Daily Archives: December 25, 2014


As the year nears its end, we here at Grapple have a few final wordgifts for you.

First, we’d like to announce the names of those joining our editorial crew for The Grapple Annual No. 2. These new Grapplers are Rachael Nielsen, Frazer Brown and Kara Griffin-Warwicke. Lucy Nelson and Finbah Neill will fortunately also be sticking around to share their respective (and highly respectable) editorial and design wizardry. It’s great to have them all aboard.

Speaking of The Grapple Annual No. 2: submissions and pitches are still open until February 17. Get onto that.

We’ve also had a few accolades roll in: not only did we receive a stellar review from Katelin Farnsworth at Writers Bloc, we were chuffed to receive this award from Express Media:


What can we say but shucks to the max.

Finally, we’ve put a couple more pieces from Annual No. 1 online, just in time for Christmas. What better time to have a browse and a read? They join a decent sampling of pieces on our website from throughout the Annual’s literary calendar year. More work will be going up now and then throughout the new year. But if you like what you read, do please consider buying a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout out first year with our first Annual. It’s been a real goodie and you helped make that happen. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable time marking the year’s end, however you go about it. We’ll be looking forward to grappling with 2015 with you.

– Duncan Felton, Editor


This one is true.

 by Eleanor Malbon


(Image credit: martyvis. Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License)


I picked up Dale from the side of the road
just a week before he had picked up a baby pigeon
it clings to his hood as he packs his bags and push-trolley in the back
he tells me that the government covers him for a place to sleep five days a week
but on the other two he has to sort himself out
he’s going to Weston Creek, to Coolo
his hair is cut with blunt scissors
and his beard is sparse
he’s got to be about twenty-three
he can’t work because he’s got no strength in his hands
he tells me they were crushed
he doesn’t say how
eyes roll back into his head as he tells fragments of his story
red hair
blue eyes
freckled hands
weak handshake
silver ring
whole body a dusty blue grey
I don’t even wonder if I could have loved him
or maybe I do, I can’t sort it out in my head
he hunches forward to give the pigeon space between his head and the roof
the heat of the day has well faded now
and I tell him it’s Christmas
he tells me he forgot
politely, he asks what I did today
lunch with the family, wine and cricket in the arvo
when I stop the car he asks
and I give him all the change in my wallet
I don’t have any notes
it’s raining tonight


Eleanor Malbon: I write poetry and performance pieces, and conduct research into ecological sustainability. My work often deals with growing up in Canberra, where I still live. I currently work as a tutor and research assistant at the Australian National University.