Posts tagged ‘2017’

Friday, 24 September 2021

Mad in the Morning by Gōzō Yoshimasu

I shout the first line of my poem
I write the first line
A carving knife stands up madly in the morning
These are my rights!

The glow of morning or a woman’s breasts are not always beautiful
Beauty is not always first
All music is a lie!
Ah! First of all, let’s close all the petals and fall down to the earth!

This morning, September 24, 1966
I wrote a letter to my dearest friend
About original sin
About the perfect crime and the method of destroying intelligence

What a drop of water rolling on my pale pink palm!
The woman’s breasts are reflected in a coffee saucer!
Oh! I can’t fall down!
Though I ran rapidly over the edge of the sword, the world has not disappeared!


Date: 1966 (original in Japanese); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Gōzō Yoshimasu (1939- )

Translated by: Y Yoshida (24 September 2021)

Sunday, 29 August 2021

The Navigators by Eleanor Margaret Bradstock

There are many seas, organ-pipe rocks.
Sometimes we drift for months, and wake
to the dog-watch of night,
on our lips the bitter taste of land.

Our anchored ship
perched on the ocean’s skin,
we hear the hull’s creak, keening
of the lines, fancy we hear voices
through the thunder of waves
knowing they’re the cries of sea-birds,
the boom and boom of breakers upon rock.

Cloudlands rise from the mist
saw-toothed peaks emptied into the sky
vanishing as we approach
the sun’s glare, a shifting sea
with nothing at its centre, the motion
of a rocking island.


Date: 2017

By: Eleanor Margaret Bradstock (1942- )

Sunday, 15 August 2021

No Poem for Weeks Now by Simeon Kronenberg

for David Brooks

Nothing for weeks, no urgent need,
no jolt. Instead, I sit in a café reading,
only occasionally looking up to see
students wearing expensive
headphones, as they text or talk
on their mobiles. I think about my life,
nothing much is ever truly planned,
so much just fallen into. But there’s pleasure
in the sometimes lonely drift, the tender
space between the trees as I remember
the old man sitting under the pawlonias
on his rush seat in the winter sun,
gathering poems and holding a cup
of treasured wine – occasionally looking
through his round gate at the bare trees
and at boys walking the muddied lane
beyond his walls – richer lads chattering
in groups and picking up their robes
to save their silks, poorer ones in workers’
drab cloth, arms tanned by the sun
of the sorghum fields. They laugh and chatter
sharing secrets as they drudge or pick
their way through mud and dung, oblivious
to the old poet, tying a red, deliberate ribbon
around his sheath of poems.

The title, ‘No poem for weeks now’ is borrowed from a poem in David Brooks’s collection Open House.


Date: 2017

By: Simeon Kronenberg (19??- )

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos by Simon Patton

Disobey Cockatoodle-doo
― Skipping song

They rip strips of sky starkly in two
with their rasping shriek, yet its depth —
for all their violence — is rendered
more subtly blue, offset spectacularly
by sulphur. A flock in a dead December paddock
Christmas-lights tree branches
with immaculate, ice-cream ikons.
They never like the seagull,
like the crow, like the sacred ibis
scavenge guttered cities. In a joyfully
vicious streak, they throw the still beauty
of haunting European and Asian poems
fatally off balance, avenging human nature,
the child-mind. They are: beautifully
undamaged by habit,
savage with wild-open living.
Their gently unbowed fierce Australian heads
gaze steadily at the sun
and other starlights, out of this world
and back.


Date: 2017

By: Simon Patton (19??- )

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

In the Sepia Years by Gerard Smyth

… we look completely
different, completely the same
Linda Pastan

Here they are in the beginning, in the sepia years.
The first progenitors who look ill-at-ease
in front of the Cyclops eye of the camera,
but still in this image that you hold to the light
you can recognise the resemblance
between those in the picture and your face
in the mirror that has kept a semblance
of the hereditary blueprint that still decrees
a body’s strength, a body’s weakness;
the shape of shoulders, the first neurosis.
With each new alliance the line continued,
the clan extended: cousins and siblings,
grandparents and grandchildren
carrying within them laws that were written
on the genesis-genes, in the sepia years.

From: Smyth, Gerard, ‘In the Sepia Years’ in Crannóg Magazine, 45, Summer 2017, p. 10.

