The Poetry Exam

The hall begins to fill. The students sit.
She sets her papers neatly on the desk
and rolls the lines around her mouth, flits
from word to word, moves her lips. The rest

is left to memory. The tests are stacked
for passing out on perfect, icy lines
of tables set in single file, tables packed
away when half-right answers whine

and plead for one mark more. She’s worked
for this. She knows the poems like friends,
she’s been to bed with them, she’s heard
their true confessions, knows their ends.

The earth moves. She turns the paper, reads it all.
She tears it into tiny bits. She leaves the hall.

John Foulcher

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'The Poetry Exam' by John Foulcher
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Paris Evening

13 November 2015

It is Friday, around five. He is
strolling on the rue Voltaire, flâneur
for the young century. The afternoon is crumbling,

the trees are shutting down for winter,
leaves pirouetting to the street
and cracking like small bones beneath his feet.

All around him, the streetlights are coming on,
canisters of empire, recalling days
when endings were clamorous.

He stops at a pharmacy, lingers
beneath its green neon cross
and picks up something for the season’s first flu.

Outside, the boulevardes are burning
with bars and cafés, boulangeries
lined with bright, sticky sweets like porcelain toys.

He brushes the shoulder of a blonde woman
in black, says Desolé, passes a tabac
and buys some cigarettes, thinks how quickly

the last packet went. He meets his lover
at the Café Bonne Bierre. It is still
warm enough to sit street-side and smoke.

They rattle around in their half-empty glasses.
Her eyes smoulder, a promise. They touch,
incidentally, finish their drinks

and leave to see the American band.
The hours are tumbling, but they have
plenty of time. They will hear the first, jangling notes.

John Foulcher

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Paris Evening' by John Foulcher
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Mark, Pauline and Me

1970

John Foulcher Mark Pauline and Me 450

John Foulcher

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Mark, Pauline and me' by John Foulcher
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Holly and Will

1972

John Foulcher Holly and Will full space 450

John Foulcher

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Holly and Will' by John Foulcher
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Before the Storm

John Foulcher Before the Storm full space 450px

 

John Foulcher

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Before the Storm' by John Foulcher
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Just leave your mark here

I won’t do you no wrong
I’m a man that you can trust
I’m not like the others
I’m a honourable man

Some people say
there’s no honour among thieves
but let me tell you straight
We, guberment men,
sent by the King we steal their land
by one stroke of the mighty pen.
But don’t tell anybody that.

Not our fault if some settlers kill the native born
with a shotgun placed between their eyes.
Shoot their families dead.
We wipe our hands of the mess we do
and look the other way.

Blinkers we only see what we want
and what we see is a pound or two in the coffers
so leave you mark here cause
when you do I’m gonna be a rich man.

Just leave your mark here because tomorrow
you’ll be dead and dead men got no use for land.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Just leave your mark here' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Red Earth

dirt
sunset
sunrise
sunburnt
Old fella
Blackfella
Culture
Creation
Biamie
Dreaming
Belonging
Me.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Red Earth' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Wiradjuri country

1,000ks Wiradjuri country
Eagles, angels, sun bursts,
gum trees, geraniums
and a pocket full of poetry.
I travel my country,
my land,
my life,
my religion.

The bush calls me back
to the time of before.
Before tar and cement.
Brick walls and tin roofs.
To the time of Creation
where men were men
and honesty was Lore.

Wiradjuri country,
Spirit of the earth.
Red dirt, dignity.
Truth and justice.
Lores of the land.

The wind whispers
as it captures me
reaching deep into my soul
thousands of years
of memories enter my spirit
as they guide me through country.

Dignity and pride as I stand proud
before my Elders of long time past
I honour them with dignity and courage
as I walk upon my land.

I am Wiradjuri.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert

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  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Wiradjuri Country' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Got ya

I knew he was mine
frothing at the mouth
(literally speaking)
I was waiting for him
my body ready to strike

Like a leopard
on the verge of attack
I waited, biding my time.
I held my breath.

My muscles taut
prepared to pounce
to strike, to maim.

I knew the moment was at hand
the spirits played around him
I watched him fight for courage
to utter the words for me
to slash at his heart
my claws willing to impale him
with a death blow.

Abos – why say sorry to the Abos
we had to teach them to use the knife and fork
they would have been lost without us
Abos – why say sorry to the Abos
I got him, he never knew what hit him,
he will never utter those words again.

Kerry Reed -Gilbert

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'Got ya' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

The old rugged cross

When the spirit has been broken
and there’s no place to go
When you look around the world
wondering what went wrong
When your heart is shattered and
torn no patch ever big enough to help it mend.
No bandaid to help it heal.

When tears roll down your face

cascading like a roaring river
When the spirit has been broken
and there’s no place to go
you wonder what went wrong
to make your life too much to bear

They say a person is only given
in one lifetime what they can endure
That the will to live and the spirit will get stronger

The old rugged cross sits high on my shoulders
I feel my hands nailed blood oozing
I feel tarred and feathered
Tattered and torn
When the spirit has been broken
and there’s no place to go.

I want the world to stop and let me off.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'The old rugged cross' by Kerry Reed-Gilbert
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems