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Saddam's neck

East End

miles davis thru
stereo speakers
brasy honeyed
jazz tho muted
morose leached

of potency only
a treacly syrupy
glibber of notes
those saxy lines
swelling upward
from a coupé's
dark low-wound
window butting
the balcony like
raunchy baubles
bumping off into
the ozone on a
fuzz of glamour
girl champagne.

Thom Sullivan


Praying near some long grass
I saw
what I had looked at
and not seen —
a praying mantis.

it glowed the same way
as a grass stalk
when the sun
shone through its body

Even its structure —
one blade
from another.
Having been seen

it stayed so still
it took my breath away
back into the grass
it had already become.

Cathy Altmann

Middle age

Everyone his own Hamlet when young.
Struggling, but sure power dwells within;
a river of nobility to drown the unjust
who would poison our ears. Tourniquet
of rapt youth dissolves any stinging venom.

Hamlet never made it to be fat and forty,
crucified by relentless, quivering justice.
Falstaffs on Harleys, hoggishly free
we chuckle and clown, farting over hills,
helmeted by our thicker, stretching skins.

P. S. Cottier


A small boy sits on a tea-towel.
The sky is the colour of wet cement and just as cold.
Perhaps, he thinks, I could scratch my name in it.

Michele Peterie


And when at last we braved the ways
Of that cold, insisting star,
And came to the stable,
We paused at the brink
Of that warm and breathing place,
Where embassies of birds
Were roosting in their pious eaves,
And the scent of snow
Was rumoured on the music of the wind;
And fell upon our kingly knees,
Discomposed of kingliness,
In this place of small entireties,
Before a child
Whose eyes so vastly knew
The light of royal possibilities
Within the dusk of every heart.

Grant Fraser

Body Language

I hang my head
Between my knees
As a crutch to support me
So I won't see reality.
My arms, like a protective mother
Shield me from biting love
And getting attacked by savage lust …
Stops those coming to me
As a woman. Wanting me
Because I sit as a child.
Although my brain beats
With head breaking sadness,
I am encompassed by a dome of withdrawal.
Yet love is shining its eye
Through the crevices of my body
Making sure I don't drift too faraway

Kerry Ridgway

mining, the moon and whisky

along a lonely
stretch of river
smoke escapes from
a short chimney
overhanging rock shadows
the dusty quarry
hills stained with
rust and scars
chipped deep wounds
long dark tunnels

blokes under the
light of moons
bruised here tarnished
there warped with
dents cracked and
peeling in corners
long cold nights
same old company
whisky makes it
worth their while

Jodie Hawthorn


in the just
past the mid

afternoon sun
which struck

your face
you were able

to close your
eyes & breathe it

a crocheted rug
pulled to your chin

Rory Harris


concealed in her skin,
the girl does not belong
where marriages are revoked

the decency of the burqa
covers her — but
---all day
---men glimpse
---her silver nails
---and understand

Ann L. Healey

Saddam's Neck

n a loop around his neck the noose around his neck in a loop in
his neck
on CNN

the noose

around his
neck over and
over again in a loop

the noose around his neck

in a loop around his neck on CNN the noose around his neck in a loop
on CNN in a loop around the noose around his neck in a loop on CNN

James Morris

Thom SullivanThom Sullivan is a 26-year-old recent Arts/Law graduate and poet who lives in the Adelaide Hills.

Cathy AltmannCathy Altmann is a Melbourne poet. Her work has appeared on trains, in journals, anthologies and her collection, The Tree of Knowledge. Her essay on cancer, metaphor and poetry has just been published by colloquy.

P.S. CottierP. S. Cottier is a Canberra based poet and story writer whose work has ppeared in journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas.

Michelle PeterieMichelle Peterie is in her final year of a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies/Bachelor of Creative Arts at the Univerity of Wollongong. She hopes to pursue a career in writing.

Grant FraserGrant Fraser is a lawyer, poet and filmmaker. His collection of poetry Some Conclusion in the Heart was published by Black Willow Press. His film Syllable to Sound was recently shown on ABC Television.

Kerry Ridgway

Kerry Ridgway is a Melburnian who enjoys writing articles and poetry. She is also working on a book and screenplay, and enjoys writing about anything in any form.

Jodie HawthorneJodie Hawthorne spent more than a decade studying and working in Asia before returing to Tasmania, her home state. In 2007 a collection of her haiku, Watching Pilgrims Watching Me, was published by Pardalote Press.

Rory HarrisRory Harris is a poet from Largs Bay, SA.

Ann HealeyAnn L. Healey has published in poeticdiversity, Spindrift, Centauria, Poetry Monash and others. She attends yoga classes and works as a trade union organiser. All of this happens in Melbourne. Her web page is Butterfly Pose.

James MorrisJames Morris is a poet based in Bangkok.


Topic tags: new Australian poems, Thom Sullivan, Altmann, Cottier, Peterie, Grant Fraser, Ridgway, Jodie Hawthorn, Rory



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