girl Who Caught the Sun

When she caught the sun
it felt like the flutter of
butterfly wings in her hands.

She laughed as the sun
spun from her hands and
whirled like mist around her head.

Then darkness fell as
she blew the sun outside
into the night.

The Boy Who Stole the Moon

The boy took the moon and hid it
in his secret box under the bed.

The Moon sat in cold radiance among
magpie feathers, cats-eye marbles, coins and twigs.

Late at night the boy would play with the moon,
his eyes glowing with milky light, his face shadowed.

One night his sister caught him and grabbed the moon,
taking it outside and tossing it into the inky sky.

The boy watched his moon swim among the stars,
elegant as a white swan gliding across a lake.

The Woman Who Sang Flowers

It was found when young that
she possessed a voice of ultimate beauty.
When she sang Celtic folk songs
wildflowers would blossom forth on stage,
daisies and kangaroo paw dance around her head.

Sultry, evocative blues would cause
gardenias, magnolia and honeysuckle
to float honey-like about her,
settling slowly about her feet and
hammering the audience with heady perfume.

Songs of loss and longing would create
melancholy wreaths of lilly and iris,
songs of love and pleasure would
burst with yellow blooms of wattle joy
carpeting the stage with orchids and roses,

and her lovers rolled in fields of delight,
caressed by petals and lost in moss.

The Man who Found His Song

As a boy there were no songs in his house,
no music,
no tuneful laughter lighting the sky,
only decay,
only death.

He tried to find his music,
his song,
but all he heard was laments,
the wails of the lost,
the groans of despair.

He heard the faint whispers,
he heard the remote melody,
but elusive as a summer butterfly
his song danced away,
a hidden thread in his tapestry.

He grew into a man but still his song hid.
He lived a life of thought and words,
but his song remained a mystery,
a closed flower petals folded
waiting for him to pluck.

It came unexpectedly one day
while casually strolling by the river,
he listened to the wind, the birds,
absorbed the stillness of light,
 then found his song.

It had always been with him
but he had never listened.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rippling Leaves

Her sigh is a breeze
rippling leaves,
her smile is laughter
trailing dreams,
her eyes are mirrors
scintillating sorrow,
her love is a sea
drowning horror.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The House Without Books

Science Fiction saved him
as a young boy
in a house lacking books.

Books were the answer
to so many questions
and a portal to wonder.

What is special about science
he thought?
Perhaps the search for truth.

Asimov drew him in to
Galactic empires but
really it was the Roman Empire.


Robert Heinlein took him to
strange people in strange lands,
and he learnt about free thought.


Thomas Disch taught him
about why we still
strive to achieve freedom.


Philip K. Dick showed him how
the world we see is not
the world in which we live.


Robert Sheckley made him laugh
at the twisted possibilities
of multiple universes.

Theoretical physics.

By the age of 16 he was educated
but the world still had to catch up.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cry in Vain

We cry for the children and
the fathers, brothers and sisters,
the friends and workmates.

We cry as smoke rises through
through rubble and twisted metal,
from twisted toys and melted dreams.

We cry as rockets scream and
babies die,
as guns rule the lives of innocence
in Gaza and Ukraine.

We cry in vain.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pale Sun

The pale sun on your face
is listless apathy,
forget your woes for
they are worms
gnawing into your inner

He couldn't forget
the slights,
the insignificance,
where he forgot himself
and became another necktie,
an endless coffee break.

When the cars raced down
housing commission streets
his blood boiled and testosterone freaked,
but it whimpered to an end,
a world sterile,

Pictures of other times,
sound tracks of other lives,
better forgotten
better gone,
not you nor me.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Foreign Investment

Our representative James found a passable
piece of real estate back in 1770,
however it took a few years to
convince the Board to invest.

The failure of our significant American
investments led us to send Arthur
with an advance team to scout prospects,
the French were also sniffing around.

The locals weren't very cooperative but
we were able to use our most advanced
corporate techniques to ensure the
success of our venture.

Cheap labour helped develop the
abundant natural resources,
and of course our stockholders were
rewarded with prime shares.

It has been a tiresome exercise keeping
the shareholders satisfied,
but our current CEO Tony seems to be
just the man for the job.

We're banking on it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Did you see it?
The miracle?
I missed it but
wish I'd been there.

There was a bloke
selling pies,
made a killing I heard,
the wings, the Light.

Who knew what would come?
Children played and grown men
hugged their mates,
rainbows laughed.

Goal, goal, goal,
as another kid is
kicked into the gutter.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Silence of Leaves

when the sun split
the clouds
I thought of butterflies,
but a car hurrumphed by
and a jogger padded past.

the air breathed gum tree
and clouds toyed
with my dreams,
dancing fancies.

the silence of leaves
rippled like breakers
on your freshly born beach,
and I was alive like
children squabbling,
heartfully new.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Call

The telephone call was one
I didn't want to hear
bad news
it is bad
that word we all fear to hear.

Not me but
my beloved
her cancer
her trial
her torment
her fear
but it may as well be me.

To try to express in poetry
is a failure by definition,
to me
there is no lyricism here
no beauty
just an ugly truth we all know
but hate to consider.

