1. Wildflower

as if from nowhere, a tenderness for you came upon me, after a long dry spell, an unexpected wildflower in a patch of red sand in a cemetery, what to do but sit beside it with my big black boot at rest & stare down at its tiny golden purple with such huge caring, yet it has grown a long time & does not need my shelter or my watering, it has grown in the wind & sun of this particular section of desert & does not need my shade, although for a moment i felt its watery stem glad & cooling in the square shadow of my shoulder, but it soon grew crisp & lonely for the elements, so i moved to behind it so i could watch its tiny life receive the sun, but when it rains, some of the drops are big enough to drown it, to push its cellular structure into the sand, its petals as big as ants but colourful & stationary, i do not know how long i will survive here, my face growing rugged & salty with hot winds & wrinkles from receiving pleasure, from the long hours of tender smiling & kind eyes for the wildflower, sometimes i would like to stroke it & once dared to think of wearing it on my pocket, but it is so fragile & not in need of me, already i feel the sadness of loss, of my walk away from its tiny root system, out onto the long straight road ahead, but i am transfixed & believe i cannot leave until the wildflower dies, or until it desires its potential to stretch into limitless space, without my presence startling the flatness, burnt into the scene like a fence post left standing, this situation of distance, which in itself will be a leaving, so soon the feelings of what i have found, are accompanied by the fears of what i could lose, the wind moves up the ridge & the wildflower shakes its small pleasure, in its patch of dust with my big old dusty form beside it, i do not know how long i have been sitting on this rock, it shakes & then it blooms because it does, perhaps even for me & i send down my love for it, until all the air is reproducing & trembling, this desert is making unexpected rain & is miraculously watering a patch in me, i turn away & receive the sun on my face, suddenly my arms are thrown up to into the blue uncertain weather, my breath gives off its scent like pollen, my eyes give off their light, now that i am full of wildflower

2. The Childrens' Graves

`The childrens' graves', he said, `well
How close do you want to get?'
I said, `It depends, where are they?'
`In the childrens' lawn cemetery.
Along The Avenue Of Dust Pink Roses
North of The Garden Of No Distant Place.'
Again, I asked, `Where are they?'
Those children that have gone from us,
Leaving behind their absolute peacefulness.
Wheelbarrows, grave-diggers, gardeners,
Birds hopping along the lawns.
The imagined hollowness underneath.
The little toys sprinkled on the graves.
A truck, a building block, a windmill
& then an answer came from a plaque,
`Walk lightly on this area, a dream lies beneath.'
`The childrens' graves - where are they?'
He said, `It depends on how strong you are
& how close you want to get.'
`I am strong. Where are the children?'
& then the questions came from within.
What were your dreams?
And why did you let them go?
`They're there,' he said.
`Depends on how close you want to get.'
`Well, I don't want to fall in.'

we mourn for the self we have abandoned, we dig through the ashes, we find the bones, the remains of children that we were & we reclaim them, we hold them to our adult chests, we slip into this beautiful grief, as we fade in the sun, saying 'oh, there is too much beauty', we are loving the dead children inside us, those children that we buried in our youth for safe keeping, those children that they said could never return, have now returned, we wept for our long separation, we wept for the life we led without them & we wept with gladness for their gigantic return, for their swift rush up from the grave, into our lonely lives, as the dreams we had forgotten, thank you, for the life in the cemetery & the dead children that have come back to us, carrying their little baskets of flowers & fruit, they have come riding their bikes & scooters, they have come with their skipping ropes & rainbows, carrying their dreams as big as a world, thank you for the dead children, that have reached up against all odds from the compacted dirt of our lives, to place their tiny fingers into our big old hands

