Five Poems

'The Wedding' is included in the 2006 Australian Schools' secondary curriculum anthology 'Poetry Unlocked'




The wedding:

                       it must be right

everything must go to plan

be exact to near perfection.

We must hope the weather holds

and sunshine dominates.

We must feed the guests

occupy them with our chat

and false politeness.

We must keep them with a drink

a joke

a dance

it must be right -

the wedding MUST succeed

- regardless if ill-fated marriage



A 'tongue in cheek' (1987) recorded version of The Wedding exists and can be found on the Designer Brain Damage album by the band Magic Moments at Twilight Time HERE 




In the heat of the dragonfly summer

we sat drinking the wine

of serious intellect.

It was two days before your wedding

and you were having second thoughts.

Discretion was never one of my strong points,

but I wondered why you turned to me

in your moment of crisis,

in your moment of uncertainty.

In the end you married him

but now you're back again

drinking the same brand of red wine

and fixing your hair

in my bedroom mirror.

It's summer again

and you can't explain


this is how you wish

to spend your anniversary. 




The thinking man has returned

to find himself

He has resumed his childhood

and relives everything.

He looks for proof

he sees himself in a mirror

he smiles, he grimaces

he compares.

There is a strong suspicion here

he questions his identity

with hows and whys and wheres

and holds a crumpled photograph.

A small boy with hollow eyes

in a seaside town

Circa: 1950s. 




As children we came up here

pretending to be soldiers with our

green plastic helmets and long sticks.


We built a camp beneath the trees,

dug down into a hovel and covered it

with corrugated iron that had been

dumped in a skip.


We lived here that whole summer.

Holed up, waiting for an invisible enemy

or other kids on bikes.


Near the end of the holiday

a farmer spotted us and reported us

for trespassing.


We were coming back to kill him

the following year

but by then our appetites for war

had been replaced by other attractions. 




My children are nameless

they are mere souls

waiting to be born

they are numberless

and divided

they are sexless

and have yet no form

they wander in obscurity

time's passages

awaiting years

for the nine month countdown

to emerge

with faces and with names

into the hands

of the unknown mother

who yet knows nothing

of this conception.


A 1987 recording of this poem with the band Magic Moments at Twilight Time also exists which can be heard HERE





Mal’s poetry has also appeared in a number of small press magazines across the years including, Iota, Purple Patch, Spokes, Weyfarers and Wire.