Early Settlement in Australia

What the world needs now (have a rant)

– Harry and Nicola

I wouldn’t say no, to a hearth and a home
But pending a pay rise and then some,
I may be content
In this tenement
Squeezed for two thirds my income

I could use, a break to relax
But having just done my income tax,
I may choose to unwind
By crying at work
In the cupboard next to the thumb tacks

At the Opera House (which I think is grouse) I get lost in a reverie
But our leader says
That pride can cool it
That it’s not even
Fresh in our memory

Cathy Cathy, to my window come
Your Heathcliff waits for you
But if perchance
You don’t exist
A substitute will do

There Is No Reason for Loving

Printed on the back of my notebook in a jaunty colour

Thank tra-la-la
Thank sticker fun!
Thank kids ’R’ cool
Thank Insta lyfe

Thank price tags thank teens thank youth thank bliss
Thank the infinite monkeys that came up with this

Move On

After a walk in nature

Join the escalator rush
Human smells, a fluoro crush
Trolleys filled with plastic shit
Get shitted out near the car park lift

Kids beg ice cream, beg play dates
One parent capitulates
Move on people, move along
Moving on, I move right on

Giant hair and teeth stare down at me, man, colossal, risks collapse

Back lit slender hips and skin, bikini clad wall, shivering

Gold rings gold things, pinstripe man, gold tooth grin, golden hand

Donuts donuts donuts, jam, beef and chicken, cheese and ham

Moving on, I move along
Moving’s good
I move

Slip round a bend

What looks like books
A refuge, I take it
I wander isles of ink on crisp paper
Pencils, pens and tiny staplers
Breathe normally
The stale stationery air
I decide I’ll stay
Resolutely there

Any Day

I appear to be in a kitchen, lying on the floor.
Down in the world of kitchen cabinet doors, stains running,
Large white tiles.

faintly damp?

Faint fridge humming, can’t quite hear a gurgling slug, recently salted, slowly growing, bubbling.

Amongst dust
Little husks
Bits of corn
A human hair
Pencil shavings
Eraser rubbings
Fridge grime
A coin
Faintly winking

Fifty cents?

Fifty cents. I make a curious sound.

I place my forehead on the cold tiles and ponder it. Fifty cents.

Fifty cents.

My diaphram spasms.

Fifty cents. Payment due?
Fifty cents. Coincidence or?
Fifty cents. Extraordinary.
Fifty cents. Not my level reach of blue.
Fifty cents. Left for me.
Fifty cents. But by who?
Fifty cents. Makes no sense.
Fifty cents no fucking sense.

My stomach tightens, air rushes tears fly I curl into a foetus I roll on the floor I clutch my painful laughing sides, can’t breathe, gasp quick gasp fuck what




to me?

something new?


That’s how it happened to me,
When I knew I’d be okay.
That happened to me, so I know, heart,
For you it might be any day.


I recall a time long ago
Sunkissed sands and holidays
When we played and napped and smiled

Long time ago

Before we grew up and weren’t allowed to anymore
No time
No cash
Before the marriage and the job and the work-a-day week and the phone calls and the bills and the everything

Before winters, like cold stones, piled up

I think you left your car keys on the table in the hall.

I think we were happy once



– Harry and Nicola

Looking down
Clapped out school shoes caked in dirt
Standing on hot clay
The soles of my sweaty feet burn
The sun is everywhere
It bakes the earth under my shoes
It bakes the earth coating my shoes
It bakes my ankles, my legs, my arms, my neck, my brain
I am standing in an oven
I am clay

It’s OK

struggle to inhale, can’t
take a full breath, can’t
stretch, just shallow breaths
don’t fix the craving, can’t
yawn, that reflex, can’t
satisfy, but I force it, can’t
quell the panic

body shouts


i reply

it’s OK

just keep gasping, you’ll survive



– Harry and Nicola

Tackle bears!
Go team
We’ll scream!
Dream big and gamble!
We’ll laugh
We’ll spend our evenings
Boozing and wheezing
’Round the city and stealing
Time from the clock
We’ll go out on yachts
Drive fast cars
Eat the stars
Flip bills at fast women in bars

Shut up, I think
Take your morning dump
In some other heap
This company’s carpet tiles
Are miles from your
Bikini-clad shores
No-one believes you, you twat
No-one wants that
What’s your damage?
Take your ritual and shove it
Find some other tortured habitual


Pick two vowels and use them prominently

-– Harry and Nicola

cruel fisted father
used us up then twisted
’til my sister cried.
not missed, you are
not missed.


Pick two vowels and use them prominently

– Harry and Nicola

ache me, like you do
take, what you do
make, what you do
from me, your clay
make me, that way
you do



– Harry and Nicola

I park the car.
A row of windshields
Reflect the neon stop lights.
I stand and my legs creak and stretch
My head above the row of salt stained car roofs.
I’m met by a breeze carrying
Salt, sand, pollen, clay.
We are near a highway and near the ocean.
The last light fades above a row of dark houses.
One stopover before returning to our lives.

