All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.

Jill Jones

1. the dream of last week

each day as the lagoon runs
a rooster crows and mother and son
sit by the water, wash and play
I'm the stranger on the shore
that lonesome melody
like a muzak that flows
on some sweet gritty tide
annoying and tender
the throat can't make its assumptions
the trite may be true
against the white ghost of the swarm

2. tonight's tiredness

back into the safe of winter
closed and useless
the liquor of warmth
was a blanket
we shed in the taxi
scatter of aircraft fuel a reminder
you fly into paradise
but someone's always the loser
plane dumps you like cargo
but this isn't worship
curled against each other
waiting for spring's breadth

Jill Jones
Marrickville, Sydney, Australia, 10.10pm, 7/09/03


Beyond turquoise -

in response to a poem by Kate Fagan

The moon is gravel
in my shy glance
which flickers out
to other sky
planet grit splashed
beyond the turquoise screen
of our civilisation.

It's way past landscape
pasted in day books
and logged on paths
to and from
the sexy grids
stuttering market spritz
which grabs history
shaking its booty.

Jill Jones
Marrickville, Sydney, 16 July 2003 (after Sat 12 July)


fuzz at slant
cloud grain
and last night's stupidity
tracing down

I wish I was clearer
I wish I was not myself

a time of blankets
on morning
scarving gloving wintering
clear as cold

That I was clearer
That I was not so cold

sky lifts dazzle
no rain
and this day's ache
letting down

Wish I was not
That I was

Jill Jones
Surry Hills, Sydney, 2.35pm, 7/30/03


as if i could travel over
like the night that rushes
wings and propels
the everchanging grid
this below

it's not so dark
every day is darker
to me with these eyes
this 'yes' to old news

but the trees excuse
themselves, the grit
and litter of them
their layers, their
orange hearts

i pass by and sniff
out impermanence
that jasmine will come
before spring and step
forward old rage

as if i could forget
what accusation would
make me render
my lies before yours
-yes, you first

as if i could travel over
orange hearts
forward old rage
but the trees excuse
yes, you first

Jill Jones, Surry Hills, Sydney, 3.20pm


Hot winter

led by frustrated showers
on the motorized parade
sound I was waiting for, boom

stop before this turns east
road on trucks
to repair
below the long risk

this day ventures
weather a harvest
ruckus, flexible crunch
breathe under water
bray wheels—yo

sky soon turns self up
one breast still under
and trucks phizz
ambulances, every dodger uniforms

each drop
floats unsecured

Jill Jones, 1.20pm, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia


Clouds reveal me against traffic
the ash state dissolves my mouth
pelican rises over daily speed blink
the air stops inside.

We count in dead sentences
and tick the box
we drift and our crossbows fail
waiting for the ministry to arrive.

Jill Jones
10.55am, Surry Hills, Sydney


I have eaten words
all night for years
splitting bone and lies enamel dreams

my bruised canine
is stitched behind my face
count them! three knots
above the root
of ink and troubled pitch

of mouth bitten desire
pulped fantastic
on night's ink
where fancy creeps

my wolf vision
now spit and listerine
blood burning
codeine prey in throat

12.15am, Surry Hills, Sydney
Jill Jones


hair spikes the space
around the body
action at skin
scarred lands
each story breathed through pores

no more
of a metaphor
than world ghost
over lip's blue ripples
head clouds
always an experiment

steel wings cross buildings
concrete's rocky strand
what we see in the river
sirens don't care
snagging on outlines
of a season

tongues round stones
clatter songs
waste bitten vessels
though we are not
or time
but always losing
in hurry the glow
graphs instance

Jill Jones, Sydney, 4.05pm


fresher full
in forms of outburst
sky sits on brown

(the airless syntax is in here)

breath and fall
out on/to fill/form
tick the poetry box

make jokes easy
on metre
or the merit

mists of dis/location
that loveliness
is not hidden

help me I'm falling
towards the mountains
and everything blue

Jill Jones 4.15pm Wed 10 September


we talk about beasts in winter
or breasts for months in heat
but today's ions rattle the hinges
and wings belly under wind

sleeky clouds, white pointers
nothing holds when a sky streaks
wind eats up thought and spit

Jill Jones, Sydney, 5.00pm


I set up the shot yesterday
but fell into the hole
in my mouth
yes, where the stories leak
to my throat
or fling to air breathy
busking my walk

this is the wide city
it has accumulated me
along each stage
the clarinet, the needle
and abraded bone

