They swing on real dreams of freedom.
Peace is like things of the past.
Justice is like ice on the lands never seen.
The dream he had was his own.
For he got pay for his speech.
People now can't dream in positive.
For money to dream became working to scream.
Years went by things same lay at the beds and rooms.
Pain anger injustices seem to be their lifelong dreams.
Love was politic in houses called freedoms.
The mountains come down to a city for romancing.
See all colour together was now price on hope to hop.
We never lived by that dream cause times changed for those
of power over powers.
But the poor stayed lying as homeless mixed over and over.
What war stopped since the fighter began?
What paper written was heard when light covering was dark to the bones?
The world better was for that time nothing became a future.
It was a policy statement nothing more or for people.
We had a dream now where is the time for that dream?
Where are the human dreams if we so true to the dreams about us all in all? 

Lionel Fogarty

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  • Custom Article Title 'He Had a Dream of Times' by Lionel Fogarty | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

The need to recall the journey
Is her gift to her children?

They are the perfect journalists
To inscribe her tombstone

Outside my bedroom window
I see them walking the path to my door

Who understands the logic?
That they look so much like me

Meanwhile what a lousy deal
They will also in heart my life

This heat reminds me of a certain freedom
Is hell the detour to heaven?

Until our bones prevent us
From dodging an eternal life

I wonder if she even spoke to God?
The bird that sits in the tree outside my window

A thousand rivers, collided and changed direction
Within my chest
I realise there is much more journey to be done

Lionel Fogarty

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  • Custom Article Title 'Jealousy of the Undertow/Tombstone' by Lionel Fogarty | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
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She was pretty young Borobi being put in the tree by her human father for four hours.

As he walk back to the other Jarjum, they ask where Borobi was. He say, Oh she jump
into a tree wanting to eat leaves and looked like happy, so I let her be what she wanted
to be, a Borobi.

Many Bilin Bilin flirted around flying high and low seems like listen to old Kargaru sing
a song for a birth.

While on the lily pads waters the Taran was loud yell help in crooker ways.

But the Nyunga Nyunga was signing a dance to attract Wogun wogun to give tosh
tongue to the air of life that was in tree. But young Borobi kept on moving from tree to
branches being a Queen of the top, this time doped up she fell out of the tree, just in time
for her dad Binga to hold her in his arms, say she be alright and will sleep tonight.

That young Borobi found her pretty face changed.

She sang, they are my people the birds animal around I loved the four hours forever.

Now the story is Borobi had many Jarjums after this, the tree got bigger than all her
friends.

Now the story is never go into a tree for a long time cause you can be missed.

Lionel Fogarty

Bilin Bilin: king parrot
Kargaru: kookaburra
Taran: frog
Nyunga Nyunga: bower bird
Wogun wogun: scrub turkey

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  • Custom Article Title 'Koala Trees Turn Her Borobi' by Lionel Fogarty | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

for Aunty Nancy Bamaga

rising sea
takes and
breaks into backyards
to trouble families

we cannot live
with the seas in our bellies
we cannot rest
with the sea at our legs

the tide
is coming
to stroke
our dead

we want to know
who unplugged
our island
of childhood

island
of love and tradition
let them see
what has gone under 

Ellen van Neerven

Recording

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  • Custom Article Title 'Love and Tradition' by Ellen van Neerven | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Can I say
white people really bore me sometimes
to be exact
I grow tired with what's unmentioned
idling in surf club bathrooms
nothing wrong with the chips
but they're talking about Tasmania
my thoughts haunted by islands
maybe I'm dying
I've too many chips
teeth like stones
take me to be flossed
and cleaned
I need new soles
sticking to the floor
what is happening
with the dialogue of this country
they are killing people with words
if I'm not back soon
tell them I've had
too many chips 

Ellen van Neerven

Recording

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  • Custom Article Title 'Chips' by Ellen van Neerven | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
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Suck until you burn the room
and the heat numbs
reduced to a sound
wet
like the come and go
of the ocean
water enters
my hand in your hair
my hand
if you leave me childless
this will be yours alone
these marks you make
openings, persuasions
of the woman I will become

Ellen van Neerven

Recording

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  • Custom Article Title 'Buffalo Milk' by Ellen van Neerven | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
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It seems I'm always walking
into the scene of a crime
moustached copper
and fuck-off tape
don't look too closely
you won't be able to sleep
I'm new to this building
I live now by the river where
the ducks look like shoes
in the water
I go to the department store
we used to frequent
I look at grocery receipts
to see how I'm saving
and sometimes I get so lonely
I can barely stand it
tonight I wanted you
like the rain wanted the streets
my building was one of two
struck by lightning
a chunk off the top
spilt bricks on the road
I am marked
drop a Google pin into my heart
like they say in Alice
when the Todd floods
this must mean I'm staying

Ellen van Neerven

Recording

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  • Custom Article Title 'Bricks and Lightning' by Ellen van Neerven | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
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The ground felt like it did when it's about to storm. My feet were brown and my big toe blistered. My grandmother was talking to my grandfather. A wet patch on my grandmother's back. Her hands roping those tails along the fence.

She turned to me and I saw her. Grey. A little heavy. Everything I came here for. A magpie flew lower.

