for a moon

what tiny wants
to put here
for a moon

Jackson (Western Australia)
Written with the Magnetic Poetry Kit


The Bride Who Became Frightened When She Saw Life Opened

After a painting by Frida Kahlo

She hasn’t read a book in seven years
he doesn’t like the light on
if she gets in before him     he says nothing
she could read all night
but the thing is     he’s in bed by nine
every night     every night she has
something to do     she folds their washing
in three piles on the kitchen bench and once
he’s passing through     and it’s on his way
so     she asks him to take one pile
the kids’ clothes     put them on the bed
that’s all she asks     he wouldn’t have to open
a cupboard or a drawer
but he refuses     another time
she’s peeling potatoes and stacking dishes
and showing Sonya how to tie a shoelace
in a double-knot     she asks him to take the rubbish
out     but he says no     why should he?
she’s closer to the door and she says
for the first time ever     about anybody
I hate you     to the window
as if she’s talking to herself     or talking
about the weather and she goes back
to peeling the potatoes.

Gayelene Carbis (Victoria)

Previously published in MUSE — Canberra Arts Magazine


Jet Ski Ride

Eventually, I rode a jet ski.
I waited for the cacophony to clear,
left behind by speed
and a surge of freedom

but my thoughts churned
on their usual continuum.
I revved the engine harder,
felt the jolt, the smack of waves,

though that made me worry
about fish swimming below.
Would they bite on my toes?
Would my sunglasses fall off?

sink to the bay's sandy depths?
I imagined angry fish
swimming off in sunglasses.
And then there was the need

to ride around in circles —
figures of eight at best —
the man on the beach running
in zigzags, wildly gesturing,

and so, still, I was trapped
in tight arcs of monotony.
A pure, straight line to the horizon
and I'd be caught, eventually.

Jane Frank (Queensland)


Roman Catholic section, Karrakatta Cemetery

rows of Celtic crosses
stand tall for

small brass plaques on concrete kerbs recall
           Mothers and Sisters

Rita Tognini (Western Australia)


Always madness at the door
Unmedicated schizophrenics
Rambling to mirror images
Muttering rhetoric and racism
Denying their mental illness
Saying the CIA and NBN are analyzing their brainwaves
Saying there are messages for them in X-Press
Saying the whole planet is controlled by the Masons
Convinced that their medication is poison
Convinced they speak to God

But these are God's children
And we must love them no matter how irritating they may be
In tribal societies they would be shaman
With one foot in the realm of Spirit and one foot in reality
Hearing voices of the dead and interpreting them for the tribe
Speaking in poetry
Mystifying and incandescent

We used to fill them full of anti-psychotics and sit them in corners
Increasingly now they roam free
Sometimes inspiring, sometimes annoying
Sometimes dangerous to themselves or others
But they make the world a more interesting place

Timothy Parkin (Western Australia)