float upon the murky waters of the mind

too early to call morning,
too late to call night

it’s the suffocating gasp
when

you swear,
you swear

you’ve never breathed harder
in all your life,

you’re drowning

in fears

of your own creation
that your heart feeds your eyes

an illusion
now blurred, in the distance,

something of your own creation,

salt water is blinding,
you’re binding
sea urchins and stonefish-
thoughts
to the walls of your mind,

scales and pebbles
glimmer in the light,
scales and pebbles
poison when hidden in plain sight,

a mere manifestation of
the sea urchins and stonefish-
thoughts,
you mosaic and pasted together.

You can’t exchange
pain for beauty
nor subjugate fear
with denial,

there’s a key to every mind
and it’s buried somewhere inside
you,

you’ll soon breath

without trying

and float in this murky water,

when you notice
you can’t escape
the ocean of uncertainty
but you can learn how to navigate it.

Citizens of the human race

Eight generations Tasmanian
with a splash of welsh,
I’m the aesthetic emblem
of a colonised nation,
but it’s only skin deep,
my name is just a social solvent
as a means to decipher more intricate things
extracted from the universal
alphabet of reason,
jumbled together
and conjoined with a hyphen,

The state of human relations are in such disrepair,
led by arbitrary divisions,
it seems, at least,
when you leaf trough the paper
or switch on the TV
or flick through Facebook,

Why does the earth
that we’re all birthed upon,
for those who do not fit the mould, turn to quicksand
crushing bones,
diffusing dreams
before they can begin,
swallowing whole
those
who appear by name or complexion
to be
anything other than Caucasian,

My eight layered,
blood stained, porcelain skin
gives me privileges
that I can’t deny I have,
and allows me to stand
in a more than comfortable position,

Many chances to learn
to make mistakes,
to forget where I came from
and be invited back in,
to risk everything
but really nothing,
’cause I always have
cushioned ground to fall back on,

A voice that is validated
by a bachelor’s degree
and a white family,
not because I know
anything about what it means
to have everything I’ve ever known taken away from me,

What about those
who deserve a say
to those
Who are not given
what I too often take for granted,
’cause privilege is about
not having to think about it,

But I can’t ignore this,

to those who are armed with
both personal experience
and pools of knowledge,
can’t we find a way,
regardless of blind standards
that are still broadcast
through public outlets,
to give them a say,

I want to hear the words of truth rise
from beneath muffled car engines,
between high rises
and skyscrapers
behind bars
and bolted gates
from street corners
from the shores of destabilisation
outside of government institutions
outside of media outlets
outside of universities
and commercialised newspapers,
Don’t you too?

call me naive,
maybe I am overly idealistic,
but it is also true that
we’re all so quick to
laugh at anything altruistic
and so ready to accept
any disillusioned back thought
to be the current and future reality,

Why can’t the voices of humans
Speak louder than the economy,
When does mass expectation
summon the label “normal”,

Why does colour still divide tides,
it’s just a lack of ability to shed light
on the sight
of anything other than those
who stole what was already here,

I guess this society is built on the idea of whoever comes first wins
’cause the people that stand at the gates
with all the keys
were on the first fleet,
on boats they drew
their imperial ideals upon
sacred shores
and hacked away
at other humans’ nests,

So now it seems,
this is where we’re at,
we sit tall with our passports
in one hand
and a stake in the other,

Pushing away those of a different culture
but then condemning them
for forgetting their culture
while they were seeking safety
in this lucky country.

Through the Woods

My head’s all messed up
and I don’t know
where to start at
and I don’t know
who I am
yet
or who I’d like to be
yet

My days ring out
like a scratched up record
and I find myself tip-toeing around the corners
of a mind
that doesn’t seem to work
the way people say it should

and I still don’t know who I am
yet

and I’m fighting demons I don’t even know the names of

and I’m
lost
in the woods
of what could be in Africa, Tasmania, New Zealand, Cambodia, Mars or Cuba
and who really knows either