So we live with the shadow
and fight it tooth and nail,
the bastard will win some day
but not now,
not now.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Too late for regret

When we turned back the boats
and left children drowning
I made love to my wife
and slept in a soft, warm bed.

When we destroyed the reef
cut down the virgin forests
I sipped fine wine
and made love to my mistress.

When the end came and I
looked mortality in the eye
fear was my nurse and I was
alone as she spat in my face.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Man who Found His Song

He tried to find his music,
his song,
but all he heard was laments,
the wails of the lost,
the groans of despair.

He heard the faint whispers,
he heard the remote melody,
but elusive as a summer butterfly
his song danced away,
a hidden thread in his tapestry.

He grew into a man but still his song hid.
He lived a life of thought and words,
but his song remained a mystery,
a closed flower petals folded
waiting for him to pluck.

it came to him unexpectedly one day
casually strolling by the river,
he listened to the wind, the birds,
absorbed the stillness of light,
and then found his song.

It had always been with him
but he had never listened.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Woman Who Sang Flowers

It was found when young that
she possessed a voice of ultimate beauty.
When she sang Celtic folk songs
wildflowers would blossom forth on stage,
daisies and kangaroo paw dance around her head.

Sultry, evocative blues would cause
gardenias, magnolia and honeysuckle
to float honey-like about her,
settling slowly about her feet and
hammering the audience with heady perfume.

Songs of loss and longing would create
melancholy wreaths of lilly and iris,
songs of love and pleasure would
burst with yellow blooms of wattle joy,
carpeting the stage with orchids and roses.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Boy Who Stole the Moon

The boy took the moon and hid it
in his secret box under the bed.

The Moon sat in cold radiance among
magpie feathers, cats-eye marbles, coins and twigs.

Late at night the boy would play with the moon,
his eyes glowing with milky light, his face shadowed.

One night his sister caught him and grabbed the moon,
taking it outside and tossing it into the inky sky.

The boy watched the moon swim among the stars,
elegant as a white pelican gliding through the clouds.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Girl Who Caught The Sun

When she caught the sun
it felt like the flutter of
butterfly wings in her hands.

She laughed as the sun
spun from her hands and
whirled like mist around her head.

Then darkness fell as
she blew the sun outside,
into the night.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Lost faces

What happened to the
lost faces?
the forgotten faces
those wisps of memory and
slyly probing misty tendrils
as modern times rush
along the road to Damascus
escorted by tanks and
grim-faced infantry.

A hippopotamus ejaculates for
the zoologist's syringe
as another species becomes extinct
did you hear it cry?
There will be no tombstone
just a tattered monograph on
some dusty library shelf
the White Rhino footnote
powdered horn.

Where is Peter the paranoid poet?
does he ever step across
his threshold?
The outside world is ugly
far better viewed from
foetal position head space
Damascus safely on TV
Velvet Underground on the stereo.

Lost faces of legendary days
a canticle to innocence
melody an advertising jingle
while the thousand-eyed beast
watches sitcoms
mapping the human genome
all the better to twist you with
hyperthalmic reaction
blunted cortex
moral disorder.

Forget lost faces and
watch the particle accelerator
tick tock tick tock the nuclear clock
as a madman screams
it's not real, it's not true!
just the seven o’clock Baghdad
market-place news
Himalayas of hate.

Glenn became a PE teacher
Brian a smack freak
some are dead
some may as well be.
Does the smelting plant
still spews acrid black clouds
across the schoolyard?
Perhaps the factories are lost
like those forgotten faces.

Does John still go to brothels?
Did Anna ever find love?
Will she dress in black to lament
the death of past lives?
See the faces are truly lost
and there will be no
late night B grade re-runs as
another Cambodian steps on a mine.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lies of allure

How did he learn to tell sweet jasmine lies?
listen to your sighs?
whisper words to melt your heart,
his part in your game.

And how did he learn to pass you by?
resist the allure of your mahogany eyes,
stop the beat of his traitorous heart,
forget your face in hard velvet dark?

And when he tramples through your dreams at night
do you pull down the shutters and bolt the door?
curl into your cosy cul-de-sac,
reassure yourself you’ve been here before,
silently whisper “please god, no more...”

Did you piece together your jigsaw heart?
Hell, you know the story,
been there before,
have a cry,
smash something,
drink the pub dry.
Why not lure someone to bed?
casual sex is good for the head,
a tourniquet for self-esteem.

When you see him in
another drenched sheet night,
another shattered dream,
you’re just a cymbal-clash
citizen of a sideshow city
in a tinpan alley world.

So when you lie do you dress it in
tinsel and frippery?
watch the stars in case his eyes
lose sparkle through your tears,
scintillate your fear with 
desire swept along his river,
to that dark lake
where nothing is given
and all is lost in
those lies of allure.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Old dog

The old dog is unsteady
legs splaying
rickety gait
an old man with fur.

The old dog groans
as he struggles to rest,
but he licks my hand as
I pat him,
a loving furry old man.

The old dog overbalances
and falls while shitting on a hill,
then rises and continues sniffing,
an incontinent old man.

