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Keywords: Ten Short Poems

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homeless, Paris

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 17 November 2015
    3 Comments

    Lone men stand at street corners, look on with apathetic eyes, shabby men from everywhere and nowhere, and beyond. Their tattered, mud-stained tents are massed beneath the overpass, misshapen globes the varicose, bruised colour of unhealthy veins. They make me think of tulip bulbs, caught between the seasons' change - too late for summer's plenitude, too early for the spring.

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  • RELIGION

    The nun who couldn't say no

    • Philomena van Rijswijk
    • 12 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Our family life was fraught with conflict, centred on our parents' inability to cope with my father's serious mental illness. During the early years of her childhood, my sister was made my mother's intimate confidante. This was a time of anguish for Mum, about both her marriage and a series of tragic miscarriages. My sister left home when she was 14, and entered the juniorate on the way to becoming a nun.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greece's lonely season

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 04 August 2015
    5 Comments

    A tarnished pomegranate warms the chill niche of the windowsill, mottled like a faded kilim, mellow rose, dull gold; the island in the autumn thrums to lyres of the bourini, the pagan tongues of log fires in the chimneys; ancient ferries plying the Aegean in the winter run the gauntlet of the gales like emissaries of reason. It is the lonely season.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 24 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pop up shop of poetic pollie horrors

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 January 2015
    9 Comments

    We all have these abruptly resurfacing images and references that pop up unannounced. For example, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s musings on the poor, who don’t drive very far – ‘O scathful harme, condition of povertie’ (Chaucer). And the rich, who are ‘lifters’. I was invaded mentally by Yeats’s ‘Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns.’ Without pain and with cigars and smirks of self-congratulation. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Car park hunger

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 26 August 2014
    1 Comment

    A topless man shuffles into Coles. The Big Issue seller is liked and avoided. Buskers who specialize with the night, streetlights mooning the spaces that never close.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In defence of judges

    • John Ellison Davies
    • 16 July 2014
    18 Comments

    Judge Garry Neilson is in a spot of bother after comparing incest and paedophilia to homosexuality. He is not the first judge to find himself in this situation and he will not be the last. Judges enjoy a life of privilege and status. In their own courtroom they are feudal masters. But when one of them makes a mistake, the media jumps all over them. Politicians rant. The controversy is always out of proportion to the alleged error. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Four poems for Seamus Heaney

    • Various
    • 10 December 2013
    3 Comments

    I was brought up to become a Scottish Protestant boy in exile from the country that was my father's homeland. You grew up to be at home in your history and tongue; my father banned your accent, set me to elocution, as if your speech was my speech-defect. Our history lay elsewhere, even as we were living it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Migrant factory worker's story

    • Selected poems
    • 06 August 2013
    1 Comment

    The factory thrust its bloody quota past her six days a week, and she did what she had to. The gloves and boots and heavy denim became first and last lines of defence. She lost a thumb once, then a fingertip a year later. Language didn't come into it. She got sick and sacked in the same fortnight, then lay doggo for a decade.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Portrait of an empty marriage and absent God

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 July 2013
    2 Comments

    The sense of God as absent is almost suffocating, but is relieved by the hope that if God is absent from buildings and institutions he may be present 'outside' and in relationships. Father Quintana comes into his own when he comes into contact with the needs of ordinary people, as he prays in voiceover 'Christ before me … behind me' and so on.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The seams of the earth start to bulge

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 04 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Sometimes 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.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Frantic chat on the world wide spider web

    • Various
    • 30 April 2013
    3 Comments

    And in the raucosity of blogs, the avidity of trolls, the ubiquity of porn, the vidvidvidity of tubes, the facebookery of profiles, the aviary of twittervation — can the mind still find that space to stretch itself?

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