Tag Archives: Brisbane

there are there there are

a million things

on in Brisbane right now. this

is one 

shameless self-promotion 

riverwords photo

Brisbane Fringe Festival is in it’s second year. I really wanted to perform some poems on this river of ours. Partly to interact with the river in a different way, partly because it devastated us not so long ago and I want to learn how to love it again and also maybe just because we can get in a tinny and read some poetry (and that can be fun). If you’re interested… I’d love you to be there.

It’s this Friday night.

Two sessions –  6pm and 8pm.

Get a ticket – 6pm session

Get a ticket – 8pm session

or reserve a seat here: Brisbane Fringe Festival – Riverwords.  and here

is a poem I’ll read on Friday night (first published in fourW magazine 2012)   


In need of a poem

Fingernails full
of river can’t be

Thoughts seep into the carpet.  

I want the nose of the knee-deep
throwing wet bags of stand back.   

They bulldoze novels into a council pile of lounge chairs.

In need of a poem that’ll break the silence
with the river we loved, point out
we are still deeply in love, but don’t

know how.  Like Grammar girls first time
back, stroking 5am oars. 

Because it drifts past like a dog at the back
fence wondering
what it did on the carpet. 

In need of a poem
so I asked some buddies, who
shared their river.


Facebook Event: Riverwords


run around renku

Turning Japanese lately with the traditional form of renga or renku. Yes, it’s related to haiku. It’s a collaborative series of linked verse. Here’s part of a summer renga I wrote with jDub which we performed at Speedpoets last Saturday. Enjoy!


I’ve been writing with a bunch of other Brisbane poets in a renku called ‘Snake Weather’ and the first three parts of the poem is over at Another lost shark. Check it out if you have a moment. ‘Snake Weather: part 1’  – ‘part 2’ – ‘part 3’ 



build a nest out of 2am humidity. She’s pulled all the sleep across to her side. Why should I give a toss, I’ll only kick it off anyway. Burned-out mozzie coil on the sill lets in a dozen thoughts. They scream in my ear till I give up, give them a pencil, then step outside. The street is lit with steel light, all the driveways tucked in and snoring. 



Call-Back-Poet! Yeewwww!

SpeedpoetsSpeedpoets Call-Back-Poet

Hop over to the Speedpoets website to check out my new poem ‘The home midwife’ I read at Speedpoets open mic last month. I was stoked to be called back up to the mic again to read a couple more poems. August Speedpoets happens this Saturday 4th at Brew, 2pm.

QPF Interview

The Queensland Poetry Festival is just around the corner. You’ll find the interview with Tiggy and I over at the Queensland Poetry Festival website. Click on ‘Program’ to find all the brilliant artists performing at QPF later this month. I hope you come along to enjoy the weekend festival of words and sounds.  It’ll be spectacular.

ginko – a haiku walk


walking in thongs
along the track
every stick slithers

For the months of October and November I’ve been writing haiku with a group of poets in different locations in Brisbane.  Here’s a few of mine and a link to some of the other ku by the group.

longevity bench
the old man
smokes a packet

white stains
by the ice cream stall
sacred ibis

Here are the links to some of the ginko haiku over at Another Lost Shark.   Kurilpa Bridge    City Botanic Gardens     Brunswick St     Southbank     Mt Gravatt Mountain


Speedpoets November 6th

This Sunday 6th November I’ll be performing at Speedpoets as a feature poet. Yeeewww! The always encouraging Graham Nunn of Another Lost Shark gave me an invitation and I’m really excited about stepping up to read a handful of my poems. It’ll be the longest set I’ve performed. I’ll also be reading haiku and senryu as part of the set (with a little harmonica help on the side from Sheish Money). Can’t wait!

Also performing on Sunday is The Stress of Leisure with an old friend Pascal Burton (poet, artist, musician) and Ian from their recent residency at the Brisbane Powerhouse, AND a new friend (who for some reason insists on calling me Dustin) Michael Cohen who is the other local feature poet performing his humorous poetry.

There is also the open mic, free zines, entry is a gold coin so hope to see you there for the final Speedpoets for 2011 at Brew, Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City 2pm.

Finally a ku:

quiet all year until now

See you in Brisbane’s words

There is so much going on in Brisbane over the weekend and coming week.  I just found out a good friend of mine Aaron Nebauer is playing at Black Star Coffee tonight.  Aaron released ‘New Age Neanderthals’ late last year and I missed the album launch so I can’t wait to go and watch him perform.  It’ll certainly beat waiting around all night listening to ‘Welcome back, we are just five hours away from Kate walking down the aisle.’
Black Star Coffee 44 Thomas St West End 7:30pm Friday April 29th $10 entry

Big Thoughts from the FRIGHTENED Well

Something else I missed last year was the Brotherhood of the Wordless performance at the Queensland Writers Festival.  This group is made up of people with Autism and other disabilities that preclude speech and use alternative communication methods to convey their needs and wants.  They’ve been working together with Ghostboy to put on this spoken word event Big Thoughts from the FRIGHTENED Well.  If you’re interested it’s on at the State Library at 4pm Saturday 30th April – Entry is free but bookings are required through qtix- Big Thoughts from the FRIGHTENED Well

Speedpoets on Sunday, at a new home, Brew, in Lower Burnett Lane.  I can’t wait to see the crew, listen to some great poetry and I think I’ll read a flood poem.  I’ve been wanting to for a while.

And I hope I can get along to Black Dove Members Night on Wednesday next week featuring Nick Grivas, Trudie Murrell, Eleanor Jackson & special guest Candy Royalle.  Here’s the link http://betsyturcot.wordpress.com/what-i-do/black-dove-members-night/

See you at something somewhere.

