States of Poetry Tasmania

Australians you now call yourselves,
You mongrel mob invaders.
You deny your blood mixed past
Yet think your blood has made ’s.
Come on fools and say your piece,
Your argument we know so well.
Ancestral lines for you are farce,
You dwell on genetics
And your bloodlines are our hell.
Of indigenous lines you fail.
And you come from countries o ...

Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta was born at Flinders Island, Tasmania in 1942. He is from the clan plangermairreenner of the Ben Lomond people, a clan of the Cape Portland nation in north-east Tasmania. His working life includes fifteen years at sea as a fisherman and merchant seaman, the Australian Regular Army for ...

... (read more)

A priest undoes his belt.
Twenty years later,
I compare his gentleness
to a Tibetan sky burial.
But there was only one vulture
skeletonising the cadaver
on a barren slope.

James Charlton

...

The failed money-fix of the 1980s:
dying tree plantations. Stark struts of fizzed-out financial hype.
The words ‘inherent value’ devolve into a distant dialect.

Yet some people retain three eyes.
They perceive the radiance of things.
Their eyes can tell you much within.

If they know the Australasian bittern,
or the pallid cuckoo’s elegant thievery, ...

We invent the colour ‘blue’
and say the sky is blue.
An older language
sees everything
as sacrament.

Soggy Winter has become Spring’s fullness.
Pungent cascades of melaleuca:
frothy white, yellow, pink.

Do we feel small sounds
all around? A waft of midges
in sun-shafts; the just-here-ness
of lichen.

We participate in the ...

One who performs divination by dissecting faeces

We poke apart devil scats.
Clotted fur, bone fragments, gristle,
possible scraps of crushed mollusc.

Devils lope across roads less and less.
That which people called a growl
was possibly vernacular for ‘How?’

James Charlton

...

There is speech everywhere:
the inaudible conversation of orchids;
the quiet breathings of ironbark forest.

Birds bring energy from the sky.
A bronzewing murmurs a low OM.
She intones the OM alone, as we all must,

and clatters when she takes leave.
The OM attunes itself to inner ears;
the unfathomable OM
of the living, the dead, the light itsel ...

James Charlton graduated from the University of Tasmania, and from Flinders University and the University of Cambridge. He was Poetry Editor of Island magazine and Advisory Editor for Australasia of Chautauqua Literary Journal, published in upstate New York. Charlton earned his PhD from the University of Tasmania ...

... (read more)

I step in a taxi, again. It takes me there fast,
cutting the white dotted lines of highway
into miles of silence. Back to my mother
in the ship or the plane, reversing my steps
to see her curving herself into her pillows
her red walls, her eyes not seeing me but a blur.
My mother calls to me from her place far away
in deep mind, where she has built a tower o ...

Here,
leafing through stone-quiet papers,
I freeze in the 8 am birdsong morning.
No fog-horn traffic noise or school-song children today,
just daffodils
pinned to spiked leaves
and sea light far away.

Anne Kellas

...