3. Viewing The Dirt-Washed Toys

the somber toys are gathered around the graves of dead children, the loyal squeaky dogs & angelic lambs, teddy bears, trains & a rugged old barbie, a fairy drag queen with a broken wand & tattered frock, toys that need the hands of children placed upon them, a very frail faded pink rabbit, a kitten in a basket, a porcelain chicken as yellow as a sun, beneath the wide overhead weather & mid december insect glitter, there are no furless bears with missing noses or eyes, no plush & stodgy toys, no toys to remind us of the absorption of rain, that constant rain of melbourne, for months on end of quiet mist, for days & nights, for many lonely hours, the rain that seeps in slowly, the gentle velvet rain that remains & is constant, there are no plush toys to absorb it & to fall away beneath its light dissension, its even drop & splash, instead there are toys to capture the movement of wind, there are toys to fade away in the high glary light of an australian sun, toys to raise their plastic hands & smile, there are toys to be lifted by god, to stand still, ageless & unchanging amongst the chirp of cicadas from the green haze, there are childrens' graves smothered with toys & cradled by heat, that builds up in matchbox cars & pieces of plastic track that are never ever used, yet they stay suspended this way forever, stone angels, they guard the dirt & grass of children, take a big carp fish that has been land bound just to be with them, as the wind blows along & chops up grass like a river, as the wind is gathered in to the propellers of the wind receiving toys, into the gay carousels & sturdy windmills, into the wild hearts of whirly gigs & wheels, into the choppy flight of the bright wooden rainbow lorikeets, with black painted beaks, that clap their brittle wings up & down, bobbing from frayed elastic hanging in the paperbarks & the elephants & basset hounds with flying ears, blown by wind, so that the wind will move the dead, will shift its presence through here, so that it will not stop, so that it will hurry the children along, like to school or home, or across a pedestrian, or inside before night or a storm, for their own little safety & protection, but they just remain here, as the sky moves across them, but doesn't move them, the wind generated toys placed by grieving parents as a precaution, taking them into what is left, of their lives, wind propelled things, many small toys & tin soldiers standing guard, plastic angels, toppled gnomes & santas with dirty faces, in the absence of the parents, fresh toys & shrinking balloons releasing air, communities of toys & sweet dreams, gathering around, gathering age, toys without children fading in the sun & the sun fading in them, the rain washed expression of toys, toys for long long years, your only companions, the mournful dog, the sweetest lamb & the saddest elephant

4. Hobbies of A Dead Child

I like soft cotton socks.
Thin clean material on my skin.
Watching insects.
I like running.
Hours in the sun until it rains.
Watching storms,
On the steps of the front porch.
I like big dogs &
Small ones & many other kinds.
Watching grass.
The beach, starfish, shells, salt,
Watching stars.
My favourite food is fruit.
I like crisp sheets & cupcakes.
Summer & winter.
Wearing silver rings, earrings
& opal country.
Tents, trucks, fire & tarpaulin.
I like body length mirrors.
Watching birds.
Skipping ropes, hopscotch
jacks & marbles.
My favourite colour is blue.
I like the wind,
Snow, forests, books, waterfalls,
Swimming in rivers &
Watching fish.
I like my own warm company.
I like blowing bubbles,
Smelling flowers not picked.
The taste of light.
Music, gardening, candles,
Dolls & owls.

5. Raining The Sea-Birds

this time, birds, i think they were sea gulls, began to fall from the sky, thudding onto the wet sand, their twisted wings & heads turned back-to-front, there was a baby albatross, i picked it up & greedily wanted to save its life, then even that died, oh, i said as each bird expired, its tiny breath into shells & seaweed, i am alone on a desolate beach, dreaming these dead birds into my life, oh, this is what i see when i stare into your eyes for hours, or when you look away & when you look back, with those swampy browns, the tide rises up, the moon pulses & the birds begin to fall, i imagine oceans of fish dying under the waves, i imagine myself drowning under there, as a child, as we must always be infants to the depth & size of the sea, many more dreams followed during the course of the day, as you smiled, the skies opened up & the birds began to fall

