Five poems for Deakin University Journal - Windmills

These five poems are to appear in Windmills Issue #5, thanks to Alyson Miller at Deakin University who publish the journal from Australia. They are part of a series I have been working on the theme of the Natural History Taxidermy museum in Tring

(Allenopithecus nigroviridis)

the Allen's Swamp Monkey

I wet my bed
I made not my father proud
even my mother would wince
when I tried to swing
from tree to tree

I have only known alone
now is no different
that is why I killed that child
pulled its arms off
I did that okay, didn’t I?

I’ll drink your blood
as though it were wine
the policeman is my uncle
dance around your own bones
dig your own monkey grave


the Stag

a rattle whittled from an antler
the animal had fallen by the
dead of starvation
the brown needle nittle
could be hewn or settled
with string or gut from the same carcass
instead it was placed point-first
beneath the fingernail of Ivan
and edged beneath
tick by tick
until he shared his secret
of fainted from the pain
we learned which herbs were poison
which rivers ran north
we learned the lathe of magnetism
and salves
made of mud and roots rotting
put to use as glue
to replace a fingernail, severed
now black in water’s blue


the Bush Baby

read my report
I am unafraid
we both know fear of death
controls you and not I

accusations of financial impropriety
reflect more succinctly
your desperation
than my bad book-keeping

I live where you visit
and in that space I thrive
glass lines the floor
here I have children with myself

(Aries Ovis)

the Ram

it is not unfortunate
that I am associated with lust
is shamelessness
in the steady cold

protrusions become intrusions
and then, suddenly
progeny are legion
then they become forgetful
of the sack, the funk

Vico knew Cyprus
as the Templars knew Malta
he spoke of corpse
as others speak of ‘sleep’
and I listen still
and rut


the Kiwi bird

I once had work

I repaired Cacti
using cotton

should thirst hack
from a flower its time
depriving it of it’s corded
they would call me

I would gut the fruit
pickle its inner walls
a fix it an exoskeleton
of teeth and chickenwire
and brim it with tumblecotton
then I would sell it at markets
to pilgrims and lost lovers

a possession
for the dispossessed
of all but the forlorniest of hopes
as I am now