Posts tagged ‘2017’

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Poem With a Backbone In It by Donelle Dreese

I want to celebrate the person who says
what everyone else is thinking

the person who knows thoughts are not Gregorian chants
or mint leaves sweetened with lime frost

even if it strikes the piñata of polite conversation
until truth hailstones to the floor

even if it sounds like crows flapping their wings
inside the hollow of a bell tower.

I want to celebrate the person who pours water
over tombstones so the souls of the dead are not thirsty

the person whose mind tracks the natural curve of the spine
anything else is artifice or disease
a scoliosis of the brain.


Date: 2017

By: Donelle Dreese (1968- )

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Aemilianus the Moor by Evan Jones

There is nothing in the letters
Aemilianus sent to the Senate
of his childhood in North Africa.
Nothing of the goats bleating
or his mother’s affection.
He wrote that he would ‘assert
the glory of Rome, and deliver
the empire from all barbarians
of the North and of the East’;
he declared himself a general,
where the Senate knew the people best.
His reign was short, his ideals never tasked.
He stepped out of his tent one night
woken by what he thought were goats
and his soldiers sacrificed him.


Date: 2017

By: Evan Jones (19??- )

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Grenfell by Olga Dermott-Bond

We are throwing our children
out of windows.
Knotted bedsheets are falling
and we are
wrapped in choking blankets
high in this tower—
before this moment
muffled important men
ticked each blind box
sat on their cold hands
covered their ears
kept their distance
reclined in chairs the colour
of expensive coffee
climbed inside airy committees
insulated themselves in
someone else’s bureaucracy
flimsy as the lids on their drinks
that they abandoned
after the meetings
on budget cuts
leaving us groping
in the darkness of these thin-
lipped walls
and now the stairs are
crumbling coals
and we are faltering
on the edge
of these burning cliffs
that we wanted to call home.
We are throwing our children
out of windows
feeling for the last time
those hot desperate hands
that first cradled our little fingers
as their own
starry universe.
We are pulling them
from our sobbing
necks and reaching as far out
from the molten frames
as we can
our arms stretched taut and flat as a fledging’s neck
trembling with our most precious selves
who are falling
so suddenly
as we are letting them go
into the darkness
ripping our histories
in two.
We are fighting every instinct
and crying to strangers to
catch them
catch them
catch them
We are praying
that someone
will one day love them
as we are loving them.
We are throwing our children
out of windows.
Before this moment
muffled important men—
but perhaps now
it will be harder to
ignore the messages
written tomorrow morning
in the curled ashes
at their feet.


Date: 2017

By: Olga Dermott-Bond (19??- )

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??- )