6. Psychic Gun

one step closer & you're history!, come out with your hands up!, get out from behind that gravestone buddy!, fucking show yourself!, now!, did you hear me?, what do you take me for?, a fucken moron?, i said move!, i wouldn't fucken trust you as far as i could fucken throw you sweetie, you are either very very fucken nice or the best fucken con artist i've ever come across & since now one's nice, we're in for fucken trouble here, you've got trouble written all over your face, now stick 'em up!, or i'll shoot!, you think you can fool me, what do you fucken take me for?, a fucken clown?, no one's nice no one, least likely you sweetheart, now empty your pockets!, now!, is that all you carry?, well i don't trust you, too fucken clever for your own fucken good, too fucken passive, too fucken smooth, your concealing something, now drop it!, drop it!, one wrong move buddy & you're history!, i was about to mow him down, to fill his body with bullets, but he just looked at me like a sook, its too passive, too quiet, this cemetery, with him like a presence, no fuck that, i didn't trust it, now stand back!, all of you!, keep your fucking distance or i'll shoot!, i wave my gun crazily at the headstones, whilst i back away, but they don't come towards me & nothing moves in the earth beneath them, so i wander slowly back, my gun dropped, weary, hoping they still love me, that there will be a place for my lonely self in the shadow of their cold stone, my psychic gun tucked away in my pocket, it's a cover up, go take a hike, i try not to turn the gun on the enemy too soon, i'm saving some up for later, the nicer i am the more you've got to watch me, watch my actions, don't listen to my words, i am fickle & can feed your insecurities, i am moody & can make life very uncertain, can say things i really believe, then a second later every thing has changed, i have no loyalty, having been through too much & am on the verge of disappearing, i ride my smashed up life like a shockwave, i live entirely in the present, forget things that have been done & said, go where i am treated the best & cannot interpret positive signals, or signals of love, i cannot interpret negative ones either, but tend to make them up, i make up many other things, like i'm highly strung, jumpy, on the edge most of the time, i carry a psychic gun & suspect that others carry the same, i trust no one, say a car just backfired & i hit the floormat rubber with my hands, covering my ears, that's right, i thought someone was firing a gun, now you figure it out, how healthy am i?, what kind of background have i come from? any minute he's going to turn on my me so i'll turn on him first, mow them all down, with my psychic gun, drop the big one, they say attack is the best defense, but i don't even realise when i'm doing it, too frightened to put myself at risk, too weak, to suffer hurt, too frightened to experience a bit of pain in the heart that time will heal, in addition i knew i was doing it, but that i couldn't help myself, there was of course the option of the firearm, the psychic gun, one last warning buddy, it's when i go quiet that you've got to watch me, you've got to learn to read the danger signs, charlie, i stepped out from behind a headstone with the psychic gun pointed straight at his chest, but he didn't respond, then i turned, whipped the pistol out of my back pocket, dropped down to the balls of my feet, freeze!, freeze!, don't move or i'll shoot!, but he just sat down in the grass, like a puppy, looking at me, he was ready to curl up, i shook my head, trying to snap myself out of it, i was responding to a past that no longer existed, i was applying past rules to a new relationship, i was rolling with the punches that hadn't even made contact with my skin, he was docile, a stray, as tacky & peaceful as the catholic section of a cemetery, he was quietly being innocent, showing me his damaged goods, i didn't like him from the start & then i loved him, i said, don't move buddy!, if you know what good for you sunny boy!, or i'll stick it where the sun don't shine!, got it bud?, go take a hike!, but he just went to sleep, he is the biggest con artist around, then feeling unloved, i thought he had gone to a gun dealer & purchased an illegal firearm with which to kill me, why had i trusted him?, it's all been a terrible lie, a horrible mistake, i have been a fool, i'm backing off & he said in a gentle voice, 'how are you today? is something up? would you like to go for a coffee or prefer to be left alone,' just when i was about to fill him with bullets, he got all loving, all lovey dovey on me & i just couldn't do it, finally impotent, he turned his back & quietly walked away, leaving me abandoned, in the mood for conflict, i have to be slapped around a bit to understand a persons need for me, i have to be roughed up & made fearful, i cannot receive these signals he is sending me, i am left terrified, ultimately alone, with no defenses, with the psychic gun, resting on my lap across my knees, between my legs, dangerous & pointing outwards, come back or i'm going to die!, or you're going to die or both of us are!, if you know what's good for you sunshine!, god, she abandoned me in this way, she as cold as ice, i died & died inside & still i was living, i clung to my childhood insanity, i turned inside out like a squashed insect, i did anything i could to survive, i went crazy, god i should have stopped my mother leaving, i should have shot her down, but again, i just let her go, what could i do as a baby?, now his warm & clammy hand, i feel a rush upon my body like a bullet, heat, flies in the air like tinsel & glitter, a thousand eyes swarming, i am becoming frail dizzy, i have no boundaries, i think i will kill you with no happy attitude, no guilt, no pity, no remorse, i stood there with the gun & had so little power, & will have even less if i pull the trigger

