Steve Kilbey ~ Three Poems


poem about a poemSteve-Kilbey

i read this beautiful poem
it used words like absolute and redolent
it spoke of the glory of the spirit
it described the dark arc of human evil
some bits meandered through forests
of delicious adjectives
other parts were short. concise.
the poem began with a volley of the
most amazing hyperbole ever
broken …up…fragments
vainglorious latinate flourishes
anglo saxon starts and ends


mirrored seaside, english room
1920’s summer nightromance
radio crooner soft and low
sound of distant amusement pier
sound of singing followed by laughter
warm stifling quiet hotel
later the gentle rain
shifting shadows flit on blurry walls
holding hands
all of us round that table
this is so you’ll know
said the medium
holding hands
the candleflames shiver in that stillness
they dance and wriggle
in that motionless space
the medium, the italian woman
smiling in the darkness
a sudden chill around us
eyes rolling back
a struggling sound escapes her lips
the moths all become still

a cat screams somewhere
outside this room
ship in a bottle
mantelpiece warping slightly
things slipping sideways slightly
things sharpening and losing focus
the background comes forward
the other faces recede
someone is with us here tonight
lilting latin accent, hypnotic melody
one place in the room is coming apart
trying to get through
some door in the air
tablefaces drenched in staccato shadow
as candles extinguish and reappear
the voice changes
a child’s voice
mummy … ?
daddy … ?
the table jumps
something cold slides past
what is this childs name … ?
a man asks
from out of the anxious shadows
my name is rosemarie
says the child
italian medium’s voice
rosemarie ball
birds in the trees leave nest
cats slink back out of sight
the medium’s head is swaying
the doors have opened
she says
anything may come through now



i heard Gill Gamesh
was back in town
i sure remember the last time
he was here
he was wearing a suit of flesh
covered in mouths which whispered direction
he had a little place up in Everywhere
man, what a setup
he had singlehandedly invented civilization
and the royalties were coming in, in lumps
that reminds me
of the reason i am here
i come to warn you
absurdity has breached the outer membrane
dignity has fled
and the pale twilight hovers
throwing an illusion of mystery
black blanket nightfalls
the protagonists are restless
waiting for us
out there in the dark
the mansion’s grounds are impeccable
a photo wonder in contrasts
a permanent colour scheme blow out
harvest of the stars
Gill Gamesh is on the prowl
i see his nebulous hand in all of this
the ants have left their nest
the clouds are gone from the skies
the rats have jumped into the sea
the king has abdicated
wearing sack cloth and ashes
oh to walk again by your side
far from this place
far from this time
far from this poem

© Steve Kilbey

Songwriter, singer, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, producer, poet, actor and painter, Steve Kilbey was born in England in 1954. After moving to Australia he formed The Church in 1980 and has since released over 30 albums (including solo and side projects), achieving gold records in Australia and the U.S.

In 1986, Steve released his first book of poetry, Earthed which went on to sell over 2000 copies. There was also an album of the same name, which was like a soundtrack for the book.

In the late nineties Steve released his second book of poetry, Nineveh/The Ephemeron which, also sold out its initial run of 500 copies. In 2004 the two books were combined and even a hardcover version was published. In 2005, Kilbey released Eden, an insightful, profound and unique journey through the ethereal land of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All books are available from Karmic Hit website:

Kilbey now lives in Sydney with his wife and daughters and no cat.