Roger Higgins

Roger Higgins

Roger Higgins joined Friendly Street in 2004. He has poems published in various magazines and journals in Australia and North America. His first collection Hieroglyphs was published in Friendly Street’s New Poets 13, in 2008. His recent collection is Surf Sounds, published by Liquid Light Press in late 2014.


Everyone you pass in the street

Picture that cellist from the string quartet

with a stave of quavers and semi-quavers

like the rings of Saturn around her waist


Those around you point until you notice


Now everyone you pass in the street has their cloud

a blizzard of zeros and ones in coffee-house fumes

a cemetery fog, little crosses

a haze of hockey pucks like flies

iridescent asteroids circling a wrist like a charms

a halo of words

which starts to droop after the third Chablis


You start to wonder –

your own cloud disturbs you now

the threatening grey of an approaching storm

sitting over your left shoulder

as if blown there by a sudden gale

you watch it roil as your brush your hair

and raindrops mist near the nape of your neck

leaving you clammy inside your tailored suit


(from Friendly Street Anthology #38 2013, The Infinite Dirt)


Atacama dancers

The cirrus ballerinas are in rehearsal again tonight

pink and orange tutus fill the dusk sky,

A black and brooding mountain

observes without comment their dance.

There are unknown days yet before the performance

when an audience of thunderheads will sit in lofty judgement

clap explosively and bring down the curtain

in an excitement of rain.


I prefer to watch the rehearsals

the placement of pastels on a simple canvas

the fluid change of scenes and moods

as first the pink troupe and then the orange

and last the incandescent reds

pirouette on centre stage

just me and the mountain quietly watching

the lights go down without applause.


(from Hieroglyphs, Friendly Street New Poets 13, 2008)



Peanut butter on a teaspoon, burnt chocolate on my fingertip

A verdant sauvignon blanc from the Hills

Waves like mood music crashing, on a distant beach

Your buttocks silky under my fingertip

No pyjamas no nightgown, spooned after sex

At midnight, bedsheets rustling


Dry cakiness of your daybreak lips, smiling

A breakfast of seaspray and singed toast

Tongue, snaring nectarine juice errant on my chin

Lazy cappuccino dusted with bitter cocoa

Unsweetened certainty, loving

You hot from the shower, draped in a towel



An algorithm written in haste for the afternoon

on the exhausted freeway, stench and brake lights

Caught in a riptide of shoppers lamenting summer’s close

The mark-downs are a racket, artificial sweeteners

Lining-up at cheerless registers and parkade booths

Breaking out, saying never-again, knowing that we will


In a roadside café, the comfort of deepfried wings

Cajun chicken and a giant lemonade

Calmed by sounds like surf surge from the CD

Your fingertips unknotting my neck and shoulders

Until, sheltering behind our own front door

A spoonful of peanut butter, a syrupy nectarine


(from Surf Sounds, Liquid Light Press, 2014)