7. The Cold Sun

The cold sun
Is a paradox.

I said, do not judge yourself for emanating brightly,
Or that the night of your past has cooled your flame.

They have been blowing on your fire for years.
The silent breath on each small candle of your birthday cake.

When your parents stopped, you invited others in to do the same.

There are a few things one needs to know about the cold sun.
It consumes, it is beautiful,
It is a paradox of looking bright & warm but its centre is cool.

There are some people who are hard & brittle on the outside,
& once smashed open, they are all softness, weak & pulpy underneath,
Terrified of cracks in the fabric,
As underneath it all hides.
A real softie,
A soft snap or has a soft side.

The cold sun is the opposite to that.
Is simply emanating,
In space is big.
Has the light, the silver yellow golden ochre light flickering out,
Like your long long arms reaching out,
To take the world of lonely hearts in, to warm them
Beneath your sunflower flamy skirts, if only you could.
Your intentions are good.
But you fan them with cooler air than they had expected & they
begin to shiver.
Not understanding how one that looks so warm can be so breezy.

The cold sun
Is like one of those summery days in the dead of winter.

I said, do not judge yourself as cold when you are emanating brightly.
It is a matter of warming yourself up from somewhere inside,
Turning your precious midnight fuel inwards to start at the beginning.
Let your flames lick around that cold little rock,
Focus inwards & warm your own heart,

Shine largely, emanate out,
Do not judge yourself when you do not feel.
You may feel another day or for someone else.
You are not permanently damaged.
It's a matter of turning off & switching on,
Rather than this dull & fierce bright emanation.

Cold sun,
Of the winter cemetery,
You & I are such beautiful cold suns.

We give out the signals of warmth & they fly into the light of us,
& each time they crash, & cinder up, we go a little duller.
We attract strange wings into our power.

But mostly we simply insist on a huge space,
Brightly flaring, empty flames, empty arms, empty years.

Because we emanate,
You will all reach out to touch us,

Putting your bone thin hands & lost hearts into a sunlit stream
Coming down from the mountains, where you expect the sun has
Warmed the crystal clear water, just to feel your fingers icing up.

8. The Childrens' Lawn Cemetery

we have companion plaques, positioned close together, prized roses are chosen to rest above our childhood eyes, our cremated remains are interred into our hearts, we provide the society with our glorious living memorials, lives like the surface of headstones & cold monuments, like me he has a careful edge, a considerate cautiousness, in the cemetery of this life, there is the mystery beneath the surface, miles of subterranean mystery, his body wastes away beneath his coat, i waste away beneath my skin, we walk hand in hand, in the end & near the beginning, burning like cold suns, the cemeteries inside us, the dreams, the dead children that we carry, we walk along the avenue of dust pink roses, by the sentimental poetry of a cemetery, by the promise that god will link the broken chain, or that the seasons of gardens always in bloom, will commemorate the passing of love from our hearts, we walk by the opening of headstone messages to lazy gums & australian skies in eucalyptus avenue, after years of brushing shoulders, we see each other for the first time & we are filled with this strange calm, the cemetery brings on an attitude of quietness inside us, as cemeteries will still everything, so that the grave diggers & the birds appear more animated, we are leaving our old lives, we are living uncertainly, minute by minute, we are like wind, brushing lightly across the downward lawn, the gardeners & insects accept our gentle departure, as we move through them, we have stepped up out of our old remains, provoked by each other into movement, we are leaving the garden of no distant place, thank you for the light touch of your hand, your silent company, for walking with me