Posts tagged ‘2020’

Monday, 6 February 2023

Poetry of a Bottlebrush by Elizabeth Anne Gleeson

Come October. The bright flush
streaks nature strips. Vivid blobs
dot neighbourhoods. Dazzling blooms
take me back thirty years to you,
harnessed in your pusher, face upturned,
eyes focussed on streets of flitting trees,
branches buzzing, oozing pollen, dripping
clusters of red, bright as blood.

Grabbing at a branch, you held
the filaments of colour so gently
it might have been a small creature.
Stamens stroked your palm, brushed
your cheek. A red bottlebrush
calling us to witness – a callistemon
and a child demonstrating the value
of show don’t tell.


Date: 2020

By: Elizabeth Anne Gleeson (1955- )

Thursday, 2 February 2023

“The Lady of Shalott” in 2020 by Rachael Mead

The grand architecture of the world
has shrunk to my fence-line
and places I love call out in thin voices
as if locked in distant rooms.

My days unspool in a single stretch
of light, stained only by the ordinary
miracles of cloud track, voice mote
and the thump and drag of blood.

My mind is the bathroom mirror
after a shower. It’s not death or curse
or loneliness I fear. It’s forgetting who I am.
A woman in love with the wild.

Each day I knot words onto pages, trace
the path of the planet by the cedar’s shadow,
study the syntax of birds. Curling toes in the grass,
I dream the history of this place layering down

to its dark core—molten and churning.
In the old world, enchanted by light and quiet,
I was not in love with people. Yet here I am, half-sick
of shadows. The night rides in. The stars keep

their distance. I sit alone, gazing out at the world
through the glass but see nothing. No passing knight.
No bearded meteor. No broad stream complaining
in its banks. Just my reflection cracked from side to side.


Date: 2020

By: Rachael Mead (19??- )

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

When the Hill’s Hoist Became the Wishing-Tree by Angela Costi

With a peg in her mouth,
Maroulla walks the circumference of the ‘clothes tree’
looks at each pillow case, sheet, table cloth, Taki’s singlet,
reminders of the white handkerchiefs
tied to the wishing-tree at Vasa.

When she was eight, she tried to reach the branch
with her hanky,
there was no-one there to hold her up,
she didn’t whisper her secret dream to the tree that day
and the next morning she left
stuffing her flag of surrender
into her suitcase.

Taki’s out for the day,
she’s alone
with her waving, white promises
she touches them one by one,
the pillow case, sheet, table cloth – his singlet.

She reaches and holds onto the bar
swings herself into the wind
at peace with spent wishes and dreams.
She is a flying stream of coral, rose and black
she is laughter spilling itself into the sun
she is the fragile wires of affection
she has come to know
as home.


Date: 2020

By: Angela Costi (1947- )

Saturday, 28 January 2023

After Rain by Louise Boscacci

When it rains
the smell is not
petrichor but

a musty sickness stuck
to brittle

Underfoot and patient
after that long trace
calling up the blood
moon, mobile

networked ahead of all hotspot maps
and embers of rage, your damp ghost,
Fire, candles our shaky


I heard the cuckoo-shrike
afternoon cloud
the scarp
flat, black-faced
at birth, no silent
evacuee smudged
by carbon’s
terror plume.

Good Luck Bird,
Molly Aura, Fortune-sifter,
Greyscale Glider,
Canopy Seer. Good
luck, bird.

Behind the over-cooked
pot, umber water jar
rent by heat
in those early
hours you slept unbroken
with kiln free to run,
leaf shards
huddle where
they dropped the night
we ran once,
twice, three times
from fire’s arc.

Country of the faeries
no more, flammagenitus*
bears dry dead
thunder. Pyro-crickets
underground queue after
rain to resurface.

—January 7, 2020.

*A flammagenitus, from Cumulus flammagenitus, is a fire cloud commonly known as a pyrocumulus. The most intense version is a pyrocumulonimbus, capable of generating its own thunderstorm of lightning and black hail, and casting embers kilometres ahead to spark new blazes. (WMO, International Cloud Atlas,

From: Boscacci, Louise, “After Rain” in Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language, 10 (1), 2020, p. 8.