The old dog needs injections,
pills, and receives too many treats,
cranky when denied he can be
an irascible old man.

Some day we have to make a decision,
how far should the little furry man go?

Meanwhile there are treats and short walks,
unsteady, creaky, often painful,
but sometimes the young dog emerges
and scurries around,
barking at life.

Monday, October 14, 2013


When you drink the little death
Do you think sleep is truly your friend?
Do you luxuriate in her arms wondering
why you so treasure consciousness?
As your body nestles into the mattress and
your limbs sup on sweet sheets,
why should you wake?
why shouldn't dreams linger
amidst the lingerie of
your better world?
Sleep well.


When the boy became dust he
never thought about beauty,
he was beauty in
a dream on the breeze
a flash of colour in the clouds
a wisp of fragrance in
your hair,
but somewhere drifting in his melody
you cried,
tears watering his bones
and raising an orchid.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Twitter Poems

The tweet poses interesting challenges. How to create a reasonably meaningful, aesthetically pleasing poem within the constraint of 140 characters. Here's a few of mine...

She sings but all
we hear is pain,
mellifluous in your agony
each note a needle,
melancholy inserts
a forlorn chord,
sadness licks your

In my silence all
I hear is a rose's scream,
but a vacuum sucks love,
so sad,
loss levers hope,
an exquisite equilibrium,
her satin night.

My child
we came by boat,
death followed but
my love kept us
no love awaits
no friends
my child
we're flotsam
drowned in
cruel seas.

Taken by a breeze
afloat with
soft smiles
I turn and whisper
in her hair.
drifting liaison
awash with memory,

Circle of gum trees
framing stars
backyard thoughts
drift skyward
memory of love
with relief
I water nearby

Looks like
sounds like
eyes closed
ears shut
we lose our hearts
we lose our minds
emptiness is a friend
as the light

I blew up the world
it was cool
the seas boiled
mountains popped
like corks
steam fizzed from
vast crevices
a rosella shrieked
wattles died.

just another day...
drink wine and
you can lose it all
with a whim
good night.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wounds of Beauty

I made love to a woman last week
she's been here since the beginning of time,

looking in your eyes I felt so weak
helpless to do justice in rhyme.

Through your openness of heart
and gentle strength of spirit

I knew we couldn't be apart
nor our love ever be illicit.

I saw the butterfly in your eyes
wings afire in Autumn light,

mountains bled on frivolous ferns
as we laughed into the night.

So let's follow dreams up garden paths
along tracks littered with traps,

Wisdom and love are are your epitaph,
compassion and truth our priceless map.

So fly high bright bird and
seek the heavens splendid,

In life and love you do affirm
through beauty wounds are mended.

(c) 1991, 2013 (for Whitefeather)

Friday, May 03, 2013

Black Beach

Walking on that black beach
sand sifts through my toes,
a gull shrieks,
clouds lick your sky,
waves darkly lap
against her lips,
washing worlds.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I remember her as
an artist blazing fire,
hands freeing visions
sometimes twisted,
often grotesque,
always hard and soft and true;
blue-eyed beauty
soft lips full.
Now deconstructed in that
junkyard of dreams
where post-modernist memories
leak like Autumn leaves,
fluttering words fail
dancing across a field of hearts,
eyes laughing glistening
agony and tears.
Watch rear-vision landscapes zoom
while time works her weary spell,
then plunge,
nearly drowned,
gasping for breath,
musical chuckles and
misty dreams
roam barren nights
lit by sparkling wit,
eyes bright and warm,
blond hair flowing...
but as a single tear can kill
a million germs
no flood can cure your death.
I was twenty-one,
innocent and shy,
you nineteen and far more worldly wise;
we talked at a party about masks,
people and disguises,
reality and meaning,
we clicked,
liked each other,
found an affinity,
but there was more,
always more,
and I was too naive to know.
At your door I said goodnight
but you paused,
lit by the hallway light,
glowing, bright, beautiful,
as I turned to go you asked
"do you want to come in?"
time freezes at these moments -
shyness always trembles before beauty,
it's a curse, but
you held out your hand and I took it,
next morning waking to a dream.
If only life was fixed in formaldehyde,
not flashes flicking through a rear view mirror,
laughing and dancing down the middle of
deserted Chapel street at 3 AM,
a restaurant in Lygon Street with your friends...
It puzzled me why your friends and
workmates were all beautiful women,
the catering business appeared staffed with
voluptuous models,
how the conversation confused me,
me with my bookish introversion and
oh so serious philosophies;
but the flower seller appeared and I
bought you a red rose,
and suddenly all chatter ceased,
your voice broke as you said
"nobody has ever done that for me",
then inserting the rose in your hair you
placed your hand on my leg.
Another rear vision flash,
a sixties-themed party,
me dressed in my biker gear with a
homemade badge proclaiming
'Hell's Angel c. 1966',
you dressed as a hippy chick riding
pillion on the Suzuki GS 400.
I was puzzled to be the only man at
the party,
and again why all your friends and
catering colleagues were so abnormally beautiful;
you said you had to leave on business for a while,
that the girls would look after me,
and so I danced with mini skirted women
some of whom wanted to play more
intimately with your
When you reappeared and rescued me it seemed
you could barely contain the amusement,
but innocence as appeal has an expiry date.
Reminiscence once bitter now blurred by decades,
recriminations and angry letters,
how I cried when you retrieved the painting
you'd given me,
'Psychological Realism' you called the style,
a woman facing away from the viewer,
her hand on a man's shoulder,
his face twisted and grotesque with anguish.
Years passed and friendship revived,
you married with two kids,
me married with two cats,
but not even your family or close friends
knew how your means were met.
He shot you in the kitchen one November
in front of the kids
then went to the pub.
The defence screamed "Provocation".
"Prostitute!" they screamed,
and he got three years for manslaughter.
So killers laugh while lovers cry,
while canvases are blank and
songs unwritten,
some say time heals hurt
but that's a lie,
part of me also died.
(c) 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tough Luck

