For my sister & brother-in-law

I was deeply honoured to be asked to read a poem as part of my sister’s wedding ceremony in Sydney last weekend. The reception was held at one of Australia’s oldest glasshouses, the ceremony on the lawn outside beneath a beautiful old fig. It was a memorable day with good people, and I’m very glad I was there for it. Wishing my sister and her new husband all the best on their next big adventureI know they’ll land on their feet in New York.

EDIT (21/5/17): I should add (and should have acknowledged!) that the poem owes a debt for one of its phrases to Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, which begins “Go placidly amid the noise and haste…” I read it today for the first time in years and can see other resemblances, though the poem grew out of an interview with my sister and events leading up to the wedding.

Image credit: Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

One Day in April
The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens

From small suburbs & grand canyons to a city greenhouse,
We gather like gardeners on a well-fashioned lawn
To witness & to share a moment long remembered.
Look around, listen, friends & family of Pat, Patricia, Trish
Of Lynch & Leahy, and Michael John of Noonan, Russell, Sydney.
In the last-minute rush of airports & escalators, smart phones,

Status updates, how easy to forget we’re really here. I remember
How my sister said that she & Michael, no matter where or which way
They’re going, always embrace on escalatorsa suspended, stolen
Moment of calm & clarity amid the noise. I know it’s corny, she said,
And I recognised the thoughtour world so quick
To cut down sentiment, economise, increase efficiency

But what is love if not a thousand tiny habits such as this,
Watered daily by others or just one, like a quiet gardener
Tending to the small but growing forest of a greenhouse?
So listen. Talk. Drink water, drink wine. One day
We’ll look back & remember how we were, here
On the lawn, beneath the branches.


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New poems

I have a few new poems out: Return, in the latest issue of Cordite (edited by Omar Sakr and Fiona Wright), Monochromist, in the Poetry and Place Anthology 2015, and a couple of haiku in bottle rockets #35–my first haiku to be published internationally.

Thanks especially to editors Ashley Capes and Brooke Linford for the invitation to contribute to Poetry and Place, an anthology of clean lines, quiet spaces, and many wonderful poets. Among others, great to see Andrew Phillips‘s The Home Midwife in print.

Hermit City started out many moons ago as a travel e-mail list. More recently, I’ve mainly used it to self-publish haiku–or attempts at haiku at any rate! Not sure why the website took it upon itself to send out some old posts yesterday, but I don’t think I’ll be posting haiku here much any more. Thank you to everyone who read and commented on them over the years, I very much appreciate the feedback.

What this blog will be for in the future, I’m not sure. I’ve been quiet for a long while, and I expect to be quiet for a while yet as I wrap my head around life in a new city. After a year of change, I’m reading, writing, learning–I hope you are too.

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the old pack again:
one more trip

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Poem 2014/50

and on this song
I run

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Poem 2014/49

drinks with the old groundsman       who goes there?

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Poem 2014/48

dawn clouds rush towards me… a black bird flicks its tail

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Poem 2014/47

dinner conversation
splits, converges, splits…
old friends

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Poem 2014/46

by Beethoven’s ninth
speaker phone

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Poem 2014/45

bone moon…
it’s the Earth
that’s bleeding

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Poem 2014/44

in evening rain
the red light

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