Collision on Winthrop Avenue

It isn’t just the impact
that shocks.

It’s the violence
of the sound
exploding your reveries.

It’s the surprise
of your car spinning
and others whizzing past.

It’s the vehicle
facing oncoming traffic.

It’s the surprise
of children’s workbooks
strewn across lanes
colouring-in weeping in soft drizzle.

It’s the insistence
of the blaring horn
refusing to be silenced
and the door that won’t open.

It’s the surprise
of what might have been.

Rita Tognini (Western Australia)



So let’s say
we’re centaurs

& in front
we keep a face

a place
to land

if someone’s

while behind
we go for what

we can get
& as for love

& death while
we’re ripe

they run

along for the ride

Laurinda Lind (USA)
First published in Afterthoughts (London, ON, Canada, 1997)


The waiting

‘My lungs burst
like fire in dry grass.
You are scarred from rib to rib 
and it looks like a smile.

It’s loud when the moon’s out —
the dancing branches shake 
blossoms from the trees.

We were gentle when the night fell 
like eventual rain
and we slept like curled dogs 
our hearts jumping at the night owls
and all the birds sleeping.

I called you in the gum drenched dark
and you were just a shiver,
so I warmed myself 
on the curve of your spine.
I can bear it more 
if we feel real.’

Kirsty Oehlers (Western Australia)


Sneaky Piggely

I’m the sneaky piggely
I always steal the capsicum
And when the big alpha piggelys come
I pretend to be retarded

I’m the sneaky piggely
I pretend to be normal but it never works
And when the big alpha piggelys come
I pretend to be dead

I’m the sneaky piggely
I steal the corn leaves and hide in a box
And none of you big alpha piggelys are going to stop me
‘Cos I pretend to be sad

I’m the sneaky piggely
I’m disabled and dysfunctional
Please love me alpha piggely
I wish I knew more tricks

Timothy Parkin (Western Australia)
First published on the author's blog