Sunday, December 26, 2010




Back in October, I went to Fiji for 5 days and stayed at The Outrigger on the Lagoon resort, situated on the Coral Coast. The resort had everything a stressed holidayer wants: BULA bellowed ecstatically from the strapping gatekeeper once you arrive, service with warmth, reef walking, fire and kava ceremonies, crab racing, coconut palms and golden palms and palms that turn you into the person you always wish you were, memorable international cuisine, traditional dances, Indian music, bar crooners, splendid lagoon and ocean vistas, resplendent gardens etc. I felt utterly spoilt and blessed to be there.

Several of the staff at the resort had lost their homes and farms during a 2009 flood that devastated the local area of Sigatoka; they were trying to rebuild their livelihoods and dignity, as well as provide for their families. Most staff walked or hitched to work as they couldn't afford cars. I tried to help out where I could with tips, but this seemed a token act. I felt, as a privileged westerner, with two cars, I was exploiting people. Then again, without me, these people wouldn't have jobs.

I greatly enjoyed speaking with the local people and hearing their stories. I made a friend in a gardener who sported stacked frangipanis behind his ear and a real passion for flora - he turned the resort into the slice of Eden it is today. I have his address: I must send him a letter inc. photo's of my local Highland flowers.

Fiji is more than just endless sunshine and poolside luxuriance... I get the sense that there are thousands over there struggling under military rule - there is no real sense of democracy - people felt nervy speaking out against the government. The land has been plagued by drought for years. Most of the geography between Nadi and the Coral Coast is a tattered patchwork of sugar cane fields, paw paw groves, fiery hills, goat-flecked waste and odd riparian scrub. Everywhere you drive there are poor peddling paw paws and polychromatic fish. The country seems heavy, groggy, foggy... yet surviving.

Touristy photographs from the resort are in my next couple of posts. These shots reflect the Fiji Aussies want to see and the Fiji most Fijians, I guess, want us to see.

LJ, December 26 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I've just watched Edward "Bear" Grylls drink his own urine in The Kimberley.

My life is now complete.

LJ, December 20 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Some friends and I went to see Gorillaz at Sydney's Entertainment Centre last Thursday evening. I've been a Gorillaz devotee for some time. This year's offering from Damon Albarn and co. - Plastic Beach - is probably my album of the year.

The gig was a stunning affair; punters of all ages (ten year olds to those in their forties) weren't given any respite from an onslaught of mesmerising percussive bombast, guitar glamour and electric eclectic performers from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to De La Soul (who opened for Gorillaz and almost knocked over AMP/Centrepoint Tower with their hilarity and temerity).

The pinnacle of the event for me was seeing my guitar heroes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon together. As mentioned in an old post, Jones' BAD is THE band that has meant the most to me in my thirty-eight years on Earth. The Clash is a close second. Witnessing MJ cut loose on his electric, show off his peculiar 'winged' dancing style and race after other performers with a huge grin, elevated me. And PS has still got it - his bass line for the Snoop-led Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach was spine-marrow jarring.

Much of the cartoons for the tour featured characters under seige, warfare, bullets splashed everywhere, and virtual band members losing their temper and being electrified ... I didn't really get the point... still, it was engrossing.

Damon Albarn is a visionary - his Gorillaz are unpredictable and dazzling- they're saving music from turning into wet cardboard.

LJ, December 19 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have a poem in the latest edition of Island. The edition with the cool, bizarre appliances-as-robots cover.

The poem concerns a golden moment a few years back when I was sitting in front of the TV early one evening, in Sydney's inner-west, and fire flashed through the western sky. I raced outside, adrenalised by thoughts of alien craft and abductions, to unravel what the fire was. Looking up, outside my front gate, I saw only poetry. My dad, a learned man often hoping for evidence of the metaphysical, is also in the poem. In a way, the poem is for him.

Peter Skryznecki commended the poem this morning, in an email, which was flattering; Peter's exquisite work has meant much to me over the years. It's great to be published in this edition with Jennifer Compton, who has been a mentor and guide, and John Kinsella, such a luminary on Australia's poetry scene. My thanks to Adrienne Eberhard and the Island team.

I trust the poem takes you elsewhere.

LJ, October 20 2010.