Date: 2020

By: Louise Boscacci (19??- )

Monday, 26 December 2022

Boxing Day at Gerroa by Andrew Hamilton

Smoke today was in the air,
scratching at the eyes and nose.
The declining sun was tomato red,
burning from a hundred fires,
grieving for a land turned black.


Date: 2020

By: Andrew Hamilton (1938- )

Sunday, 25 December 2022

The First Christmas by Marian Swinger

It never snows at Christmas in that dry and dusty land.
Instead of freezing blizzards, there are palms and drifting sands,
and years ago a stable and a most unusual star
and three wise men who followed it, by camel, not by car,
while, sleepy on the quiet hills, a shepherd gave a cry.
He’d seen a crowd of angels in the silent starlit sky.
In the stable, ox and ass stood very still and calm
and gazed upon the baby, safe and snug in Mary’s arms.
And Joseph, lost in shadows, face lit by an oil lamp’s glow
stood wondering, that first Christmas Day, two thousand years ago.


Date: 2020

By: Marian Swinger (19??- )

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Laudamus by Gregory Loselle

So let us praise the incomplete,
the half-made-up, the left undone,
what’s underbaked, what’s scarce begun,
the set-aside, not-yet-concrete.

Let’s laud what’s left unsaid or dropped,
the barely finished, still to come,
to be announced, to be revealed,
still-in-production, uncongealed—

and praise, for all that, what’s to do
and what’s ahead: the yet-unplanned,
the things we’ve always said we’d do
and what we never thought we would,

and what we never thought we could—
ignoring what we knew we should
and didn’t, never found the time
and left aside, what we omitted.

Here’s to the things that didn’t fit,
that made no sense, that didn’t rhyme
or quite serve the meter, what
we cast away, failed to commit.

So praise the ones who let things lie,
not bringing to completion all
that seemed so necessary once,
and proved irrelevant in time.


Date: 2020

By: Gregory Loselle (1963- )

Friday, 14 October 2022

Photo of a GI Bride in a Ruined Cottage by Ceinwen Haydon

She lifts her sepia eyelids,
shaded by a brown cloche bonnet.
She looks out, her gaze parallel to his.

Him, parade-smart airman
face pale, clean shaven.
He dreams their marriage to life,
promises her a Mid-West homestead
built with his own hands.
A place to forge their family life.

On the cracked mantelpiece,
flimsy blue airmails stacked
spliced open. Precarious piles propped
against stains on the damp wall.
Enveloped words hidden,
smudged free of meaning.

The fireplace she laid, stays cold.
After many ruined years
her hollow prayers sorrowed on unheard,
Her faith in him wobbled
like loose incisors in inflamed gums.
Love decayed, flared red then black,
and followed the leaded range to rot.


Date: 2020

By: Ceinwen Haydon (19??- )

Friday, 26 August 2022

My Body’s Always Saying by Taghrid Abdelal

Silence is a small thing with a beak.
It might not grow after dinner.
Its mother might forget it on her tongue,
and it might not know me when it’s old.

Or maybe I will conspire with its shadows
which I select as tour guide
for adjacent bodies:

a silence that doesn’t race a hare
or live in a tortoise shell
yet one I can find at a house door
befriending a threshold.


Date: 2020 (original in Arabic); 2022 (translation in English)

By: Taghrid Abdelal (1984- )

Translated by: Fady Joudah (1971- )

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

World History: An Overview by Kevin Canfield

North of 161st Street near
The Park here for Yankee Stadium
Sign a graffiti artist has summarized
The folly of the human experiment
On a concrete bridge underpass
She has inscribed six orange letters
Each twelve feet tall and distended
Like bubbles or birthday balloons
Two words joined up as one
OHWELL, she has written


Date: 2020

By: Kevin Canfield (19??- )