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States of Poetry SA poems

the priests and the witchdoctors both
will bless your new vehicle; the Virgin
will keep you in mind if you fashion a model
of what you want, attach it to the front of the car

                                 & ...

Back at Cranfield Street by 5
Motorway horridness receding into fumey oblivion
We are just in time for Pointless – words ending in ‘air’
‘debonair’ ? – others, phoned at random, knew that one

Two pounds fifty left on my Oyster card once I’ve put it through the barrier at
the delicate, high-slung, white and black, wooden pedestrian bridge over the

Fed Wendy’s cat, walked to Broadway
Market through London Fields

a month from now these will be
once again names to conjure with

jump on a 236
Newington Green
lured by the memory
of Belle Epoque patisserie
glowing golden in a corner

always misremembered

as Raisin D’Etre

My fellow-travellers clearly

a tablescape

drooping roses near death in a jam jar
dull Ian Rankin in a yellow cover lying upside down
Mongolian phrasebook
sample tube of Sensodyne
Cinema ticket: The Great Beauty
opener for the Italian Film Festival
password to Smartygrants
for accessing two hundred applications
business card for Phnom Penh silver and gemstone ...

Cath Kenneally 240Cath Kenneally is an Adelaide poet and novelist whose book Around Here (Wakefield Press, 2002) won the John Bray National Poetry Prize. Of her six volumes of poetry, the latest is eaten cold ( ...

in my end is my beginning – just

a rat’s nest coiled in back-shed dust,
a tangle of demented knots

gothic as the Grimms’ dark plots,
a thrumming song of wreak and wreck

(whose satin bed, whose trusting neck?),
the tautened threat from fist to fist,

the carpe diem tug and twist.
My image haunts your DNA,

that tiny ruthless shadow ...

Indoor Cricket 

Insects are nature’s netsukes, and, by jiminy, crickets are such bright creatures. JJO


This ‘structural scandal’, tongue’s yen for kin
as family is a sort of chime, the thrift
of loaves and fishes unconsumed by scorn,

is natural as natural history
with all its modulations of again –
seed, crystal, comet, crocus, rain.

Even our code’s in rhyme – adenine,
cytosine, guanine and thymine – turn
and turn again (cynghanedd rule ...

after the painting by Jan Vermeer

Two strands of pearls, warm cream, cool blue,
are spilling over a coffer and onto
a crumple of ultramarine against a wall
below a yellow curtain shifting the muted light.
Four gold coins and a silver ducat
wait to be weighed along the table edge,
but the sidelong mirror’s narrow sliver can find
no avarice in ...

Heaved up or fountained down, the wooden slats breathe a shirr
and clattered repeat of the mill of their making, a satisfactory thud

like the outcome of a stock plot. Half hoist, they hang askew with a
pained smile, and bell pulls for self-service which pirouette

to a glut of knots. Tilt by tilt they’ll orchestrate your day, underlining gloom
and overruling ligh ...