I've just begun a new blog about the verdant side of my home town, Bundanoon. Check it out -

LJ, October 18 2010.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


A big shout out to Charles Pickett over at The Powerhouse Museum who has put up my poem Trolley Man (published online with Mascara Literary Review in 2008) about Sydney eccentric and homeless man, Joseph Cindric, on the Museum's website. You can access the poem, various people's memories of Joseph and an extended piece on him composed by Charles, if you go to the 'collection' and 'blog' links and find 'The Trolley Man Immortalised'.

LJ, September 21 2010.


Sitting between boxes and papers and boxes and papers as I'm about to move to glorious Bundanoon... digging new tunes by venerable Aussie musos Megan Washington, Little Red and John Butler Trio... very much looking forward to Mark Tredinnick's Fire Diary (Mark and I went birding at Fitzroy Falls and Kangaroo Valley recently; we also read our work at a gallery in Newtown a month or so back: he was the headliner), Peter Lach-Newinsky's new collection through Picaro and Delia Falconer's Sydney... reeling from Tobey Macguire's extraordinary, otherworldly performance in Brothers - I didn't realise Spiderman was such a splendid actor... working sporadically on assorted writing projects (free time is as hard to pin down as Osama bin Laden)... over Masterchef (if I see George eating once more I'll gnaw through my left arm like a coyote in a bear trap)... sending equanimity, fearlessness and ultimate recollection powers to my Yr 12 Standard English posse who leave for their pre-HSC weeks tomorrow (may they recall how to spell Peter Skryznecki's surname correctly and scream like Lola!)... praying that the trapped Chilean miners get through.

LJ, September 19 2010.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The New York Times described Cormac McCarthy's play The Sunset Limited as 'a poem in celebration of death'. I read the play in an hour and a half whilst sitting in a bookshop in Newtown last month. At first, I wasn't sure what McCarthy was getting at. Was it a statement against orthodox religion? Was he saying something about the ultimate loneliness of all men? Was it a take on narcissism? Was he preaching that life is hollow and there's no point in looking for meaning? I think, ultimately, McCarthy is offering up a meditation on self-determination and freewill. His work is saying that we have to give our brothers ultimate respect - this can only come from harnessing objectivity, divorcing yourself from your opinions and not telling someone how to live their life.

The Sunset Limited brought to mind a week I spent in Balgo Hills in Western Australia back in 2003. Balgo is a mission, near where the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts converge, run by the De la Salle Brothers. I was there with two other teachers and twenty-five kids from Oakhill College in Sydney's north-west. At night, some Aboriginal teenagers would drift about with soft drink bottles filled with petrol attached to their faces. A colleague and good mate of mine would tell these young people they were messing up their brains when sniffing and they should give it up. They paid him little attention. I said nothing to these drifters. I didn't want my silence to condone the petrol abuse, but I was well aware of self-determination and freewill; who wants to hear a fortunate, spoilt know-it-all from Sydney on a soapbox?

LJ, September 7 2010.


The other day I hit one of a pair of Eastern Rosellas as it sped over Old South Road at Mittagong. Framed in my shaky rearview mirror was an explosion of feathers and a struggling bird. I did a u-turn and drove back to find the bird bent, broken, almost still. Knowing the rosella was beyond help, I killed it. I plucked a striking emerald and turquoise tail feather and carried it back to the car. The feather sits below my car stereo - I felt I had to keep some of the bird's beauty with me.

LJ, September 6 2010.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I fell asleep through Christopher Nolan's Inception. Consequently, I understood everything in it.

LJ, on the last day of Winter, 2010.

Monday, August 23, 2010


High on poetry, I read a poem at the Brett Whiteley Studio on Sunday afternoon during the open mic section. The poem, 'Paternal Song', a flowing pastoral thing springing from my son and I walking through the fecund stretches of Seymour Park in Moss Vale, and opening up the world as a result, went nowhere in this year's Blake Prize (I was dejected for a few hours the day I found I hadn't made the shortlist - still, life's in the bouncing back). It was great to broadcast the piece at the Studio and have it received well - one lady in the audience, bless her, likened the work to Gerard Manley Hopkins. I wish.

