Jules Leigh Koch

I walk through an industrial landscape
in the painful adolescent hours
before sunrise

above the sky has sobered up
but the high tensions wires
are still dripping
with conversations
long after rain has fallen

traffic lights turn
city streets are wind blown
with electric light

leaves hav ...

the early morning sky
has bled out all over

the snug tiled roofs
and tranquillised gardens
of a Buddhist monastery

the air is a medley
with yellow and orange
shavings of sunlight

in the dormitory’s courtyard
well-bred leaves
are falling like penances

stone buildings stand mute
with only a monologue of prayer bells
so ...

the barbed-wire sounds
of crows
has fetched out the sun
from behind
the ridge

has saddles up
the sky

along the river
the mist is chain

otherwise the only
bright moments

are the small hoof prints
of sunlight

over paddocks

a river
untethered ...

Friesian cows are leaning
over the fence

their eyes are an intense study
of nothing

a bus load of Japanese tourists

the cows take black and white
snap shots of them


When a

A cross
is made
in woodwork

are drawn
in the art room

The school flag
is hoisted
to half mast

In the assembly hall
vases of lilies
are placed

At recess
the children sit together
a little tighter

The playground
swing has
a minute’s silence


Jules Leigh KochJules Leigh Koch was born in Sydney and raised in Adelaide. He is the author of five poetry collections and has been a recipient of two South Australian Literature grants in 2008 and 2011. He has conducted poetry ...

Porter Prize

We received almost 1,000 entries in this year’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize – by far our biggest field to date. Entries came from twenty-two countries. The judges – Ali Alizadeh, Jill Jones, Felicity Plunkett – have now shortlisted