Our world, the great melting pot of ideas.

poetry ~LJM

  1. The problem with racists

The problem with racists

Is that when one shows up
You must wind back your motor-
Pull the throttle back to neutral
All that horsepower left idling
As the moron speaks.

One cannot engage one’s true capacity
One cannot let the motor run,
wind streaming through your hair as you rise swiftly through the gears of debate and conversation

Instead you are forced to speak
as though with a child.
“I don’t care if you only want to wear your red shorts today, honey”
“It really doesn’t matter. They are still shorts, and we are late for kindy.”

But perhaps the worst past of being on the planet with a racist
Is when your rich, cognitive, sexy brain can’t take it anymore…
And engages in debate for the mere sake of stretching its legs.

Quickly you rev the engine, climb a few gears.
At once the delight of intellectual stretching is stopped!
Like a S L A P from an electric fence,
That you feel in your bones and heart simultaneously.

And with a sinking disappointment your remember
Your companion is a blind, ignorant, pink baby mouse.

In frustration you throw arms to the sky
Willing an eagle to spy this creature
Who gives nothing back to the planet, save painful little shrieks of hysteria

And yet no hungry eagle comes.

Was the racist sent to our planet to test the good ones?

This I tell myself, to protect my sanity.

Sarah and Her Babies

Don't Mum! I like my face dirty.

Don’t Mum! I like my face dirty.

You who loves them fierce-red through your veins
I love all the more for refusing –
to let motherhood define you
– to let it constrictingly bind you.

Instead you pin it
Strong brass, clotted with a hundred clammy prints –
from babana-bread-hands, squashed sandwiches, spilt yoghurt –
To the gilded arc of triumph that you are

And wear it as part of you. Of Sarah.

For you never can decide
What you mean to others

But to me you mean strength
and depth and reality.
A refreshing fuck-off reality
So rare is sears like welding flash
At once raw and immeasurable

Sometimes we talk practicality
And you perch Zan on my hip, to fold clothes
Sometimes you make my eyes water
As you lay bare your tenacious soul

Refusing to quit, lie down, sit pretty
Bleeding the ochre from mediocre
And blazing it across your warrior cheeks

Today, surrounded by women
Remember you will always have grace and strength.
Because that is you.
And will always be.

I watch your boys playing against a bright Cecil sky,
I watch Ben lift up his daughter
And I am so glad you are bringing another life in to share our world.

Scribble It, Before the Sun Sees

The sun came up and shouted about itself
Look how thick I seem on cotton
Look how I dance over brass
Look how I change you from dull green to bright green
With my lemon lick

That you might hold your head up –
Thanks to the beauty I bring
Not your own beauty of course,
Just a projection of my golden one

The kookaburras laughed with scorn
A ripened hatred of vanity
Look at our blue wing feathers
That we tell nobody of, they clicked

A frog green as panic came out
And sacrificed itself to a beak
Humans are lazy in the morning
But a frog will die for the same

I sat with fingers tapping
Bleeding my head of the words
How strange, this need that seizes
This burning for language to trickle

Then falling like flour to my pillow
Finger valves turned off
Sleep curls in the empty cavity
The words left behind in my skull

A Night With An Old Friend

I dreamed we sat in a wooden house

White paint peeled off the walls

We lit a fire on the kitchen floor

And fed it cupboard doors


As we talked, your head of flames

Blazed with heat anew

I was grateful I had known you

And you were grateful too


The night wound on with ease, for we

Had catching up to do

Your eyes still sung of mischief-

Still sung their sorrow blue


The way I miss you now has changed

The hurt is drying out

Now I smile as I remember

Your art, your laugh, your pout


The sun tried to rise, but we

Forced it back with laughter

“This night is for old friends,” you said,

“You can do your rising after”


When we parted it was easier

As the fire burned to the ground

I smiled as my eyes opened

And blue smoke curled around

The Cottage Where Mum Lived

One time I went to the other side of the world

Where it was bright green and freezing

Not dusty yellow – hot as casserole


We all went in the van

Until the bitumen ended-

Strangers related by blood


As though we’d all met years ago

And kilometres, in their thousands,

Had not been a part of our story


There were wild roses that my grandmother planted

Now pink and rambling

Surging from their domestic plots

Wild as the country they sprung from


I wish I’d met her.

She would have been mine,

and I would have been hers.


Everything was green as I followed my blood-

Aunty, cousin, uncle, second cousins.

We came to the crumbled walls.

I saw Mum.


I thought of her back then,

As I looked at the shrubbery

sprouting out through the living room


I thought of her beside the fire,

drying her dark brown hair

Blue eyes bright,

letting nobody tell her what she was capable of


Dreaming perhaps of her wedding day

The places she might go

Speaking Gaelic to her Mam

As she laboured over homework


Teasing her sisters and ignoring her brother

Her sense of humour quirky –

Temper and passion sharp as ever


“Your Mam and her sisters would sit there so.”

“Combing their brilliant long hair.”


Something surged deep in my stomach –

Where I most feel my heart


“They always had kittens,” Mary said.

“And I always wanted hair so long when I grew up.”


My stomach-heart hung drops on my lashes

I squeezed Mary’s hand in thanks


Thank you cousin

For showing me where I came from.

Ode To My Clitoris

You sliver of quivers
You giver of pleasures
Pink point of climax
Wet song of seduction
You prick up like dogs’ ears
Or nipples in cold
Oh how you control me
As shudders unfold
Soft as the centre
Of slow blooming flowers
Love maker, bed shaker
We could talk for hours
Women through the ages
Have known your secret depth
So small and unassuming
But harbouring such breadth
You make me think of running through the willows
You make me think of sighing into pillows
I salute you sweet clitoris

Sunday morning Brisbane

There’s a secret world on Sundays
In the suburbs while you’re sleeping

Morning yoggers yogging,
And last night’s hook-ups creeping

Cyclists balance at the lights
Their pedals glint like fish

And the morning air is what
A kiwi might call frish

Singing loud and bad to Gotye,
I shoot down Ipswich Rd,
The wind whipping my earrings,
My voice as smooth as a toad

Somewhere snuggled lovers
Await their harsh alarm,
But in delight realise it’s Sunday
And nestle back in tangled arms

The world rolls by in sepia
Through my sunglassed eyes

It’s on the ordinary days
It feels best to be alive

The Care of Tiny Humans

Though you cannot speak, you are full of authorative demands
Each day I try to teach you things
Like avocado is not moisturiser,
And bark is not avocado…
To no avail.

Each day you teach me things that no one else has managed
Like patience
And how to laugh at the ways of birds again.

In the park we swing quietly,
The smell of your baby hair and the rain for company
Your fingers like a gathering of chipolatas
Clutch with determined frailty the chain
How funny tiny humans are.

On the ground you chatter like an old cash register
And afraid of nothing set off to the bench
Mashed banana thrust in offering
To the Sudanese couple
And everyone must laugh, as he takes it and says thank you,
Wiping the goo away

And so three strangers discuss the best upkeep of dreadlocks
And what it’s like to move to Australia,
Because your government wipes out whole villages

Walking home I realise why
Society needs all ages.
We are not born with social walls.

We stop to collect every. single. leaf
My unexplained patience surfaces
You who know nothing of the world
Is teaching me


The Clock Struck Nine

He made his way to the counter
Moving slowly through the hot air
Thick as gravy

Life had shrunk him down
Age had dressed him in browns and grey

“Another tonic water please”
I poured it over extra ice
The smell of coffee. The sun blared.

I have a lot of time for the elderly-
Since they don’t have much themselves
“And two vodkas”

“On ice?”
“No thank you”
“With lemonade?”
“Just in the glass”
And the old hands stirred the tonic on its ice

I put the glass before him
Heavy hexagonal clunk
“And what table sir?”

The click of a cash draw
Hot gravy air
And looking up I saw-
through sheer speed of my glance-
The last drop of vodka
Disappear up the straw

Old hands shaking in their paper skin
Returned the straw to its tonic

In silence my heart cried
For this little man
As the clock struck nine

He handed me a lobster
Hands shaking in tweed sleeves
Green eyes looking into blue ones-
A look they’d seen before

“That’s $1.25 change”
Back through the gravy air
To his table
Redundant tonic clasped

And all Sunday I wondered what sadness
Had driven a life this way