Date: 2017

By: Gerard Smyth (1951- )

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Borders by Audrey Molloy

We were tossed
coracle to sand
each side of a line
that once ran
like a guy-rope
between us
but now divided
yours from mine,
nothing ours
but our border.
I waited some time
at the edge
looking for you.
When you returned
I was older
but you were not.
I probed my land
learning its secrets
and now
when we love
it is here
on the edges of us
along every twist and
a line many
times longer
than our mooring.


Date: 2017

By: Audrey Molloy (19??- )

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Don’t @ Me by Alison Whittaker

curated tweets

Blak women are
powerful, overworked and under-praised
Bilingual and trilingual
I’m getting roots in
Sustain me, sustain me

No suspicious circumstances
Significant overrepresentation
What’s native title worth
In a compromised position to sovereignty?
Significant underrepresentation?
No contact with the family?

Individual pathology
Inquest into the death of
2 in every 25

This hurts
When kids are locked up

Taught through brutality
How disposable they are
Threat to private property

Joyous precious worthy. I’m not
crying – you’re crying

I’m not booking flights at my hotdesk
I’m not calling mum at my hotdesk

Love this country or leave it so
Free domestic flights for First Nations?
A whole plane full of terrified people in plaid
staring ever forward
Their model of shame on ours
Oh and wildflowers on the train

My hot take?
Blak women have not been silent
Huge if true.


Date: 2017

By: Alison Whittaker (19??- )

Friday, 18 June 2021

Do you like candy, dearie? by Jeanne Marie Beaumont

And what about the question mark that follows
you along the city streets, across gum-spotted
sidewalks, over puddled gutters, daily shadow,
nightly stalker, an unwavering wavering,
cobra riled up—now a levitating specter, unsummoned
ghost with a dowager’s hump and monk’s cowl,
then the alliumatic steam rising off a cook pot,
curl from a film noir cigarette, or spry genie rubbed
out of the period lamp who’s eager to grant
wishes if only you’d spin round, but you don’t,
you won’t look—it’s too crooked to be trusted,
perhaps some gust of fact or declaration will blow
its top away, leave just the certifying point, but
till then you dash for blocks, run against lights, make
quick turns where crowds thicken, wondering
if you’ve shaken it at last, the way it sidles up,
sinuous unicyclist atop a nearly silent wheel—shhh shhh
bending close by your ear to pose the question
you’re most loath to hear, and so you don’t
listen, you’ll never look, sensing its propensity to hover
and to stick, to stir up uncertainty, pry open every box,
all the while perfecting its impersonation of a hook.


Date: 2017

By: Jeanne Marie Beaumont (19??- )

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Fairer Hands by Leigh Fisher

If I sit in the chair, it’s like there’s no one really there
If I make a small request, regardless of how simple it is,
Red tape binds my limbs together, tying my wrists
Encircling every fair finger, binding them to each other
Until they’re rendered useless

But of course, if he asks the same question
The path of golden bricks is laid out before him
Decorating the road, making it shine to the point of blinding
Because that path is clear of debris, ready before he can even take a step
Because the answer to his question is a simple yes

If I want to move, climb up the next rung of the ladder
I have to try to grab ahold of weak, rotten wood
So worn and aged it barely clings to the ladder’s sides
It feels too weak to pull me up, yet
What choice do I have but to try seizing it?
For the rung above it is too high and out of reach

The wood cracks beneath my fingertips as soon as I
Try to haul myself upward
It splinters and I feel the tiny pieces of wood scratch my skin as it falls
I wince at the sting and cling to the side of the ladder
But I can’t stay still, even for a moment

For right beside me, there’s another ladder
Built of strong wood, steadily planted on the ground
It doesn’t shake or tremble
The rungs are close together and are easily scaled
He can race to the top with such ease

If I don’t inch my way up the side
Trying to scale a ladder that was never made to be climbed
I’ll be left too far behind to ever reach the same height
Splinters cut into my fingers
The dark wood becomes stained with flecks of red

All of these harsh trials are simply
The way of the world for someone born with fairer hands.

From: “Fairer Hands”and 2 more poems. Poetry by Leigh Fisher. (

Date: 2017

By: Leigh Fisher (19??- )

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Palimpsest by Mervyn Eustace Morris

Grandma, much younger
than her age-paper,
is giggling on the floor
with baby Jon
as with his daddy
forty years ago. ‘Age
is just a number,’
as the slogan says.

Grandpa seeming buried in a book,
gives thanks for her
endearing gift
and mumbles Larkin,
‘What will survive of us is love.’


Date: 2017

By: Mervyn Eustace Morris (1937- )