Just another cabbie night,
customers faceless and
prospects not bright,
I curse my luck at
being interred in a metal coffin
within a shadow world.

I'm hailed outside a King St. nightclub
pissed and loud,
staggeringly drunk,
expensive clothes dishevelled
he says “Take me to St. Kilda"
and lights a smoke,
“Fitzroy St”.
I flip the meter and screech a u turn,
glance at him in the mirror,
he says “I want to drink and never stop!"
I say nothing
just gun the cab,
silently curse the city,
the road,
and myself for the tough luck
the night has dealt me.

He says “You must think I'm a real arsehole"
"I'm not, you know",
he coughs and sobs,
I worry he might spew,
then gathering his wits says
“on Monday my car was stolen,
on Tuesday, my wife left me,
on Wednesday, my mother died,
on Thursday I lost my job.
Tonight I'm getting pissed senseless!"
I pull up outside the
Prince of Wales Hotel,
he tosses me some money,
includes a tip,
then staggers off into that
cruel streetlight night.

I gun the cab and cut like a shark
through the lights and despair of St. Kilda,
a hooker cruising for my next job.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Solipsist

The solipsist meanders along
drizzly streets
absorbed in the clear cut stars
piercing his personal sky.

The solipsist watches clouds
performing pirouettes across the moon
feeling the pressure of
his crystal dark.

The solipsist knows a cathedral
of bleakness as joyous insight
worlds within his velvet case
a song without melody.

The solipsist finds meaning
in a wisp of mist
then wanders through his
forgotten streets.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Piranesi's Prisons

The lamp hangs from a curling wrought
iron pole at the end of a mossy pier,
its flames cast no light on black ripples below.

A drawbridge baptises fleeting shadows,
shepherding masonry through
cobblestoned courtyards dripping disquiet.

Silence hangs a heavy quilt,
disturbed only by mouthess moans of bound
figures faintly visible in cold sulphurous light.

 Massive doorknobs protrude from bestial heads.
Deep in a shadowy background stone
staircases twist away in inconceivable directions.

An arch linking fluted columns frames dark figures
dimly seen leaning across a balustrade;
they appear to be waiting for something…

Emptiness erupts from the prison vaults,
in the mausoleum mirrors reflect disease,
the architect is a vacant chamber of pale regret.

Naked and bound to crumbling pylons,
lost in grim recesses of arches, doors and memory
he fades into architectural depths.

A chill mist slithers across flagstone,
shadows linger under a vast gateway but
finding no egress, forever faceless turn away.

(c) Tony foley 2010 (revised 2013)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Raindrops in a bucket

Change winds blow
where they will,
fragmentary thoughts
are wisps,
clouds on the horizon

Raindrops in a bucket
through a leaky roof,
drip drop drip drop
damp thoughts and
mossy tendrils

Bubbles In the River

When I saw the bubbles rising
from the river
I thought "what the hell",
although not in those words.

Then the slick suited men told
me everything was fine,
everything was cool,
my farm wasn't gunna die,
no way.

So they dug their wells
and laid their pipes,
took the rights we had
and laughed to the bank,
we're their people, right?

Now I'm livin' in town on the dole,
but I'm not a bludger,
I want to work but there's nothin'
I can do...

The Frackers have taken my world
and now I know what it's like
to be nobody and nothing
in this slick world of suits,
and it hurts me to the core,
split like a gas seam,
but my land is poisoned 

and I'm alone.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Boy

The boy doesn't remember his mother
not like you remember yours
he sees fuzzy images
faint like 19th century photographs
blurred around the edges.

He remembers red hair and cigarettes
lipstick and makeup
sharp cheekbones and
wide clever eyes
he knew she was smart.

The boy recalls playing in mud
and a mongrel dog named Easter
a new housing estate with
timber skeletons to play with,
an orchard with a tractor which
came to life and rumbled towards him.

The boy remembers the day everything changed
walking with his father
along a new street to a different house,
but then he turned four and
couldn't remember his mother.

The Necklace

Inspiration is not worth the perspiration
of justification denied red-headed lovers
licking wax,
turned into candlesticks flickered flame flashing.

She had flowing dark hair tied back with a red ribbon
luck was her fancy
but he was not home when she was found,
her tears a necklace glistening.