Jill Jones, St James Station, Sydney, 8.55am


trying to build a ship
or pennant
out of some of these words

scattering in the light
bird call as green
as the night

but this is too much work
too much wooden collection
let the sea call green
somehow in that

over rock and interlace
of tide bubble
and littoral

if I hold it sideways
the moment
(now scan and metal
paper) as though

the line could lift
away out of LaPa's

just a little south of us
all day all night

just the rain
and its steady
fades as task heavy
sleep waits in tide

words to the wind
to midnight

Jill Jones, 11.10pm, Marrickville, Australia


what is scary in my half-time
at a moving sky?

a tendency to lampoon the heart
slide easily into the world
debonair as a cocktail

a tango could whip it up
on the floor
as umbrellas have whisked
my wicked streets

clouds face down incidental music
effervescent rain could do it
wash my solo space
in tantalising spritz

it's only in the waiting
the grey notes

Jill Jones, 1.40pm, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia


green rim
plate spring
cast here
tongue burn
that I
miss in
the line
risk frag-
ment track
road air
and smoke
glass of
tea slight
taste on
tongue hold-
ing up
the day

Jill Jones, 2.15pm, Sydney


it's all preparation
brown wash on skin
oil and prayer dosed
god machine blink
smiling coils angel pump
pain for greater
forms the aside
a pocket of knives
dangling rope
an ear trumpet
miniature steel bongo

the test is your name
in answer to your condition
language how you use it
speech in the ear
through the shoulders

waiting the shine escapes
the need marble pitted
to eat so cold against

inside think of running
outside of comfort
wrinkle cream smooths
the mind
the thoughts take care of
avoid the sliding floors
there's a charm in the cash
that lets you go home

Jill Jones, 12.15pm
St George Private Hospital, Kogarah.


The women invite me
the blue room theirs
the curtains men separate

blue bright and dark
separated by morning
culture and road

the concrete space
empty billowing
hands me in

as if I could go there
even in the real
daylight through walls

I sleep through this
along my life

Jill Jones Marrickville
(dreamt 5-6am, developed 12.55pm)


sky is cleared of doubt
clouds fall out of noon
tendencies and charms are crossed
the cool stays in the stone
ants heave up orange ground
the saxophone is full
time is being stretched out
it has the tongue to tell
hammer noises dancing
wind moves warm on hot
stops the path with dust
and flushes out the street
arches are the atmosphere
branches drop their down
ecstatic blue is brief
prepared for leaving then

Jill Jones
1.45pm, Surry Hills, 5 November 2003


cold scratchy broken light
blue slots in sky
wind stream an opaque zigzag

rotations in the scheme of things
surface twist paper squalls
ditched lines

a call to order but
fatigue hunger questions
a funky worry

day slopes on my stupid
nation weary
the bashings the fits
street streaky how it gets

scotty should get checked
where they hit you
no memorials
nothing comfortable in this

Jill Jones, 1.05pm, Surry Hills, Wed 12 November 2003


moves inside me
breathe rattle breathe
death an embryo
floating on sky
your card adds up the call
thinned to blood reality

far from the city
where they cover Oscar
with kisses hide Gertrude
behind the stone
there's a loss of continuity
this time of the world

Jill Jones
9.45am 19 November 2003


kerash - booming
ack ack spring
when will I live

try and roll along
this is an excellent length

but clouds sometimes
lower themselves

for all I know
lies under
boom that isn't cash

who is there to sit
urb them
or me

who can I run to

out into
low sky the walk
all the way


Jill Jones 26.11.03


I cracked it into ghostsleep in a corridor
a broken hour

I had to slap up morning

a lame johnny that I
am I just disappearing
into the sweet grey

rain and rain and

anything the heart
touches rib roar
jostling a wing

dream on inbetween

catching up with
the joke in the day
results leaders questions

what I cannot get

a grip or it stops
beating an old drum
dancing dissonance

its art as fatalist

Jill Jones 12.37pm 3 December 2003


green praises the rustling avenue
pollen fine hair falls
here is the gear, push and shuffle
clear of my hill of mistakes

I will have you back in this latitude
fair ample sky and ground
despite the drag of seasons
finally the weather opens its arms

a new version of blue is blowing
summer skin into our hands

Jill Jones. 3.25pm Wednesday 10 December 2003


The hard-to-believe sea
rolls into tideline
so blue so the breeze
after journeys and epic
the sun lies down
amongst our catch
all this venture
for just our eyes again
harbour home
and our private season
among crowds

