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Tossed salad state of mind


1. Disarming

From one side of the partition
she looked up
from her tossed salad state
and mineralised water world
put down her implements
and guided him
a disarming smile.

On the other side
of the international cafe
he was diverted
from the impending roast
and wiping red wine
from his generous lips
he mouthed sweet nothings
in retaliation.

Tim Heffernan

2. Looking for a name

Alone on the platform
waiting for the train,
god knows who
I am to be, from place
to place, face to face:
Inner Catastrophe
seeks normal social chat,
and involutes,
and tumbles
into terrible fear.

---------Holy fire, caught in the bush,
I brush your cold white flame.
This night,

say my name,
right into me, ------------again,
for here we are once more,
the prayer of confession,
and returning,
amen —

David Hastie

3. Paris

look at your bird face in the mirror of my hand

under the light of a chandelier

in Paris

watch my marble face

turn to

ribs in the


David Murcott

4. Part-time job

Salt on those?
Eat here or take away?
As if that refrain wasn't bad enough,
To have to contend with a
Sharp-eyed rodent of dubious intent,
And his heavy-duty partner
In sandwiches and wedlock,
Who reach their climax in praise
At 'That's no good.'

After today
I'm not going back.
A simple resolution,
Like a breath of fresh air.

Heidi Ross

5. Heart remedy

My doctor prescribed
50 grams of dark chocolate
three times a week
for high cholesterol.
Get the fair trade stuff, she suggested.
In the night I fumble
empty packets from the bin,
scribbling surfaces, where my pen
tries to unblock other arteries.

Steve Isham

6. Belonging

In dreams, fish fly over
the mangroves
and speak to me of dominion.
And there are other signs
that I was born out of the womb of this earth:
made up of vegetation, sea, air, dust.
Light rears on its hind legs and claims me.
This is where my skin sheds.

Cassandra O'Loughlin

7. Old men play cards

slap slap king of spades
at the pagoda pavilion
old men not much else
to do huddle here daily
alongside their tall murky
jars of chunky green tea
few get here early enough
to claim cement seats
with cold grey marble
tops others carry fold-
out stools some bring
cushions the remaining
balance their weight in the
Chinese squat sitting
their bums on their heels

Jodie Hawthorn

8. Estate agent's snap

On our first evening in our new house,
empty except for us, we look from
the spacious balcony
towards the green-curving park.

Just like in the estate agent's
photograph, except that nine
black curving overhead wires
are strung from thick poles

slicing through the view.
They seem to have doctored the snap.

And so proud of it, they've
mailed us a poster-size
blow-up of their three-snap ad.

I may hang it on the balcony.

Max Richards

9. Mushrooms after drought

Pushing through mulch and moisture,
pale fingers wearing light brown umbrellas,
restrained Victorian skirts billowing quietly
veiling such thin, musty legs of stalk.
I have waited for you, mushroom,
through five bone years of drought
and finally, sudden rain brings you,
miniature skydivers fallen, safely,
onto the eucalyptus leaves'
shy green smiles.

P. S. Cottier

10. Twenty

She's a long way away
from the banal, the ho-hum
the usual teenage angst, she implies.
She's twenty. It's
quite possible she was into
her teens before her teens
& out of her teens before
her teens ended. She looks
& apparently always looked
older than her age. Still
despite her advanced years advancing
towards her early twenties
the last minutes of
her yesterday
are over & done with
just as the first minutes
are long ago.

Graham Rowlands



Tim HeffernanTim Heffernan is an Australian poet. He has been published online at OZpoet, Poets Union, Thylazine and Cordite.


David HastieDave Hastie lives in the Blue Mountains with an undisclosed number of pets and relatives. His work has appeared in LiNQ, Blue Dog, Eureka Street and The Briefing.

David MurcottDavid Murcott is a 25-year-old psychology student who was once described by his high school art teacher as 'reasonably talented, but lacking in focus'.


Heidi RossHeidi Ross writes in a variety of genres, mostly non-fiction. She often returns to poetry to refresh her love of language. She is a librarian in Western Australia.


Steve IshamSteve Isham writes and illustrates books for children in collaboration with his wife, Marion. Recent poetry includes five 'Punctuation Poems' accepted for publication in Cricket Magazine. He lives in Tasmania.


Cassandra O'LoughlinCassandra O'Loughlin's poems have appeared in the Newcastle University anthologies, Southerly, Poetrix and Catchfire Press publications. She won the Catchfire Press regional poetry prize in 2004.

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.

Max Richards Max Richards is the author of Catch of the Day. He lives in a house overlooking Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster, Vic. The park and his dogs figure much in his weekly 'verse snap' sent to the email list, PoetryEtc.


P. S. CottierP. S. Cottier is a Canberra poet. Her poem 'The Terrace Next Door' won third prize in the poetry division of the 2007 NSW Writers' Centre Inner City Life Literary Competition.


Graham RowlandsWith degrees in literature and history, Adelaide based Graham Rowlands has been a journalist, lecturer and editor. From 1972 to 1992 he published seven poetry collections. He has published more than 800 poems in magazines and newspapers.




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Existing comments

By freakish coincidence the poetry editor has again a 10 out of 10 strike rate for poetry without rhyme or explicit rhythm.

I ask, not rhetorically, is that all that is submitted to Eureka St? Does the editor have an affirmative action policy for free verse? Were more than 10 poems submitted for publication and if so could the poetry editor share with us his or her guidelines, framework, criteria etc for inclusion or exclusion.

One shudders in anticipation of a post-modern obfuscation ... I note again that this is not meant to be a rhetorical flourish, I would actually like these questions answered. I hope this is not too presumptuous.

Andrew Coorey | 29 April 2008  

Found this 'article' a refreshing and totally enjoyable relief. Thank you for the biographical details,too. They were read with interest.

lyn kane | 29 April 2008  

I enjoyed Mushrooms and Twenty! They made sense after one reading only. It's a shame I haven't got more time!


Nathalie Shepherd | 30 April 2008  

ES is the best spiffy mag online. Loved all these poems esp. 'Mushrooms after Drought'. Poetry speaks to me if I can understand it. And let's not go back to the old stuff I hated at school, with our minds jigging & jigging. Keep the Sabbath dream alive ES!

Lucas North | 05 May 2008  

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