Tag Archive: brett fish poem

her voice

whispers yes


it’s the sadness

i see

behind her eyes

that reveals

the honest no

[For some more of the poems i have come up with in 2015, click here]

i recently discovered the incredibly gifted Dante who writes incredible micro poetry on his blog, Original-Dante. Thinking my poetry would definitely err on the macro side we decided to do a collaboration and use the same title to inspire two different poems and so here is my offering:


i gaze into the mirror
and the person staring back at me is not you
i cast my eyes across to your face
slowly becoming aware of
the lines of a well-worn path
have i even set foot on that road before?

i stare more deeply into your soul
only to have pictures of my life
flood back at me
i fling them to the ground
as i ready myself to dive right in
but am blocked by the life-sized
lifeless cardboard cutout that stands in my way

my life
my words
my thoughts
and my experiences
trying to tell your story through my voice
only rings in my ears
like a much-repeated but long-forgotten fairy-tale i thought i knew
so i close my eyes

and it takes a whole long time
minutes pass like hours
or are those indeed hours
that i am waiting upon
until what is ours
eventually starts to ever so slowly fade

days pass
and i can just about make out the
pathetic sad little robotic figure that is me
waving one last goodbye final wave
as it slides out of the peripheries
and i am gone

still me
still here
eyes closed
listening to the heaviness of
the air being breathed in and out around me

as if you had always been there
watching silently from the shadows
my ears catch sight of you
through the words i’ve taken time to hear
to really listen to
and a picture of you begins to take shape
and you look different than i had ever taken time to imagine

i pull my eyes more tightly shut
knowing that to open them again
would ruin my chances
of ever truly opening them again

and i look once more
as your sound travels towards me
in wave after wave of deep illumination

rich colours are realised
and this new person that is you
more you than you have ever been
and yet completely the you
you have always been and are
the you i never got to see
beyond my stereotypic perceptions
of the you i have always ever painted you to be

oh but when you paint you
what a glorious you
you turn out to be
words become stories
which take shape
in, through and around the pain
that lies scarring your embattled torso
and i see
the you that is you is nothing like
the you that is me.

and it is good.

[To read my new mate Original Dante’s much shorter poem with the same title, click here] 

Also we would love to hear what you think of the experiment of doing a long and a micro version using the same title as inspiration – once you’ve read both, please comment on how you experienced the combo…

Toying with the Idea at Hand

the unholy matrimony
of knees falling to the ground
as the king rides past

in the background
the flag is being hoisted
and draped over
the crossbeams of the steeple

as i hear my words
pledging their allegiance
i dip my hand
into the offering box
and draw out two tiny coins
believing Caesar already has enough to go around

the silver coins scattered
around me on the ground
remind me it is getting late

[This poem was inspired by the style of my friend Michael Toy who writes much better poetry than me which can be found here and you should definitely consider buying his book ‘Blame it on the Huehuetenango’ which is really great]

Poem: To Church

Just got back from an incredibly insane week with Creekside Church youth on Houseboats on Lake Shasta and had some time while i was there to stick some words together:

To Church

why run after what you can simply choose to be?

oasis of mirage in a sun-drenched desert

dessert of list-filled proportions

served to you on an already full to bursting stomach.


trying to slip the mask of your face over your face

to get you to somehow believe that you can become

what you already are

what the very D.N.A. in your

newly formed person declares you to be

week after week

marching your way to your box

[one size does not fit all]

reserving your spot with the glare in your eyes

before settling in comfortably to enjoy the show

the pretty puppet man with the dancing strings

seems particularly impressed by his exe… exo… skeleton today

outside, in the middle of town

a recovering drug addict is seen helping an old lady to cross the street…

[For some of the other poems i have come up with in 2015, click here] 

SITTING ON THE EDGE OF THE TUB – by brett “Fish” anderson


sitting here

perched on the edge of this hot tub

half in, half out

struggling to rationalise my body’s capability

with the extreme temperature that is bubbling back at me

but i’ve been here for a while

and this water sure ain’t getting any cooler

am i getting any braver?

and will i finally slide all the way in?


hold that thought.


the water doesn’t let up.

taunting me, bubbling back at me

throwing questions like tiny little glass phials of acid

that smash against me, burning new scars down my world-weary body

as they slowly trace new lines into my deeply-weathered skin

who will risk travelling those paths with me?


