A- A A+

A time when they shared their drugs

Susan Adams, Peta Edmonds and Lyn McCredden |  17 June 2013

Whatever they want

There was a time when
they shared their drugs
and told each other everything.

Now he has broken
pieces wrapped in skin
torture has burnt his brave

down to a canyon of screams.

He is rubber to floor sliding in muck
focused only on fear.

An animal shackled
mashed to un-reason
there is only this fear
then the pain.
It destroys truth
where truth is not an answer
when you're innocent.
He tells them anything.

Susan Adams



'A man swims back to you like a friendly dog.
Asks you for spare change.
He hasn't eaten since Thursday and it's Sunday now in the city.
You empty your wallet of all its coins
The city is heavenly,
full of karma
A kid with a snake tattooed on his wrist gives you two cigarettes,
outside the markets,
trams going past us.
You see an old friend on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets
A pot of gold is a hug and a kiss.

'There's treasure in the chemist shop,
where she found little gifts for all her friends.
But she never got to send them
Now there's teardrops in the chemist shop.
She was attracted to the light of my fluroscent smile,
the tiny ways to say I love you were smashed like insects.
It's bad,
it's worse than anything I ever had,
these Cinderalla slippers that give me blisters
I wish she was still with us.'

'I'm a pet lamb according to my mum,
to be loved,
not slaughtered,
a twinkling star in her eye,
but I wish I wasn't fallen,
it took all my strength to get up,
on the stairs of Club xxx
I wanted to cry because it hurt,
but I know I don't have to go back and get hurt anymore.
It was one slip of my jellybean soul'

Peta Edmonds


Fitzroy Villanesque

Since ecstasy is no-one's given right,
mooching and drifting, waiting for the call,
you haunt this shabby suburb late at night.

Each small exuberance has taken flight,
night rolling in, a shrug, a dying fall,
and ecstasy is no-one's given right.

Lean forms slither, black and blue through light,
leave no redeeming palimpsest, no scrawl,
haunting this shabby suburb late at night.

Your muffled cries, your shuffling feet, ignite
only small flames, memories half-recalled,
since ecstasy is no-one's given right.

Waiting for that beloved shape, that light
which can draw you, specter, past these black walls,
you haunt this shabby suburb late at night.

You hear again — fingers trembling — how bright,
how warm that welcome voice, and its withdrawal.
Since ecstasy is no-one's given right,
you haunt this shabby suburb late at night.

Lyn McCredden

Susan Adams headshotSusan Adams is an Emerging Australian poet who has been published extensively in literary journals both in Australia and internationally. She has been read numerously on ABC Radio National including Poetica. Awarded 'Commended' in the internationally respected Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize, Ireland 2012. Publications include Westerley, Social Alternatives and Hecate.

Peta Edmonds headshotPeta Edmonds is studying a diploma in professional writing and editing. She came first in her novel writing class with a novel she is working on called Tramspotting.

Lyn McCredden headshotLyn McCredden teaches literary and cultural studies at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is the author of a number of critical texts on the sacred, including Intimate Horizons (with Bill Ashcroft and Frances Devlin-Glass) and Luminous Moments: the Contemporary Sacred.


Susan Adams, Peta Edmonds and Lyn McCredden


Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments

Three fine poems make my day.

Peter Goers 18 June 2013

Love these poems.

Les Wicks 21 June 2013

For me, this trilogy re-invigorates haunting memories of my embedded past, re-informing my present time and place. Thankyou.

Heather Thoday 09 July 2013

Similar articles

Haiku for JNB

Joan Grant | 11 June 2013

Basho Sigh, white text on dark green backgroundYou planted gum trees / For every family member / Some grew, some faltered. You shuddered at crows / Their cawings a foretolling / Of endings to come. You smiled and whispered / 'I may be gone for some time' / Skin like polar ice ...

The seams of the earth start to bulge

Jena Woodhouse | 04 June 2013

Bulge & Strain, white text on burnt red backgroundSometimes the dark bird of discord is loosed, to circle massif and savannah, inciting acts of mayhem, orgies of slaughter. But sometimes the white bird of hope is released and the tears it weeps restore something like order.

Human rights viewed from a Swiss mountaintop

Pat Walsh | 05 June 2013

Niesen International Committee of the Red Cross, GenevaThe weather seemed to express the mood of this city of international public servants paid to resolve the world's problem. Over dinner we discussed health and human rights for remote rural communities in the poorest corners of the world. That's Geneva: clean, ordered, pretty, earnest, and struggling to make the world in its image.

Asylum seeker sonnet

Brendan Doyle, Ben Walter and Rob Wallis | 28 May 2013

Smaller Islands, white text on aqua backgroundWith every boat that sinks our grief's untold; the smugglers just don't care they're overfull; So join the queue, no need to bribe with gold; and get a proper visa in Kabul.

My theatrical encounter with Don Dunstan

Brian Matthews | 24 May 2013

Don Dunstan headshotOne of the great monuments to the 'Dunstan Decade', the Adelaide Festival Centre marks its 40th birthday next weekend. It was the first capital city complex devoted to the performing arts, before even the Sydney Opera House. For me the anniversary triggers a flood of memories, including a theatrical encounter with Dunstan himself.