Ellen van Neerven

Recording

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  • Custom Article Title 'Roo Tails' by Ellen van Neerven | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
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ironing the crease into her lung with your breath
the six words in end steam over blue charcoal in her eye

your hands arrive in separate envelopes on different days
and they are addressed to each other

even the earth in its eyedropper is not medicine to our mouths
it's the milk dispensed through holes in a flute that keeps us alive

Mr & Mrs Emeritus explain on the hour that death is a democracy
and that our last vote counts towards nothing

this tear in her quilted lip is also a landscape
a sharp pencil probe into gloss flesh to rescue unconscious words

nowhere remains the last kiss before birth
a plagiarised soul copied in perpetuity until it (is) the original

this is where we stand to watch fate giving birth to doors
in an unpopulated administration always open because it is always closed

at night the surveyor marks new graves with luminous spit
in day the ground shrugs its smile from a sleep-platoon of obedient rectangles

walls quiver in this orbiting box that holds a planet
bends in to bend out under pressure from every animal breath

reduced to two people we are each one half of the world
the equator the solitary vein that ties us at our waist

(or) we could take the black bars from an equals sign
and each break the other's neck to demonstrate true love

it's easy to swap the flour for the dust when making blood cake
the bits we eat of each other make us whole

i am never asked because i am not the answer
but bees land in your ears to enter the hive

submerged in a bath tub full of honey we applaud our impossible action
what can't be heard and what can't be imagined (is) what's in front of us

this is our chance to perform an encore to two empty chairs
eight legs without fangs still immobilised by venom from separation

we crack light bulbs under our armpits by the dozen
to make sure we can't see where we are

we set three owls on fire every eight hours
so we can see where we're going

these deep pockets we had tailored into our thighs
will allow us to hang on to our femurs when we crash

in an emergency the glass in your fingernails will break
touch the first alarm from which we evacuate the skin

and memory thrown into still water can supress its sound
overhaul emanation to reverse ripples in from the outer edge

this page is a ghost expecting to be haunted by its signature
black marks that repeat the surface into a white choir of denial

form is a lonely banker too wealthy to be seen
standing on your shoulders lining up the coin with the slot to not let it go

unbelieved as feathers to a head suddenly account their embezzled sky
drawn back & forth the horizon saws our self-conception in two

side-by-side-head-to-toe-holding-hands covered in fresh colostrum
we lie in a giant wound and wait for an absence to feed on (or) reject one body

Nathan Shepherdson

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  • Custom Article Title 'the notebooks of Mr & Mrs Emeritus' by Nathan Shepherdson | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

01 

no one ha
s ever written
there is no gr
eater poem
than this one

no one ha
s ever written
there is no gr
eater poem
then this one

 

 02

this poem
was complete
until you decide
d to read it

 

03

this is what
australian p
oetry looks like
after the fire bu
t before all the
trees were pu
t back in the
landscape b
efore all the
trees were pu
t back in this p
oem

 

04

i am the
only poet i
have ever kn
own who ne
eded to write
this

 

05 

everythin
g i have ev
er known w
as in this
sentence unt
il i decide
d to remov
e it

 

06

every conceivab
le object not y
et conceived i
n the word o
bject is what
you should ob
ject to tireless
ly until the p
un is entirel
essly defeated

motion carried

 

07 

this poem is t
o show I AM
capable of us
ing imagery
in a poem bu
t not in a pain
ting

 

08

) / l ( \ l (|\
/) ( | ( /l\ )
| \ )|\) | /(
( l | l(|/) / l
))\/|/ ( /)(|
these are n
ot the sam
e trees no
t used in a
different a
ustralian po
em 

 

09 

he should ne
ver be left al
one until he i
s by himsel
f then he is
everyone

 

10 

if there are w
orse poems th
an this one i
would like to r
ead them beca
use i know t
here are no w
orse poems ju
st better read
ers

 

11 

i have never mu
rdered anyone i d
id not know whe
n they were ali
ve knowing this
you are the nex
t victim the ne
w suspect the las
t murderer of all s
elves

 

12

when i was you
ng i used to sit
up the back and
throw full stops a
t all the philosop
hers trying to wa
tch movies abou
t themselves 

 

13

what earnestne
ss i would declin
e when sucking
on the last win
g to brush your
heart into its thin
nest medium

when mirrors chan
ge their shirts we un
button ourselves

 

14

it is importa
nt not to writ
e too much ot
herwise you end
up writing poe
ms like this on
e

less is moor sai
d the boat befo
re it sank

ha ha being t
he first two ha
lves of half

 

15

as jesus ties y
our last breath
to his lips he g
ets to inhale the
albumen from y
our eyes still car
twheeling to the fr
ont gate of all im
ages sent off with
a cut lunch & a fr
esh translation whe
re nothing waits f
or you to open the
same door captiv
e inside a diamo
nd cut light bulb
that never worke
d

 

16 

that was your la
st chance to unde
rstand this

now the world ha
s to wait until i
t can end witho
ut you

 

17

i will note th
is then as a r
efusal to accept
this volatile m
ass of thinkin
g as opposed to
your usual narr
ative in which
one person say
s something to an
other person befor
e they turn awa
y and walk off
in opposite direc
tions 

 

18 

now i will pu
t the word en
d in this poe
m to show thi
s is not the be
ginning

 

Nathan Shepherdson

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  • Custom Article Title 'statements to forget when remembered' by Nathan Shepherdson | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems