Paul Summers


there are ghosts

in the safety glass,

obese & smile-less,

& vaguely familiar;

trapped like fossils

in cages of nostalgia.

choking on nuggets

of lethargic vowels,

a brood of pale biddies

moan about weather,

a toddler is hamstrung

by the weight of a nappy;

& somewhere between

them, an irreparable union.


christmas island, december 2010

heavy now as ballast lead, a weightless

baby drifts from vision. wide-eyed but

lifeless, melting in the twilight of expanding

depth. she waves in the drag of undertow &

saturated lungs. each gilded globe of fleeing

breath seeks refuge in the cusp of sky & sea.

each fragile bauble of misplaced hope exploded

in the tensions of a rolling swell. & heavy now

as ballast lead, their empty hearts grow cold

& dead. all dreams defunct in waking terror.

they melt into expanding depth. their muted

eyes accuse, though lacking any focus; they fix

like cadavers on points of consensus, their pupils

pulled like moths towards the light upon the hill.

Paul Summers © 2012


woorabinda, central queensland

beware the magi bearing gifts;

their votive grog & lavish guilt.

the former, laced; the latter,

the spike. shame & the shame

of shame. death & the death of

death. the snake will bite its tail;

& these mothers, their tongues.

a silence forged, a flawless edge

to hamstring progress. the birds

have flown. the kangaroos have

seen the light. the brumby bolted

to the downs. three score years &

ten of drought & flame, of blood &

shit congealing on this bitter earth.

Paul Summers © 2012