Monday, December 11, 2017

rising smoke

reading the poem that won the prize
a pleasant feeling brushes my mind
like popping candy in the neurons
and an inner warm glow assures me
that I am in the hands of a master

I grip it for a while in my hand
then put it down and get on with my life

dissolutely flick down through Twitter
let out the cat let it back in again

there must be something left unsaid
if only I could forget all those words
i just read—

out on the compost heap I rake up
the poems into drifts dozens deep
and set fire to the verbiage pile
the smoke rising in a tall tower
a message to the sky, a rocket ship

but even this act of surrender
is a theatre, a dishonesty
for there never is a final act
the show is endlessly revolving
playwright, actor, audience—all in me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

meditation on darwinism

evolution co-exists with conservation
evolution aims to conserve itself

the most ancient thing which can be conserved
is also the simplest

even destruction may only be obtained
at the cost of preservation elsewhere

in the very end, all has been preserved
and all has been destroyed at least once

this is an example of divine līlā (play)

alonely union

the dark part
 of Taurus
kneads open the oval
 lemon gate
the agate
 pillow lava—
this is what they call
 "following the path
of union"

opening wide
 the African Elephant
eloping with an anteater
the terrible frieze
 a grey massif
 a carpeted concrete pile
vertices of iron—
this is what they call
 "practicing eternity"

an eucrite verandah
pachyderm pale centre
 we must overcome
all barnacles
in the dry dock
there is no afterlife like this
being home is so called—
 "only the one and alonely"

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Poem written near Mt Turallo

up in the trees
where the yellow cracked turbidites
slide in cubes down
 a crevised road

there i get out and
 let air into my chest
perfumed by the highest leaf

over the terraced horizons
 i spy through the trunks
the distant valley where i live

its blotched hills with half cleared
 patches - familiar marks,
distressed with human work

standing on this road, this cut
i can feel the pain
 in the wild terrain

nested here, even in
 a reserve, we cut it
we, the disease
we, the doctor
we, the cure

loading rocks into my car
illegally, wrapped in blankets
 to decorate the garden

what i seek to capture is how
before the rod of time
 broke this place

there was no reason to remember
 a beauty

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

a newer wasteland

in the dark wasteland of the night
i sit by the luminous blue light
of the screen and scry out
into a universe not made to be seen

the bladder emptied into a deck of hearts
and the madman on the golden toilet
will turn the cities into plasticine
and all our lives will meld like in a dream

the paradox of the pointed pointlessness
seems to grow like an ugly vest
washed too much on the hottest setting
but still the one we fit into best

walking in the bush, the family
at a hideout high in the treeline
find others who have fleed the jamboree
and drink the poisoned lake for tea

they say to me "what shall we do?
the world has gone to crap!"
and i wish that i could answer back
but the wasteland has got into me too

lets just hope the worst will soon be over
and some of us will float back up
and those that don't will be the heroes
their tombs will be the new ground zeros

their lives will start a century
of songs and mournful poetry
and living ours we'll think back often
wishing we could join them

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bleeding Nose Poems

My new collection is now out.  If you'd like a free copy, DM me through twitter (@yellow_vincent) or email me through my website (

You can also buy it from Lulu and Amazon.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

writing poetry on an antique typewriter

 orange glow
on the paper past
a silverfish flicks on the grate
the heat burns
my cheek
and I write
 I write only to create

 how complete
to be wrapped in flesh
ruled by Venus and Saturn
dancing over Earth
 like a lighted wick
 expecting to be blessed

 if I could fillet the lie
and remove its spleen
my cat would come quick
for the reward—
 a taste of the notochord

(this shows how far we have erred
                             from the path)

 my back is cold
it is that time of year
there is nothing to fear
still we grow old
older than our clothes
 old into our particular doom

Sunday, June 25, 2017

junk post

a very very thin membrane
wafer thin, like
a shaft of sun on the eyelashes
or a trumpet sounding the blues 

the sun wheel
belongs in the home
from whence the spokes emanate
into a thousand chariots
across the heavens

open nose
fast faucet

the memory of
the conversation of a river
would keep me happy 
through any torture

they opened my legs
and peeled away the skin
how interesting to see myself
am I in pain?

