rob walker has three published poetry collections: sparrow in an airport (Friendly Street New Poets Ten), micromacro and phobiaphobia (and is currently looking for a publisher for his fourth.) He lives in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, dividing his time between writing and teaching. He is also a member of the unique jazz/funk/impro poets collective which is  Max-Mo..





Tropeland. Surreal estate.

In the Land of Trope
boxes of matches spontane combustiously,
self-ignite like passion.
Vampire bats appear as garbags snagged on barbed-wire fences
Butterflies float skyward like liberation

In the Land of Trope street lights go through the phases of the moon
while the real moon waits for the traffic lights to change.
Deep serene ponds resemble your eyes and babies’ cheeks are gardenias

In the Land of Trope ears roar like the ocean
when you hold them up to your shell.
Cellos are the waists and childbearing hips of
 country girls.
Cotton wool confined
to bathroom cabinets knows it’s a cloud
forming over the ranges.
The day sky tries to be as blue as the child’s pencil
while the night
leaves itself deliberately empty
for the distant sound of a lone

In the Land of Trope sweat from armpits impersonates
cinnamon bark and vanilla pods
Similes assimilate later as comparative as a comparison 

In the Land of Trope dark sky splits white lightning apart
and all poetry is black                                                  except for
the pink bits
Silver coins are rain-filled sheep hoofprints.
Clocks at 2 a.m tut-tut that you’re not asleep.
Mountain scenes are almost as realistic as paintings.
Surreal estate.
Every autumn leaves fall
in love.
Drums beat like a

In the Land of Trope dogs feel as sick as a man
wheels are as silly as eccentric children
and tacks never feel flat.

In the Land of Trope rainbows come blank
so you can colour them in yourself
from ultra-yellow to infra-green

In the Land of Trope pins are as neat as houses,
rabbits breed like the poor. A whip
is as smart as a sadomasochist

In the Land of Trope
money is mute and
humility talks.

In Tropeland
It’s better for you

And metaphor me


Sluggish returns

The dew dragged that giant slug from
the retaining wall again last night

Perhaps he was indecisive
on the up/ down question

Perhaps he has a one-second memory
and constructs his journeys randomly

Perhaps he was lost

Perhaps he just wanted to leave me
a silvered graph of yesterday’s
All Ordinaries Index


Poetry of the New Millenium

it’s all entropy
and things bleeding
into something else.

i’m tired of hearing
about your lover
and shards of things.

your journey holds
no interest.

your maw
is just a mouth.
shut it.