novels

My place.

See the growth of gum tree huge,

watch the running of the river.

There I saw a blue wren dance

there I saw a bearded dragon quiver.

 

Along the path the wattle grows

The heat is hard, and the wind blows broad,

blue flowers mixed with black seed go far

and the smoke of fire rises like a god.

 

The blue dream runs on forever

and the city lights up the sky

this is the land we work and fight for,

this is where I hope to die.

Morning in the city

The boat slaps against the timber wharf

the muddy water sloshes against the piers, like water poured out of an old boot.

Mr. Thomas lets out an inadvertent roar into the tired morning.

People around look at him,

not in surprise but more in disappointment,

as if to say:

Yes, we’re all in this, but we are controlling ourselves, thank you.

Thomas looks up and sees a group of teenage school girls,

laughing, their youth pleased with itself in the face of aging misery.

They are too young and strong to be brought down.

They are, in their beauty, like a powerful beacon holding off the heavy night.

He watches one girl for a moment, the tallest and most pretty of the group,

he sees the sunlight finger her blonde-brown hair

like the light in the leaves of a forest.

Then he looks away to see a man throw a cigarette into the harbor.

What promises he made himself

when he was young

and how much more beautiful that woman was

than even that girl

at 17.

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On asking an old man directions to the nearest men’s toilet.

 

To Bob Dylan and the person who wanted me to be more accurate with my titles.

 

Standing outside the supermarket

An old man reflected on this part of town.

“The one in the park is good,

They’ve recently put some money into it,

But the toilets by the railway station are not to be trusted.

They stink, the drug users hang out there,

Men blow each other and all the depraved shit in the world goes on there.”

The old man bit his lips as he spoke and went a little red in the face.

He folded his arms and sat down on a bench. The timber slats creaked under his weight.

I looked around the streets

It was quiet; a few cars moved about in the distance,

But here, where we were, no one moved.

 Being still early in the morning,

The sidewalk was wet from where the shopkeeper hosed it.

The old man looked as if he had just crawled out of bed,

His clothes were stained and crumpled and a warm smell

Of sweat and urine radiated from his body.

He was settled in his place now as if he intended

To be there all day.

“I used to sit here with Jack,”

The old man went on and then spat into the gutter.

“But he died last year.

We used to be close friends but now I don’t have anyone to talk to,

It’s changed my day a lot; I do so much more thinking now.

And I don’t come here as much,

Only three days a week,

I go to the library instead.”

I thanked him for his advice on the toilets

And I headed across the street to the park.

In the men’s block, I find a young man collapsed on the floor.

A brown bag underneath him

As if he is hugging it to him on those cold tiles.

He wears a hood over his blond hair, and his face is pale and marked with acne.

I talk to him, but he doesn’t move, I nudge him with my foot,

I wonder if it’s drugs.

I call the ambulance, but don’t wait,

I leave those toilets and go back to my car.

Looking back to the supermarket, I see the old man,

and wonder what he’ll make of the excitement to come.

 

Buy my new novel here: Anvil Soul

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