Australia

  • Anne Benjamin

    unable to write
    jammed between commuters
    this solstice morning
    daylight lengthens
    my time grows less



    above the clothes' line
    a Qantas jet flies straight
    along its course ---
    your shirt sleeves and my stockings
    knotted in the wash

  • Anne Benjamin

    a student
    defends her dissertation
    to silvered scholars ---
    somewhere in the ceiling
    sparrows chirp

  • At the underwear counter

    Ladies' lingerie in a large department store, next to the elevator. I'm buying a bra. Beside me stands a very old gentleman leaning on a wheeled walker. He is soft-faced, white-haired and drooping, like a tired bell flower. He's paying for something, I think his store account. He has cash in his wallet, which he lays out slowly and carefully, note by note. The salesperson says she won't keep me waiting long. I laugh and say ‘No problem, I was in a sort of daze. I have to do battle with my health insurer next, so I don't mind waiting'.

    I'm much taller than the old man, and covertly glance down at his profile, his fine pink skin flecked with age and sunspots, the vulnerability of his shiny scalp through baby-fluff hair. His voice is clear and well-modulated, with a dry, humorous edge. I think I would like to sit down with this man and talk about things we remember, things we enjoy, things which make us happy, things which make us weep. The old man thanks the cashier, turns before he leaves to bid me good-day, and good luck with the health insurer. I say goodbye and think of age, and death, and loss, and pain, and sorrow.

    wishing again
    i could conjure up
    all the loved faces
    a news report listing
    the ages of the dead

  • Barbara Taylor

    spent morning hours
    recouping my every step
    through garden paths...
    I'm sure my glasses hung
    around my neck at the start


     
    dinosaurs once roamed
    around the wollemi pines,
    now we grow them
    in large garden pots
    on shady verandahs

  • Beatrice Yell

    bulldozers
    in Kuala Lumpur city
    wake us at dawn ---
    Games' building continues
    despite the muezzin's call


     
    home in the old forge
    you gaze over the downs
    towards the sea ---
    a camera can record
    images not private thoughts

  • Beverley George

    brass keyholes
    large enough to peer through
    and dovetail joinery
    symbols of security
    I thought would last through life


     
    rummaging
    in Grandma's button box
    for new eyes for bunny...
    a buttonhook,a thimble,
    a dancecard with Grandpa's name

  • Beverley George

    wet washing
    and her reading chair
    chase the sun
    around three verandahs
    of her valley farmhouse

  • broad arrow: my Tasmanian-ness

     

    75,000

    transported for life

    first fleet crammed belowdecks

    three-pennorth of sugar a stolen bonnet

    women’s factory the hard weight of a leg-iron

    thumbprints in a brick the night-breathing of walls

    morning prayer out of solitary arrowed shirts scuffing beeswax

    pregnant on remand a vagrant boy in an unconsecrated church

    sharks patrol Point Puer two last lost children hold hands jump

    friendly warder a woman off latrine duty owes him big-time

    iron maiden evening piano recital for the governor’s lady

    felling Huon pine logs cat-o’-nine tails superintends

    convict songs chain gangs gone bush in the Tiers

    stone clatter on tin throw out yer tea sugar missus

    starving dog his dinner companions dead reckoning

    today’s hunt loosing the hound pack break-back broken

    island-bound by an isthmus hanged by the neck until dead

    isle death row after row of convict cairns all fallen crooked

    remittance man a ration of grog for the manumitted couple

    blanks in the family album we never talk about it dear

    they declare the stain may prove indelible milord

    proximal phalanges o the shame of it

    sharp needles of

    l.o.v.e.

  • Carmel Summers

    sharp spikes
    of the holly's leaves ---
    so much easier
    to recall your sharp words
    than your life's achievements


     
    on this night
    rain tumbles from the sky
    why can't I
    release the sorrow
    dammed in my heart

  • Carmel Summers

    each word 
    weighed, rehearsed
    rejected
    no easy way
    to say these things to you

  • Catherine Smith

    nursing home visit,
    he arms himself with
    daffodils
    and thoughts of other springtimes
    when she remembered his name


     
    the rising sun paints
    a pathway from shore
    to horizon...
    do I have the courage
    to begin a new journey?


     
    lazy afternoon
    a penny lizard speeds
    under the arch
    of my bare foot... living,
    such a risky business

  • Catherine Smith

    lately, at night
    a colony of fruit bats
    arrives at my place...
    refugees perhaps,
    without any papers


     
    soccer match
    play moves downfield...
    from above
    a kookaburra swoops,
    scores a freshly turned worm

  • Cynthia Rowe

    the surgeon
    connects a new heart
    to your chest,
    and now begins
    our menage a trois
     


    you boast
    your elegant luggage
    is bullet-proof ---
    I never knew your heart
    was also impregnable

  • Cynthia Rowe

    morning
    tae kwon do... a cockatoo
    on the branch
    overhead rehearses
    its own routine


     
    global warming ---
    the ship's prow fractures
    ancient icebergs
    while you fret about cubes
    melting in your whisky

  • David Terelinck

    I trace the outline
    of your mastectomy scar
    the raw edge
    of making love again
    for the first time


     
    stags call
    among the falling maples
    of Nara ---
    losing myself in crowds,
    finding myself, in you


     
    neat folds
    followed by crisp creases
    the pattern
    for paper cranes  and my life
    deceptively simple

  • Dawn Bruce

    oil slick
    slinks across the surface
    of the sea...
    to cook my pasta
    I add oil to water


     
    a cat crouches
    waits in long grass,
    eyes glinting ---
    you tense, scribbling notes
    at every reading of my poems

  • Dawn Bruce

    the ferry race
    goes on without us
    this year
    after many false starts
    her dementia wins


     
    burning sun...
    cicadas thrum
    their ardour
    into the heart of summer
    heat meeting heat


     
    she offers
    herself as subject matter
    to the artist ---
    shadows lace their bodies
    and a long wintering begins

  • Desert Rat

    In a drawer she keeps them, his chestful of medals. In a Schiaparelli nylons box faintly scented with Shocking, which looks as old as they are. Did he give her the stockings when he came home from leave? Or when he returned, a half-broken man?

    sound of a bugle
    the shine in the eyes
    of my mother
    .
    Lest We Forget
    ANZAC DAY, 2018

  • Dobb, Jan

    passing shower
    just enough to wet
    the wind

    Autumn Moon 1:1, December 2017

  • Dorothy Walker

    our street
    awash with rain...
    how I wish
    I were brave enough
    to jump in the puddles


     
    your arms encircle me
    as we watch sunlight
    flood our room ---
    the passion of youth
    rekindled with the dawn