Hats off to Angela Stretch, Brooke Emery and co. for hosting the readings at Whiteley's Studio. The gorgeous space, with its more-than-a-moa-sized bird eggs on nests almost as expansive as Brett's hair, dead birds (I think I saw either a rock or elegant parrot in a box - cue a Monty Python reference!), range of interesting photos (inc. one of Brett and Malcolm McLaren - spot the difference!), vinyl collection, old stereo, multiplicity of magic art tools and magnificent 'The balcony 2' from 1975 (surely Brett's greatest work) is a beacon in inner-Sydney.

LJ, August 24 2010.


What an honour it was to hear the luminous lyricism of Peter Boyle, Michelle Cahill and Peter Lach-Newinsky at Sturt Gallery last Saturday. The scope and power of their work was deeply affecting. It was a pleasure to read with the three of them and act as MC for the afternoon. Thanks also to Head of Sturt, Mark Viner, for being so interested in readings at the Gallery, and all who came and listened before the fire. Stay tuned for another poetry event at Sturt in the height of summer.

LJ, August 24 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I've put together a poetry bash at Sturt Gallery in Mittagong for August 21. I will be reading my work with luminaries Peter Boyle and Michelle Cahill, and celebrated local, Peter Lach-Newinsky. Starting time - 4pm. Entry fee - $10.

Come along and tune out of the Julia and Tony Show for a while.

LJ, August 10 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Last Saturday, the good ol' Telegraph reported that 800 Indonesians 'could' be arriving on our shores. The headline shrieked and blared 'Invasion'. In Abbott and Gillard's televised debate on Sunday night, the 'boats' (we're not talking dragon boats or Sydney to Hobart yachts here) were mentioned several times. Ah, the doctoring, fashioning and promotion of boat people phobia - how our media and governments love it!

I'd like to know how many people in Australia actually fear refugees/asylum seekers. How many of us really think people smugglers are 'evil' or 'scum of the earth', to quote a couple of Labor leaders? I'd like to meet an Indonesian refugee and a people smuggler just to see what sort of person they are, so I could form my own opinion, not be manipulated by the rhetoric of Suits fostering and selling paranoia.

Every Australian government from now to the end of the world will campaign on the 'here comes the gruesome OTHER, ready to take our homes, our jobs, our children' theme. There are WW2 echoes of 'the Hun' and 'the Jap' here. There needs to be sensible discussion about the processing and accommodation of asylum seekers from our leaders, not empty words about stopping boats from departing their destinations and turning boats back. This will never happen in a sustained, effective way. As long as there's war, neglect, tribalism, global warming leading to rising sea levels, genocide, hatred, xenophobia, religious persecution etc. overseas there will be hopeless people fleeing countries that are a mess. We need to learn how to embrace these escapees.

Vietnamese, Polish, Italian, Greek, Armenian, Lebanese, and many other races, have helped shape Australia. Many of these people were escapees. As Mick Jones, in the immortal Big Audio Dynamite, once sang, 'Don't anybody know that this city was made of immigrant blood and money?'

LJ, July 28 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Deadset Nutbags
Azaria's 21st
Bogan Wagon
Where's Holt?
Bottle O
Inside The Rock
Chuck a U-ee
Howard as Beatboxer
When Keating Krumped

LJ, July 21 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Julia Gillard makes me think of the woolly rhino - hardy, powerful, unflappable, chilled out and unconventionally attractive. And, of course, there's the nose/horn thing.

LJ, July 19 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Currently, my life is all about the draining search for real real estate. I'm living and breathing dimensions, pest inspections, cosmetic needs, the search for cracks and rising damp, praying for extraordinary architectural bones and fitting economics. One local agent recently promoted a property by saying, "It's not a complete dog box". What an ambassador for the cause! I'm sure the incomplete dog box's vendors would've loved to have heard that.

LJ, July 15 2010.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Driving between Burradoo and Moss Vale yesterday, I passed a woman near a ute, who was standing by an easel, looking east. She was painting the almost gold fields by the Wingecarribee River.

I cannot recall the last time I saw someone painting by a road.

Maybe I've never seen this.

LJ, June 29 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010


A week or so back, at 8am, in minus 2.5 degrees, I had the pleasure of watching a party of five Flame Robins foraging in a cleared paddock adjacent to an abbatoir in Moss Vale. Unfortunately, the splendid males, with their electric red chests, weren't close enough for me to warm my hands. For the entire time, the cries of trapped bovines filled my ears. The sky was a washed out blue and frost lay everywhere like exhausted snow.