"I am not my body—
you cannot destroy my song"

in arguing for this
I disembowel myself
for publicity

I publish the essay
to discovery only
the fat survives

peeling off the laughs
like old enamel paint
the ships enter my fingers



let me learn latin
to learn latvian
 learn latia
earn later

 the later day seints
   the rather dry farts
arthur cluricue plickett
  fantasia in A
 god bowel
dog bowl

 We're all in the gonlangd
  the epices worthy
ashguard essence etix
 arx ataxia

Vanguard gravy fanguard g
(g)abby baggage job
the tide swallows
 every muscle
in the

dead cat. pax. afrika
the flavourful asset
 nice skivvy ornament
my neck

egg isotap. spanic gag (indigo)
the colour revoleves on an axle
of aspic tregearth
the roman mysteries

 gristly grindstone unwaund
the handle slowly
turning argyle
plot of


a lenz opend.
gladly inkd.
gaudicle ningalu
aspic ea

grassroots antelope spy
 feisty vagabond street
  nigella apartment oh
 fagus albion

crass lined paper post
card. attack. dog eye
velvet penis I
in may air

egrerious greg gig
grey's egrerion gig

camera obscura

up against calligraphy
the pen is wild

a narrow child
of obscure lyric. [time in a jar]

don't detail
the orders
the bridge
will be built

don't inquire
after the deficit
all the debt
will be recovered

the san destruction
will be sonomaan
in a club hat

Same difference anyway
but it should matter
to the party line

as it grows in power
near to the darkness

bleeding nose poems
 fear of the dark
  there is wax
   walk in the park

work safety here

solid root
downward plunge
going down
into forests

nothing had been added
 to exiled artists during the War
in Paris

I'll never be the President of France

I wanted to be
some sort of Poesy
but look dans mes mains
they have colluded with the sky
and in the future when people ask
I will have to say
it was all about
an eye for an eye
I cry you cry
and the faithless gone travelling
without hope into the void
growing into the emergency
a big daddy to make things better
how did they manage to hold back?
I was too easy a target for them
a painted figurine
upset by the golf connexion
a millennial, come to collect the game
grey haired and limbs locking loosely together
the forest fire human being
grey smoke rising from the temples
limbering up the mountains
                         in a polar fleece jacket
public attitude like a derailment
when i come to you I am not really myself
but that is how the train feels
going ito the tunnel
none of this makes sense.

In the future everyone will know
will know what it is to be me
they will ladle me like soup
good honest broth
chop with cleavers through my bones
portion me out
dice my heart
this will be good
if there is marrow in it
it makes good stock
this is the old advice
it can't be changed
by some new novelty
a crash course in life
—predicts—to be fair
I have not lived enough
it is better to wait
till the end of the show
to write a review.

Jeremy Corbyn reads Shelley
in the chapel
into the microphone
courses Shelly's voice
like a cold mountain stream
like a Hymn
like the blood of humanity
animating through time
all the hundreds of moments
when the heart stopped
and skipped a rhyme

4am 8.6.2017

Descartes in Day-care

the old fart
pushing the swing
asking if it's his turn
his cloak muddy around the trim
that's Him.
Arguing without care
about the colour of his snack
the time of his nap

Descartes holding court
in the toddler room
he wants his bottle
but a baby's got it in her hand
the pale white fragile thing
 held aloft—foaming at the tip
it can be traded for a crust
and time with a toy
a bond of trust
is established that day
at 32 past 4

the smashing of the towers
the dragging of the babies through the corridors
by their hair
the wailing. the derision
all that would come later
for today Descartes
is in Day-care.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

like magma

got a shuffle on.
got a shuffle on.
like argonauts
being labelled.

microidia fabulous
of genomes and
present day cityscalps

embolism microbe
moist unweathered
fast fracula.

the true cubit macro
calculated to cut into
a metronome node
tuned into classic radio

instant argillaceous gravels
nematodes and flatworms
the horns of a ram
entombed into stone: a trident

the last latex Renault
hung like Foucault
got to go..
.. into a tar-pit

the dark chords and tendons
that prop up my corpid form
leave hollow
the body of an instrument
the shell to sound the wind
a pulse flickering
the pilot light
of a distant beacon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Verses from 'The recognition of Śākuntala'

I translated these verses of the great Indian poet Kālidāsa as part of my third year Sanskrit Language study. They are a selection from the first few pages of the play Abhijñānaśākuntalam "The recognition of Śākuntala". I have made my original literal translation a little freer here - while still clinging quite closely to the original. I also used the translation by M R Kale as a guide.