Sometimes I feel like an extraterrestrial

When I’m sitting amongst people laughing about movies I haven’t seen

and characters from their favourite TV shows
that I haven’t met
yet

or discussing concepts
of which the names themselves
have never
kissed my ears or eyes
let alone
seeped into the inner corners
of my mind
yet

and I think that
maybe
I’m just bad at making decisions,
’cause I can never seem to stay focused on anything long enough to create something whole
yet

and I feel like an alien
all too often

and therapy isn’t helping,
herbal tea just makes me sleepy,
aromatherapy only works when
it strikes the olfactory
septic tank
filter

I’m lost
once again,
the waft of calming scents
evades the space it once enchanted
and the polluted air engulfs my lungs
the nourishing lavender and rose-hip tones

escape me

and I’m running through these woods
yet

trees upon trees upon trees upon
mountains
surround me

and I’m still running through these woods
yet

running from these demons I don’t even know the names of

tearing through dry leaves
and fresh weeds

I will
until
I get to the garden

To cultivate
is to nourish
and that’s where
you’ll eventually find me

but right now
I’m not there yet,

I’m still running
through these woods
yet
carving out a clear route
for a garden to flourish

Published!

  In my friends’ zine, Contents – vol. 1, ‘alone’
 If you’re based in Melbourne or visiting go check out Sticky Institute to go get your copy for $5, its full of incredible photography, illustrations, poems and short stories.
Peace 🙂

Here’s the poem: ‘Tired Heart’

You probably don’t know this but
I absorbed everything you said,
that night we nestled into some stranger’s couch,
It went like this…

I know you think about it
on those solitary train rides
when you forget to pack a book
and your phone’s on 5 per cent,

I know, you dream about it
when you’re sleeping,
I know you write poetry about it
then crumple every page and throw it in the bin,

I know, because I’ve seen
that wandering stare you do,
because you look at the floor instead of what’s in front of you,

I know,
because when I look at you,

I see someone I love falling into the abyss of brokenness

with a flickering
Death. Wish.

But I also know that you want to exist
’cause you’re not yet done with what may come next,
I know, you just want the darkness to forever fade away
but your attention is askew,

you need the dark to see the light,

So it’s no use pertaining to someone else’s life,

There’s always going to be elusive spiders that creep into the mind,
You’re trapped in this shell for life
and you were never meant
to be chasing
Someone else’s path,

You were redirected from the many roads
You’ve tried to tend
because you abandoned your own,

and I know this because I’ve always been there

To see you tire your heart out
and also to see you bloom.

To say I in a crowded room

Here I am before you,

with all my mismatching parts

I’m not cohesive
like the jig-saw puzzles and crosswords my mother would complete
by the kitchen bench
sipping black coffee
as a cigarette burns,

I’m not my father’s science-law-management mind,

I’m not my brother’s musical hands,

nor my twin sister’s model-like stance
and socially-popular trance,

I am many things
But I’m not those things,
I’m my own things,
and I refuse apologise for those that I’m not,

I can write you a little something
that feels like a song
as you read the words in silence,
that unlocks that little something inside of you
that you’ve kept hidden for far too long,

Grass anywhere excites me, entices me
to dance, to pause, to drop my self-doubt,
all feelings of insignificance, all tensions of inadequacy,
are beginning to fall away,

to leave the door ajar
leave my shoes beneath the window-sill
and glide around varnished floor-boarded-corners in polka-dot-socks,

to let my hair down,
throw my arms out
and embrace the world
around me,
within me,
there,
where my fingertips reach the core,

I want to rip out all self-expectation that makes me stutter
and tarnishes simple interactions

So it’s time
to lay it all out,

To my poor time management
– Time is just a concept

To my terrible sense of direction
– The heart leads to where it hears it’s call

To my messy bedroom
– This, is like a museum of my scattered mind

To my unaddressed to-do-list
– I will get to you tomorrow.

To my blemished skin, skinny limbs, soft voice, roaring laugh, clumsiness, and overly-trusting naivety,
– these are all parts of me

That I’ll no longer apologise for,

That I own

’cause I’m finding ways to use these ‘vices’ constructively.

To find home in my weaknesses so that I can build
a solid foundation with my broken pieces
and find a clay to hold myself together,
to feel whole all on my own.