Brisbane’s pesky locals

For some reason this week there’s been some poetic interest in the feral, good for nothing, ugly, will pinch a chip out of your fingers, sings like my great aunty, local Brisbane birds (no offence aunty).  Here is a sensational poem called ‘Why do we hate the crow?’ by a new blog friend Gabrielle Bryden.  Click on the mp3 recording.  It is well worth it.

Lee-Anne Davie has been writing haiku and you’ll find this (as well as plenty of others) at Another Lost Shark Sandgate Ginko: Lee-Anne Davie

a lone ibis fossicks

in the mangroves


I had to laugh at the misfortune of the old ibis but there seems to be a great deal of sympathy out there.  Here is John Wainwright at MirrorMosaicOfSounds :

noisy bird

enticing me

no-one else

A stone's throw from Chermside (don't even think about it!)


For some unknown reason, I’ve been getting cosy with Brisbane’s ‘pests’ – I wrote this last week:

during smoko

collecting nearby twigs

tones down his aaark

And here is a ‘fresh’ Saturday sequence of my own:

early morning car park full of sunlight


at the truck stop

morning birds

pick at a meat pie crust


I guess there’s no rush…

a crow walks

across the road


each time another

joins the banquet –

magpies lift their song


Peace to the pesky Brisbane locals

To the bloke dating my sister,


When we heard you were over

a decade older than her

my brother said something

about ‘Uncle Dave’ and I must admit

we all laughed a little.


Two migratory birds

flew into Brisbane last Christmas, white

as chalk cliffs; their bones grinned

in the sun as they anticipated our eyes.


And we watched…

sunlight playing  in her hair,

her travelled heart

no longer searching for repair.

Cracking a Gold we drank agreeably

about Kentish ales and how you met:

in grey twilight

picking up the clarinet

next to her car

Last night, placing bets

about why you asked us to huddle

around the laptop, we watched

a grinning British bowler hat

beside our sister, your new bride.

And we hooted like drunken yobbos

from The Hill at the Gabba.


screensaver puddles

for Leah (waiting for paint to dry)



the rainforest

comes off the mountain

and tours

Brisbane’s suburbs

playing its music

bringing the earthy smell

of moist underforest

and clean decay


the unfamiliar band sit in trees

playing foreign chords

and we turn our music off

to listen

their sounds seems to call

the mountain weather

down off the

Border Ranges

through Beaudesert

across to the Bay


rain falls like a slow thought

rain falls through an invisible leafy canopy

drop by drop

unlike those handfuls

thrown down

in angry Summer storms


each drop has its own name

the terracotta tiled roofs shrug

without much comment

tin roofs gossip

exaggerating the heavier showers

giving each drop

its own microphone


a bed reading atmosphere

painters complain

construction sites stand

in yesterday’s footprints


clouds cuddle into isolated hills

Mt Cotton, Mt Gravatt, Enoggera Hill

awkward, not used to intimacy


all of Brisbane drinks for days

not in gulps

but lifting the schooner slowly between

telling old stories of fishing

in Moreton Bay


gum tree silhouettes

and bright grey sky

light up puddles on the road

making screen saver circles

never on a loop


Brisbane Ekka haiku/senryu

Brisbane’s Ekka is here again.  The city folk line up to taste the country.  The country folk suppress their smirks at city folk standing in wet cattle dung on the pavilion floors.  Dagwood dogs, fairy floss, show-bags, sheep shearing, live lamb births, children milking cows… ahhhhhhh.  Here are a couple of senryu from our Monday visit and also a link to great Ekka Haiku by Brisbane poet Graham Nunn here:  Ekka Daze .  Love it.


city bound train

young girl with mum and nanna-

playing I-Spy



Ekka feeding yard

the bigger ugly goat

receives none


City poetry! – regarding an apple

On a busy city corner stands

another Brisbane city man

waiting for the lights to change.

Patiently he slips his hand

into his satchel.  Picks an apple

then gazes at it. Looking strange.

But he didn’t think it strange

as his attention rarely stands

for this long upon an apple.

But he wondered about the man

who farmed and picked it in his hand.

‘For me to buy with pocket change’

Still waiting for the lights to change

romantic thoughts appearing strange

of a straw hat farmer with careful hand

on top his wooden ladder stands…

“Don’t be daft and stupid man.”

“That’s not how they farm an apple!”

Polishing his Gala apple

still waiting for the lights to change,

“My farmer is a gritty man.

Hard as a spade and slightly strange.

With legs like apple trees he stands

and a shotgun in his hand.”

‘Or maybe there’s no dirty hand.’

Turning skeptical at his apple

‘In a boardroom… my business farmer stands.’

‘Pokes his head out to see the season’s change!’

Then laughs at the roaring traffic. Looking strange.

‘But I’d like to thank my farmer man.’

‘I’d really like to thank the man

or woman, working hard in hand

with soil and trees and climate’s strange.

Thank you for my tasty apple!

I hope you get most of my change

each time I buy from these fruit stands’

In Brisbane city a strange good man

stands holding, gazing in his hand

his apple. Waiting for the lights to change.

A sestina‘ is a highly structured poem consisting of six stanzas each with six lines followed by a tercet for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same six words end the lines of each stanza, but in a different order each time; if we number the first stanza’s lines 123456, then the words ending the second stanza’s lines appear in the order 615243, then 364125, then 532614, then 451362, and finally 246531. These six words then appear in the tercet as well, with the tercet’s first line usually containing 6 and 2, its second 1 and 4, and its third 5 and 3.