atha abhijñānaśākuntalam

yā sṛṣṭiḥ sraṣṭur ādyā vahati vidhihutaḥ yā havir yā ca hotrī
ye dve kālaṁ vidhattaḥ srutiviṣayaguṇā yā sthitā vyāpya visvam
yām āhuḥ sarvabhūtaprakṛtiriti yayā prāṇinaḥ prāṇavantiḥ  [sarvabījpr  [vantaḥ
prtyakṣābhiḥ prapannas tanubhir avatu vas tābhir aṣṭābhir riśiḥ

That water which was the first creation from the creator,
that fire which carries the sacrifice
 and whoever makes the sacrifice.
The Sun and Moon, which apportion time
 and that by which sound has pervaded the universe.

The Earth which they call the foundation of seeds
and that spirit by which living creatures possess the breath of life

May the Lord of these eight sacred forms protect you all.

subhagasalilāvagāhāḥ pāṭalasaṁsargasurabhivanavātāḥ
pracchayasulabhanidrā divasāḥ pariṇāmaramaṇīyāḥ ||3||

Those days—
when it is nice to plunge in the water
whose forest winds are fragrant
 with the scent of trumpet flowers
 —those days will be sweet at their end.

īṣadīṣaccumbitāni bhramaraiḥ sukumārakeśaraśikāni
avataṁsayanti dayamānāḥ pramadāḥ śirīṣakusumāni

The compassionate women
make garlands out of Śirisha blossoms,
whose stamen tips are tender,
and are gently, gently kissed by bees.

grīvābhaṇgābhirāmaṁ muhur anupatati syandane dattadṛṣṭiḥ
paścārddhena praviṣṭaā śarapatanabhayād bhūuasā pūrvakāyam |
darbhair arddhāvalīḍhai śramavivṛtamukhabhraṁśibhīḥ kīrṇavartmā
paśyodagraplutatvād viyati bahutaraṁ stokam urvyā prayāti||

The lovely deer
bending of his neck
eyes fleeting repeatedly
on the following chariot,

the fore part of his body
seemed to merge
with the rear
twisted from fear
of the falling arrow

the darbha-grass
 half licked
from his panting mouth

but see!

with a lofty bound
 he proceeds
more through the air
and less on the ground.

yad āloke sūkṣmaṁ vrajati sahasā tad viṣulatāṁ
yad arddhe vicchinnaṁ bhavati kṛtasandhānamiva tat
prakṛtyā yad vakraṁ tadapi samarekhaṁ nayanayor
na me dūre kijcit kṣaṇamapi na pārśve rathajavāt

(while riding very fast in the chariot..)

"that which is minuscule
suddenly grows large!
that which is cut in the middle
appears joined!
that which by nature is crooked
appears straight to the eyes!

"nothing is at a distance from me
for even a momentnor beside me!"

kva vata hariṇakānāṁ jīvitaṁ cātilolaṁ
kva ca niśitanipātāḥ vajnasārāḥ śarās te
tat sādhu kṛtasandhānaṁ pratisaṁhara sāyakaṁ
ārttatrāṇāra vaḥ śastraṁ na prahartum anāgasi

What is the fragile life of fawns
to your sharp falling adamantine shafts?
Withdraw your well-aimed arrow—
your weapon is for your protection,
it is not to injure the innocent.

ramyās tapodhanānāṁ pratihatavidyāḥ kriyāḥ samavalokya
jñāsyaśi kiyad bhujo me raksati maurvīkiṇāṇka iti

Having seen the ascetics' religious austerities, 
with all their hindrances removed, 
 you will think 
“how much my arm, scarred by the bow-string, protects!”

nīvārāḥ śukagarbhakoṭaramukhabhraṣṭās taruṇām adhaḥ
prasnigdhāḥ kvacid inggudīphalabhidaḥ  sucyanta evopalāḥ
viścāsopagamād abhinnagatayaḥ śabdaṁ sahante mṛgās
toyādhārapathāśca valkalalśikhāniṣyandarekhāngkitāḥ

Grains of wild rice 
lying fallen from the mouth 
of the trees
whose interiors 
are filled with parrot

and hereabout lie stones
oily from splitting 
the fruit of the Ingudi tree

the tame deer
do not vary their gait
 at our approach

and the river paths are marked with lines 
of water dripping 
from the fringe of bark garments.

