Posts tagged ‘poetry’

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- )

Sunday, 5 February 2023

A Poem Finds its Twin by Zenobia Frost

 ~  for JH ~

Perhaps they were conceived
in one sanguine swell of thought,

and were somehow later
drawn apart, adopted out,

such that the words

took on different meanings,
wore different haircuts

and forgot.

They met years later, hanging about
at a reading in clusters of old poems,

printed and permanent,
freckled with commas but

still alive with shifting intonations.
There was confusion

but also calm.

It was as though one’s reflection
had reached out from the mirror

to take the other’s hand
and say, “I know, brother; I know,”

and nothing more.


Date: 2009

By: Zenobia Frost (19??- )

Saturday, 4 February 2023

Harlequin Country by Paul Williamson

Along the tree lined rural highway
past paddocks where canola gleams
so cars stop for golden photographs
past paddocks where sheep graze
then clumps of darker remnant eucalypts
distant hills wear dancing patches of colour.
We drive towards the winding Boorawa River
and the town of Boorawa
a working town in merino country
from early Irish immigrants.

The church conrasts local yellow sandstone with greenstone
and is unlocked even during this Woolfest Day
when thousands of visitors line the main street
of nineteenth century formal buildings
shops and post great war red brick houses.
There are few frills some iron lacework.

Bands pipe down the main street
one orange, one green then community  groups
with troupers in antique uniforms firing loud guns
followed by a flock of sheep and a float with shearers
fast and clean on electric clippers or blade.
A crowd watches kelpie working dogs train.

Lunch is nostalgic Guinness pie with chips.
Hijab wearing women sell sweet cakes at a stall.
Asian stalls offer savory plates.
The town wears patches that richly contrast.


Date: 2022

By: Paul Williamson (19??- )

Friday, 3 February 2023

Another Time and Place Where We Might Belong by Brian Obiri-Asare

in this divided city, a black man
passing you by in the street usually nods –
a way of opening up another time
and place where we might belong.
and in this divided city, there are
those tough days you want to forget
what it is like living here, that as hard
as you struggle to find new roots
is almost as hard as you struggled to leave.

you return a black man’s nod today because
you have decided to blame colonialism
and whiteism and capitalism. how else could
it be that in this divided city you feel so black
and so blue? and since you returned his nod today
you might be able to shed lonely tears tonight,
at least there’s a possibility of healing in that.
and then you wouldn’t have to admit it, not yet,
not to yourself, that real healing
will only be possible once we shift
some essential part of our being.


Date: 2018

By: Brian Obiri-Asare (19??- )

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??- )

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Muse by Mike Greenacre

Listening to the rain
you’re tossed between
the nuance of meaning

from the soft pitter patter
like tentative footsteps
into somewhere unknown

to the thunderous roar
of an army of boots
stamping hold of ground

until you’re trapped by the
pounding of second thoughts—
the urge to run or hide

remembering the warmth
and security of the family home
where freedom of thought

lay somewhere outside,
waiting for you
in the driving rain.


Date: 2022

By: Mike Greenacre (1956- )

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- )

Monday, 30 January 2023

The Sprig by Tiffany Tsao

The man in the photo is a green shoot of a man
a slim-waisted sprig
a pocket-watch spring
with ears like the wings of a jumbo jet.
He’ll take off and you better catch on.

The shades of white and grey can’t hide
his technicolour visions.
Through the creased paper protrudes
a jaunty ambition swelling by the second.

I think his rakish moustache just sprouted another hair.

I know how he’ll unfurl.
He will build empires.
He will populate the earth.
He will feed multitudes.
He will shower the land with dollar bills.
Then: a modest monument, a humble knighthood,
a self-commissioned portrait hanging in the hallway.

But let’s keep this a secret
or he’ll never get over himself.


Date: 2012

By: Tiffany Tsao (19??- )

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Erratum by Norman Erikson Pasaribu

What was he thinking here, picking this body
and this family, where being match-made
with your mother’s niece was possible,
where first-born sons always meant everything,
and here, falling in love with the boy
who sat beside him at school,
when all that lingered of first love was that first kiss
they shared when cutting PE,
and here, not long after his first book came out,
as his family sat cross-legged together and ate,
he told them it wouldn’t end with any girl,
much less the Toba or Karo kind,
and here as he stood by the side of the road
that night, all alone, cars passing him,
his father’s words hounding him,
Don’t ever come back, Banci,
and he wept under a streetlight, frightened
at the first drops of rain misting his hair,
and here when he realised something odd about
the text that was his life and hoped sometime soon
the Publisher would print an erratum
to restore the lost lines, wherein
he’d know he was everything and also nothing
was wrong with him, and he’d know
what lingered of first love
was that very first kiss, bestowed
back when his family sat cross-legged together
and ate, grateful because he had picked
this body and this family?


Date: 2015 (original in Indonesian); 2019 (translation in English)

By: Norman Erikson Pasaribu (1990- )

Translated by: Tiffany Tsao (19??- )

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??- )