tonight. on noongar land

there is a sweet noise

rolling in at the horizon

just under the raw clouds

it’s a thin sound

and we’re speaking in verse, always traverse

its two steps forward, another in reverse


we’re building walls with words

to stop the hate

picking locks with uttered stanzas

to unhinge the gates

we carpet bomb villages

with poems of peace

pieces of poems

setting fire in the streets

and they’re shouting in ink on tabloid stands

we’re rapid-writing poetry

without blood on our hands

yeah this rhymes – sometimes

and i’ll add another syllable

to kill the pain, another rant

that capital is not a god

but it is

and all real words are revolutions

a ceaseless reververation

a circle of lives

twisting, resisting – then

listening to these birds

in a wardong suburb

that chiddy-chiddy, koolbardie

calling to a mate

and in the gargantuan bitumen silence

my keyboard is a whispered pistol

a semi-automatic word doc

shot at Israeli tanks

cutting cable ties in Kimberly driveways

the salt across my turned cheek

and we’re speaking in verse, always traverse

 its two steps forward, another in reverse x2 – PREACH

we are the sweetest poems for Malala, Gaza

we are silent words for children, babies

women, men, boys, girls, the ungendered, the transgendered

the unborn – and the dead

because those without words

cannot speak

and there it is…

that sweet rolling noise

gets louder, close at the horizon

at the wet western edge

we remember these splintered boats

will never be stopped

never be finished

oceans swallow children,

and gods, and the stateless

their final breaths… …

that heartbeat… .. .. .. ..

we are all boat people

eventually, she says

and we tell their stories

to the phablet swipers

moderating snipers

with ballistic sentences

paragraphs from trees

and stolen trucks performing on freeway bridges

in the blistered streets, in traffic

in bloody solidarity with the strikers

begging our special-offer one-time-only one-percenters

the never ever dissenters

but we are. we are poets

awake at the edge of the battle

and art is a hammer – not a mirror

and we’re speaking in verse, always traverse

its two steps forward, another in reverse x3 – PREACH

at school, here in the sunburnt country

history is a jigsaw of missing pieces

fragments of forgotten warriors

within these girted shores

not even a tent embassy mention

or a yagan

or a jandamarra

in our yarns

never told

see, educators

need to tell truths

even if they hurt

and these poets here tonight

need to bleed

to witness

to feed their lines

and we listen, heed

and wait for sirens

and guns and riot cops

to conserve the status quo

and nothing  will change

without our new old words

our speech patterns against their batons

under the jack boot

we scream their isolated freedom

AZADI from money

bleeding too much concrete and glass and steel

another road to nothing nothing nothing

another freeway to invisibility

the illusion of tranquility

is nothing nothing nothing

yet we hear the sweetest noise coming…

and we’re speaking in verse, always traverse

its two steps forward, another in reverse x4

two steps forward, another in reverse…




in verse