This little patch of carpark, growing dim
Is just like the one I sulked in as a child,
Waiting for adults while they shopped,
As children do.
So many moments to absorb.
Car parks. Highways.
Salt, sand, pollen, clay.
Wind blasted holiday motels with names like Pacific Oasis.
Birds mourning the day with their last plaintive cries.

My country is highway,
A stretch of beaches,
A stopover.
The land of my dreams
Stinks like the back of a fish shop.

Your Quieted Koel

You found me once
Cooing like a koel

You gave me
Would you like a cup of teas
Thought of you todays

You gave me
Do you want to come overs
Chin up smiles

You gave me
Bark and red seeds
Waking up the neighbours

You gave me
Somebody worth loving dearly
To give my time and trouble

I’m so happy now
No coo
Rises from me mornings
No plaintive cry escapes me

I’ve exactly what I want
Thank you thank you
You knew just what to give

Your quieted koel


Tuesday roll out of bed and run
Haul jackets on
And fucking run
Hit the side of the bus
Climb in
Face plant the isle
Head butt the window
Hurdle unconscious enamelled
Speed up bus train turnstile get there
Plow keyboards madly
Little plastic letters
Shit it to production
Slam it
The clock says run
Fucking better
A blur beside me shouts HEY
A mess of blond hair shouts HEY
Lips and legs she grabs me HEY
Painful yank and the weight of her drags
I drag her behind
I jab at my watch
I toss my head and look daggers

Her hand is outstretched
Thumb and index finger, touching
Between them, a red seed
I stare at it

I stand with rasping breath

Her hand is outstretched
Thumb and index finger, touching
Between them, a red seed
I stare

She grins at me


My door creaks
When you go away
It moans as you leave
It closes on laughter and light

My eyes close
When you go away
They helplessly hold
The arch of your eyebrow and your reposed form

Your face fades
When you go away
It disintegrates
Into the midnight expanse of my inner eye

My lips smile
When you go away
Each time on that clear cold sky
I find a new star you left behind just for me

The Sweet Breaking

Ticking clocks
Pensive stares
Soft furnishings
Stale airs
Kind dead eyes
Enquiring flatly,
How would you define love exactly?

Latin roots
Desire and care
(He strokes his whitening beard and stares)
Germanic high and old affection

He wrinkles his grey etymology,
Assails my senses with dusty tweed
And bookish curiosity

Well fuck,
I say nervously
Quite a lot of things let’s see

Far away right now I can see
A girl’s fingers busy fumbling and numbing
With a boy’s belt buckle
Their hearts are drumming
Simpatico lust curated by longing
Lust is love, or love is something

Elsewhere presently I see
A drunken shape slowly stumbling
Down a midnight garden path
To a lonely light bulb out the back
And a note bearing a biro heart
In love, stationary plays a part

Somewhere out there I envision
A couple in a sunbeam fools
For an hour
In a tower of pillows
Doing nothing much
But killing a deadline
And repelling an invading to do list
Although nobody expressly said it
Love is procrastination, a bit

Oh, now my mind is resplendent
With a child’s delight
Jumping and jiving in bedtime twilight
Waving sparklers and coloured lights
Objects the extemporaneous girl might receive
From some fatherly figure in on the ploy
To elicit in her this bursting-with-joy
Love is his face weathered and kind
Love is her dazzling, smazzling smile

You asked me to define what I meant by love
And I had a faltering go
But fellow, old man, dear therapist,
There are more definitions than you or I know

The Araboolies of Empathy Street

Does the General of Liberty Street have PTSD?
Did you think of that, Araboolies?
With your kitschy junk and your animal funk
You’re disturbing the General’s sleep!

Sure he’s a mean old guy
And the kids on the street have to hide
But you drove him out of his very own house
Not a chance of a compromise!

I don’t believe in baddies, do you?
Just folks who are singing the blues
So next time you encounter a face that is sour,
Stop and think about what he’s gone through.

I’ll Make Dinner When I’ve Finished Editing Your Smack Down Honey

You take verbage for granite
It’s from a whole nother planet
Let my pronounciation orientate
Let it perculate your state
Let my rhymes sooth ya
Do a Heineken remover
Your ordinance is ostensively miniture
I’m gonna take ostraya nucular
You went to the libary supposably?
Your lyrics prespire, depose of them please
Your point is mute the parlament voted
To be pacific what you got’s a tradgedy
Your granma and speling expecially
With my volumptuous rhyme
This triathlon bitch
I wan it

The Creative Thief

Rounding out the curve of a hip
It takes over it wins for an hour
It steals from you until you come back to waking
This taking
I’m scared of it slipping and making
Me old like my mum charcoal and paper
Clutched in a spotty hand shaking

Tannins Tungs Acrylics

Tannins tungs acrylics and sponges
Big wool rugs and coffee from plungers
Beans slow cooked in a swamp of sauce
Haloumi grilling, jasmine on the porch


Gee three, kerpow, my friends never call me
Forgot their birthdays, took it personally
Kay four, kerblewy, I don’t eat anymore
Reg-u-lar-lee, like my gee pee told me
Kay two, slammo, I wake up impromtu
And perform an act while I lie on my back
In the dark being sunk by lucky attacks
My rag tag fleet’s now a lonely blip
Oh go on life
Sink my battleship