Two days back, at Fitzroy Falls, when the eastern escarpments beyond the immediate valley where the Falls centre themselves were painted with pink light, I showed my son his first Superb Lyrebird. The bird (a male - about six years old) was talking and screaming up in a tree, then it came down to scratch for invertebrates in the chilled earth ten feet away from us. The bird's vocalisations were extraordinarily loud. Steam came from its mouth as it mimicked the calls of six other birds (including a Pilotbird and a Satin Bowerbird) and pulled in the night as if a dear lost friend.

Looking forward to leading a birding trip for locals to the humbling green boulder, Tarzan vine and matted canopy kingdom of Barrengarry Mountain in early July.

Following the World Cup with interest. This will be anyone's Cup, with so many strong teams looking so listless, although I tip Argentina or Brazil to catch the glory. I think a t-shirt with 'Poor Harry' written on it could sell in Australia right now. Did he really deserve that red card?

Hoping my entry into this year's Blake Poetry Prize sings... whatever... Organising a couple of poetry events for the Southern Highlands - one, at Sturt Gallery at Mittagong in August, should be a small spectacular! Happy that local rag Your Times published a poem earlier in the month.

Questioning, yet again, why the hell we're over in Afghanistan, after the deaths of five Aussie soldiers in two weeks. I suppose oil is the answer. If only I could have a chat with Henry Rollins, Noam Chomsky and Sebastian Junger about American/Australian motives. Just how much of a threat are the Taliban to you and I? Sure, they're a worry, but do we need to be taking them on? An academic was on 2BL this morning saying that he can see Australian troops over there for another nine years of engagement. And at the end of that time, where will we stand? There will still be terrorism, fear and the burning of innocence.

Thrilled the Greens are polling so well currently. I think about 16% of responders are behind them. Will people actually vote for them on election day, however, or will it all be knee-jerk stuff stemming from main party disillusionment and confusion?

Teaching and teaching and teaching and hoping the students are getting something from it, as one does each year.

LJ, June 22 2010.

Monday, May 31, 2010


I've had a photo of Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider on my work desk this year. That revolutionary film is a song to the critical pursuit of freedom and individuality, the greatest and most vulnerable of human states, and its punk resonance always travels with me. I thank Dennis Hopper for it.

Renaissance Man, counterculture hero, director, star of over two-hundred films and TV shows, photographer, poet, drug lover, artist, art collector, visionary, nutcase and maverick, Hopper showed us how to turn life into a carnival, something to relish. His death from postate cancer, at 74, is a blow. I can't think of anyone living who's another Hopper.

LJ, May 31 2010.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Let's tally the cliches in Sir Ridley (my only brilliant film was Blade Runner) Scott's take on Robin Hood...

Slow motion of hero in desperate situation. Tick.
Extended, animalistic battle cry from hero. Tick.
Panicking horses rearing up. Tick.
Spinning axe in back of villain's body. Tick.
Screaming peasants fleeing marauders. Tick.
Beach landing invasion sequence to end all beach landing invasion sequences. Tick.
Villain (the talented Mark Strong, wasted) with nasty scar. Tick.
Stale stir-up-the-unwashed-and-agrieved speech. Tick.
Boring credo to lift oppressed hero. Tick.
Gargantuan soldier who is made to feel small. Tick.
Damsel in distress who looks yearningly into the distance. Tick.
Megalomaniacal king knocking over tables in rage. Tick.
Climactic battle shown as blur. Tick.
Kiss between hero and heroine at film's end. Tick.
Religious and pious soul who actually has tough streak. Tick.
Heartless laughing soldiers torching village. Tick.

Sixteen... But I could have gone on and on and on... The film barely had an original bone in its peasant-during-the-Black-Death-thin body.

LJ, May 26 2010.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Les Murray's resplendent, variegated and heavily cerebral work inspired me to write poetry. I studied poems from his collection The Vernacular Republic when I was in my senior years at high school (1988-89). Those poems (among them An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow, Spring Hail and The Widower in the Country), were precious, precious objects that lifted me out of the doldrums. I have most of Les' work and eagerly await each new collection. I turn to Les when I need to be inspired and challenged. Les has read some of my work and kindly offered up suggestions. I've heard him read, in his pure, honest way, many times.

