Poetry Music Thoughts and Reflections

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

Max in three words — February 8, 2017

Max in three words

When I read this work out loud, I feel like I’m naked on a coat hanger … this is a difficult piece for me, yet one that I am most proud of. In 2012 my poetry mentor Claire Gaskin prompted the class to express 10 years of life in three word sentences. Instantly I was reminded of my son’s prosody of speech. I felt like I’d finally found the way to express our story.

The work was first published in Southerly’s  Long Paddock and can be found here. Max in Three Words has also been performed as a monologue by the Ruby Theatre Company.

Like other work I have written in collaboration with Max, I believe the piece is more powerful when heard.


A Concise History of Love — May 4, 2015