He stared with red-ribboned eyes
vacant inside
touched a tear drop and moistened his lips,
then kissed her eyelids as the night closed.

11:30 PM

To the dreaming grave
if sleep permits that velvet oblivion
where light becomes mist
and my wine-soaked lips
kiss your eyelids.

The Gentleman

She felt safe with her friends
they were university people
they performed in plays together
how could anything go wrong?

But the psychopath had ideas,
what pleasure to be had from torture,
oh, nothing serious,
nothing which would leave scars.

Let's blindfold her
let's bind her
let's threaten her,
touch her,
pinch her,
slap her,
play the psychological games in which he was so skilled,
make her feel like she will die painfully,
for hours, hours...

Of course nobody said anything,
fine upstanding members of
the upper middle class,
there were careers at stake
and who would believe *her*?

So nothing happened
it vanished in a police report
conveniently lost.
But we know,
we know,
and you know now.


Is sin wrapped in marshmallow
blessed by a cardinal
light sockets plugged with dead bulbs
smoke and whispers
Anubis with robes
but less direct,
coy with guilt.

Gray Cloud

So maybe I'm a gray cloud in a humid sky,
my sweat is real like fool's gold in a fountain,
bob for it and rise with
water dribbling from your beard,
wipe away sorrow as if it's rainbow drops,
glistening with insight gleaned
from supermarket gossip,
pure shock jock clean.

Is that lettuce fresh?
If I knew I'd tell you,
not flinch from your query
like some outcast casually
asked the time of day,
so why do you ask?

The sun is relentless in
pursuing your eyes,
you can shade them but never hide,
perhaps you find the light disturbing?
like revealing your nakedness to the street
and wildly laughing,
beauty perhaps,
but more twisted limbs and feckless abandon;
good for some.

So I list to starboard taking on tears,
a gray cloud in humid sky.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sadness of Light

In the sadness of light
we return to what we lost,
go back to that which deserted us,
hide our eyes from sunsets across
a thousand lands
only to see doors without keys,
closets without secrets.

We lash out at ephemera
that phantom at the centre of being,
but our laughter is a dry chuckle in a
sterile void
while words hang in the air,
there is no-one left to impress
no-one left to sigh,
dreams fall like dust
and we are gone forever,
only the mist remains.

(c) 2007 Tony Foley

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bookshelf in Collingwood

With Willard and his bowling trophies
I took a journey to the East,
where at the place of dead roads
I found a child of all nations.

In the autumn of the patriarch
I saw iron in the soul,
and through windows of the mind
mourned the victims of Yalta.

I awoke in the morning of the magicians
as a golden ass sailed the glass canoe,
on the road spoke Zarathustra
of magic and mystery in Tibet.

Through hunger I studied the power elite
seeking the mythical future,
used the electric cool-aid acid test
to open the doors of perception.

Red star over China lights up the Inner Chapters
beyond the turning point,
with the getting of wisdom
the affluent society's thrown into the inferno.

Through philosophical investigations
and critique of pure reason,
Demian and the glass bead game
introduced a man for all seasons

(c) 1992 Tony Foley

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Man From Ferntree Gully

(apologies to A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson)

There was horror in the restaurant
when the booking passed around,
for the man from Ferntree Gully
was coming down to town.
From concierge to waiter
from chef to kitchen hand,
despair and consternation for
without exaggeration he weighed 500 pounds.

As he eased his heaving bulk
into a puny creaking chair,
the chef tore up his diploma,
a waiter whispered a prayer,
the owner collapsed into a coma,
well heeled patrons sat and stared,
for the rumble of his stomach
could be heard down Lygon street,
he was starvin' for the nose bag,
hungry as a mare on heat.

He said "I like my steak charcoal black
with lots of spud for filler,
so send me in a slab of beer
and fire up your griller."
They served him this,
they served him that,
waiters staggered under the load,
but the man from Ferntree gully
just chomped 'n chewed 'n swallowed.

The finale came suddenly like
an intestinal flash flood,
one foundation shaking fart and
he sat contentedly chewing his cud.
A shell-shocked waiter presented the bill,
a figure just short of the natonal debt,
but the man from Ferntree Gully said
"hang on mate, I haven't had dessert yet."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Silent Spring

In the silent spring after the storm
no birds can sing, no clouds can form,
water is acrid and bitter to taste
farms are barren 'n forests laid waste.

In dying cities where hungry dogs howl
along car strewn streets feral children prowl,
seas suffocate under algal bloom
desert winds whistle a tune of doom.

My skin is blistered red
and family all walking dead,
in that silent spring after the storm.

(After Rachel Carson)

(c) 2010 Tony Foley

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ruthless rhyme

You gotta be aggressive boy
the old man said with a grin,
you've gotta be a bastard
it's the only way you'll win.

You gotta believe you're right boy
even when yer full of shit,
ya gotta talk fast boy
'n learn how to use your fists.

You gotta be arrogant boy
let 'em know you're the best,
don't let honesty bother you
remember conscience is a pest.

