Actually Existing Australia

Louis Klee
Thursday, 24 September 2020

Pale ankles in the mountains, divergences
on a quarry. We are witness to it
land and witness to it
some fact of further summer
or things a truck driver might say ...

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Same Mind

Brian Henry
Thursday, 24 September 2020

Just before I left sleep behind
I borrowed a series of chords
so I could swerve my way through
the days I saw yawning in front
of me like graves freshly dug ...

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Fifty Years On

Peter Porter
Friday, 11 September 2020

Early on, my mind was in reverse.
I read a book the name I thought was From
White Cabin to Log House, and ever after
I knew ambition must go to cancrizans.

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'Maxi, goodbye'

Andrew Taylor
Thursday, 03 September 2020

So much activity outside
where sunlight spills across the snow
like cream –

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Will Eaves
Thursday, 03 September 2020

Not since I was four or five at most
and in the first of many striped tee-shirts
have I been this close to the flavour of safety.
I’m walking into town again, the child of hills.
You bought me fish and chips for lunch, my own
adult portion because I asked for it, in Evans’s
tiled restaurant, the Alhambra of takeaways.

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Dorothy Porter
Thursday, 03 September 2020

Waiting on a reeking strange
     railway station –
then the dead-quiet but crowded
     night ferry.

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Judith Beveridge
Thursday, 03 September 2020

      Rain bubble-wrapping the windows. Rain
falling as though someone ran a blade down the spines
   of fish setting those tiny backbones free. Rain
            with its squinting glance, rain

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'The one imperative': Thanking our healthcare workers

Australian Book Review
Wednesday, 26 August 2020

The staff and board of Australian Book Review extend their thanks to healthcare workers around the world. We all know what risks confront doctors, nurses, aides, orderlies, and administrative staff in our hospitals and medical clinics, especially here in Victoria. Countless healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, and many have died. We’re immensely grateful to the sector for its commitment and self-sacrifice.

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Meredith Wattison
Monday, 24 August 2020

The ritual begins by filling a plastic basin with warm water. It is carried from the bathroom to the bedroom. It is placed firstly on a stool, then on to the floor. Soap and a flannel cloud the water. My hands bathe the woman who has removed her nightie. She sits with a sense of calm and pained skin’s need for pleasure. It is like bathing a tired child. I lift her arms, we speak quietly of shared things. This true intimacy is purifying. We have forgotten the things that have strained and estranged us. These mornings our bond is primitive. These days are bordered by routine. I am preparing her for death. I am pleasing her prickling skin. I dry her. I treat her skin with lotions and oils. Liver cancer has swollen her body into a state of pregnancy, distension, emaciation ...

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Charm for 2020

Michael Hofmann
Monday, 24 August 2020


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