Ruru (morepork)


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Haven’t posted in a while – it’s been busy. During our lockdowns I did a few nature sketches, including this one of our native owl, the ruru, or morepork, adorable little secretive owls that you can hear if you’re lucky in the still of night, but seldom catch a glimpse of. Now I’m exploring human portraits, and charcoal as a medium. It’s hard starting with a new medium, and not feeling competent.

End of the Golden Weather


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Cicadas thrust their consonant-stealing calls into the air, cramming it up to the tops of trees. I try not to listen too hard, it’s maddening, there’s no space for thought between all those fragments of sound, layered endlessly and endlessly and endlessly.

The sun is there. It’s hot still if I let its gaze fall on me, but I’m not where it can see me, and the air is pleasant like the sea I swam in the day before yesterday; neither bath-water warm and cloying, or too cold, the chill that hooks little claws into the skin after I’m wet. It snicked my breath in a half hearted gasp before I went in (the sea the day before yesterday), but I had decided, and when I was in, I could have stayed in, leaning back and watching the water greenly distort the shape of my legs floating out in front of me (good legs; they take me places). I love the feeling of it on the soles of my feet. Especially that, because the beaches here are mostly broken shell that resist human weight, jabbing and stabbing upward, and usually I wear rubber-bottomed beach shoes, indiscriminate barriers between my soft feet and the outside world. But at the long, pale curve of beach where we were, the sea has ground the shells finer than elsewhere, or deposited sand to bury the shells, and there is less to offend the feet. So I made myself light, and then the sea took me up, no more significant than another bit of flotsam. – The sea’s secret, whispered in the waves that only creep on the sand: even you, o man, cannot bend me. We sigh with it, an outgoing breath as the body relinquishes its taut core; we have met with the unconquerable.

It’s been a long and hot summer. I loved and hated it. I love (love) always knowing the sun will be there. Maybe it’s my god, secretly, and I am a heretic against my winter birth. The sun makes everything alright, always, likes hugs in childhood it makes me feel safe. When I was a child I didn’t always feel safe, but the sun almost always was shining. Now it unsettles me when it disappears for weeks. I cannot rely on it in this place, and I long to be where it can be depended on again. So I loved this summer. Even the hate I said I felt wasn’t really hate, only a protest of the body labouring in the unblinking heat, shrinking into shrinking shade.

The cicadas are summer’s die-hards. Into summer they are born, and they resist the death of it. Raucous, inconsiderately consuming life while it’s theirs, I will sigh when their time is up, because summer’s time will be up too. Is up already, the calendar dictates, and the season already bends to it; this morning there was fog on the glass.  But the cicadas and the sun and I conspire. Better know there’s life in her yet.

Broken (Lost)


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You broke our hearts, sweet,
You did something we couldn’t fix
(You broke it)
And now this pain (obscene)
Tears us,
Swallows us
(Swallowed you)
the tears wet our cheeks
Bathe us
Tears run down our faces, chins,
Down our chests the tears run like a river,
Run into the river
A river of tears


A shitty poem from a shitty time.

the old road, 1


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knobbled roots push through the old road

down below, the stream

and ducks looking vaguely like old shoes floating


I walked near my house and in a corner of suburbia came across a road that was made more than a century ago – only a portion unburied by the years, rugged with scoria. A new bridge escorts it now across a stream and on up beneath pines which must have been planted about the time the road was built. If in any place time was stretched thin, it would be there.


Red like leaves you streak across my sky and if I woke up now I could not tell if you are coming or going. Slice wide open the sky and let the rain through the cracks. You are the rain, speak to me. I strain to hear your thoughts as if I could.

The sky changes its colour like a neon sign as the sun withdraws. It’s time for the moon. The wind leaves, knowing. The world weirds.