Jill Jones
Wed 17 Dec. 10.08pm


street swept with heat
rising into
to elsewhere

song drift sea
cheesy and melodic
melting tinkle like stars
and rain
rain we need

but party is an attitude
as peace
peace we need
not tonight

fences fairylights fuel
gears sweat bitumen

skin sheens its tears
bedded dark
for more fire

what they say
is in season
or what may be

Jill Jones
Wed 24 Dec 2003


exact water soft in my
throat a blue glass half-full
of light filters through chest's
base brisk as new and
cold after summer makes flare

drive a future filled with
wheels inside the only room
the tree touches I am
falling asleep among clumps of
words and a drawer full

present clear even as sky
begins to close always future
waiting to be read across
moving clouds today roped solid
and only the leaves resist

of numbers the cup is
empty it's cracked and filled
white sun makes you forget
when the past is due
and what payment is most

rainwater soft hit in the
glass a happy sun makes
known the remains welcome showers
when we are dry voices
revolve in the door's recollections

small tremble wind divining pushes
green forward in breath sung

Jill Jones
Wednesday 31 December 2003, 1.18pm


Hot in night's layers, north easterlies
and acidic beverages
we climb over the city
the harbour's wide amphitheatre

The cliplock roof is safe but hard to traverse
as a world
the busy black lit sky
(Mel says an engineer has checked it out)

At count down end
(Jay, joking, begins calling the show
all on standby, pyros go)
fairy flash in hundreds & thousands
of useless cameras
flicker and miss the bursting drifts

Sky fills with cartoon stars
streaks, pompoms, blooming breasts
rose orchid galaxies
disturbing the night trip of flying foxes
ghost white against
the illuminated noise

Our awe is real
and ironic - we do that easily
under this boom crash opera
with a million friends
as the Bridge - our chunky old Bridge
dances in the light
(Mel says Martin got the gig
playing wonder games with decks and switches
in a room in Centrepoint Tower)

Another 'event' for sure
we've done events and know the wrangle
but we're happy in this smoke and energy
all exit stage left and easier now
getting across the roof though
I need your hand to steady me until we are level

Thursday 1 January 2004, Sydney, 12.45pm
Jill Jones


After cloud though not sudden
blue drops down the outside

voices slip and whisper rooms
heat rasps on structures

and the colours move to green
gold talks undersides of leaves

I feel myself crouching
in a new and awkward seat

unbalanced unregained

a heavy weight of summer
hard at the windows

where is rain to separate us
from the metal force

pinned in a cold box
hidden from the heat

heat in skin water blood
while duties tick on

I glimpse the shifts in sky

I should be wasting time

Jill Jones
Surry Hills, 1pm, Wednesday 7 January 2004


Under dense light
in tunnels already past
I am contradiction reflected
in beige canopies
and the whirring machinery that pictures
my sections
my skeleton, my country.

Outside is undecided
heat soup or feathered wind.
I take opposites, waver between cloaks
use up another wish for transcendence
looking for water in a magazine.

By a pouting model a sign reads:
Tread carefully, my harbour
in vogue myth, slipping
at the lowdown of the hill.

Time does its cheeky screen dance
perpetuates destinations
the drag in systems herds me back
by rail and jangle.

Clouds flatten colour
as afternoon resettles in the lift
where arrival and departure coincide.

There's still flesh in the pencil
and a spark over paper
and the long dark examines me
even in this well-lit place.

Jill Jones
Sydney, 4.40pm, Wednesday 14 January


I'm baffled by heat and cloud
white sheets in anticipation.
My mood is not the street
where I must condense slowly
or toss off any low feeling
into mutable tar and tile.

What gathers me and runs
past my heartbeat - that too
mutable, jiggery -
is less than ideal, more than phenomena

a bit like work ahead
a bit like sheets of sky.

Jill Jones
Devonshire Street, Surry Hills


my eyesight is layered and lowered
by nothing I own
I'm inside glass and artificial ice
sits in my throat
above me miles of nothing
if you don't count the clouds
that would be too romantic
or the hail
that is pre-emptive

aren't I freezing
as if snow is around the corner
all snow is far away
through a blizzard of information
the lop-sided reality of the North
and nothing I can touch
the controllers of this blasted air
are way down below
with glace papers and stiff devices

outside the frame heat boils
over and out of rain clouds
it is thunder where I'm going
as if it is all debatable
beautiful and bruised

Jill Jones, 5.30pm, Surry Hills, 28 January 11.15am


rails run on trust
sometimes it's casual
tremor in the sky

before you know it
the stairs are silver
it's a pale green new year

graffiti says 'usual suspekt
warfare' in gaudy
the ears tickticktick

below scatter
the horizon is not brilliant
but charged

night in disguise
day in its habit
chanting wheels

Jill Jones 5 Feb 9.30am Marrickville


sky is full of rain
which doesn't come
we would welcome rain
until we drown
fire puts out our streets
burns a dream
no tears will do it
we would welcome rain
welcome the fall
spits of ice
the fire sweeps
but is never clean

ground is groan
with need
to make mud or loam
of sand or history
all day grey to blue
season of heat
season that doesn't thank
when it rains
it spills
is never clean

