Friday, June 13, 2014


What is it like to to spread actoss Iran and Afghanistan like a rug
of many cultures, peoples, denominations?
Not long ago nomads, you now allow high-rise housing
and yet this desert you call Karakum is the home of lunar images
a recognition of space, the ultimate fate,
exploitation and the reconciliation of opposites: Arab
without money, future without contamination by the past.
They say the heat beats all previous experience.
I never thought about this before; you see the future
like a victorious wanderer: I want to go, to be with you and your
unknown territory, your rare scenery.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

T Islands

Tuvalu, Turks and Calcos, Trinidad & Tobago, Tonga, Taiwan, Tahiti & French Polynesia

I love islands, don't
get me wrong.
I mean, I live on a really
big one; I've travelled
over water to Tasmania,
from North to South Island
of New Zealand. Dammit,
I've ferried my way to
Phillip and Kangaroo
Islands without panic attack.
And as for Waiheke, well,
maybe living there
was not the smartest move
with a daily commute
to Auckland. In all weathers.
I suppose I'd better say
Great Britain is not so GREAT
although Channel crossings
were not memorable.

So here we are traipsing
islandwards across all the oceans.
Colonised, like my own, are Tahiti,
Tonga, Tuvalu in the Pacific, 
Turks and Calcos about to
disappear, swallowed by
the ocean of peace, 
and Trinidad & Tobago, so
addicted to carnival.
Time to Explore!

Time For T

To resume my world travels in imagination or reality, in poetry or prose, in the present or the past ... whatever!

Here's the list of T countries:

Tahiti & French Polynesia
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Calcos

Wow! I'd better get moving, after 4 months in the U family.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ukraine & Uganda

Two different places! you exclaim.
To me, they are trouble, troubled.
I hope I am wrong. I stand for
I receive Unreliable Information.

However, He was The Destroyer.
Idi. We knew from two countries away
he was the Devil Incarnate, and pitied
those who felt the heat, were roasted
on his fire-pit. Amin, not Amen.

He was and is not the only one.
I wish I could tell you of my fears.
That there really is a war between
Good and Evil and so far the dice rolls
as random as earthquake or bird flu
targeting unfortunate "collateral".

Today, "They" tell me Ukraine is beset
by dissent. I wish the curse of Opinion
and Righteousness would run its term
and we would be blessed with silence.

The silence of Love.
Of Peace. Freedom.
Of Kindness.
The Silence of Certainty.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

United States of America: California 1987

"That hill there, that's a wildlife reserve."
I'm sitting in the front of the Shuttle Bus from airport to hotel in San Francisco. I look where he's pointing and see only a conical hill, devoid of bushes and trees, and there are no large animals. 
"A wildlife reserve?"
"Shuure! Butterflies. Mission Blues. They only live eight days. Won't see anything now."
"You've got a whole hill for butterflies and they only live eight days?"
"Shuure! They feed on the lupin flowers. Hard to tell the butterflies from the flowers."
I bet it is. Some of the blue spots would dance before your eyes, if your vehicle slowed down enough on this freeway. The hill is already well behind us. Eight days: that would make life rather an urgent matter.

The Eagles sang The Hotel California  into my world and here it is in reality: a jewelled quiet cave with settees covered in peach-skin velour.

At the bottom of Powell Street, two men in dinner suits with macaws on their wrists. For some inexplicable reason, this brings me a memory of my three-year-old son crying, fighting with his grandfather, as I am carried away down Mornington's Main Street in the Shuttle Bus to Tullamarine Airport.

The syncopated yell of cable cars. They're impossible to board except at the Terminal. John keeps whipping out his cassette recorder to interview bag men and shoeshine men. Frances finds silk outfits. I'm stalking books, latest editions of Marge Piercy's poetry, for example.

Frances and John return to the Hotel California after our six-day course. I choose the Burbank because it's cheaper. Hearing an eruption two days before July 4, I think war has begun. But the manageress rushes out to reassure me it's only a Chinese wedding over the road, fire crackers on the footpath. 
"We had a quake on Monday," she says. "I just wondered," Wondered?
"A big one?"
"Six point eight."
Here I'm aware how thin
city-skin is - Earth's heart
could heave and we would
simply fly loose, specks
of epithelium.
I visit Alcatraz. A middle-aged man on the ferry, alone. What if his Dad was an inmate? What if his Dad drowned, escaping? What if he's a middle-aged novelist, writing about a middle-aged man whose Dad did time on Alcatraz?

That's the United States for me: questions, questions, questions.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Sandwiched between two big haciendas
you appear as a bite-sized claim to fame.
I hear you eat a lot of beef and famously
invent tango with all that protein in
your blood. Even to roll those 'r's 
in your name is to roll the hips and eyes
to want some thing.

There is the Sun and Water on your flag.
The Travel Book photos tell me you are
undiscovered territory, worth exploring.
I scan my backyard for omens & signs.
Small birds leap out of trees at dusk.
I too can tackle something beyond

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

U's Turn

There is a country from every continent in this family of U: Uzbekistan in Asia, Uruguay in South America, United States of America in North America, Ukraine in Europe, and Uganda in Africa. There is also the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. I notice the absence of "United Kingdom" and look forward to Scotland, Ireland and England. I know I have personal stories about Uganda and the USA, but the others will be represented by that other source of story-weaving, imagination.

UZBEKISTAN: May your travels be problem free

What a beautiful flag she flies
the moon and twelve stars in a bright blue sky
the green land beneath, the Silk Road
edged in red for the threads that connect
Tashkent, Samarkand, people like me
ignorant of history, to the world's human
tapestry. While a sea shrinks, hearts
continue beating, and azure tiles and roofs
keep challenging the sun to destroy
this country of moon and stars, art and