Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site

Op-shop religion


We cannot measure
for Thomas von Kempen

We cannot measure
Those saved by the Word
But those fallen and assaulted
By, let's be clear, the Word

Seek a suitable time for meditation
On the saved who live in secret pacts
Hiding from the harsh world
By wrapping all in holy cloth
Never holding the courage
To unwrap


Tweed jacket

you must leave rather soon
or they'll cry 'get out!'

if you try on any more religions
torn, weary & grey
like many a tweed jacket
from St Vinnie's

they're never your size
and they humble your closet
so proudly


The coals I carried for you

Who am I to deny your genealogy
in the form of commercial paganism?
Those earthly stars hardly match
the real ones just overhead now.

High voltage delirium found solace
in underfed unicorns
expounding commonsense.
Why not turn inward instead?



our preserver
our soon-to-be
streets to be littered
with deconstructing wares
no natural life-force
to engulf and spiral through

only the 'products'
computer chip fragments
replacing the 'sands of time'

pixilation earth


It overwhelms

and your lawless heart
cannot intend another divide
to break through
to bend through
to chew through

the adultery you commit
in your heart
makes churches
such scarce ventures

but all of that skin
that you pace for
overwhelms your
already bright yearning
in the shadows
of cold compunction


Clutching at air

Of course, all longhairs are assured
That you can't rely on anyone, for
Anything, for any length of time,
For any staidness in space, for any
Rapture dissipated out in a friend's
Kind impatience.

Offer a hand up to offer another life
In the desert to one inhaling dust, as
He denies the metaphoric futilities.
It isn't exactly life, but admit it freely,
If you were a sun-baked carrion, or
Simple fearing the marketplace. Here
Your soul would leap, forgotten by
Dealing, crushed by opportunity.

If this being does not transpire, we
Turn, after clutching at air, to Christ.
For the time-watched glory is there.
The baggage, on first sight, is slim,
He's travelling light, he'll soften
Those silly little whims.

But more so for the pathetic weakness
That walks on high without aspiration
Or pill. His shorn power as the lamb, not
As the holder of the keys to the lost and
Found box. The smudge of sweat upon
A clean, crisp page, a wrinkled face lit,
The joy of a crippled black pup. 

Matthew DaviesMatthew John Davies is a writer and blogger from Brisbane, Australia. He has been published in Cottonmouth, Page Seventeen and  Skive Magazine.

Topic tags: new australian poems, Matthew Davies



submit a comment

Existing comments

Thanks Matthew. Lovely. I volunteer in an op-shop so much resonance in this work.

Pam | 21 February 2012  

Some poems do challenge you, but then I have to read them again.

Jenny Esots | 21 February 2012  

Similar Articles

Islamic women's sex and power

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 23 February 2012

The women begin withholding sex from their husbands in order to pressure them into bringing running water to their remote North African village. This act of self-empowerment brings hardships to both the men and the women of this patriarchal Islamic community.


Innocence lost in Greece and Australia

  • Gillian Bouras
  • 17 February 2012

The dismissal of Gough Whitlam by then Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975 has been described as the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australia's history. It seems pallid in comparison with what is now happening here in Greece.