in the room
professional women
their prime painted on
strung with incomes of gold
family heirlooms
carbon fractured to sparkle
clothed in animal-print faux fur
bounty of the bargain hunters
hand weave acquired
on the last tour of the world
and all its islands
bags designed by the
wealthy for the wealthy
(they know how much
a bag should contain)
rest beside shoes
designed for comfort
gold badged and stamped
with a Spaniard’s name.

the afghani woman asks
what are you doing in my country
where criminals and killers and drug lords rule
where women
are shot like birds
and men seek
US dollar compensation
for their loss
less than a house
and a bit more than a donkey

Coral Carter (Western Australia)

Thistle Collector

I am a thistle collector
from roadsides and spare blocks
I pull
roots pale bent fingers
released from soil
as I tug
stalk shapes indent pink on my skin
fingernails stained green
sand clings as if it owns me
aphids smudged black on my breast
snails will be slime bliss bombs for my ducks
I carry thistles in my harvesters arms
smell a cooking stew
someone is using my mother's recipe
the postie skids to give way
handy man paints pickets retain the dream
at the curb side café
morning coffee drinkers
mid sip
I am the thistle collector
my bunch of yellow flowers
nod with every step
and a trail of white seed heads float behind

Coral Carter (Western Australia)

First published in the author's first poetry collection Descended from Thieves (Mulla Mulla Press 2012)

paint flow (a photograph by our featured poet)

Click the image to view a larger version.

Coral Carter (Western Australia)

First published on Coral's photography blog, Rubbish Photographer


Hot pink feet
tuck into feathered undercarriages.
With a wind-up toy whirr
topknots take off —
fly missile straight
into Father’s scattershot.

thump of the plump
dangle headed bodies plucked
woodstove roasted.

We spat lead pellets
Ping! Ting! onto side plates
wreathed with painted violets.

he broadcasts seed.
Calls them in
Whoop! Whoop!
Whoop! Whoop!
I hear them talking —
the hunter and the hunted
together in the garden.

Coral Carter (Western Australia)


A silent escape from pond central
onto cave floor sand
spreads to embed rock surfaces
folds through the geology of foothills
runs through the desert dunes
solidifies in glass
grows in petals of pelargonium
leaves of potted plants
arrives in boot soles
invades the kitchen
freezes in the ice cream
waves through the raspberries
and marble cake
steels into the sliced vegetables
knits itself into patterns
embroiders the edge of tea cloths
luxuriates in lace
follows the tines of the icing fork
out into the paddock of fresh raked earth
gathers on the wind
surfaces in the half ripe wheat
flies through a cirrus sky
and ripples across the lake’s salted water.

Coral Carter (Western Australia)

11pm William Street

We drank beer
from bottles
in brown paper
smoked joints
spiked with
too much tobacco
ate Thai late
on a Sunday night
when the only light
shone from the cross
while I tried to forget
what I really wanted

Coral Carter (Western Australia)


The leaves are happy...

The leaves are happy
Their applause can't be heard
Perhaps I need not listen.

Ronald Miles (Western Australia)


No Title

Found between commas
Underneath silences
Hiding among the spaces between phone calls
Simultaneously conscious and unconscious
A jarring presence, or perhaps none at all
Wedged in gaps between doors and walls
Beneath unused shoes
Hiding between trees in a dense forest
Given names to quiet the human need to know
Names that hold the same importance as the spaces
And the same unimportance
Easy enough to avoid, at least for a little while
Always there
You just have to stop
And listen

Caitlin Mahony (Western Australia)


Big old gum trees

24 March 2013
Perth, Western Australia

To walk to the bakery
I put on my fedora.
I hate that it covers
my ash-blonde hair
but it shades my sensitive
English skin.

I go past the graffiti
and through the park to the bridge.
On my left below a railing
the river glints.
On my right behind a barrier
cars overtake me, howling.

I'm enjoying the smooth
motion of my legs,
the air coming in regularly
behind my breasts,
my Doc Martens
pushing back the asphalt.

A man my age approaches
on a bike, breathing hard,
cheeks pink. He smiles at me.
I meet his eyes,
grin back, walk
a little taller.

I stroll on, humming
in the sun, considering
the bridge. Beneath
the asphalt and metal
armour, it's made
of big old gum trees.

A chainsaw shout yanks my head to the right!
Passenger window down, a Holden blasts by,
Australian flags whacking the air.

I shrug, poke
out my tongue.
They're gone before I can get
my middle finger

This again.
Just some young dude
trying to amuse
his Holden-polishing mate
by making a random stranger

Then I realise
what he said.

That wasn't OI! or HEY! —
that was RAPE!

Wasn't it?

I try to shake off
the roar and punch of those consonants,
but my brain has it
on tape.

How strange.
The boys start picking on me
now? I mean, don't I look
like someone's eccentric aunt?
Boots, mannish hat,
legs veiled
in long

Suddenly it doesn't seem such a joke.
I'm a long way from Mumbai,
but the dudes saw me only from the back
and between the hat and boots I'm wearing
a long tunic with an embroidered hem
over the baggy drapes
of green

Jackson (Western Australia)

Zero on the morning fug

In the pink of the Mormon,
he stole his soul away from
Garhd.        It was like
so derogating.
Forget it. Breaking
round the wrong door those
freaky mosquito things
Where’s the shoe addict?
Walking through so many
gardens the wrong way

wasted on the goo fumes.
He was from the free falcon’s
feces.        Cheap grief for
the brokeridge.
Overwhelming? The sheets
smell finer than linoleum
kept in the sun to etch
Whole in the blind window,
leaking on the run, he’s kept
in the way of hopeless.

Then the sky called salmon
asked for the old craze days.
Wanton.        Peace locks and
Cutting teeth to fade
sinking in the illustrious ticking.
he’s blown away across the tree
tops and the spiral stops his moss.

David Graham (New South Wales)



They let go 27 white balloons;
one for each year of your life.

We watch them dwindle
into the deep sky

and someone says,
‘they look like daystars.’

Later, someone remembers
your eyes, and how their friend

kept turning in English class:
‘they’re just so blue!’

Though we don’t normally hug,
we do today, tight arms expressing

what we find so hard to say aloud,
asking a silent question of comfort.

Saskia Scott (Western Australia)