Photos by Jesse Boyd

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Postcard from the estuary

Morning light
on see through water

a red bucket
and a black stingray

cruise by
on incoming tide

black ray
and a death sting
as big as a breadknife –

trying not to get
too close to that shy and volatile
as wide as the wings
of a sea osprey;

out quickly
onto hard beach

watching soldier crabs
make tiny drumbeats
on pockmarked sand

along the light green
river a black ray is flying
like a stealth bomber’s
shadow –

a bit of research
in a local library

found that some members
of the stingray family

have cartiginous skeletons
(soft and pliable) and
vestigial tails –

they feed on shellfish
& worms & smaller fish

and when they swim
undulations pass down
the length of the ray

from front to back
as if they are moving
like birds –

walking past where
they drink lattes at the café
on the pier

wish you were here.

Robert Drummond


The sea in a shell
A wish in a well
Fortune on a string
Promise in a ring
The dead leaves fall
Despite it all
There’s but one way
On this winters day

One foot in the grave
Nothing to be saved
Naked winter trees
Sing their eulogies
For the remanence
Of that which once was
Stolen by the breeze all our golden leaves

Tumbling down
Oh so many
Dancing branches
Seem so empty
Sometimes histories
Leave no trance
All that’s left is
Empty space


Winter Nationale

click here to listen to the song

And after

Vibrations in measuring cups

form salty sips that fall

on lips full of thoughts

now stifled upon the clock

and its heavier arms

that move, move harder

than smiles, the raising glass, and song –

better at marking time.

And where am I, in this

stripped within myself

for little more

than a hit

felt briefly on the knoll

before we tumbled like children

down the meadow hill

that was, could have been

but for the neuron fed

punches at the maw

opening upon ourselves.


Jarrod Bates

The Leprosy of Loss

“It fell from my lips like a broken arm,
Words like leprosy like drift wood
Piece by piece they float
A car crash in my mind and I can’t remember what it was..

I feel like an amputee, every time I look to see,
There’s nothing left, it’s gone
But I still mourn the leaving, still embrace the grieving…

Like winter it comes back to remind me of the cold
I breath a sigh of relief when I think it’s there
I breath a sigh of relief, but I know I’m wrong

The sun circles in the sky, like a lazy hawk,
Preying on the weak,
I pray for a week in the dark in my underpants
Mourning the parting,
I can’t digest it, it gets stuck like a coin in my large intestine,
Wiggling it’s way through the maze of my innards…

And every time I see lips smiling, my eyes spill over with tears,
Sometimes I gain control like a weir,
And the river is under my domain once again,

Sorrow is all of me, like my skin, it glistens all around,
threaten to drown me, smother me,
It clings to my bones,

But I am crippled by the loss, wheelchair bound where once I ran like a deer,
Tentative toes tap the hard ground, to see if maybe I can even walk again,
And when I collapse, I want arms to hold me….”



Photos by Jesse Boyd

A Drink…

every night I go to sleep
to the sound of her prayers
whispered so sweet
wiping the tears off her cheeks
as they fall like rain in a thunderstorm
release the years of pain
with a drink to stay warm
and a drink to hide
a drink to pass out easily
and alone at night
trying to find
a same old familiar feeling
but it’ll never come
it’ll never come
its gone

Nick Grammaticos

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living*

I replace the phone,
walk down the hall to put washing on
turn the computer off
fill my car at the petrol station.
Everything somehow seems hollow
sunlight less bright
In the car, I’ll miss a right-hand turn
lost suddenly in the absolute red of a suburban garden rose.

In my mind I hear them screaming for you
Throwing futile ropes
Leaping boulders, tree trunks slippery with moss
The air is full of the rush and roar of the rapid
as you go over and under, I can’t picture your face
beneath the bright helmet, arms braced
against the white foam onslaught.

Or maybe it was peaceful
trapped against logs that became your cage door
shut, as the river pours through you.

I call friends and between us useless words
hang like overripe fruit.
In the privacy of the shower
as the water runs,
I stop and think
how the love of water took you to your grave.
Trapped in the still blue, like
Damien Hirst’s great powerful beast
hung motionless
all your vigor, youth, potency, gone.
You are a still life in my mind now
your death, unknowable, acknowledged.

for Leon (1980-2010)

(*with thanks to Damien Hirst)

Siobhan De Little