Debbie Lim

Debbie Lim was born in Sydney. Her poetry chapbook Beastly Eye was published by Vagabond Press (2012) Her poems have been widely anthologised, including regularly appearing in the Best Australian Poems series (Black Inc.). She was commended in the UK National Poetry Competition in 2013. In 2016 she moved with her family to southern Germany for 2 years where she started to translate from German into English.


The Blind Boy of Hameln                                                       

It’s been quiet since you left, but sometimes
it comes back: that fangled tune you played.

I remember how on a slow June day it crept
between church bells, beneath sunlight,

into the lonely chapel of my ear.
I don’t recall your jigsaw look (how could I?)

but felt the pleasurable dirt give way
to stones beneath my feet. Then the wind

whittled up and tossed away your song.
As usual, I fell back with the crows

at the edge of town. But if I had eyes to hear
I would have followed your stippled notes –

flowing and bidden (like a river, rats or children)
to that place erosion goes.


What it means to sleep

Every night this little death into which
we fall gladly, palms soft and open,
our bodies rolling into the abyss.

Later we might rise above the roofs,
hear the cold crowns of trees breathing,
and hover a while in the chill.

Some nights we barely make it to the ceiling;
gaze down on ourselves as warm artefact,
two victims of Pompeii. But mostly we hope

to lie undisturbed, fully gone from this world
till next morning, when we wake to find
our toenails grown long, our faces suddenly old.