Yesterday I spent the morning

Yesterday I spent the morning dabbling in the garden
deadheading flowers tugging at the straggly grass
listening to the fluting butcherbird

and I thought of all the gardens I’d grown
how they’d become less bordered     more wild
each spring the red surprise of poppies
knotted roses flourishing bright suns
rocket taking off between pavers     and even
suffering the prickly mandalas of weeds

now I want to clear a space
make a zen garden
place rocks precisely
rake sand
sit quietly in the fall and rise of shadows

Annette Mullumby (Western Australia)



Elio Novello (Western Australia)

Haiku: 'empty chrysalis...'

empty chrysalis
butterfly awakened by
caterpillar’s dream

Elio Novello (Western Australia)

Sentinels of the Street

The garbage bins in my street
stand to attention on Monday morning,
dressed in uniform mission green,
out there on parade in neat rows,
one metre from the kerb.

They stand perfectly still;
with straight backs, proud posture;
not as attractive as those Dalek compost bins —
a sore point that causes some upset —
but steadfast nevertheless
in their resolve to be
Sentinels of the Street.

If garbage bins could talk, what stories could they tell?
Who in the street under cover of darkness
placed garbage in the neighbour’s bin the night before?
Who in the street is most wasteful?
Who puts batteries and paint in their bin?
Who drinks too much alcohol?
The clink of bottles dobs them in.
Whose household is into
kinky things?

No matter what the weather,
the Sentinels of the Street stand to attention.
Like worshippers at a Sunday service,
they await deliverance —
to be lifted up on high —
exultation via a garbage truck,
a ‘Gloria in Excelsis’,
for their week’s work is done.
But the jubilation quickly subsides
as the parade is dismissed
and the Sentinels return to their usual posts
with a deep emptiness inside —
timely now for them
to start their work again.

Garbage bins: they shelter
what we reject, house
what we disown, with no
discrimination or complaint —
just simple acts of charity and love.

Elio Novello (Western Australia)

On the bus

Everyone is on their phone, Ipad or Kindle
except for the old man next to me.
He clutches his shopping bag
and stares out the window
at the passing world.

No one sees me looking at them.
Occasionally someone glances up,
but sees only the space around me.
When I travel on the bus
I am emptiness.

This is suburban nirvana.

Elio Novello (Western Australia)


How was it?

You, lover of water and wave,
swimming alone,
getting into trouble,
arms flailing,
hands clutching at water,
wanting to hold on,
realising life was slipping away.

I would have gone early,
poor swimmer that I am,
thrashing wildly,
tiring quickly,
craving air,
gulping water,
but you would have hung on for longer.
You saw the world differently.

I hope the part of you still there
just after your body shut down
accepted what was happening,
was able to let go
and send a thinking farewell
to family and friends,
and was happy
finally knowing
how that last moment goes.

Elio Novello (Western Australia)


On my way to work,
I saw the pelicans perch
like pterodactyls with folded wings,
on the Kwinana Freeway light poles.
The black cockatoos in Victoria Park do the same.
They comtemplate the view
from the power poles along Berwick Street.
What are they waiting for?

Elio Novello (Western Australia)