Jill Jones Sydney 12.35pm


the ceiling falls
a mistake in timing
the roof dances were blunders
seams opened in clouds

each petal of water
is preparing a table
under percussive eaves

we're always getting ready
the blue cloth saved us
that and change

Jill Jones, 6.30pm, 25 Feb, Marrickville


the knocking goes on over hours
at intervals
a drum beating the day
at least I have no headache
someone twists a machine
it hums for a minute at a time
otherwise leaves wash
under the green sun
as processes inside me
tremble and stutter
how could you picture this?
as if capturing souls departing
on wax or an old glass photographic plate
sprites maybe in the garden
asking for rain like birds
or these hours are less deja vu
than common
memory darkens
a badly developed snap
but within it still the traces
fibres of light material
a child prisoned in the green grey
room of sickness
where hours are long and gates
creak all the same

Jill Jones 4.30pm Wed 3 March Marrickville


I've given up knowing
there are too many
stairs and glitches in the timetable
each day's a blast
today's is colder
windows shimmy-shake the breeze
there's a cold a-coming
the grey hangs high
but I've given up
thoughts of rain
even last night's false prophets
fell on the dust
and came back dressed as heat
as if we could forget

Jill Jones
1.15pm Wednesday 10 March Surry Hills


I walk into the regulated morning.
OK, I'm exaggerating
nevertheless, much of it's daily danger
even on stairs that refresh
or a window one arranges at the light
so it ventilates that special balance
in my program of attendances
I fit to format
between dangers of interior knowledge
and ruptures that vibrate alongside.

Considering rain that gave
yesterday a uniformity
it began gray, then a collapse of forms
giving out possibility
introducing refrain as well as excess
dressing the fabric whose outer is broken.

I advanced through thoughts incorrect
augured by my night
equipped with tastes forgotten
and entered unto the hour of dust
distanced, separated.
Here I forgave my side that knows
it's done too many problems.
While morning in newspaper strikes more cold
I'll beat the breeze that must come in time.
Hang the ash, here's the ascent!

Jill Jones, 11.35am, 17 March, Surry Hills


the day span as it passes

wrist flick and ancient pencils aside

fuzzy horizons at angles

inside and somewhere beyond delayed

aching bones swivel hours on

out of the box into the night where

a dream of unlimited perspective hazing

pixels dance amongst the dust

golden breath fleshes the street's leaves

tea lines the soul

Jill Jones, 24 March, 6.25pm, Surry Hills, Sydney


What does the south look like today?
With storm promises, without yesterday's fog
a preparation for the holiday.
Gusts of timing are unclear
though I test the wind on my fingers.

Gum leaves, palm fronds bow or slack.
There's brilliance above and behind.
Something cold and playful about the station.

Girls take photos using their phone
a group slouch and haggle
boys in school shirts argue some point
or the other.
Show crowds appear - what is this? - happy
about cattle, sheep, rodeo and cats
(and rats - a first this year).

Again, possibility - another year's easter rain
or indecision in temperature -
leads to reverie on Olympic Park platform
over directions of carnival mood
while the city's crown of clouds
replaces yesterday's mistful blanket
on all the brown buildings.

I go north then east in my alighted way
but all round the grey angels blow
as the south comes along
and breathes me through.

Jill Jones, Surry Hills, Wed 7 April, 9.50 am


this shiver is an agreement
self in weather
let me at least understand still
how to walk quietly

maybe you remember that too
how to raise a hand through
that shifty window between seasons
somehow cool under the soft tongue

as in weeks to come winter begins
its layers, holding them
as dark pads in earlier and earlier
licking our lids and curling up leaves

ah, to stretch out inside
subtle blankets of space
maybe you remember that too
instead of this shiver of panic

how to move this creature along
this load, this other big bird
that will pull us out of here
it will be relief hanging on clouds

out on the world

but how to walk softly
here in this now

Jill Jones, Wed 14 April 5.50pm, Surry Hills


go low
as grey light

tears me
from my head

dances sun
so slow now

steer me
into the cold

go now
where words tear

song slapped
against sound catchers

moves me
into long voice

blurs lines
against open gates

go now
into home light

poured ached
gone and open

Jill Jones
Marrickville, Wed 16 June, 9.21pm


Diverse collage

If you surrender details
they gather "a portion of the beauty"
in blue suburban clay.

In a clouded space
room to step shadows
where wind falls under the sun.

Ways you still
hear the grass
strata, fine planes, slips of craft.

But light leans in from the left
expecting more than
another opinion.

What do you need to know to walk
land along the lines of its wounds.
Nothing is beyond question.

Jill Jones, collaged after Art Gallery reading, Sydney, Wed 23 June 10.28pm


Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (, was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (, while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon ( Poetryetc is now archived at and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon

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