Mortal touch



Selected poems


If I say

If I say there is no god
I do not mean there is no

god. There is no
There is

the bound energy
of the melaleuca, the light

tossed back from the underside
of the leaf, the peeled bark

of the body where

is the impossible —
insistent, necessary.



quiet now
the bread box
is empty

we have emptied it
we have eaten our fill
the box is bared

the skin embraces
the skin its outer
and its inner

under the breastbone
the bass vibrates so that
the heart's gait

is awkward
the breath shallows
to a whisper

say nothing
until morning
wait if you can

sleep sleep now
the arrest is


The glance

Partway between a fingernail
and a semi-circle in the western

sky the moon
rises over

the glance
of wheels on the night's road.

Gas pops in the gut.
The engines sign like Nike

the clear air.
Give thanks.



With the same sense

that meets the keys I stroke her arm.
This tactility makes the tangible seem

eternal, as if the want to write
were training me to count on time.

My mortality is misdirected thus
by a capacity to touch. And when I put

my arm around her shoulders, I feel
beneath the skin the sharpness of the bone.


Anne ElveyAnne Elvey is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. Her poetry collection Kin was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2015. Her latest chapbook is This Flesh That You Know. Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity.

Topic tags: Anne Elvey, poetry



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Existing comments

Glad to see and read that Anne has not lost her 'touch'.
Uncle Pat | 26 July 2016

Thank you for 'With the same sense'. It brought back the most poignant and heartfelt memory.
Deena Bennett | 27 July 2016

wonder-filled poetry - thanks Anne.
mary tehan | 29 July 2016

Thanks Uncle Pat, Deena, and Mary, glad that the poems found resonance.
Anne | 05 August 2016


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