You gotta be a killer boy
don't ever get sucked in,
so I murdered that old man
and stuffed his body in a bin.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lunge 21 Final thoughts

Where to begin? Initially I thought the program was a simple run-through of web technologies. Blogs, Podcasts, RSS feeds, and social networking with which I was already very familiar, and I was also aware of 'wikis' through Wikipedia. I found Delicious useful, and still use it, and have become enamoured with my Google account once I discovered the breadth it offered. The surprise for me was "Pipes" and "mashups" which I found useful and will continue to explore. I think pipes delivering snippets of content could well be incorporated into the library homepage. Wikis and podcasts are already being used, but I'm not sure how effective they are.

Much of my thought relates to how far one wishes to become involved with the online world of the web. Social networking can begin to absorb one's time to an unacceptable degree, and if one also pursues sites such as Diggit and 43 then the material world begins to fade into the background.

How can the library select and use the available technologies? Are YouTube videos are a good way of disseminating information, or does it simply encourage aimless browsing and a loss of focus on core principles?

As with any new technology there are both prizes and pitfalls. I suspect that the best technologies will find their way into everyday use through force of numbers using them. This has already happened with social networking, and will ultimately influence how organisations such as the library adopt web technology.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lunge 20 - Web 3 ?

I remember reading about a pioneer of hypertext who in the early 1960s, years before Tim Berners-Lee, created an intricate system of hypertextual links which he hoped would allow the creation of a network which could ultimately encompass all human knowledge. The necessary computing power was not then available. His name escapes me, but I think a quick google search might bring it up, in which case I will be very much performing a web 3 act. Ted Nelson. He called his system 'Xanadu'. He was also the author of a book "Computer lib" which advocated people understand and learn about computing as it was becoming a powerful force for change in the world.

In a way Nelson was an early exponent of the "Semantic web", well before the web existed. He argued for a tapestry of interconnected knowledge which would empower the average person by allowing access to information previously held by the technical 'priesthood', the engineers and computer systems administrators who controlled the mainframe computers of his time.

It has been noted that the development of everyday computing and the web has far exceeded the wildest speculation of visionaries such as Nelson. Reaching deep into the home, workplace and school, the web has become integral to the life experience of a significant portion of the world's population. For some it has, worryingly, become a substitute for real world experience - those addicted to "Second Life" for example, or even the surfers in constant communication with friends they may never meet in the flesh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lunge 18 Chatting the day away

I must admit I've always been wary of internet chat applications. I found early IRC to be irrelevent to my needs, and several years ago had some problems with AIM, it was difficult to remove from my system and at the time posed significant security problems. I've turned off the chat facility in Facebook as I find being available at any time for casual chat quite intimidating. Irrational perhaps, but drawing a line in the adoption of new communication technology gives me a sense of control. Riding the wave rather than being swamped.

I installed the Google Talk gadget on my Google homepage, which is not terrible threatening as I have to invite people to chat, and I'm somewhat disinclined to do so :-)

I think that the enhancement of talk and video to Gmail might prove to be a real killer application, but not for me...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lunge 16 Playing the Pipes

Started playing with some of the online image editors. I've already used one with Facebook to manipulate some images, can't remember the name of the app, and like the look of picnik. Will explore more thoroughly when time permits. Checked out Yahoo Pipes and found it interesting. Ran one random pipe:

and added the 'Gadget' to the blog.

Can see how this might become addictive! Not sure about the content on this pipe though...

Lunge 15 - The wonderful world of images

I've done quite a bit of this in the past, so it is not really new. I have a Picassa account with my google account, but tend to keep online images in Facebook. For purposes of this exercise I have uploaded two images to picassa from my blog.

From I didn't really say that, did I?

From I didn't really say that, did I?

Lunge 14

The points I've considered whilst completing the lunges roughly fall into 3 categories. First, why are they organised the way they are. For example, social networking is possibly the first area people are exploring these days, but it is quite some way into the program. Youtube, flickr and Picassa also are too far into the program.

Completed the survey and contributed some further thoughts about the program. Surprised myself by noting Mashups was the area I was least familiar with.

More on mashups

Tried looking at Google Mashup editor but it is currently restricted to beta testers, which is a bit of a shame as it looks interesting. Skimmed the article "Mashups: The new breed of Web app" and find myself regretting I've let my reading on the latest web technologies slip. I'm still stuck at an earlier stage of web page creation, circa 1996/97 where javascript and animated gifs were still a big deal. But then I remember creating web pages in text editors pre XHMTL and CSS. The integration of different sources into web pages is an exciting development for knowledge industries.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bibliographic Tools Presentation

Lunge 13 Maps and Mashups

Didn't have time to thoroughly explore this area, but i think I've managed to embed a map of my home suburb here:

View Larger Map

Lunge 12 - Buzz on Buzzle

Buzzle reminds me of an old style news magazine, sort of like the late "Bulletin" or "Time". However given the vast amount of information and stories within the site, categories ranging from 'Animals & Pets' to 'Travel & Tourism', it is more encyclopaedic in its scope. How authoritative it might be is debatable, as is the case with many web-based resources. One good aspect is the speed of loading, and the absence of intrusive advertisements.

Lunge 11 - Youtube video

This is a cute little video I discovered some time back - a version of Xavier Rudd's "Let me be".