“Just believe!” they hiss

and the bubbling starts up once more

“Remember when believing was just as simple as returning to that half-chewed saddle

on your daddy’s ancient bicycle?”


i want to believe.

oh i so desperately crying-out-loud want to believe

and like a desperate father

who has reached the end of his hangman’s rope

and has run out of practical, make-sensical

acceptable ideas

[at least in the eyes of the crowd,

always present, always following him with their eyes]

like a man with no hope

besides hoping to find a hope

that is worth hoping in

[i hope that makes hope?]

i throw myself once again

at the feet of Jesus

and dare to dredge out the almost insubstantial remains

of my battered hope one more time…


“i believe!”…





no joyful celebration as the missing coin is found

caught inside the underbelly strands

of the hundredth sheep’s ragged and dirt-filled wool

no trumpet sounds

announcing the upcoming party

as i feel the warmth and tenderness

of the new robe being carefully pulled across my shoulders

no pronouncement of how my story will be told

even as all these other stories will continue to be passed on


and not even the yes but no but yes

of a gently spoken, “Go. And sin no more.”


as much as i lie gazing up



and the fiery bubbles continue streaming

eagerly away from me

as i contemplate once more

whether the heat this time has come too close

to completely overwhelming me

and will i finally decide to

drag myself out and away?

to gently dry my feet of this matter…


and as all of that and more

happens as a thirteen hour conversation

within the fraction of a second

i am forced to blink.


and i see you.


and i realise you too are waiting

and that you have always been waiting

as if there is something more to come

as if you have still not found what you’re looking for?


the water cries out to me for a commitment…


“Help me…” I finally manage to splutter out

with what feels like my last breath

in this moment anyway

and as i direct my weak attention to

the cascading compassion i see

unequivocally raining down from your eyes

and hear the ‘Jesus looked and loved him’

as the poverty-stricken young ruler

lifted himself out of his own diamond-encrusted tub o’ gold

i finally tune into what was missing

and what is still to one more time be said

and as i smile the biggest world-beaten

faith-ravaged hope-seeking half smile

i can barely bring myself to muster

i let go of the sides

and slide into the almost overbearing life-draining scald-like heat of the tub

as my lips carve out the words

“with my unbelief…”


i am in once more.

or is that still?


so, uh, just before you stick that there label on this, my shirt

perhaps you could do me a small favour first

maybe hold off on the label for just a moment

could you grab this piece of white policeman’s chalk

and carefully trace an outline

around my still and lifeless body

or, not so carefully, really

we just want to get the gist of who i might have been…

in fact, if you don’t mind humouring me for another moment

and pressing ‘pause’ on the label-adhering-to-the-shirt procedure

perhaps you can first assist me

in clambouring into this cardboard box that you brought

it looks like it might be quite the tight fit

and so i could sure use some assistance

to ensure that not a single part of me

body or clothing

and certainly no incandescent thought-bearing bubbles

might possibly be able to be seen

overlapping any of the corners or edges

once you have managed to close it ever so tightly around me

and taped me right up in there…

one more time, if i may be so bold

i know you’re in a rush

and you expected this whole write-and-rip-and-stick business

to be a whole lot more simple and routine and completely done by now…

but if i may

interject for a second

causing you to lay down your broadstrokes brush in surprise

and take particular notice of me

the person

the individual

the unique one that has certainly been affected

and informed and shaped and moulded

and influenced

by society

by my parents

by the school environment i was forcefully forced into and through and out of

the fallout from the colossal tug of war battle

between nature and nuture

echoing from my recently shaved head

through my still healing inner arm tattoo

all the way down to my shoe-forsaking feet

these feet may have been made for walking

but not so much for shoes, that’s for sure

can you see me?

do i exist yet?

are you struggling to find the right boxes to tick as you take this all in?

privilege-aware white heterosexual faith-filled male

forty one years of age, yet in many ways, still twenty-seven or thereabouts

“Keep up with me if you can, younger ones!”

introverted extrovert with subversive tendencies

poor? perhaps, when compared to you

yet excessively wealthy when compared to the millions of nameless ones around the world

who cannot afford in so many ways to be hooked up or plugged in or connected with,

in. this. specific. way.

and on and on the wheel turns

the hamster seems to be tiring, yet she labours on

while you appear to be hesitating

while i am done.

attach your label to me now if you please

and let’s move on with this charade

this little game we play

this binary interchanging of 1’s and 0’s

this tap tap tap on the button as the buzzer sounds once again

“i am choosing to hit the button of my own accord”

[of course you are!]

i am ready for you now

see how i bare my chest

waiting and


the death blow from that sticky piece of paper you would have me display.

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