I've just finished reading his latest offering Taller When Prone published through Black Inc. The volume's overall opacity is somewhat detrimental. I felt like I was staggering through rugged terrain in a remote corner of West Papua without water, decent boots and a compass or catching snatches of a conversation in a nightclub whilst The Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin were being mashed up at blaring levels. But hey, who am I to judge? Maybe I'm just dim/stupid/closed-minded. Saying that, several poems shone, including Nursing Home, which contains this beautiful line, 'in the pastel light of indoors, there is a lady who has distilled to love beyond the fall of memory.' For that line alone, Taller When Prone is worth sitting quietly with.

LJ, May 21 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


When up in Sydney, I occasionally have lunch at Bill & Toni's in East Sydney. With its ultra-modest interior stylings (ah, how I love those plastic chairs and ordinary tables), old pinball and arcade machines, shoebox toilet, walls covered in gig flyers, gaunt Asian waitresses who barely acknowledge your smile as you place your order, but still call you 'darling' as if they deeply care about your welfare, polychromatic patrons (wheezing geezers, sleazy lizards, standover and rollover men, shifty drifters, merry young families wondering how they got there, haunted musos and Muse-hunters), cramped layout and super-affordable Italian food (I always opt for the vegetarian focaccia, which, year-after-year, contains, solely, eggplant, cheese and tomato, and is served with a gorgeous snowflake-like paper doily), it's a love song to simplicity, immovability and nonchalance.

LJ, 19 MAy 2010.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Yesterday, when I was at a cafe in Sydney's Breakfast Point, a mother called out to her toddlers, who were running away from where she was standing. The kids' names were 'Sahara' and 'Phoenix'. Brilliant names, though Gobi and Harpy would've been better.

LJ, 3 May 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Late morning on Anzac Day, I went out to Belanglo State Forest (ten minutes away) for the first time to unearth a poem, a state of mind, a feel, an opinion, some sort of new reverence for those golden tourists who were stolen, and some bird species I've yet to add to my Southern Highlands list (it's meant to be one of the only spots down here for emu).

The place is a maze of dull Christmas Trees and dusty roads the shade of overcooked salmon. I didn't find a poem or resonance or any interesting birds. What I got was a bogged Holden and half an hour of digging with thick sticks to try and free the beast with zero fortune. I worried about the drivability of the vehicle. Luckily, a burly, cheery State Forests ranger passed by - on a winch and a prayer, he freed me. Another Great Samaritan saves the day! This time around, I bought him a six pack of Premium Blondes and delivered them to his home at Moss Vale later that day.

The rest of my day revolved around selecting twenty-six pages of poetry for the Picaro Press meets Byron Bay Writers' Festival prize due at the end of the week - the placements of hyphens, commas and semi-colons dominated proceedings. The comp is only open to those in rural NSW. The prize is chapbook publication through Picaro and a launch at the Festival. I have a fair chance of winning. I think. If I don't, the genteel side of philosophy will befriend me and I will go on to the next thing with aplomb and alacrity.

LJ, April 25 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This American chap, who was an Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and pro-wrestler, who's now an evangelical Christian, is coming to talk at a church near where I live. I'm almost tempted to go and hear the bloke speak - see how he turned down a better avenue and realised all the errors in his days - but I'm sure his story will be predictable and there'll be a vast, cringeworthy Hallelujah Factor. It's great this man has left the KKK and found Christ, but why give a guy who was in that backward organisation any platform whatsoever? Still, where I live, there is some palpable racism stemming from Aussie jingoism and southern cross hijacking, so maybe his message is needed.

LJ, April 21 2010.


Last Friday, I drove into the heart of Wollongong to attend an inservice at the Catholic Education Office. Before the inservice, my Hyundai's battery decided to whimper, splutter, moan and have a heart attack outside a major shopping centre. Immediately, a worker nearby downs his tools and comes over to check under the car's bonnet. He then drives his ute up to mine, connects his jumper leads to my battery and brings the Hyundai's guts back to life. When packing his leads away, he said, "People don't do this in big cities anymore." I was thoroughly impressed and offered to buy him a beer, which he waved off. This vignette, though not major, shows there is still a soul in busy commercial areas. I feel obliged now to help out someone who needs it.