Monday, October 20, 2008

More on Technorati

Checking my blog on Technorati I found it only brought up my entries from July. None of the October entries appeared. Does it work perhaps as a worm, trawling the blogsphere and not returning to my little corner of the universe?

Lunge 10 -Technorati

Claimed my blog on Technorati. Hope not too many people come and laugh at me :-)

Tried to play with it a little bit, but the technorati technical monster bit me.

Went back and checked, and was still logged in. Looks interesting. I've noticed in Blogger that it can be difficult to find certain blogs I know exist, so this will proved useful.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lunge 9 revisited

Started using some months back, but had a problem with my firefox browser update and the plugin. We can't install the plugin at work, so it is of little use here, and without the bookmark/tagging plugin it is fairly awkward to use.

See url:

Nevertheless I added my work bookmarks and then proceeded to edit them. The process is pretty cumbersome due to the large number of old bookmarks. I can understand the use of a site such as this for people who use mobile computing, and frequent internet cafes, for travelers etc.

Lunge 7 revisited

Read the "Multitasking generation" (see url),9171,1174696,00.html

The analogy drawn with earlier generations who couldn't live without the latest technological gadget, e.g. cd players is valid, and the picture drawn through the anthropological study of a number of US families over 4 years is vivid in the depiction of contemporary teenage behaviour. The fears of earlier era (e.g Plato worrying about books destroying oral tradition) is briefly examined, as are the concerns of neurolscientists who consider the increasing tendency of youngsters to slice their experiences into ever smaller technological pieces, multitasking, could result in less capacity for deeper, considered intellectual experiences.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Picassa & YouTube

As a lover of images great and small I'm surprised I hadn't checked out Picassa until recently. I've uploaded albums to sites such as facebook, but never indulged myself with a site dedicated to the image in all its glory. Uploaded one image from my blog just for the heck of it, but haven't really played with the site. I don't have a spare month or two. Similar to my experience with YouTube. I checked out videos of Xavier Rudd and found several h ours had disappeared.


Checked out an unusual site which brings up random websites according to your pre-specified interests. Stumbleupon. Just the thing to waste countless hours pursuing curiousities and chimerae...

Google and yet more google...

Uploaded a powerpoint presentation to Google documents, and actually presented it from the web. It was a bit of a buzz considering the same presentation could involve people not physically present - as one participant described it, a bit like a teleconference with slides. Initially I thought I might have some size limitations given the presentation had 26 slides, but the file ended up only 1.2 mbytes in size, well within the 10 mbyte limit.

Not really using google reader - I've found no great use for it as I tend to go directly to any sites in which i'm interested.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Diggit and Facebook integration

Just signed up for diggit, but had some problems when trying to 'dig' some stories. Looks interesting if one considers popularity to be a criterion for newsworthiness. There is, as one would expect, a predisposition toward 'geek' stories. Fine by me; geekiness is next to, well, nerdiness, so I feel right at home...

Played around with integrating my blog, google reader, and bookmarks with Facebook. At this rate FB will turn out to be the millennial e-communications hub, with everything else orbitting around it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Link to article

Forgot to include a link for the AFR article "The D Generation"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Lunge 7 - The D generation

Digital natives. What a wonderful term! In Beverley Head's article in The Australian Financial Review she cites a number of different people dealing with the extremely computer savvy, highly networked generation born since the internet exploded in size, complexity and reach. Tailoring library services to 18 - 20 year olds is only one problem discussed, and how to harness their unique skills and outlook in the workforce is examined in some depth. There is also a timely reminder that not all young people are computer literate.

21 lunges continued...

Finally returned to work after a long illness and several bouts of surgery. What was initially a personal blog has turned into a professional one, but the beauty of blogging is that one can delete entries when no longer required.

Having played with all the various delights on the 21 lunges up to number 6 - Social Networking, I thought it would be a good time to look at a few of the earlier lunges.

Podcasts are all well and good, but in a time-poor world who can listen to everything of interest? The intriguing aspect for me with podcasts is which player pops up - Quicktime or Windows Media Player. At home it tends to be Media Player as I've standardised with this on my PC.

RSS feeds are familiar from home use, however I set up Google Reader at work and added Yasmin Dineen's blog, and an ABC and The Age news feed. There are too few hours in the day to pursue all the possibilities, and life exists beyond the keyboard.

A useful item is for online bookmarks. Unfortunately because of the restrictions on installing software on our work PCs this can't be fully utilised, however it is a powerful bookmarking tool with features I've only begun to explore. The Facebook integration is interesting, and provides a glimpse of future online communication and information sharing.

Which leads me to Social Networking. Ah Facebook! Is it the end of civilisation as we know it, or the greatest development in communications technology in human history? Probably the answer lies in between. About 3 years ago I decided to check out MySpace, but found it to be of little interest to me. In 2007 I thought I'd have a look at Facebook and found something completely different. The ability to form interest groups and update activities is FB's great advantage as a communication tool. The news feed allows one to keep up to date with various activities, and the instant messaging of The Wall is a quick and simple alternative to email. Just don't become addicted to the time-wasting pursuits, silly quizzes, and Scrabulous and you'll be fine! Well, maybe Scrabulous, as long as you let me win! I created a group for Document Services which now has the huge total of 4 members (thanks guys, you know who you are).

