Saturday, October 29, 2011

Open cut

A sanctuary falls in the central west;
several of us hear it.
We word our concerns to futility
and mourn with hearts bleeding green.

A stockman buried deep in the bush
knows not the deceptions
of those playing with power --
with solar power, coal power,
fiscal power, people power --
shifting them about
in a sliding puzzle.

A stockman buried deep in the bush
knows well the seasons, the years,
the exotics and natives;
he knows his place
and the place where humanity
might have rested well.

Justine Reilly

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Red earth in a pickle jar

Words came to me at dawn;
like music
they roused me
to the other side of consciousness.

Stillness gained ground
with each new birdsong
and mental habitat mended.

Stillness amassed with your arrival,
the air became thick with golden sound
and your silence warmed me.

I buried my limbs in red sand:
such gravity I’d never known,
drawn to the earth
my heart did rest,
deep and content.

October 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reflections on a typewriter


We got together at one and a half spaces. It wasn't long before we had swallowed the stars in anticipation of celestial tingles. Once under the cover of lilac, we strode ahead without fear, true of conviction. That conviction was passion. It was intense love of flesh and spirit. And it was something that shone in our eyes when they looked in each other's direction. Oh yes, I saw it there too. It was impossible to miss.


A moment's hesitation led me into an office, where I cautiously awaited instruction. Rewrite this on a typewriter, she said. Good job, she said, when the task was complete. That is nostalgic now, because there was a typewriter, and a darkroom. With chemicals.


Trusting the audacity of birdsong, I refuse to board the train, with its limited directions: this way and that. I trust the remembrance of a feeling that consumed me on the train, of repulsion at middle class navel gazing and questionable romance marching forth amid the harrowing morning commute, on the mission to pay the mortgage on the love nest before conceiving more footsoldiers. One for mum, one for dad, and one for the country; a noble pursuit of narcissism.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Warehouse party

That scene was unseemly:
all of the concrete jungle
built into them
made them cold and angular.

They needed to escape
   bodies that were
   just vessels, that were
   just prisons.

So they did the only thing
   they knew
   to get out of their heads
   to get unstuck.

They separated
mind, body, substance and soul.
Their spirits dissipated
like smoke screens.

Justine Reilly 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Missing person at Coonar Beach

This – this is the place
we would walk for miles
from deserted beach to
      deserted beach
We were human sundials
forerunners to any crowds

We were clear
of all the others
in love
in the love of
ourselves, each other, the world that
contained us – reaching to the blue arc of horizon –
wrapped in warmth and a gentle breeze
wrapped in light.

Somehow you knew this time was ours,
      yours and mine.
I’m not sure my mind rested so
but it rode on the coattails
of your vigour
your romance
your rose-coloured glasses – and mine.

We breathed in the blueness
'til it drove us back to the bedroom
back to our bodies
back to basics.

Now the horizon is all mine.
For a while there, I didn’t know what to do with it – it looked so empty and flat, for a time.

But here, back where we started, the world
swallows me whole
warms me, caresses me
feeds and nurtures me
with quite a sight to behold
– to the ends of the ocean,
the tips of the earth.

It watches through an eagle eye,
this lone ranger just trying to fit in
among nostalgia that comes in waves,
carried on currents, upon
the breeze, all through such days.

This is still my time – yours is no longer part of mine.
But you are here – a spirit – drifting
gently between the she-oaks who
sway so slightly, so constantly,
as they did in the beginning, the
middle, and the end of what was.

Here, now, I am not turned on,
not high as a Kite, but I stay with
my feeling of something missing, until
this time transforms the world
with its alchemy. And, hey presto –
there’s nothing missing at all.

© 2009 Justine Reilly

Saturday, February 19, 2011


He reminds me of my contrivance.
With a start, my fragility wakes;
it had only just begun to rest,
taking a well-earned breath
after overwork, overstretching.

It's just a hair's breadth, so the wise
woman said,
between one state and another,
and as the white panic of imminence struck
she counted the pebbles beneath her.

It happens to be happenstance
that brings us to this here and now.
Such things cannot be contrived, you see
for they're easy to tame as a bonfire.

Let my words fly into the night, into
air, flickering, travelling to nothing.
Let not my thoughts be controlled by regret,
for happenstance plays, sways and quickens.

© 2009 Justine Reilly

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Storm surges

This is how it will look:
A storm surge resulted
in huge waves pounding the coast for a thousand miles
This is how it will look:
A red dragon on a weather map

This is how it will look:
Rolling out of bed to witness another national natural disaster
May not go global though - No reported loss of human life
at this time;

Extremely dangerous sea levels;
"Like a runaway train";
Don't become complacent once the winds die down

This is how it will look.

© Justine Reilly 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stoney Creek

I'm alone with nature, but I'm scared
by the potential arrival of a beer-swilling rapist.