Tuesday 9 August 2022

Cold Moon Journal: By Myron Lysenko

Cold Moon Journal: By Myron Lysenko:

Published on 8th August 2022

 told to surrender
 by a warship commander:
 border guard’s expletive

 Myron Lysenko

Thursday 5 May 2022

In Love with The Bomb A Poem by Myron Lysenko

A friend of mine found this on the net yesterday and showed it to me. It's a poem I wrote in the mid 80s. Filmed in the ABC studios in Melbourne in the early 90s I think. 

Monday 7 February 2022

Common or Garden Poets #13 – Angela Costi inviting Denise O'Hagan

The Apricot & The Lemon Tree


at the edge of the village

come to an oak much older than me

that’s where I’ll seek advice

      Kit Kelen 


tenant 1 planted the couple while tenant 2 and 3

nurtured their growth and here I stand, tenant 4

before their arthritic leaves & brittle branches


unlike the owl and the pussycat they are stuck

too close and deep rooted with a stubborn sense 

of belonging to a land they’ve failed to interpret 


once gardens were ballrooms of sweet & bitter

fruit throughout Melbourne’s Northern yards 

expecting Mediterranean weather to migrate  


now these replica orchards are starving for genteel

seasons, expecting to be washed with lukewarm 

hose each night, even when sky drizzles or sprays


with no strength to stretch their limbs, with no

plump, sun-kissed balls of juice for birds & jam

with no smell for dressed salads or fragrant tagine


they offer a time-warp of cravings & nostalgia

in the back yard, encircled by concrete and brick 

ignoring the bottlebrush with its bright red offers



by Angela Costi 

Sunday 23 January 2022

Common of Garden Poets #12 - Kerri Shying


Where the bees rest where the butterflies play

                                                                  “What we most need to do is to hear within us 

                                                                     the sounds of the earth crying..."

                                                                                     - Thich Nhat Hanh

from October the trees are all betrothed        each

to the gardener                        in nets  white gauze    

figs      peaches sequestered from the busy beaks

and teeth          of bats and birds

the day            sultry as a girl in her slip swimming     

waiting on the Southerly Buster

cicadas  heat from the city      a brown bubble popped

by flat-iron cloud-banks                      

high and sharp as the beaked head of a kookaburra

tall sky and 

gratefully I'm small


up the hill 

march the white

agapanthus                  forcing genetic breaks

onto our purple beauties          scrambling the misty blues

to hybrids        there is no 

            one garden       in my street


I see     the Ice flower

nipped out on a beach walk    mini red-fringed suns

succulents  rescued from places where old age gave way

to builders' aspirations            pieces of old friends

the Mentone red geranium that Gaagang saw from his pram

Hoya from the balcony           back at the flat           the boys had

in Drummoyne            your tree

  a pencil planted just before

you died


begonias like Mum's   pelargonium from The Redemptorists 

a fine piece of Menken's building   lotus out of farm dams

mingle a floral beer garden    with tin peacocks

and galahs                   turmeric  galangal  Vietnamese mint 

vanilla orchid                         mustard greens

are you hungry            thinking how to mow around 

the condiments                        and if you've ever seen a chicory flower

mauve and  delicate as tissue 



I see a garden built by birds by bats   


flown in  yonder          from Ash Island 

White Cedar    loquat  air mail

in a sweep of feathers

    the odd drop of oyster shells           

beside the Jizo statue

bark     depends from gum tree           piling around roots

mandarin and finger lime        lemons            parsley

all engrossed with weed         with blue tongues

pushing up in pots       in tubs in cisterns



these tiny         hair-drawn feet

can tread

Thursday 20 January 2022

Common or Garden Poets #11 - Kit Kelen inviting Angela Costi


inviting Angela Costi


fragments revised from ‘the village is a garden’ at Mesana

Paphos District, Cyprus


                                                   and I have something to tell you

                                                   which not even I must hear

                                                                     – Yiannis Ritsos



such an honest morning


sun has washed white

what is that tiny bird swings through

under vines in a courtyard glimpse?


