States of Poetry ACT Poems

'The violin' by Paul Munden

Paul Munden
31 May 2018

The violin

perched, slack-strung,
on the dark wooden sideboard
of your Palermitan apartment
opposite the cathedral,
a gift you didn’t yet know
how to tune, let alone play.

Your guests ignored it,
heading straight for the plates
of cheese, olives, bread,
and wine in plastic flagons
from the market, music
flow ... More

'Whisper' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
24 May 2018

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

Paul Collis

... More

'Soon dust' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
24 May 2018

(for Satendra)

 

What happened to me

What did I do to deserve that?

I don’t want to be old person.

I’m buggered now, poor fulla me, done, old, like dust.

I should go to doctor, and ask him a question.

He said, ‘Only thing worse than getting old, is not.’
Wise man, Doctor. He’s like light. His eyes know. They see into me ... More

'Cult-charr Jammer' by Paul Collis

Paul Collis
24 May 2018

Yo!

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
ABORIGINAL LAND.

Colonisation i ... More

'Spring Fall' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Adrian Caesar
22 February 2016

I see you stand with your back to me
at the French window as you did last March
looking at early flowers
yellow and crimson, pansy and primrose
peeping from their crust of snow and
above them the steel-sculpted angel
rearing from a wooden plinth: guardian
of the courtyard. In those bleak days I knew
you were reading the cemetery metaphor
of your blig ... More

'Shell Burial' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Adrian Caesar
22 February 2016

Without bucket or spade we build
the sandcastle, dragging and gathering
piling and patting our little Camelot.
I excavate a moat, shape a drawbridge,
a sloping road leading to the keep,
while you look for shells to decorate
the edifice, or so I thought, the way we'd
done last holiday some months ago.
But this time you have another purpose:
instead of ... More

'Charlotte's Grace' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Adrian Caesar
22 February 2016

(For my grand-daughter)

Coming in with stones from the garden
your first impulse is to make them shine.
Washing rocks, you call it, and give them
full treatment, soap and flannel and rinse,
your three year old hands and eyes intent,
absorbed, and this not a one-off game;
it becomes a favourite as if
to establish your own ritual
y ... More

Extracts from 'abandoned house music' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Jen Crawford
23 February 2016

messenger

 

I mother a scorching fence
I mother a child against a fence

and the cry

here come the shellshocked to arm the day
here come collectors for the shells

amber cry

nest-thief

seed-eye

More

'reshelve' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Jen Crawford
23 February 2016

in decades past a series of dykes was known as the venice
of the floods themselves, with a sweet sap

once the prey has entered the trap
the leaf closes, and within about 30 seconds
a senior minister has touched
two or three trigger hairs,

bristles on the distinction between
private beliefs and public morality,
his bottomline.

about two weeks ... More

'Black Dress' by Paul Hetherington | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Paul Hetherington
23 February 2016

for TAW
(from 'Paintings')

This black dress
is also a painting –
it hangs on a wall
where light holds it close.
It's a doorway to places
no-one quite knows;
that bloom and rain
with extravagant vistas.

We've sometimes entered
into the painting
dipping dark hats,
watching children
riding down lanes
More

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