LJ, April 21 2010.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The leaves of my local deciduous trees look like they've been hand-painted with strawberry jam or dipped in molasses... the late afternoons swim in oceans of hallowed golden light... dog walkers smile widely and their old canines show they've still got some new tricks in them... big flocks of corellas feed on vacant blocks... planets show off before stars each dusk... high clouds are whiskered or reminiscent of the eyebrows of elderly men... blokes in fluorescent work tops drink and drink outside the pubs... the earth exhales the cold earlier... we consider heaters and electricity bills... and a cool new design shop in the main drag called 'Made by Others' triumphantly brings Smith St in Melbourne a little closer.

LJ, April 15 2010.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I've just been soaked in American Dread, a new offering from my favourite musicians, Dreadzone, courtesy of Don Letts' radio show on BBC 6. The track is infectious and groovy as all hell... it makes me feel utterly blessed to be alive... I want to jive and bounce from here to Los Angeles! Bring on the end of April, when Dreadzone's new album, Eye on the Horizon, is released.

LJ, April 2 2010.

Monday, March 22, 2010


It's tremendous to see that some 32 million Americans now have health insurance due to Obama and the Democrats. It's a shame that not one Republican voted for Obama's bill. Typical.

LJ, March 23 2010.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


John Pilger - activist, thinker, historian and champion of the left - has always been inspiring. His is an essential voice. I've used his books, such as A Secret Country in the classroom - his pithy writings help unmask our history's awkward, and at times horrid, buried truths.

In last weekend's Sydney Morning Herald, there was a piece by Pilger entitled 'When education favours division over diversity' (an excerpt from a speech he delivered at a recent Sydney Boys High School gathering) where he addressed life's successes and how we should assess ourselves as moral people. I love the manifesto/credo with which he concluded this piece - 'Go into the world and relinquish the safety of silence and make trouble - remembering the most important trouble is calling to account those who assume power over our lives.'

LJ, February 24 2010.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I heard, through Adam Spencer's morning radio show on Sydney's 702, that there was a stand up comedy event at The Sugarmill in Kings Cross last Tuesday night. Punters apparently paid $8 at the door to see some spirited local talent. What they got, unexpectedly, for their $8, was Elijah Wood heckling in the audience, then (drum roll) Robin Williams (cymbal crash) stepping up to the mic to do an impromptu rant on Australia for half an hour. I love Robin Williams' old Saturday Night Live work. He's a maniacal, hysterical force of nature. Williams and Wood are in town making Happy Feet 2 with George Miller. My feet are unhappy because they didn't rush the rest of me to Sugarmill.

LJ, February 12 2010


Australian poetry collective Cordite have an awesome egalitarian thang happening on their busy website... Poets can add their own lines to pieces currently under construction. Each poem begins with an opening line pulled from Cordite-published works penned by various Aussie bards, including Michelle Cahill and Peter Lach-Newinsky, whom I know. I've added a few lines here and there. Check it all out under 'Post-Epic' at My lines should be towards the end of about ten poems.

LJ, February 11 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Here I am presuming once again that people out there in Twittersphere might give a toss about what my brain wants to let go of... anyhow... if I don't write I fade... I've got Groove Armada's Black Light on very high rotation at the moment (Fall Silent, Paper Romance, Cards to Your Heart and I Won't Kneel the killers)... buried, finally, in the dense, mesmerizing pages of Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap... happy with a new teaching job on the outskirts of Sydney... still marveling at the Southern Highlands' unpredictable weather cycles... I've downed my poetry tools temporarily... waiting for pleasing publishing and award news... still attempting to fathom the anarchy, despair and waste in Haiti now there are over 170, 000 dead... what is this life we stagger and dance through?

LJ, February 2 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


Roughly this time last year, I was finding it hard to select the necessary words as some sort of response to Victoria's ghastly forest fires. Now, in the middle of my smooth Highlands day, I'm speechless in the face of Haiti's recent earthquake, which has left circa 50, 000 dead. How, exactly, do I process this? The psychological effects of the quake must be gargantuan on so many levels for such a religious people (according to the SBS World Guide pub. in 2006, 80% are Roman Catholic, 10% Baptist and the rest of the pop. are a mix of Pentecostal, Adventist and Protestant. Roughly half the pop. also practises voodou). My spirit is with the people of Hispaniola and the aid workers who do greater work that I.

LJ, January 16 2010.