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The War on Celery


She was one of those people

who think they can control everything.


We were shopping when she said:

“I hate celery”


as if celery had done her an injury.


I said: “Well celery doesn't like you either”

as a joke


but she thought I was sticking up for celery

and she took offense at me

for taking celery's side.


She tried to make me choose between her and celery.


“Are you with celery or are you with me?”


I held a carrot up to her to help her like celery.

I said celery was good in stews

But that sent her pear- shaped.


The only thing I could do

(to stop us both going bananas)

was to hold out an olive branch and say:


“I know what you mean about celery.

  I hate celery too"


After that everything was apples.  




The city flooded

And the sea receded.


There were unexpected guests.


Stingrays harpooning rubber tires.

Dolphins changing colour

quicker than streetlights.

Bitumen tossing silver

with all makes of epileptic fish.

Statues leaning proud in sea lace.


After feasting

Pigeons and gulls so fat they couldn’t fly.


Noah and his loved one’s scrambled

to the high ground of Taronga Zoo;

to the comfort of lions and straw.


Sucking Grevillea

chewing Wattle Gum

digging for Wichetty Grubs

and celebrating Bush Tomatoes.


You can hear from there

the sound of Neverness.


A place without time or boundary.

Attis and Cybele



It is Spring.

Attis slumps under willow

tired with melancholy

contemplating the glamour of stars.


He rests his back against Cybele:

The curved queen; beauty of the woods.


Her grey branches bear grief

her figure is firm

but her branches are without leaf or bud.

Neither rain nor sun;

kisses nor pomegranates

can wake her from coma.


Spider networks thread raindrops.

Attis licks his lips thankful for moisture;

breathes deeply for oxygen,

takes apples’ last bite.


The sap will no longer rise for Cybele.

And the drones have no queen.


Dolce far niente is not for this season.


Shall he, quick as a flash

cut off his manhood

and sing with Castrati?

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