it's an all-day rooster

proclaims from tin shade


tiny lizards

to whom I've had no formal introduction

are faster than

call their colour 


a breathless hill's

good for the heart


I go a little way on

at the edge of the village

come to an oak much older than me

that's where I'll seek advice




the olive


abundance, peace and glory


what lives in the olive

is just this season


a certain flit of feather, fur

say opportunity


wide boll of gnarl

our ages blur


flutter adjustment

in the branches


what lives in the olive

a thirst set aside

light throws itself at us


the old ones

writhe themselves around


all cleft

and strong with standing


like a dare to wait

and taste the fruit


it's bitter now

but you can have my patience


let the blade be with the branch

let the shape be minded



and leaf

is song too


a hill lives in the olive gnarl

whole skies have gathered 


rain fell


let this bark be shot of sun

twig fall to winter fire of night


the tree so many lives

it's accident and cause we're here


a wrestle with itself

frozen yoga seems


because we can't see time

tree's made of


bend with the breeze

as often laden


think calmly as the tree




a picture of the stillness


a gnarl of stump

could be alive

points its all directions


saw my first snake today

dusty black yay long


add this to the list

of those on the way


flies to me gathered

as movement as sweat


do I deny them hope?

surely I will lie down to die?


a breeze lives in the shade

flutter and the tree takes off


I walk like a ghost through this knowledge

nobody knows I am here




rising to all occasions


pigeons explode from an ancient tree

this happens now and then


there are other days

over the skysill


other worlds

deep in the heart

Saturday 1 January 2022

Common or Garden Poets #10 - Jan Dean inviting Peter Wells


This Festive Season

For Peter Wells


                   ‘you will always be/ that sole cigarette ember

on a summer night/ blending into the wilds of the garden

       you planted behind a sentinel of spiders’ — Morgan Bell



Top heavy, agapanthus, heralds of the season

kiss the ground at the front of our house

after so much unseasonal rain and seasonal sunshine.


Next door has blue ones and ours are mauve

both virginal, reminding me of my husband’s late aunt

who gifted the flowers over thirty years ago


when the house was new. She was the one who shocked

her granddaughter, uninitiated in religious life

when she lay prostrate at Christ Church Cathedral.


On the western side Christmas colours of green and red

abound, including firecracker or cigarette plant.

Grown taller than I am, there’s money plant


if you’re superstitious, or jade if you romance.

A burgundy crepe myrtle my best friend gave as a miniature

thrives, something my friend couldn’t manage.


Along that side there’s grevillea robusta, bottlebrush

native frangipani, macadamia and multiple tibouchina, masking

the view of Munibung Hill. Recent weather caused


the Havana cigar plant to creep horizontally on the path

impenetrable for the aged and unstable. There’s a place

for us though without leaving the house to partake


in shinrin-yoku, the Japanese art of ‘forest bathing’.

From my kitchen chair I look across a covered deck, a walkway

and melaleucas that fold and unfold to acreage of eucalypts, so tall


they dissolve the horizon. This year a poinsettia glows in a bulbous

terracotta pot. Following the sun’s path throughout the day

allows a sharpening of senses and calm descending.


Left alone, nature carouses. Scruffy needn’t equal ugly.

Sometimes heaven touches earth and when it happens here

it’s a blessing for randomness, since the contrived are unfavoured.


                                                                              Jan Dean

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Common or garden poets #9 Morgan Bell inviting Jan Dean


The Grave

For Jan Dean


“the zucchinis are King Midas

withering in their own liquid gold”


Magdalena Ball, ‘False Promise on Petals’


a backyard is a cemetery.

there are tiny bones down there.

bones of birds and mice and skinks.

each year they subside further

into the sandy soil.


if you were buried there,

the way you wanted to be,

all that would be left of you

in one hundred years

would be your teeth and some nylon thread.


you will always be

that sole cigarette ember

on a summer night

blending into the wilds of the garden you planted

behind a sentinel of spiders

Morgan Bell