When gravity fails us
we must realise at last
we never really wanted
to fly, after all.
All we wanted was
warm feathers
and a nest.

Now out: The Wild Word issue #9: Lost & Found


Photo by mr oCean

It is a true delight to be featured this month in Berlin-based magazine, The Wild Word. There’s a span of about seven years in the three pieces (more if you go back to the beginnings of each piece), which also feature a couple of my favourite collaborators and muses.

Wordless – a poem inspired by poetry.

Suitcase & Sand – a collaborative video piece combining poetry, photography and music. This was performed at the 2015 Queensland Poetry Festival, and is the latest incarnation of a tale that has been through many iterations. This version, in collaboration with German musician Lina Paul, started to come together in Berlin in 2011, but there’s nothing like a looming performance to push me to finish writing something. It took over four years, but think it’s better for the long incubation.

Poem, Photographs & Video: mr oCean
Music: Lina Paul (hear more from her here and see videos here)
Additional photography: Tams Fletcher, Marsel van Oosten, Colleen Tully-Wilson, Maren Imhoff, Ally Weinrauch, Bettina Leupold and Chris Sanderson.

Escapement – a poetry & photography series, prepared as an installation for the 2008 Queensland Poetry Festival. This is another one that’s part of a larger and many-versioned tale, actually another aspect of the same tale as Suitcase & Sand. Mysteries and wonders, loss and escape. Part 6 borrows lines from Brisbane poet, Nerissa Rowan.

Check them all out here, then be sure to explore the rest of this magnificent mag.

Photo by mr oCean

On Missions, Management, Valedictions and Lemon Juice

to grow a tree
takes more than a seed

music is more
than dots and strokes on a staff

to make a meal
takes more than ingredients

planets are space-junk
without a sun to orbit

a prism has no magic
in the dark

sometimes, what goes without saying
still needs to be heard

mr oCean, September 2014

Graveyard Shift


I am the ghost who leaves the lights on,
the doors propped open, the water running—
the murmur from upstairs, the whisper in the vents,
the glitch in the software, the echo on the phone.

My watch shows tomorrow’s date.

I am the bookmark for the day
you can’t get out of bed,
the holding pattern above
the damage from the last big crash,
desiccated leaves still hissing from the shock.

I am chasing the horizon.

Through the window: a red kite
at the moment the wind stops
after covering our tracks with sand,
and the kite’s still hanging like a photograph
when sunset swallows land and sea
and even the sky, stars and all.


mr oCean, September 2012

The Happy Plant


The Queensland Poetry Festival is one of my favourite weekends of the year, and it is almost upon us. I’m not involved this year – just lapping it up – but here’s a clip of my 2012 performace, as part of the Sharp With Sparks session:

Winter Ginko


A couple of weeks ago, I joined in with a Winter Ginko in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens – one of the events associated with the 2013 Queensland Poetry Festival. Another Lost Shark has posted some of the results, and some more, and more… and I’ll be posting one or two more of my Haiku from that morning here.

The Debt Collector


Old sleep, you’ve waited so long for me.
Old sleep, you smell like earth, and I
Awake with hair of grey.

Old sleep, even when I called to you,
You waited somewhere darker,
Measuring my breaths, as I
Measured the stones in my heart.

Old sleep, you drank an ocean dry.
Old sleep, you’re heavy with Autumn, and I
Have no other place to go.

mr oCean
March 2011



(For those to whom I owe correspondance)

My sister, the words may slip
from our fingers, fall like coming Autumn’s
gold and russet rain to ground,
be swept far away on careless wind,
but, dear sister, we will find them.
See? They’ve even us left a trail.

mr oCean
August 2011

19 Months Ago…


preparing to leave –
despite the lack of snow,
my footprints are deep.

mr oCean
January 2012

2 January 2013


Relics accumulate in my home like a shrine:
a gleaming Venn diagram and 36 glowing drops of sky
on the table; clouds swimming in the fridge.

Outside, the climbing spinach makes itself at home.