(to see you) Coming Undone

To see you choke back tears,
to see so much pain in your eyes
to see a stern man coming undone,

reaching out
with a glance,
a single sigh,
letting out a lifetime of held-in breaths,

why are men so often urged to shut away their souls
from the breadth of their sleeve,

if I could say one thing, it’d be this,
it’s never too late to turn around,
please know that we all love you,
please know that you’ll be alright

we won’t abandon you
your love for us has not been in vain

your love for the history of your land
and your deep desire to share it
with us is sacred,

your passion for cultivating vegetables and olives
and lavender bushes and roses
for breathing in the life this land breathes into itself,
that so many people now trample and build over,

reminds me to always return to what makes life feel like magic,
to what makes life feel like living

so when you feel let down or left out,
all those times you let yourself down,
please know that everybody goes through the pains
of facing themselves,

this is where nature can take us in
and mend our tired souls and muddled hearts
and return us to ourselves,

you used to complain that we watched too much TV, too many movies,
and from a young age I took this in
and went outside just to jump on the trampoline among the olive trees,

badminton and totem tennis by the bushes,
backyard cricket,
basketball in the barn,
chalk creations across the concrete,
and cultivating our own little gardens,

just to play cops and robbers on our bikes,
sorry for that time I crashed into you at high speed
at the bottom of the gravel hill,

to swing among the garden beds on a tire you tied to a tree,
to make mud cakes in the sandpit and serve them in our own little cubby house built for us,

all our days spent digging out trenches in that huge pile of rocks beneath the dead-old-tree,

I still live by the philosophy that when you are able to go outside, go. Play.

Yeah I’ve missed many TV series and classic movies
but I’m forever thankful for your example and your loud-mumbled-grumbles,

just to drink the nectar of this earth
and immerse myself in the mysteries and boundless adventures to be had,

please know that we love you,
that you are not alone,
that we will not abandon you
now that she has passed on.

You (are home to me)

From this grassy paddock,
above buried bones
and bullet shells,
misplaced rocks,
barbed-wire fences
and wooden gates,

In its rich history,
I look at you.
and everything seems anew
but connected.

As though the grass still nourishes
the animals buried beneath it,

As though the bullets are not yet shelled nor dispensed from the barrel,
as a second thought,
that maybe they don’t need to be.

I look at you.
You raised me on this land
and to float through flashes of life with you
is a magic to me

reaching across this land,
past gum trees,
olive trees,
acorns and lavender bushes,

past tall grass,
snap dragons,
chrysanthemums,
pink roses,
ferns and sunflowers.

gravel roads and red earth,
frogs croaking in the creek,
kookaburras laughing in the trees,
and crickets creaking through the drought-riddled earth.

Whenever I question myself,
Whenever I trip off track,
I try to pause

and think of you.
Your blood pumps through my veins

and I nestle into the memory of your arms when we’re far apart,

I listen to your soft, eloquent voice as it breathes through my well-kept recollections of you,

You

are the earth, blood, flowers, books,
knitted socks, warm dinners, fresh orange juice, bakery stops,

water slides, diving boards, camel rides at the carnival,

winding car rides,
sun-pressed bedsheets,
morning cartoons and cuddles,

ice cream with sprinkles,
beach days and boogie boards,

circus shows and 3D movies,

games of chess and library visits,

You

represent every breath of life
I like to call home.

Alight

There’s something about writing in verse

That lets me disperse

My inner realms that I too often keep hidden

The ink the pen lends bleeds the words my heart pumps

Like a detached vein that connects the inside to the outside

That eliminates the noise

That softens the static

It’s a feeling I can’t explain

But when I get the urge

I have to purge the strands of thoughts that bog me down,

that lift me higher,

the happy and the sad,

My hand escapes me

Twitching with an eager fight

to etch the internal patterns

that wind around this mind

Into the earth

Sometimes it’s a spew

of all the stew of a misconstrued vision in a heated tension

Sometimes it’s a neatly crafted unfurling of a mind unravelling

and sometimes it’s an enraged passion of

what’s lies inside,

what lies outside

or an integral experience,

Sometimes it’s fun

Sometimes it heals

Sometimes it hurts

and sometimes I forget I’m even writing,

Like a third hand

It’s always there

For leisure and for use,

A gift I’m forever thankful for,

A fire that I can’t help but keep alight