Bird has died of fear in her cage
cuttle bone’s harried
her mate’s chattering at his mirror
bashing the bell
our child studies ants migrating for water
she pincers a lagger and licks him all up
follows the rest to their nest with a stick –
it is her nature
they all die so easy
not like us
I’m reading my guts coiled in the usual
usual shapes but casting
a differing inference
People like us who read things into things,
Who really knows? What the hell?
You’re drinking in the kitchen,
the whites of your eyes roll back
like rearing stallions.
I want to know whose butts are in the yard
seeing we don’t smoke anymore?
They are burning leaves again, you say.
It’s a kind of meditation
inviting fire or keeping it away
getting rid of the rubbish
is an occupation
for these ends of days –
Dig a hole, I say.
The oil stain in the drive has Rorschach wings.
I scry the bathwater we kept for the plants.
The dog laps at it and growls,
I pull out the plug.
I can read the signs but can’t do anything
about them. The past is here and the future, so
I read the toilet bowl and the dirty
hand basin and the drips from the tap
are very telling
I don’t even need
to really see or listen
as the evidence is here.
Then I flush it away.
An ant holds a bead of water,
his mandibles quiver.
The dog is frothing with snail killer,
next door’s cat shat
in the kid’s sand pit.
The washing stinks— smalls, colours, whites,
delicates soaking, old blood
It’s getting hotter and we talk about rain
as if it is the only topic, rain or flood.
What we’d do if we got washed away.
How long we could hold our breath
what we’d grab on to.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 92: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Aidan Coleman Reviews New and Selected Poems of Anna Wickham
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can
- Editorial to AFRO AUSTRALIAN
- 4 Works by Guled Abdulwasi
- The Platonic Split
- you have no idea how far i swam
- To the still
- Garden of Grace
- Bloody QnA
- The Physics of Self
- Life Poem
- go ahead, call it magic
- Chalk to Charcoal
- (un) learning
- 3 Sisters
- Blood Fuel
- Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance