Category Archives: Poem
– 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
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.
– a poem by by Andrew Galan
As this date has passed, you’ll now have to seek out Andrew’s poem by buying a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1. But keep an eye out (and watch our Facebook and Twitter pages) as we’ll soon have more featured works online on their given dates.
Andrew Galan’s first poetry book, That place of infested roads, is with Knives Forks and Spoons Press (2013). His poetry appears in print and online in Australia and internationally. With Hadley, Joel and Amanda, Andrew co-founded and runs Canberra’s poetry slam BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, and he writes and performs alongside The Tragic Troubadours. This is his website: Huitzilihuitl’s Reign of Death
– a poem by Ben Adams for the 2nd of July (on this date in 1961, in the early hours of the morning, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide).
As this date has passed, you’ll now have to seek out Ben’s poem by buying a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1. But keep an eye out (and watch our Facebook and Twitter pages) as we’ll soon have more featured works online on their given dates.
Ben Adams is a writer and political ranter from Adelaide, currently studying for his PhD on the poetry of Charles Bukowski. Ben has worked as state ambassador for Express Media’s National Young Writers’ Month, a Buzzcuts arts reviewer and coordinator, and had several poems appear in the online small press. More at backpagesblog.wordpress.com
– a poem by Monica Carroll for the 30th of June (the end of the financial year).
As this date has passed, you’ll now have to buy a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1. But keep an eye out (and watch our Facebook and Twitter pages) as we’ll soon have more featured works online on their given dates.
Writer, Monica Carroll, is published in a variety of journals and anthologies such as Meniscus, Burley, DecomP, Cordite and Idiom. She has won many writing and poetry awards and performs, occasionally, in Canberra. In addition to writing Monica likes smooth round pebbles and morning bird-song.
– by Yolande Norris
I buy towels and tiny clothes,
feel good about the world,
under the hum of chainstore lights
Maybe that’s the first thing I notice.
That night with an aching back
I break open a pomegranate in my hands for our dinner
The flesh stains everything,
red under my nails.
I’m slow to eat
Slow to sleep
The moon is full.
affairs in order
Readying for the unknowable.
becomes rapidly irrelevant
Preparing for life
as if preparing for death
The day before the 7th of June,
A blue sky fast cloud winter’s day
through the passenger window of our little car
focussing on bare trees, on beautiful details before
everything is different.
meeting the glance of drivers alongside
going about their day with no idea
In the next lane
lives are changing.
It would be funny any other time.
Every bump and halt mocks my exhausted bones.
wanting to stand
as if as long as my feet touch earth I’ll be okay.
Second day without sleep.
Sometime that night
drugs flash cold in my veins.
My body works on.
The clock pulls slow hands through thick air till sunrise
I feel numb and stupid
But I am determined
you will be born
and not cut free
So that this has counted for something.
there you are
and bigger than I could have known
a displaced weight upon my chest.
the only one crying is me
so they hurry you away
to be done.
I remember to ask ‘what is it?’
like you’re supposed to.
It’s just me, after a time
finally, emptily, I sleep
before, empty and aching, I awake.
From June 4 to 7, we shared Yolande’s poem Four Days, in advance of the release of The Grapple Annual No. 1. You can now buy a copy online.
Yolande Norris is a writer and producer based in Canberra. She studied painting at the ANU School of Art and wrote on her canvases. Her long-suffering lecturer said ‘it’s not really painting is it?’ This year is the first time she’s told anyone about her poetry. uselesslines.wordpress.com