Poetry Music Thoughts and Reflections

The Blues of my Arms — August 24, 2022

The Blues of my Arms

(after Duplex by Jericho Brown)

in her bedside drawer a secret sharp
on my bedside table a scolding tea

a tea that burns my tongue and throat
into my stomach down into my arms

down into my arms and up into lungs
lungs that pause and clench the heart

my heart that clenches to a question 
is the skylight closed in her 14-year-old room

my 14-year-old’s room built eight years ago
which went unused when her head lay with mine

unused when her head lay next to mine
before the ghost in the blues of my dreams

in the blues of my dreams a ghost in my arms
circles the altar of our family room

our family room with a cornered orchid 
pink flowers faded beside the stone

pink flowers beside a stone I once held 
when I birthed her raw out over my room

when I birthed her roar out over our room
that first night alone her held in my arms

this night now alone without her here held 
a silence raw between our rooms

in her bedside drawer her secret was sharp
on my bedside table a scalding tea 

Pinned — July 14, 2022


Competition –

An expression of an artist’s soul in colour and/or shades-

Death –

Coming head to head with another person, persons, team or teams to find a winner and a looser-

Book –

A piece of fruit tied to the story of Adam an Eve-

Carpet –

Surrendering of all tension in the body of being or in the body of the world-

Winter –

The opposite of life, the abyss of the unknown-

Painting –

A floor covering made of soft material-

Apple –

Pages bound together and filled with words or pictures-

Peace –

The coldest season

after 8pm — September 16, 2021
Shoulder in Lockdown — November 6, 2020

Shoulder in Lockdown


i battle with a body primed to run   

the same as yesterday

what haven’t i done? 

what have i done?

i haven’t taken my pills 

i have taken my pills every day 

a guilty urge to hide in bed 

it’s then i remember

we’re still in lockdown

i think of my feet 

i feel into my hands


interrupting my tricks to fix

a familiar sound

thumping feet on the floorboards 

a wide gait trot

from his bedroom to mine


he pauses at the edge of my mattress

giggles when he meets my eyes

roughly pulls up the doona 

bums his way into bed

and begins stroking my skin

mummy’s shoulder he sighs

then moves his hand to my mouth



we have time this morning

a suburb away 

today his sisters are with their dad 

no school runs

no disability day service 

just him and i 

with nothing in particular

to have to do


Shhhhhhhhh i copy 

blowing the sound onto his hand

do it again he delights

Shhhhhhhhh i sound 

onto his forehead 


He rests his face onto mine

the hair on his chin 

a soft prickle on my cheek

my exhale slows

he sniffs at my mouth

wincing at my un-brushed breath

he pushes my shoulder away 

cuddle Mummy’s back

i laugh and turn


he spoons in close 

strokes the skin on my collar bone

his nose tip touching the back of my neck

Mummy’s shoulder he sighs 

Centrepiece — January 22, 2020


Portrait of lady on porcelain plate

Pink dresses dancing for clergy

Little fire in a chandelier


I take pause at the edge

of a gallery in branded sandals

one foot off the floor

before the toes of a Persian Queen

summoned AND SO I WILL GO



I PERISH        I turn


Under the arches of the exhibiting hall

real-life bride performs a pirouette

two men        each eye their lens

one on one knee

the other circumnavigating

light in crafted spin






poem and drawing by Rebecca Sullivan


Wind — December 13, 2019


A pale orchard is the speaker


he is older than bones

older than a visitor flickering beyond night

dropped in Blood Mother’s hand


a sheet draped white yellow flower

reveals he is close

close to her sweetest internal rhyme


he dances words from the eardrum of her ocean cave

A Cross Tic — March 18, 2019
For I Will Consider — March 9, 2019

For I Will Consider

For I Will Consider My Children

                        (After Mary Oliver and Christopher Smart)


For I will consider my son Maximus

For he plays the one broken key on our piano with gusto

For he climbs the shelves of my pantry in search of tea

For he chases sparrows at federation square

For he has three hour baths

For he claps and spins to SBS Chill

For he can play 17 rhythms on Djembe and can bang them on guitar

For he sings the words I think I’m gonna cry WAH WAH

For he collects real estate magazines and reads the oxford dictionary

For in a crowded theatre he laughs loudly at the sad parts of the film

For when it’s cloudy outside he tells me the sun is gone

For when I tell him I’ll see him next Friday

he hugs me a little tighter


For I will consider my daughter Willow

For she hates dresses that go past her knee

for she has adopted my hooded leather jacket

For when I tell her I love her she says ok unless its mothers-day

For she keeps her door closed and asks me to always knock

For she refuses to wear a hat to protect her mulberry birthmark

For she is terrified of the daddy long legs

For she uses her whole body to flip the two-handed-double-fingered-bird

For she lent me a dress on valentine’s day

For on her desk are two guitars a make-up case and a broken calculator

For she tells me what’s good on Netflix but asks that I watch when she’s not around

For above her bed is her first painting – a cave composed before kindergarten

For when she switches off her night light she quietly yells

mum are you still awake?


For I will consider my daughter Cadence

For she knows how to make eighteen different types of slime

For her bedroom carpet is ruined

For she wants to be an actor when she grows up or a chemist or both

For she has a book called ‘Cat Body Language – 100 Ways to Read Their Signals’

For she has a cat scratch on her chin

For she tells me she has decided to start calling me mother

For her new year’s resolution is to have less drama at school and to get a boyfriend

For when we read side-by-side she announces any gramma errors she encounters

For she can count her breaths backwards from 150

For she sleeps next to me seven nights out of fourteen

For of those seven nights her last words are mummy

I love you like an atom


For I will consider my children Maximus Willow and Cadence

For I will consider them while atoms still exist



small things — January 16, 2019

small things

Point Nepean
on the path to Gunner’s Cottage
echidna buries its head

Fort Nepean
on the cliff’s edge
admiral butterfly chases dragonfly

Sandringham Village
at the cafe entrance
barrister  shoes white moth

Sandringham Beach
ladybird walks internal bind
of book on Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love

haiku — November 10, 2017