kulyāmbhobhiḥ pavanacapalaiḥ śākhino dhautamūlā
bhinno rāgaḥ kisalayarucām ājyadhūmodgamena
ete cārvāg upavanabhuvi cchnnidarbhāngkurāyāṁ
naṣtaśangkā hariṇaśiśavo mandamandaṁ caranti

Those trees—
whose roots are washed 
by the waters of the canals 
rippling in the wind
                    the colour 
of their brilliant sprouts 
is obscured 
by the rising smoke 
of sacrificial butter.

and here in front of us 
the young fawns, 
whose fear has been lost, 
are leisurely grazing

 in the grounds of the grove, 
the stalks of the darbha grass
 have been lopped off.

idaṁ ki kilāvyajamanoharaṁ vapus
 tapaḥkṣamaṁ sādhayituṁ ya icchati
dhuvaṁ sa nīlotpalapatradhārayā
 śamīlatāṁ chettūm ṛṣir vyavasyati  

That sage—
who wishes to put
 this truly authentic captivating 
beautiful body 
capable of penance
to work 
          —he surely resolves to cut the Śamī tree 
with a blue lotus leaf’s edge.

idam upahitasūkṣmagranthinā skandhadeśe
 stanayugapariṇāhācchadinā valkalena
vapur abhinavam asyāḥ puṣyati svāṁ na śobhaṁ
 kusumam iva pinaddhaṁ pāṇṇgupatrodareṇa   

This young body of hers
 the bark garment with slender fastenings upon her shoulder, 
covering around her two breasts,

It modestly hides in dullness, 
 like a flower wrapped within a shell of brown leaves

sarasijam anuviddhaṁ śaivalonāpi ramyaṁ
 malinam api himāṁśor lakṣma lakṣmīm tanoti
iyam adhikamanojñā valkalenāpi tanvī
 kimiva hi madhuraṇām maṇnganaṁ nākṛtīnām

a lotus 
even though permeated all over with slime, 
is still nice; 

also the tarnished mark 
on parts of the moon 
actually extends its beauty

so this slender bodied lady 
is surpassingly beautiful even 
with her bark cloth 

what would not embellish such a shape?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

peace be thine

The languid eyelashes of the fourth poet
flicker piling shovels of herbal muse into the concrete
truck mixing and revolting – sluicing it back out
into allegoric lines

staged onto the page

intuitions like stones

resting fathoms apart

in immortal gravity

people come and whisper –“is it
a plan? Will it be washed on the inside?”
scooping inside for a little white marble attempting not
to pop the slick rubber bands of fool’s desire

a gaze falls on the leather page
protesters move about in twos and threes
gashed hands across the back delicious and nutty
like a frozen lysosome

some will be martyrs, and we will remember them
some will slip into the undergrowth and sleep
amid the twigs and heather, the only comfort being
the gentle hands of long evolved forms

if to die is the pure path, then die we must
but here on earth there is a destiny too -
the ensured calming of the beasts
into the deep pool we call clarity of mind

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How lovely (song)

How lovely you seem
to me

sweet fairy
in the tumbleweed

come to me
over seas
free delivery

i await
to see
you stand
in front of me

sweet fairy...

you would be
i ordered you to be

you would say
i was all
you wished for me to be

would be
as it should be

we would be
so happy

we would be...

holding hands
in a dream
just a dream
just a dream

no, no time for us
to meet
in reality

it would be
too painfully real
for me

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This Poem is Why Trump Won!!

Expressing concern about the rise of racism is Why Trump Won!!

Supporting people with disabilities is Why Trump Won!!

Believing in a future where all cultures live together in peace is Why Trump Won!!

Being kind and generous is Why Trump Won!!

Showing compassion to Syrian refugees is Why Trump Won!!!

Taking the time to understand the science is Why Trump Won!

Your humility and dignity is Why Trump Won!!!

You living your life and eating avocado is Why Trump Won!

This society's enduring tolerance of the unknown is Why Trump Won!!!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Haunting of Woo

like some old paediatric nurse
 hanging a newborn baby up high
to spank his bum -

like the Earth moving under the feet
 of the commuters
realigning the mountain chains -

Woo came to me
shook me off the path
 and got me.

the deep dark haunting
 of imitable bliss
sits in soft robes over tan skin

chewing the unavoidable
 iron-firm nutrition
of the Great Realisation

maybe now that you are here
pausing at the edge
 it means -
Woo will come to get you, too.