When the writer you becomes a ghost

So it has been a while hasn’t it. Projects starting to come together, then stalling, then getting moving again. It’s a funny feeling to have projects coming together at the same time as new ones are forming. Does anything ever really get finished. Anyways, here’s a little experimental piece from a new project starting to seed in my mind. A kind of poetical reflection on the first convict arrivals in Australia. More oceans. Some history. Something full of bones.


With the cape of good hope now a ghost behind us

Another one dropped dead this morning,
a boy, scarce 20, done for theft of petticoats,
fever gripped and full of rotten blood

they mustered a detail to haul the body to the deck
rolled him in a strip of torn and flapping sail
lashed it with a rope and threw him over

I watched him bob a while then fall away
                     (nothing falls away entirely)
                                  (nothing falls away)

we are haunted now
        by all this water
the bones we hurl to sea

and a shape now full of ash
and teeth is trailing us
something dark and haunting in our wake

they will come in time to call this history
which is just another way
to speak of blood

the way that home
can be another word for grief

                          or the tying of a noose