the koala tucked legs
of squirm disturbed sleep
and grasp clenched fist

each child I consider
shaving this chest




milk grog face
she sleeps in the inside of my elbow
like half in a hammock

in the other hand
the rattle of lego up the tube

I’ve never been
so domestic as right now
think I’ll go empty the fridge
of a beer

unfolding you








you place you on top of the aeroplane pile
big-eyes, arms-out, standing on grass
it’s for me.

I pick you up and crease you with my thumb

cross your arms
turn your eyes over
and press your head into the table

when it’s almost complete
for test-flight hand over

you dissolve into sobs.

take gulpfuls to unfold your words.

I have no idea what I’ve done.


for Nogsy

Watch Daddy watch – MoP#4

Watch Daddy watch 
Each stone is a badge,

selected for smoothness,

its ability to belly skip,
hop when it ought to sink
though the side arm 

technique and flick 
off the finger
is a stretch 

beyond their looped 
plop.  No, not like that, watch this one 
watch this one Daddy. 



I lean on a pandanus
they kept as a souvenir

the boys 
drive cars
in wet sand.

Before kids,

before rendered blocks
and squared lilly pillys,
the beach

and the road

700 metres
of casuarina, pandanus,
acacia and swamp weed.   

Tonka truck labyrinth
thinned crowds
to just mates

and girlfriends.  Surf
A-frames, sit
around night fires

behind the dunes
out of sight. 

an hour after patting down the earth

Trains on the floor of your room

it would have found you, brushed
itself against your leg, plopped
down in the middle of the track. 

‘Mi-Yeow alive Daddy?’

You button your lip
hold deep breaths in your belly
and stare at the memory
of a bag in the ground.

Twenty minutes
on my lap
you hold back

my explanations.  Look up
occasionally, ask my eyes for

a change in the situation.

Until Mummy walks in 
and your whirring little mind
lets your heart burst
all your sadness.

Ladybird Apples


How should you ask?
Apple please Daddy
Hand a Royal Gala

from the fridge.
No Ladybird, Ladybird!

Do you mean Pink Lady?

Thank you


Tiggy Johnson has set me a challenge to write some children pieces.  I don’t know if this is poetry but I couldn’t help write it.