Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grounded - Graham Nunn


Coming back, the land didn't know him.
Not the soft air, peaks and skittering leaves
or blurred faces rising out of the fog
along Kingsford-Smith Drive, not the river
haze of the city
opening into his eyes
through trickle of morning sun
or the aging pier at Breakfast Creek
he half-imagined had been built for him —

the land under his feet and brooding
in shadows cast by the sheer rise of the city
had forgotten him. The odour of the river
drummed into shifting rock
was familiar, but wafted the frail taint
of foreign ghosts. He thought he knew
the sounds: low hum of ferry coming into dock
with passengers murmuring
home home

but it was not. The clouds
had grown heavy, the radio
in hard accents, promised more
rain continuing through the night.
In a crowded bar on Merthyr Street
he trembled like a sailor or fisherman
having seen the slope of the world and its infinite
smallness, having returned
with the illusion he had not changed, but friends
had grown old and disappeared
into home and heartbreak.

After short black and numbing
football on the TV, he rose
weightless as a ghost
and followed the riverbank, with drifts
of crows crying ironic above him
coming home coming home
the land didn't know him.

Graham Nunn

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sooty Sky - Kevin Gillam

Sooty Sky

these are black days. mine a sooty
sky. grit falls with rain. thinking wet,
won’t catch. black days are these. these
days aren’t those. past tense a
varnish. these minutes splinter. pierce
hands of fate. future pain racked. black
days these are. pills bleach a.m.
p.m. coma grey. these are black days

Kevin Gillam

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sick Again - Wayne H.W Wolfson

Sick Again

The anniversary of a dead ambition. The drops of blue paint on the floor, now smudged from someone’s foot, leads to nowhere.
The record player spits out my new thing, a car backs into a phone pole, an empty bottle rolls under the bed, murmuring marimba, she cries. We are a long way from Mozart.
The moon, what was left of night, fought its way through the cracks in the shade. The record still had three songs to its life-span.
The shadow of a cat on the polished wooden planks of the floor. I want to look, fleeting moments of poetry.
Poetry, mine. I actually am not that nice. Not for real, I feel like a phony, liar, hooves tangled in the jasmine below the bedroom window.
I am nice, but it is like an inconsequential doppelganger whom I have grown used to allowing to occasionally wander around.
She still sleeps and at least one of us does too.
I went down to the café. Standing outside, by my usual table was a cretinous little girl with a big belly, who stared at the newspaper kiosk without ever blinking.

Wayne H.W Wolfson

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ladybird, Ladybird - Justin Lowe

Ladybird, Ladybird

She did not
exactly glow
at the mention of my name

her hands
did strange things
around her throat

she tested
the strength of one leg
then the other

considered the world
to the left
and the right of her

I offered no gesture
of re-assurance
I am not like that

she wanted to know
how far I’d traveled
as though

no amount of poetry
could convince her

had been inside her all this time
invisible and all-encompassing
as the space between two words

this is a bad time
she whispered pertly
as though to a newborn.

Justin Lowe
(first published in 'Glass Poems')