it is Gone

…it always was. The mirror
conceals her body. The tree
won’t cover her limbs. The sun
refuses to hide her tears. The roots

shadow her body. The tree
when she begs, it begins to run;
refuses to hide her tears. The roots
and dandelions growing feral

when she begs, it begins to run;
towards icicles wrapped in fire
and dandelions growing feral
in the darkness. It sprouts free,

towards icicles wrapped in fire
it festers, only daylight calming
the cloudburst, until the sun sets
and nothing is old because…

Chloe Higgins (New South Wales)

BBQ days and the salsa of friendship

I am new here
A stranger to the community
but the BBQ of friendship
is sizzling on my hot plate

I’m a foreigner
in a green and pink garden
but the salsa of new friendship
is stirring in my salad bowl

Someone smiled
offered me their number
now the coffee in my morning
is texting on my tea cup.

I am new here
You don’t know me
But the tango of a friendship
is Cha-cha-ing around my sugar bowl.

Danielle Bruce (Victoria)
As well as writing poetry, Danielle blogs at Eat My Street.


Last will and testament of you know who

When I die
I want everyone to fill jam jars
With their tears
So those who loved me most
Will be known.
There will be a PH test
To signify those who cheated.
Any cheaters will get
Nothing from my will.
When I die
I want a hundred soldiers
To shoot at me
And cut off my head
To make sure I’m dead
And not cremated alive.
When I die
I only want my head cremated,
Then, I want my mourners
To find a north wind
Face it and scatter
My ashes into it
So my head ashes coat them
And I’m more in their faces
Then they’ll ever let me be.
When I die
I want everyone
To go around
Kicking buckets continuously
For hours while they cry.
And if they don’t do this
They won’t get a skerrick
I tell you, you won’t
Get a brass razoo!
Place the body of my carcass
On a mountaintop
For vultures to peck at,
Cast my corpse and bones
So they can be printed
By a computer and
I can be reanimated
Into some headless
Advertising monstrosity
That will fund a thousand
Starving nations to billy-o.
Carry on my name
In slap-stick and pornography,
Bedroom my last moment
Into bustle and ballyhoo,
Or you won’t get a thing
From you know who.

Initially NO (Victoria)
From Initially NO's book Riotous favour (2013)

The blue-bird

It’s the blue-bird again,
Flying out of my mouth.
It came off an enamelled
Silver carving on a ring.
It came from imaginings.
It’s the blue-bird again.
Some hunter in the forest
Has got his hand on
The blow to trigger.
It’s the blue-bird again,
That thing all feathery
And fluttering, taking in
Many blues and many
Bird-like shapes, even,
As I pick up a feather
From the forest floor,
I recognise where it came from.
I put it back on the ground
Because I don’t want to be
Accused of hunting the blue-bird.
I don’t want to be accused
Of trying to extract its essence
Of flight and colour.
I don’t want to be accused
Of stealing its beak.
I’m not even hunting,
I’m not even watching out,
The blue-bird just appears,
Crosses my path, when it does,
And takes me by surprise.

Initially NO (Victoria)
From Initially NO's book Riotous favour (2013)

I am a c*nt

Pink as a carnation
I piss
I menstruate
I can swallow a cock
I can give birth to a baby
I am a cunt

Initially NO (Victoria)
From Initially NO's book Riotous favour (2013)

Bag full of headlines

Cut up newspaper headlines,
Magazine article titles
And that one question
That really sticks out:
Are you a psycho?
And I think if you want
To answer that question
On this little label littered
Brown paper carry-bag,
You’re having other questions
Forming in your mind.
One being: What exactly
Did the person who wrote
That question mean by it?
I am covered in headlines
And questions such as this,
Which are derived
From memories psychological.
So perhaps that’s it.
A person who studies
Psychology is a psycho-student
And the head of the department
Of psychology is a psycho-head!
Or maybe not.
Perhaps we should think
Of Greek myths more
And understand where Psyche
Fits into the equation
Of the psycho,
Whatever that is.
Gazing into face of a god
And all that comes with that,
Seeing the hideous monster
That you have grown to love
And being the goddess of the soul.
So, is your psyche a psycho?
Do you want to take the test?
Are you secretly wondering
If you actually are
An illogical severed penis
In the pocket of a grotesque mind?
It’s all about what
You put into me;
I am after all a bag full of headlines.

Initially NO (Victoria)
From Initially NO's book Riotous favour (2013)

An image by our featured poet

Initially NO (Victoria)

Tree pimping

In Alma Road the council announced
That all the trees in the street would be
Cut down and replaced
With new trees.
I listened to the chainsaw
Rip into those youthful trees
And went outside to hug
A tree before it died.
Those trees had endured the smog,
Fought the concrete,
Escaped vandalism
And were growing fine leaves and flowers.
It’s just that someone wanted
The trees in the street
To be all the same.
The new trees looked guilty
As they put their roots in where
The other trees had been murdered.
They wilted and browned
Then grew big white blooms
Trying to please the sleaze
Like they had been surgically enhanced
In attempt to all look like Marilyn Monroe.
They never replaced the other trees
That were so cruelly cut down
For a uniform of blowsy blonde blooms
Prostituting themselves on the street
With their big ridiculous buxom endowments.
No one wanted them there
Except their pimp who ordered them planted.
Everyone wanted the old trees back,
The ones that gave the street variety.

Initially NO (Victoria)
From Initially NO's book Riotous favour (2013)

Front cover of 'Riotous favour'

The Three Serbian Girls

I disbelieved the Viscountess's claim.
‘Tell me the names of these three girls,
the ones who loved you so,
and who broke off all ties with you rather than see you with another?’

I investigated and sleuthed until I found the first address.
By candlelight I saw a sentimental, long-lashed girl,
kissing and weeping over a poem the Viscountess had once given her.

The second I spied had somehow got hold of one of the Viscountess's lace brassières,
and it was this that she fondled and cried over.

The third I discovered, after much toil,
to be the Viscountess herself,
her beautiful eyes locked with those in the mirror.

Sofia Chapman (Victoria)


I got married tonight

I got married tonight.
well, it was around 4am (my time,
7am his time) —
we did it over the phone,
he said: ‘do you wanna marry
me?’ and I said:
‘do you really want to marry me?’
and he said: ‘yeah I’m keen.’
Then he said: ‘when do you want
to do it?’ and I said:
‘what do you think?’
he said: ‘maybe 5 years? or
is it too long?’

I said: ‘2018. that sounds like
a long way away’
and he said ‘ok, five days
then, or five minutes.’
I said: ‘it won’t have much pull with the
law.’ he said: ‘who cares?’
and then he said:
‘I do.’

I felt overwhelmed. Where were
the vows?
where was anything? What were we
saying ‘I do’ to? what were we

so I was silent

so we tried again a second
time. I said: ‘you go first.’
he said: ‘I can’t. having been
left at the altar once…’
I laughed. and then I said
‘ok I do.’ (and I did.)
and he said: ‘I do too.’

it was that easy     like most
things… when you break it down

Tina Williman (Western Australia)
First published on tinawilliman.com