In a subjunctive mood


It was my great pleasure to launch David Harris’ first full poetry collection In a Subjunctive Mood (Ginninderra Press) on Friday night at Coventry Library, Stirling. David has done so many interesting things in his life; an engineer, entrepreneur, pilot, speaker of five languages, musician – and now , at eighty – a witty and intelligent poet.

David’s partner Valerie Volk filled us in on his remarkable background since most of us only knew only one or two aspects of his very full life. David gave us context and read a few of his poems. Nigel Ford did an excellent job as MC. After reading a few more verses and launching the book I sang If I Were a Subjunctive Clause.

A great night to celebrate the publication of a great book!

spring shorts and your life

Bad health and mobility problems have forced us to put our Cherry Gardens property on the market so it was a welcome opportunity to get along to the Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange in Adelaide for the Spring Shorts instalment of the Quart Short Literary Reading Nights, to sip on a Yamazaki whisky and forget about the stresses of real estate for a while. Veteran actor Patrick Frost read my short story My Life © brilliantly. It’s an interesting experience disassociatedly hearing your own work coming from someone else’s mouth. Actors Michael Allen, Nikki Fort, Robbie Greenwell, Holly Meyers and Lucy Slattery read a range of new work by Ben Brooker, Bernadette Eden, Ashley Kalagian Blunt, Gemma Parker, Sally Ryhanen and Deb Wain.

Thanks once again to the actors and the Quart Short Collective (Janet Thomas, Ben Brooker & Patrick Frost) for promoting Australian writing!

Blood oath

Magdalena Ball and I worked on this multimedia poem over a year ago to enter it in a competition where it would be part of a big medical symposium in London and Australia. It didn’t win, but we persevered and it’s just been published on Verity La.

Thanks Maggie for another excellent collaboration. My appreciation to Martyn Bloor (“airtone”), UK, and Melody Elwell Romancito (“Calling Sister Midnight”), US for permission to use their music.


Blood Oath


I want red on my lips

maroon, black, boiling

at this range of cold

only the full mammalian will do

structures of subordination inflame

the blood vessels

destroying my haemoglobin

blood everywhere and not enough

this tender body trying, failing


the protective instinct gone haywire.


Blood wages war with itself,

blood blinds, the burden of blood

finding the wrong/right blood type

at the point of transfusion

the place or point of origin   from which

towards which

the matrix                                in motion.


Greatest circulating library of all –

the underground

all tube stations connecting in a loop

going with the flow

passing through all stops not stopping

collecting passengers     and dropping

(the inspired and expired)

most liquid of connective tissues

resealing leaks           tracks of iron

simultaneous wave and particle


like light





(a collaboration by Magdalena Ball and Rob Walker, © 2016)

pain review

“In the Eye of the Beholder” by Zalehah Turner- title photo of Rochford St Review Issue 23

An excellent launch speech and review of Shaping the Fractured Self (ed. Heather Taylor-Johnson) appears in the latest issue of Rochford Street Review.

Read it HERE