Ross Clark teaches part-time at two universities in Brisbane, Australia. Seven volumes of his poetry have been published (Salt Flung into the Sky, Ginninderra, 2007), and two chapbooks of haiku. He has toured his work as writer, performer and workshopper to city and rural Australia, to Japan, and through central Texas. He is currently working on a teenage verse novel trilogy and a DVD of himself in performance (with The Mongreltown Allstars).



Chook, Chook


they have gone off, they will not lay me eggs. three chooks, and not a single egg produced. i need a china egg to encourage them by fooling them, but all i have is my shaker, my percussion egg, filled with seeds and painted gold, so that will have to do.

                                                 in the morning, they have laid their clutch of warm eggs; all of them brown, but i can celebrate my brilliant husbandry, golden as a percussionist’s egg, with a little jig, unaccompanied and careful, up the stairs to the kitchen.


from childhood practice, back when we sold eggs direct from our farm, we still date them all by hand, the phone-message pencil just right for the four or so our chooks produce each day. we give them to neighbours, visitors, eat plenty ourselves, always from the earliest date. whenever and however i cook them, i will be eating yesterday, swallowing the past, enjoying.


For the Next Seven Days …

i want to write a poem
    so tough that
    it hurls Uluru back into space
    and dives down into the crater

i want to write a poem
    so revelatory that
    God weeps with shock

i want to write a poem
    so complete that
    dictionaries illustrate every word
    with a quotation from it

i want to write a poem
    so minimalist that
    when i open the page
    to read it aloud   (but
    before i say anything)
    everybody thinks of you

i want to write a poem
    so lyrical that
    the Amazon   the Nile
    the Yang-Tze    
    the Mississippi-Missouri
    and the Murray-Darling
    will flow symphony after symphony

i want to write a poem
    so soft that
    when i read it aloud
    my breath shivers on your nipples

i want to write a poem