Looking Back (Again)

The latest published poem I’m posting is one that carries a lot of meaning for me. It’s one that seems to go down well at readings.

Prodigal Son (and his partner) was first printed in the Australian Poetry Members’ Anthology in 2012 (still available here as a free pdf), and ended up becoming the closing poem of my collection Regulator.

Prodigal Son


Looking Back

The other day, I decided I’d begin posting a selection of my published poems. Here’s one of said poems.

Ridley Scott’s Alien with Moth was accepted for publication by Verity La in 2015. It has also appeared in an issue of Scottish sci-fi magazine Shoreline of Infinity. This poem was inspired by a session of Alien I attended during which there was a moth crawling on the screen.

Alien Poem

Golden Oldies

Just for the heck of it, I’ve decided to post some of my published poetry over the next little while. A mixture of older and newer. Enjoy (or don’t, as is your prerogative).

It seems appropriate to start with the first of my poems ever to be accepted for publication. This one appeared in the ‘Pastoral’ issue of Cordite Poetry Review in 2008. I was pretty excited to get that email. It also got a run in the Sun Herald through Red Room Poetry’s ‘Extra’ project, and appears in my collection Regulator.



Holding taut barbed-wire with one hand

and myself with the other

I gaze at the ground

as hundreds of shining grey dust droplets

roll away from the rotting fence post

down the hill 

moving like mercury.

The drumming piss 

makes surf of the dirt 

churns it into frothy mud.

Apostle birds (perhaps twelve of them) 

launch and fan off above my head

upset as I shake off the last bead

and refasten.

A PoetrySays Workshop

A few weeks ago, I got together with Alice Allan and Mran-Maree Laing to record a new episode of Alice’s podcast PoetrySays.

We conducted an informal poetry workshop during which we each shared a poem we felt needed a bit of help, then asked for honest feedback. Our aim was to show the creative benefits of such a process and also to allay any fears a reluctant listener might harbour around attending a similar workshop.

Admittedly, we were cosily sipping tea around MM’s kitchen table, not in a room full of literary strangers, but we felt it was a fairly realistic approximation of the workshopping experience. Alice and Mran-Maree had never met in person, and I had never participated in a workshop with Alice, so it felt pretty genuine as far as group workshops go.

I think we all shared some constructive insights and suggestions and also took away from the afternoon a lot of great advice.

We hope any workshop-shy poets listening to the episode are inspired to seek out and attend a local poetry group to experience the many benefits of workshopping for themselves.

A Couple of Bits of News

Last week, I was very happy and quite a bit excited to learn that my poem We Accept has been short-listed for this year’s Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award. Congratulations and good luck to the other poets with work in the running (two of whom I was chuffed to discover are friends Stuart Barnes and Alice Allan). The winners will be announced at the end of July.

In other news, I’m very pleased to have a new poem in the upcoming issue of Tincture. Buy yourself a copy or, better still, a subscription!

Poetry Says Podcast

One of the most simultaneously terrifying and enjoyable experiences I’ve had in recent times was speaking to the wonderful Alice Allan* on the latest episode of her podcast Poetry Says.
I was thrilled when Alice asked if I’d be interested in taking part, but I can honestly say I was so cripplingly nervous during the recording that I was oblivious to everything coming out of my mouth. I’ve just had a listen now on iTunes and I’m glad to report that the sounds issuing from my mouth were in fact words, and most of those were arranged in such a fashion that a fairly decent facsimile of a discussion concerning poetry was the happy result.
Annoying and overlong attempts at modesty aside, it was fantastic fun. We discussed my favourite Russell Edson poem, my book, my next project and a whole bunch of other stuff. I even got to read one of my own poems.
Have a listen and subscribe to Poetry Says to hear from the likes of Stuart Barnes, Michele Seminara, Robbie Coburn and a growing number of other fantastic poets discussing their favourite poems. It’s such an excellent podcast for anyone who enjoys hearing poetry read and discussed.
*Alice, a formidable poet herself, has a voice that could calm a rampaging bear. Listening to an episode of Poetry Says could potentially reduce, if not cure, your hypertension. Trust me, it’s good for what ails ya’.