For Maneera de Mel

Looking up
from a trampoline
that stretched surface
from which we fly
we see stars
that are still

Stars as permanent
as we are.

Light-years away
mortal as cells
they may already
have perished
and yet
there they are.

Jake Dennis (Western Australia)
First published in Speedpoets zine

Coming Home

I dreamt this moment before:
the journey, bending down
to choose another novel,
placing The Voyage Out aside.

I sit face to face
with myself and the sky.
Sunlight, like god, is everywhere
and out of sight. I’m
propelled across a blanket
of white, beneath a flour
crescent bright as ice,
above rectangular fields
and lakes. A hundred tiny
snowflakes, snow crabs,
clutch the heavy window.

Further out, beyond,
the blue blackens to space,
that dusty vacuum, the infinite unknown,
warehouse of gaseous planets
in which Earth’s the lucky marble.

Jake Dennis (Western Australia)
First published on Vibewire

Legitimated Driver

During my practical driving assessment
the officer, like a reclining father,
like a DOG licensed to be a GOD
of wheels, asks me if I need a job. The grey road,
like the question ‘So, where
are you from?’, seems strange
because I was born here.

From behind his beard and sweat-stained shirt,
like a colonial patriarch
covered with centuries
of dust, he points to a sign:
Cleaners Wanted.

Jake Dennis (Western Australia)

A Funeral

She enters late while the sun descends
like a lozenge down your throat,
she hears the Burmese monk’s prayers,
watches the deceased’s mother holding
medals, stays at the back but smells
sandalwood and varnish, grasps her purse
as twelve grey men salute the pilot,
her uncle on his final mission,
as dark advances like the ocean’s waves
and the decorated box descends.

Jake Dennis (Western Australia)
First published in Cottonmouth

Her heart slipped like jelly

Her heart slipped like jelly
qu i ver i ng into his which
wel ( come ) ed the ( delicate
s w e e t ness ) and bal ( l o o n ) ed
like BASS in an RnB LOVE song
until ( he no longer desired
the hassle ).

Jake Dennis (Western Australia)


Concurring Currents

I wish I’d kissed you
When you asked to see my eyes

But I was transfixed
By the curl of your lips
And the scarce sincerity
In your words

I wish I’d kissed you
When I saw you that last time

But my mind was set
On the russet shade of your hands
And the curious churning
Of the world

Olivia Burgess (New South Wales)


I say about leaves
hanging in
composting on
of millions,
churned to mush,
a leaf
of billons, trillions
the sunshine

Jackson (Western Australia)


Poison in the TV’s glow,
Poison in the fly spray,
Poison in the radio waves,
Poison in the bread and the beer,
Poison for the son of David,
Poison on the farm with DDT and Dieldrin,
Poison for the sake of love,
Poison when you eat,
Poison when you breathe,
Poison in the trenches of your psyche,
Poison in your pre-frontal cortex,
Poison in the marshmallow uranium clouds,
Poison in the macrobiotic organic health food.
Poison in your petrol-fuelled, smog-pumping prophecies.
Poison because God told you.
Poison from the voices in your head.
Poison in Agent Orange or mixed with your orange juice.
Poison in the endless streets of your childhood imaginings.
Poison up a tree,
Poison in the valley,
Suck it up baby it’s all there.

Timothy Parkin (Western Australia)