States of Poetry ACT

'Making the road' by Lesley Lebkowicz

Lesley Lebkowicz
Thursday, 31 May 2018

The gentle hills north of Taralga
unfold as though

everything were possible. Trees
grow. Their crowns shift in the small wind

showing off new leaf tips: pink, green, a hint
of blue. The cows in the paddocks are big

and brown. They browse and stare
into space. One lays her head on her friend’s

shoulder. Their calves lollop around
getting ...

'Moorhen at Black Mountain Peninsula' by Lesley Lebkowicz

Lesley Lebkowicz
Thursday, 31 May 2018

Five ducks are standing
on a narrow strip of concrete

designed to ease boats into the water.
They have their backs to me;

even so, at the sound of my steps,
they slide into the lake.

A moorhen rises up and
onto the concrete.

She raises the dark wedge of her tail
and shits a neat soft gleaming pile

then steps towards me
small ...

About Lesley Lebkowicz

Thursday, 31 May 2018

LesleyLebcowiczLesley Lebkowicz has been publishing poetry since the early 1980s. Her last book, The Petrov Poems (Pitt Street Poetry), won a Canberra Critics’ Circle award, was shortlisted for the 2014 ACT Book of the ...

'Whisper' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
Thursday, 24 May 2018

Stories, whispery voice
Warning sign, stampede horse.
Water spout ... sounds like petrol on fire –
Don’t cross there! Mooda-Gutta
Don’t say it aloud,
Whisper ‘Mooda-Gutta’.

Paul Collis


'Vapour trails' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
Thursday, 24 May 2018

(For my sister, Joanne)

Slowly the days pass.
Buses, cars, bikes
all roll away, away.
She is gone, down a shady street in shiny shoes.
Way above, vapour trails burn the sky
and way below, scars burn the land.
She screams, but I can’t hear.
In another street, the new suits,
suit themselves, and colours burn red and gold.
Noisy bastards. Shu ...

'Cult-charr Jammer' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
Thursday, 24 May 2018


Whitefullas got no cult-charr!
– Only me
With my arm fulla tatts, up my sleeve.

– Only Us Mob!
Only us
Got cult-charr.

Don’t tell me! I lived it, man. Us bruvas, we live it –
Everyday man. We fuken live it.
Blak and Proud. Deadly, un’a?

Always was
Always will be

Colonisation i ...

'More than just a pin-prick' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
Thursday, 24 May 2018

I’d become …
just a public pain.
Did I make you, just a little
… sick?
Make me your vampire, then –
your time.
Take my neck.
Dig deep with kisses.
Let’s feel the swirl of blood.
A country boy on Country is a power difference-making ...
Spirit flying time with eagles – where everything’s clear.
I’ll never be clear.
Not i ...

About Paul Collis

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Barkindji man, born by the Darling River in Bourke, far north-west New South Wales, Paul is an emerging writer and poet, who works at the University of Canberra, teaching creative writing. Paul holds a PhD in cultural theory and creative writing. Dancing Home, his first novel, won the national 2016 ...

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State Editor's Introduction by Jen Webb

Jen Webb
Thursday, 24 May 2018

Well, I have now reached the end of the States of Poetry (ACT) mini-anthologies, accompanied by delight and privilege in having been able to showcase something of the poetry where I live, as well as regrets that I couldn’t include a lot more poets. Eighteen out of more than fifty (at a conservative count) ...

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ACT | Two poems by Merlinda Bobis

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Merlinda Bobis reads her poems ‘Lucy afloat’ and ‘After Reming’ for ABR's ACT States of Poetry anthology.