I've kept the MySpace account as the blog is superior to Facebook's offerings, but I've not bothered to make "Friends" and have only responded to a couple of "friend" requests. The contrast with FB is striking, as a great number of people I know from the Melbourne (and international) poetry world are active users. Younger poets and musicians in particular use it matter-of-factly for routine socialising.

A type of offshoot of Facebook is Twitter, which develops and expands on FB's Status Updates. Ideal for the Generation Y racing around town being very social. I started an account, but find I have no need for it.

Still struggling to find a good wiki site for creating a DS wiki. I've found the creation of pages cumbersome, and a 'regular' website in most cases a better option. Nevertheless, the collaborative aspect of wiki makes the pursuit worthwhile and I'll persist.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Work related blogging - Again!

Well, here we go with the wonderful world of Wiki. Started this with the Library 21 lunges wiki, hopefully as a presentation relating to bibliographic tools used in Document Services. I'm trying to transfer a powerpoint presentation I've done into the wiki. Powerpoint is easily the most tedious way to present a talk the universe of Microsoft has ever thrown up, and the dot point method has been shown to be extremely ineffective in conveying information. I have until the end of june to complete the presentation, so what is in the wiki is only the first hesistant step...

Monday, May 05, 2008

More work related blogging...

Well, I've done podcasts and RSS feeds, twiddled with Twitter and got a wiki going through the Lunges wiki. Now it's off into uncharted territory...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chelsea Sunset

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


We all lunge here
we all parry there
these lunges follow us everywhere
is it a course?
or is it play?
these damned elusive web 2 ways.

P.S. Apologies to the Scarlett Pimpernell.
P.P.S. This is strictly work related and has no relevence whatsoever to anything every posted on this blog or ever thought of in my most fevered nightmares of poetry.
P.P.P.S. Hello! to my work colleagues playing with their 'lunges'

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Timor Wayang

(After W. S. Rendra)

Dalang, Dalang, whose strings do you pull?
Dalang, Dalang, whose lands do you steal?
Dalang, Dalang, whose shadows do you cast?
Dalang, Dalang, whose face is your mask?

The old man sways with the train
barrelling through the South Australian night,
I can't sit for long" he says,
“an old war wound, shot down over Timor in 1942."

He tells me his story as the night lights flick on,
taking me back to a Japanese zero attacking
from the sun,
guns chattering, his bomber hit,
crashing into the jungle,
fire, explosions, crawling from the wreckage,
fire, pain, blood, agony,

A young boy stands over him,
pours water between his parched lips.
The boy speaks in faltering English,
says he will get help.


Voices, voices speaking a language he doesn't understand
occasionally an English word,
he hears "Australian".
looks around,
the crashed bomber is still burning in the distance,
the boy is nearby talking with several men,
hears "Japanese" and "Australian"
but doesn't understand the context.
The men look worried,
hurriedly they build a stretcher out of vines and leaves.
The boy smiles and says, "we take you to Aussies, they fix."

Dalang, Dalang, whose plays do you perform?
Dalang, Dalang, whose children do you kill?
Dalang, Dalang, whose wars do you fight?
Dalang, Dalang, is might always right?

They carry him through the jungle moving silently and swift.
The boy says his name is Xanana,
that he is the only one in the village who speaks English,
that he is nine years old,
that Australians are friends,
that the Japanese army is near,
that they are taking him to some Australian commandos,
that he is going to be alright,
“I look after you”.

They stop for a rest,
one of the men changes his bandages,
he is given water and fruit,
the jungle is alive with birds and insects,
the stars are bright.
They continue into the mountains
along nearly invisible tracks
then stop beneath a rocky outcrop.

Xanana disappears into the night then returns with
a tall figure dressed in combat fatigues.
“Sergeant Murphy" he says, offering a hand,
“we'll get you out of here mate."
The soldiers carry him to a cove where an Australian ship is moored.
Young Xanana smiles and wishes him well.

The ship sails immediately for enemy patrols are near.

He is hospitalised in Darwin for several months,
the war for him is over.

A few days before he is to be discharged a commando from Timor
is admitted to his ward.
He is anxious for news of his friends.
Yes, says the soldier, he knows Murphy,
but of Xanana he is reluctant to speak.

The Japanese discovered the villagers had been helping Australians.
Xanana had been shot,
his body thrown into a mass grave,
his village destroyed.

The Overlander rumbles through the early morning,
the other passengers are all listening intently,
I hear sobs, a hard fisted miner passes me a stubby.

The old man stands swaying in the dim light.
I think of friends dying,
of honour and obligation,
of the strong devouring the weak,
of courage and loyalty.
Xanana’s ghost sits next to me
and I feel guilty,
think of all that was done
and all that should have been done.

Dalang, Dalang, whose trust have you broken?
Dalang, Dalang, whose wealth have you stolen?
Dalang, Dalang, how can you atone?
Dalang, Dalang, is your face my own?