Category: Issue Five Poetry

  • Expectations


    By Mohammad Ali Maleki*  I dedicate this poem to the Manus Island detainees who have lost their lives. We have them all in our minds and will never forget them.   Hey, Freedom. You are not colour You are not smell. You are not shadow. You are not sunshine. You are absolute darkness for me,…

  • Exile


    By Michelle Cahill To ride the curved fronds of rain-splashed palms with nothing but exiled eyes, to cut through manacle vines. To moult like the sunburnt skin of a gum tree, wounds flayed exposing an ivory gleam. To drown in the truth of gardens, as rain glistens silver on a ripple of green. To feel…

  • Public Statement by Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars on Australia’s

    Public Statement by Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars on Australia’s

    By Michele Seminara *A found poem sourced from a joint letter published in New Matilda on 10 Jul 2014. The letter was signed by 137 academics from across the globe and condemned the Australian Government’s treatment of refugees.    (This poem was first published in ‘Writing to the Wire’ (UWA Publishing, 2016).) Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.

  • I was on the boat, now I am on the road.

    I was on the boat, now I am on the road.

    By S. Nagaveeran (Ravi). I was on the boat now I am on the road. There wasn’t safety in my land and nothing free was in my hand I couldn’t walk freely and I couldn’t talk fairly so I seek the place where there is peace on earth I found the place and I landed…

  • Only some things

    Only some things

    By Lorne Johnson Artwork by Jackie Benney. Published with permission of the artist.

  • Hot Clouds

    Hot Clouds

    By Louise Carter   (‘Hot Clouds’ was Highly Commended in the Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2018.) Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.

  • Sing your landay

    Sing your landay

    By Moya Pacey In the dark cage of the village a woman’s voice sings of the girl who stole her brothers’ honour. They shaved her black curls, closed her green eyes, scooped the body into a sack threw it into the cold river. Come back into the world girl with black curls and green eyes.…

  • The woman carries an aid box on her head

    The woman carries an aid box on her head

    By Moya Pacey Dressed in a shapeless abaya she is neither young nor old. The cardboard box has moulded to the shape of her black-veiled head, she holds it steady right arm extended, narrow wrist exposed, fingers at full stretch. Her face uncovered and her gaze calm unhurried she turns to the camera, eyes narrowed…

  • After the boat (view from the shore)

    After the boat (view from the shore)

    By Ramon Loyola Trammelled by felled trees on each side of the shore, my limbs feel invisible and mangled, after two months and a quarter of a night at sea, with hands firmly shackled by breaths on a bobby boat full of desiccated skin and saltine hair, the lips chalked by the salt of the…

  • Preconceptions in Palmerstown Park

    Preconceptions in Palmerstown Park

    By Nessa O’Mahony November, post-work. Strewn leaves trip up on the weary walk to the car parked far enough out to be free. The Starlet misplaced on this street of Victorian villas, high gates, granite steps rising to painted porticoes, bay trees in pots (discretely padlocked). I look up as the young man skips down…

  • I stole these words from Syria

    I stole these words from Syria

    By Sandra Renew why are the poets the first to be killed? he was killed because of that poem where did he hide his poems? he hides them in his head and so did we… when they opened his chest with those bullets they saw the words also on his heart a poet is a…

  • A tanka

    A tanka

    By Sandra Renew the missing one million bones dead air we all want someone to know our death (First published in Atlas Poetica 20: A journal of World Tanka (ed. M. Kei, Keibooks, 2015).) Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.

  • Random Acts of National Identity

    Random Acts of National Identity

    By Richard James Allen I am not sure if where you live is a statement of intent. It might be a statement of accident. Like accidents of the light reflecting between the eyes of two soon no longer to be strangers, followed by accidents of love or accidents of fear, and then accidents of birth…

  • Politics


    by Jordan King-Lacroix  i. “Let’s not talk about politics.” “You’re going to let politics ruin a friendship?” “Two things you never discuss at dinner; politics and religion.” “Ignorance is bliss, politics just makes people depressed.” “Life’s too short for politics.” ii. Sew buttons on your own eyes, leave mine open. Give me that remote and…

  • Now He is Here

    Now He is Here

    By Denise O’Hagan I tread between slabs of stone shining like the underbellies of giant bugs in the shimmering light of an autumn afternoon and think that this was just the sort of day he would have loved. He used to eat olives and anchovies and sardines and now he is here. He used to…