Archipelago, sleeping goddess whose body
we trample as tourists take selfies, bored lovers
seek mystery, stray dogs piss on temple stones.
Inside the sanctuary walls, torba floors endure
their bone-white ground broken as the silence
now deities are curios, gift shop souvenirs.
Asphodel and Sea-squill bloom in the corners of ruins
strewn like footnotes to ...
you opt for form over colour
makeup smudged lenses
pale bare planes by the lakes;
a cygnet ellipsis in black
white sky reflected in high water.
we sit where I have stayed
and watched an oak open and close –
green again – the bench
suspended on ampersands.
excerpt from Ligature
he drops his shoulders
lets out his breath
finds himself benched
between green wood slats and
a black plastic platter of sushi,
disposable sticks in his hand.
ache on his right eye like a river stone
thinking like five hands
at the piano. city stratified in front
his eye’s diameter
excerpt from Ligature
her office kept cold
she shivers exhales
but never the satisfaction
of seeing her breath
a red-black plaid blanket wraps
her legs pattern
reminiscent of red dust picnics –
Chris Arnold lives in Perth and used to work as a software engineer. He was published in Westerly’s first writers’ development program, and now works as the journal’s web editor. In 2017, Chris commenced a cr ...
I am a dickhead in ways I thought I wasn’t
I am a dickhead in ways people who call me a dickhead can’t imagine
I am a dickhead in ways people who call me a dickhead can imagine
I am a dickhead with residues and hangovers of misapplic ...
Grasshopper on the window, the flyscreen, and stepping out
into the beige heat, over us. Tangled in our hair, hooked to our backs.
Grasshopper, cod wisdom. Grasshopper contraband on the eye-
out for plagues. The Australian Plague Locust and its tendency
to shift character when gathered together. In worship. In parliament.
O phase polyphenism, in which mor ...
We are thrilled to find evidence of roos returning –
after being driven out of the reserve and slaughtered
by hunters, the survivors are finding refuge at Jam Tree Gully.
The vestiges of the old mob. And maybe new mob driven
this way by hunters down on Victoria Plains. In the long grass
they hide. They make tracks and graze and flatten
areas for rest. They are
It rained heavy, ridiculously heavy, when the heat
was at its peak, and then it went dry – the ebb & flow
of the surface-water, the water soaked deep. It’s
thin-on now, even vanished. A dry creeping towards
longer cold nights. The tank is down to 20 000 litres,
or thereabouts. And no clean air for weeks, as farmers
have burnt their tinderish stubble to ash, ...
John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry are On the Outskirts (UQP, 2017) Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016), Drowning in Wheat: Selected poems 1980–2015 (Picador, 2016), and the three volume edition of his Graphology Poems 1995–2015 (Five Islands Press, 2016). His poetry collections have won a variety of awards ...... (read more)