Fire #3





Alpine Ash


Fire brought the light

And burned down the house

That was ever the deal

Sometimes, that which drives back shadows

Sets the curtains alight

Its all consuming nature is an ever-present threat


Fire can also temper steel

When she came, she set a bushfire in my mind

That tore through my body and soul but

Left me standing

Stronger than before


There’s a type of tree – back home

With seeds like stones

That can only open when the raging flames

Reach the canopy

It takes a literal conflagration to achieve germination

Throwing out life

Into the midst of utter devastation

We two are like that tree

Finding new ways to live

As everything around us withers

And dies.



Words and image are my own.






Strange fascinations






You were the Moon

And I the ocean

Your gravity pulled me in waves

Around the Earth

Inexorably towards

The point in space where

Heartlines cross

You pulled me upwards in tiny drops

Until the all of me

Hung in the air beside you

There we shone like polished silver

Until all the stars went home.



Words and image are my own.






Straight lines




Strange theodolite


His eyes saw the lines

Where they met

How they bent

The world was a series of angles

The intersections

Of contradictory beliefs

A complicated web

Drawn by invisible hands



He traced the line that led

Through endless course corrections,

Acute angles, and parabolic curves

From his heart

To hers

In the end, it was easy

Theirs was the red string in a grey sea.



Words and image are my own.



93. Streets of your town


Time flies. I’ve been living here in New Jersey now for six full months. So much has happened in that time that I’ve barely had time to write about it. I’ve attended two weddings (both of them mine). I’ve had the opportunity to show my son around my new home before reluctantly waving him off at Newark Airport. I’ve seen the Boss play in a small theatre in his spiritual homeland of Asbury Park, and I’ve spent a lot of time in my favourite city, New York.

So, you may be wondering how it’s all going? Did the great romance stay strong after the yearnings of distance dissipated? Does domestic bliss live up to the dream? Are we still even talking after all those years of Skype conversations?

I’m happy to report that the answer to all those questions is a resounding YES. If I’m honest, there wasn’t even a breaking in period. I just slipped right into the chaos that is a house full of hormonal teens and over-excitable dogs as if this had always been my life.

Not that there haven’t been trials and tribulations along the way, it’s just that they have all been external. The relationship is our rock and is what gets us through said trials.

I love the tiny town we live in. It is the sort of place most people aspire to; quiet, friendly, and safe. I’ve never lived anywhere quite like it. The town mayor married us under the trees across the road from our kid’s school. I have daily conversations with the crossing guards (on the morning walk to said kid’s school) in which I’m kept all up to date with  the local happenings.

By chance, I met the town’s (amateur historian), Joe a few months back. Over several conversations, he’s filled me in on some of the more fascinating aspects of the town’s history. This town was incorporated in 1926 after a referendum which was conducted on my Birthday (a fact I consider a good augur). One of the two town churches dates back to the 1750’s and is among the oldest in the county.


I’m a huge history buff (as I’m sure you’ve already worked out if you’ve been reading this blog) and living among so much of it has been a thrill I haven’t experienced since my time in the UK.

And then there’s this one other thing.

I mentioned this is a tiny town – more a village really. The population is well below 2,000 and yet it now has two Australians among its inhabitants. I first met Michael at our elementary school on one of my earlier visits. I’ve always enjoyed walking the youngest to school and, when she was younger, I’d usually pick her up too.

One afternoon, as I was waiting for her to emerge, a chap approached me and said, in an unmistakeable Sydney accent, “you’re from Australia too, right?” His kids and our kids had been talking and I’d been pointed out.

You may not find this that unusual, after all, there are thousands of Australians living in the US. That at least was my take at first as we chatted about where we were from and what had brought us to this distant part of the world (in both cases the love of a Jersey girl).

Then he asked me exactly where I was born, I told him Darlinghurst in Sydney and he immediately said, “Me too! Which hospital?”

“It doesn’t even exist anymore,” I joked and he exclaimed, “Saint Margaret’s? Me too!”

What are the odds that two men of a similar age, born in exactly the same place, should both end up married to women from New Jersey and both wind up in the same tiny village?

I was reminded of all this as I was walking to the Post Office this morning and Michael came running by me in the blistering heat (mad dogs, Englishmen, and people from Sydney). We have not become friends (despite the obvious impetus we have towards it), contenting ourselves with mild pleasantries whenever our paths cross. I think the strangeness of the situation is something we both find a little too unsettling.

I’m aware I went a little off topic there but the anecdote was too strange for me not to include it and I’ve been mulling it over since I got back from the Post Office.




Words and image are my own.





Worlds apart




Synonyms on a string (ending on a contronym)


Worlds apart

Yet bound so tightly

To ravel

Is to


Tied together in flames

Of our own making


Means flammable

I Press upon your skin and

You depress mine

Just to watch the blood moving beneath

I’ve become your mind’s caretaker

You, my body’s caregiver

We recognize the value in

The invaluable so

I make a home in your habitable heart

You, in my inhabitable soul

And we face the privation

Of deprivation



I’ll cleave to you

My dearest love and

No other hand shall cleave our

Worlds apart.





Words and image are my own.