Old Song

finally, the child is asleep.
the evening sky itself is almost white with fatigue.
it’s so warm that nobody’s out,
and soon i will gaze
over the quiet city streets.

where is the woman
to taste my skin?
perhaps i know her already,
or maybe she is as distant as winter.

well, every bird sings first for itself.

Matt Hetherington (Australia)


all the silken night
i lay in my warm bed,
and like a god
i made my little movies,
some even with the most perfect
everything i wished for, i had.
and now a cold new morning is banging on the door.

Matt Hetherington (Australia)

Morning, Partly Cloudy

every day waking is as slow as dawn
and questions hurt like the word ‘touch’
spread the honey evenly over the toast

the light is thin like an old man’s skin
and even my eyes are turning grey
every day waking is as slow as dawn

some of our romances end in rainbows
we are but a membrane
spread the honey evenly over the toast

i wrap my arms around myself
the comfort of this sole nocturnal sun
every day waking is as slow as dawn

attempting to recall all the things to forget
chatting in the face of the ravenous millions
spread the honey evenly over the toast

you’ll never see beyond your mirror
when the darkness makes you close your eyes
every day waking is as slow as dawn
spread the honey evenly over the toast

Matt Hetherington (Australia)

My Apology

Image of poem 'My Apology' by Matt Hetherington

Matt Hetherington (Australia)
First published in Speedpoets


(for Brett)

the baby breathes easily
                the air in the glass box

he wants both nipples at once
                but must come to rest with rubber

his brother also shares a little
                in this taste of near-containment

somehow their mother has managed
                to save them both for life

Matt Hetherington (Australia)


unmistaken identity

it’s like having neighbours without curtains
making love with the light on
across the narrow strip of back yard
outside the kitchen window
washing late night dishes

except it’s twentyfour seven
and loveless
a hole in the wall of the world
showing you almost everything
and once in a while

between press releases and sporting adventures
celebrity poses and lifestyle changes
current events and ongoing dramas
some stranger’s mortality
spat in your face
like a passerby’s curse

it’s a streetcorner of some distant suburb
whose name you didn’t quite catch
nowhere you’ve ever been
a stumble in the dance of traffic
a knot of broken metal and a death
no one you ever met

the news reader informs us the police
have not released the dead rider’s name
but somebody knows that bike

Span (South Australia)