Of Guys & Birds

Some guys,
they act like they’ve been a – living
in a world where all the birdies
were singing
the same song.

They don’t know they’re wrong.
They don’t know a thing about us.

Eastern Rosellas and
Ravens and Pigeons
and Sparrows and Golden Conure…

That one’s a crow, and that one’s canary
the other’s a peach-faced lovebird.

That rainbow lorikeet who walked through your door –
is different from that flamingo that you know.
The one flying high in your mind is a crane –
She can’t be compared to anyone else.

Some guys
they act like they’ve been a-looking
for a bird when all they want is a woman
with the same song
as somebody else
that they knew once.

They don’t know a thing about us.

Dead line

Want to hear a tale
of lovers turned to friends again?

An unseen power ripped apart
the waltzing pair – so hard –

it left no shoes behind.
No pictures on the wall.
No smell of coffee in the hall
Or I love you’s
To end phone calls.

Sleep tight.
Hang up.

Dead line.

The Spaceman

The spaceman
sitting on the swing
that’s hanging from the moon,
is looking down on us
from the sky.

He’s falling deep in love with
the city lights.
He’s tired of the stars.

On Earth,
there’s a lot to be explored.
Not all answers lie above.
Why are oceans so greatly ignored?
How come some people see colours in chords?
Why do we kiss when we’re in love?
Who made music and why do we dance,
smile and cry
to a

Ain’t it strange
not to know?

Spaceman knows everything
there is to know of the galaxy,
but not enough of the place he calls home.

He packed very lightly for space.

how little you need for a place
that’s so big
with so much to discover,
with no end in sight,
Where every day’s night.
It’s a wonder.

A wonderful thing…

But no Spring,
no winter,
no summer,
no fall.

is the thing
he misses
most of all.


From the sun on his skin, sand in toes.
aching feet
from dancing circles
around Mary Jo.

Candy floss
and green lights,
sparks and
late night calls.
Morning breakfast,
milk and butter
jam and toast.

Spaceman sees all…
from northernmost
to southernmost.

There’s a lot to come home to.
There is so much to love.

Quiet Ones

Quiet souls observe the sounds that ears do not allow.
They often know what’s being said
Behind all things said out loud…
By listening to the corners of a smile,
And to the style of words,
Through speech and diction –
Decipher lies and catch
glimpses of the truth.

By listening to the empty lines between remarks –
smell sparks of anger, the scent of kindness,
Or the well-known
of a lame excuse.

The quiver of a bottom lip,
The index finger pointing straight,
The gaze cast down at itchy feet,
The hug that warms the soul…
Quiet souls
will catch the hurt,
will catch the blues,
Will feel the love,
the hues
of sunshine in the best of news…
And blackness in the worst.

Sense the distance,
Take the hint
without assuming,
Guess correctly
secrets hidden far from view –
and leave them be.

What words cannot express,
we paint with just a subtle sigh.
What words cannot express,
we paint with twitches of our eyes.
What words cannot express
our bodies always find
another way to speak them.

They pour out of our skins,
and quiet ones will

Old Faith

I was born asleep
into the land of sheep,
Where God was King and
was in His Holy keep.

I was told of his forgiveness,
yet reminded I was vicious;
Born with sin, and next of kin
to the wrongs of the malicious.

That I had upon my hands,
the blood of Christ – the man
who died for us two thousand years ago or so…

I know.

It makes no freaking sense.
I wasn’t there back then.
Neither part of,
nor among the crowd of angry men.

The guilt we practised
left no room for building gratitude.
I couldn’t love a God
who bore a grudge against the shrewd
For daring to ask questions
in the face of the unknown.

“I am who I am”, he said –
and who is that?

Don’t know.

God is love,
and love is patient,
love is kind –
it does not envy.

Yet “Thou shall have no gods before me, for I’m a jealous God”?

“Trust not in yourself,” they said.
“Leave it to the Lord.”
I lived half my life
with both my eyes turned heavenward.

Looking for signs,
waiting to shine,
desperate for permission
From an entity who never spoke,
but was told I wasn’t listening.

I couldn’t wrap my mind
around the things that I was taught.

And so I left the praying
to the ones who understood.

After Hours

At sixes and sevens,
At eight and at nine…
See you close to midnight.
Quick fixes and heaven,
It’s late, we don’t mind.
We’re lonely, so we go for a ride.

When night starts to creep,
It’s the hour to haunt.
The living’s asleep,
They don’t know of our jaunts.
We meet under streetlights
By roads like a tomb
And practise our secret knocks
For secret rooms.

But I’ve…

Been missing the sun now
Too long in the dark
Am I an owl or a morning lark?
Been dreaming too often,
I want to wake up.

Still thirsty long after I’ve emptied my cup.

Small Town City Girl

The city girl in me,
she wants to play,
she wants to see
the pretty,
lambent neon lights,
the wide-awake
in dead of night,

the distant crooning
of a saxophone, the
sound of traffic,
buzz and tone of
bright and graphic
Signs advising me to
buy, buy, buy.

I love it when
nobody cares about
my hair, the way I dress,
the way I make
a mighty mess –
of things – they know:
Nobody’s perfect.

All eyes turned
to something else
Somewhere, because
life’s so much bigger,
Than the things
your next-door-neighbour
did last Saturday.

The city girl in me,
She wants to live
a life in motion,
Wants to dive
into the ocean
Of the pretty,
lambent neon lights…

The open after hours,
gleaming heights of
mighty towers looking down
on everything.
The yellow skies
on noisy evenings…

photo by: xavier portela