She found a heart in a car park.
Tracked an errant orange to its burger bag retreat.
Saw among smears of yesterday’s cheese
the dim flutter of its yearning.
It had grown fragile and glassy
the way hearts do when they’re forgotten.
Fingers gentle as bird shadows eased its hurts
soothed rawness with cobwebs and kisses.
At first it refused to feed     but bit by bit it opened up.
She spooned in chicken soup     sang it spring in Paris
the softness of ash     lovers and golden moons.
Snuggled it close     read it tales of firebirds
scar revision     slow growth of stone.
It grew bolder     began to explore her garden
but always returned at star fall.
One day down among the honey flowers
a strange heart appeared     it was artless and green.
Sweet peas nodded its aloneness.

Jan Napier (WA)

First published in Westerly

Something about...

It was something about the cringe implicit
in the split skin smile     the bolted shoulders
the courage curled in his fist.
It was something about the glitterball torment
the tacky glasses     the sweat     the heat.
It was something about heavy metal
thumping 'til somehow
the only colours were Camus and mauve.
It was something about wet pink promises
dried to smeary disappointment
hairs stuck one upon the other
like sticky strips of acceptance.
It was something about her:
belly and breast in the steel
of a stranger’s arms
slivers of later olympic with drink rings.
It was something about the night:
its ill sewn skin seamed and puckered
the moon a pale stigma in a sky
fleshed with an infinity of winter.
It was something about how the thin edges
of his words hit     and how
when you took your fingers away
they dripped red for hours.
It was something about too much space.
It was something about the way
his footsteps sounded so old
going down the stairs.

Jan Napier (WA)

First published in Poetry d'Amour 2014 (WA Poets Inc)

Acid asides

A maitresse with a vinegar tongue
taught me art in my purple and schoolgirl years.
Crusty as a fresh baguette she tried to scrape off
the butter of Vincent’s sunflowers
stirred Picasso’s ladies angular and blue
with the rose and ladle of his single eyed flesh
then with a slick and origami roll
of words released poor Monet
from hyacinth and asphodel passion.
Pictured him in charcoal.
Despite her acidic asides
she was the frame from which I hung my career.

Jan Napier (WA)

First published in The Mozzie

In conclusion

As saints and martyrs fortified by faith
are vouchsafed in their sufferings
visions of the hereafter and hence exalted,
so too the mouse caged sure in hawk claws
dies distanced from the world,
yet in passing
knows its heart ascendant.

Jan Napier (WA)


Water is very forgiving she says
floats frangipani hands over my surface.
Our bodies are ninety percent soluble
slips easy into my blueness.
Oceans cover seven eighths of the globe
strokes hard against my current.
Mermaids walk on knives
rides high on my swell.
Tides are influenced by the moon
exposes my hidden rocks.
Seas are saltier than tears
sips from me.
Sharks hunt in the deep
opens her mouth     eats me.

Jan Napier (WA)

First published in Australian Love Poems 2013 (Inkerman & Blunt)

It is dark here

It is dark here in my room now
under the clouds.
Outside, a wall of quiet sound stands off
and more acutely,
large liquid ruptures sound
that have escaped the holes in the gutter joints
and meet the shock of the ground.

It becomes darker still
but the sky holds its tongue,
saving the best for somewhere else.
I am, as usual,
filled with sadness that I refuse to call grief,
even though I walk with it hand in hand
through every day,
sometimes exchanging not one word.

Jim Conwell (UK)

Untitled ('I write down the things I like about you')

I write down the things I like about you;
Your hands
Your temper
Your chest and your neck.
I stop myself before I get too carried away.
I put the piece of torn paper in my pocket hoping maybe I'll forget it.
Forget it, forget it; I keep telling myself.
I catch my reflection, startled.
I do not see me.
I see a girl drowning in you.

Sophia Golovanevskaya (Western Australia)



a broken birds nest
in the cool, shady fug
out of the sun;
a lizard, dry
and torn in two, flicked
into the leaf litter;
dislocation presses gently
like a worn, old mantle
around midsummer;
where I live, where the streets
are often empty, I can
ask a question as wide
as a single word:
so what I do, is stub out
my cigarette, and step
back inside

Jonothon Twist (Western Australia)


My tongue rolls out
Onto the floor
Freshly amputated
From the red couch's door

And like a mattress-made raft
It startin' to drift and stray
Into the sea's red-heaving sway

It's time to switch off the placenta
And be torn from these womb walls
As this room falls
Into a new nightmare.
Fitting way too tightly,
It's more than I can bear.

And Lo!
I am cloudy essence
Slow leaking
From a swaddle of blankets.

Scanned image of crumpled page

Steve ‘JC the Voyeur’ (Western Australia)