Ben Walter

please settle me down in
the depths of the river,
scattered ash lodged
in the silt. let metal
tailings weigh, pulp
dissolve my pages
and the sparkling view
of sewage be interred;
do not let me drift out to sea.

Ben Walter


'Weight' first appeared as part of The Red Room Company's 'Disappear ...

The old dust was left behind;
it hatched crystals,
snowflakes,
a multiverse
dining with itself
around a table.

Heart twigs beat
against the breath and
winding legs patrol
a speck of flesh;
red neurons fire
the sedge, slip below
the iris of lagoon.

Shuffle the pool,
there are diamonds;
numberless suits,
...

if we are straws slurping
at this pool, it is to slake
our own thirst; we have
claimed this land as
ten thousand flagpoles
needing no flag, but
we are gentle sceptres;
a nest dispersed and
cradling paper wings.

this silt: our home,
where all legs hurry
as their days dry up;
this rot: our mother,
tadpole to sedge. and so ...

walk hard –

grains of weather glitter like the night has sunk,
streaks of thin stars, light rain sharpening the scrub;
we are small, so small in the draining sky
as squalls stroke searching for our skin.
sweat-slumped on tussocks, raw pools
smoking in the famished sun.

dragging mud across my knees,
I whip my skin with shards.
words are b ...

While we circled space,
the paint-stained grass
and the dogs in-and-out
huffing their thoughts, he’d told us
how they tried to gill our work and rest
in languid backyard bays. The bolts
in rock, firm in life and death, were now
exempt from clasping hooks to bring
the bait aboard, protected
like the tiger, like the quolls;
like rocks, we ...

Ben Walter’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published in Australian journals, including Meanjin, Island, Southerly, and The Lifted Brow. His début novel manuscript was the winner of the people’s choice category in the 2017 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes. He won the 2016 John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award ...

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