Teacher

I make the space for the brains to thrive

Creating safety

Encouraging fun

Being a peripheral part
of the excited buzz
Of the hive of minds
as they pollinate each other

Witnessing their outrage,
their passion,
their determined agency
in the wryly augmented world
that they know to be theirs

Celebrating the brilliance
in every one of them
In all the manifestations it makes
As it shines through
via their unique and essential imprints

It’s like resting in a forest
As I survey in wonder
the miracles surrounding me
All these perfect human trees
Growing amongst one another

I am in awe

I am humbled

May they thrive
I whisper in my heart
As I meet their eyes and say their names




Cigarettes

Can you go buy me cigarettes

She rasps from the dark cocoon of wherever she is with her demons
On the mattress on my bedroom floor

I take my school uniform off and change into civvies
Put on some mascara so the 7/11 guy will sell to me

Come back with the goods

She’s still there
Deep in her turmoil
But also she sees me
As I bring her lighter

I was raped
She drops it
Like a bowling ball through a glass table
My feet beneath.

I feel the impact
On my childhood
On my innocence
On my place as her daughter

As she discloses
For the first time in her life
Nearly fifty years old
Her vast history of horrific sexual assault

In graphic detail
Of the violence
Of the humiliation
Of the insidious threats to silence her

A suite of stories
That I now see as almost universally thematic for so many women

But her first telling
Was my first hearing

And already I had my own
Silenced stories
Tucked away inside so many poky corners of my soul

She draws on her dart
Exhaling putrid smoke
Into my asthmatic face
She’s feeling that relief
Of no longer carrying it alone

Meanwhile
My feet feel the bruise of the bowling ball impact
My soul is writhing with the discomfort of being made the listener

She looks at my face
Hers switches up and she blinks
Dons the facade of adult
And says

You’d better put your uniform on and get to school


Copyright 2021

Out

Out.

I’m out.

Mum, I’m gay, 

I texted her.

That’s nice dear.  

As in you’ve renamed yourself, or like two poofy men?

Homphobic bitch.

Out.

I’m out.

Striding through the Autumn morning in my walking shoes

Seeking solace in the beauty outside me

from the rage that churns within

The grey blanket of the pre-dawn sky warms me not, 

but offers me great comfort,

with the reassuring reminder that I am 

at once 

infinitesimal

and as expansive as the universe

A blush emerges as the sun comes back from the other side of the world, busy tart

A suggestive apricot, fuzzy and without edges, and with the optimism of Alabama Whitman

“She tastes like a peach”

how truly did I want to taste her mouth

Still I stride, breathing through my swirling truth

And now, somehow, streaks of pink and blue

Audacious as those marine creatures that you think have surely been exaggerated 

in the artist’s depiction

I can even forgive my ancestors for believing in sky god

Out.

I’m out.

Here under this cracking morning sky, remembering to notice the beauty of the universe.

Mary Oliver eat your heart out!

Savour those juices as they stream down your chin

Rivulets forming in your cleavage invitationally 

for another lover 

of life to slurp at

Yum.

Mum, I like to lick life juice off the tits of women poets.

Still I stride, rounding the corner, home comes into view.

And in the valley beyond, down over the town to the west

The sun, my current favourite artist, has invited the morning mist to dance.

A rainbow!

My queer little heart opens in bliss.

Life really does love me!

And I love her right back, 

most Sapphically indeed.

Copyright 2021.

Ancient
gnarly
filled with seasons

my stories and experiences
infuse me
travel with me
make me who I am...

All things I see, touch, do and feel
come through me and are transmuted

gnarly old me
and all the things I've witnessed

I know that I'm
old as rain
and
fresh as morning dew
just part of something
going along

letting go with easeful acceptance
inhaling what changes the seasons bring

connected,
yet self-contained

aware of the value of the precious glimmers
brought about by togetherness

ok in my solitude
seeing the same stardust in you
as I know is in me

see

breathe

sleep

my business is to simply be

allowing my experiences to wash over me like the light of dawn
gently, transiently

holding on with intentional love
to the aspects that nourish me


releasing with gratitude
the aspects that teach me

celebrating my ancestry,
descendant that I am
of the women they didn't burn

solid,
yet flexible
and permeable

open to the return to myself
of the love that I have released to the universe


Copyright 2021

“Old as rain and fresh as morning dew” is from fierce Australian feminist poet, playwright, and novelist Dorothy Hewett and is part of one of the poems in her play The Chapel Perilous

I honour her.