States of Poetry Series Two

Me alongside that world-famous celebrity
The Atlantic Ocean ‒

I haven’t caught its best side.



La rivière Bow, Banff, Spring 2016

The light gets tired, he writes, and I wonder if water, too, can get weary with all that
flowing & sliding & washing away. In the hotel swimming pool the water looks
weary, constantly banging its soft body against concrete, making the effort to dimple
upwards when disturbed, entered, by our alien soft bodies. Unable ...

Extracts from The Dictionary Aquatic


Distinctive mating call of wild creeks. Rarely heard in cities where this species has been driven underground, incarcerated in lightless, concrete tunnels. Such conditions have proved unconducive to reproduction or generation.

Gina Mercer enjoys a three-stranded career as writer, teacher, and editor. She has taught creative writing and literature in universities and communities for thirty years. She was Managing Editor of Island magazine, 2006–10. She has published a novel, Parachute Silk (Spinifex Press, 2001) and two academic books (UQP, 1994 ...

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Okay, I’m from the outside
You know this place that I’m at
The whitefella’s think-society
This outside place that got lost
A think-society claiming it made us
With their blood, their bible and law
So I think it’s just like the inside
To make us like them is the core
Some rules are okay for everyone
Other rules are ‘just-if- ...

one day I was drivin’ with Buck Brown along the coast

an’ we was talkin’ about white coes on our land

‘til the talk got real intense an’ I wouldn’t wanna boast

but we worked it all out from the start right to the end

now it’s easy enough to see, well it is to you an’ me

why white fellas do their thing wrong way ‘round

their old m ...

14 August 2016

Our Earth Mother cries when the nets are set adrift
They travel loosely and kill sea life as they go
Drifting in the moon-tides the grim reapers travel wide
Through tidal water homes of the all-life living free
To drift and pluck from the all-life every living thing
That shares the bloodlines of the all-life of our world
The nets drift on to ...

Australians you now call yourselves,
You mongrel mob invaders.
You deny your blood mixed past
Yet think your blood has made ’s.
Come on fools and say your piece,
Your argument we know so well.
Ancestral lines for you are farce,
You dwell on genetics
And your bloodlines are our hell.
Of indigenous lines you fail.
And you come from countries o ...

Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta was born at Flinders Island, Tasmania in 1942. He is from the clan plangermairreenner of the Ben Lomond people, a clan of the Cape Portland nation in north-east Tasmania. His working life includes fifteen years at sea as a fisherman and merchant seaman, the Australian Regular Army for ...

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A priest undoes his belt.
Twenty years later,
I compare his gentleness
to a Tibetan sky burial.
But there was only one vulture
skeletonising the cadaver
on a barren slope.

James Charlton