Seen first, a parabolic etching
sun-seared against sky.
At the tree’s skirt, a promiscuous spawn.
Possum and wallaby will do for them.
Best not to mourn.
On higher ground snowgums school,
each affirming each huddled other.
But here, on this fluid sweep of plain,
the principle is splendid isolation,
majesty, serene disdain.
These leaves are rounded innocence,
Swirls of bark, unpatterned, flow
sinuous, strips of soft colour,
pinks, greys, creams on modest show.
This is a world of water;
of frost and eternal water.
It slides through root and rootlet, effortlessly
drawn through bole and branch
to bleed sweet and red; honey from trees.
Last week I read a poem for RN (Radio National), a pre-recording to be broadcast in the Friday 8-9am timeslot. I read the second section of ‘Regret’, the less abstract part of the larger poem, that which considers the poignant interaction between an anonymous male Aboriginal and the equally anonymous French sailor, Piron. (Well, Piron was ‘equally anonymous’ at the time I wrote the poem, though I’ve been told that subsequent scholarship has supplied much biographical data.) It was a portentous engagement, and I’ve always preferred this section of ‘Regret’ to the more abstract first part of the poem. ‘Regret’ is to be found in the third group of poems in Physick, ‘Metaphysics’. What I can’t tell you, however, is on which upcoming Friday the poem will go to air. Sorry. But tune in. Continue reading “Listen out – I’ll be on RN! And did you notice this is a new site?”
Great news – all’s well and Paul and I have two new shows scheduled – a second chance for anyone who missed our previous shows in the south. Here are the details of the two coming shows. Continue reading “Indignados!”
Well, as I wrote some time ago, Paul and I are hitting the road again, with our new show, Indignados! Continue reading “Indignados! – Our debut is on!”
Exciting news – I’m about to hit the road again, with Paul Gerard and his inimitable guitar. We’ll be performing a sequel to our popular show Evening in Andalusia, featuring another poem from Girl Reading Lorca – ‘Madrid June 19, 2011’. It’s called Indignados! Paul has written new music to accompany it, and we’ll also perform one or two other new poems from Girl Reading Lorca. Continue reading “Indignados!”
This is the paper I gave at The Tower at the End of the World Conference in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, in May 2017. It was exceedingly well received, though very many people couldn’t calibrate their aural senses to my north west coast twang! Among a conference full of exotic people, I was by far the most exotic – almost a Thylacine. Continue reading “Talking Tasmanian Literature in the Faroe Islands”
This little paper exists in article and essay forms. It gets cited surprisingly often Continue reading “Islands Breed Poets”
My collaboration with my artist friend Tony Thorne, that culminated in Last Days of the Mill (a finalist in the 2013 Tasmanian Book Prize), left me with profound ethical misgivings on one particular score. In this 2017 paper, I face that demon down. Continue reading “When a Poet Rips Himself to Shreds”
Ever heard of the Faroe Islands? They’re half way between Scotland and Iceland, more or less, and as far as I can tell, they are most famous for puffins, sheep and magnificent woollen jumpers. And that they still whale. It’s basically a vertical-cliffed protrusion of basalt. And it rains a lot.
I’m going to an event, part literary festival, part academic conference, with the title ‘The Tower at the End of the World – Islands and Literature‘. I’m not there as a poet – but I intend to read poetry at every opportunity. Meanwhile, if you’re interested Continue reading “Hay is going to the Faroe Islands to talk about Tasmanian Poetry!”