Dave Drayton

Dave Drayton was an amateur banjo player, founding member of the Atterton Academy, and the author of E, UIO, A: a feghoot (Container), A pet per ably-faced kid (Stale Objects dePress), P(oe)Ms (Rabbit), Haiturograms (Stale Objects dePress) and Poetic Pentagons (Spacecraft Press).



centocartography, Campsie: that wild society

Adam Lindsay Gordon, ‘Hippodromania; or, whiffs from the pipe’; Adam Lindsay Gordon, ‘Ye Wearie Wayfarer, hys Ballad In Eight Fyttes’; Adam Lindsay Gordon, ‘Delilah’; Lord Byron ‘Don Juan, canto the fourteenth’; Lord Alfred Tennyson ‘Come Down, O Maid’; Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Mighty Eagle’; William Cowper, ‘The Task: Book V – The Winter Morning Walk’; Thomas Moore, ‘Memorabilia of last week’; Robert Burns, ‘Song – Composed in Spring’; John Dryden, ‘Calm was the even and clear was the sky’; Robert Browning, ‘The House Of Clouds’; William Shakespeare, ‘Bridal Song’

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, essayist and curator based in Bombay. His seven collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006), Central Time (Penguin/ Viking, 2014), Jonahwhale (Penguin/ Hamish Hamilton, 2018; published by Arc in the UK as The Atlas of Lost Beliefs, 2020, which received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Summer 2020) and, most recently, Hunchprose (Penguin/ Hamish Hamilton, 2021). His translation of a celebrated 14th-century Kashmiri woman saint’s poetry has appeared as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics, 2011). He is the editor of Dom Moraes: Selected Poems (Penguin Modern Classics, 2012). Hoskote has been a Fellow of the International Writing Program (IWP), University of Iowa; writer-in-residence at Villa Waldberta, Munich, Theater der Welt, Essen-Mülheim, and the Polish Institute, Berlin; and researcher-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. His poems have been translated into German, Hindi, Bangla, Irish, Marathi, Swedish, Spanish, and Arabic. Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011) and was co-curator, with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim, of the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008).


for Ravi Agarwal

What if the white mare dragged down by a flabby bridegroom
and underfed by her hungry syce

had the same name as the child ferrying bricks in her head pan
at the kiln?

What if the bat practising a dive behind the shuttered windows
of the Natural History section

could ask the elephant grazing in the parched scrubland
her name

which would not be one of the brightly painted names of the god
tucking his trunk in as his fans see him off at high tide

a departure viewed from the Towers of Silence by a tribe
of scrawny vultures contemplating their journey’s end?

What if you tried to prise a password out of the stuffed orangutan
the taxidermists have enthroned as a totem at the zoo?

In all these names you’d recognise the lost and forgotten seeds
that a sleepy child dropped on the mossy ghats

as the pilgrims from the stars newly arrived swept past
one full-moon night in vermilion and brocade

Who could have told them they would meet us again
stripped of our gaudy masks our carrying voices muted

as skeletons on display
in a distant planet’s Museum of Cautionary Tales?

Vinita Agrawal

Author of four books of poetry, Two Full Moons (Bombaykala Books), Words Not Spoken (Brown Critique), The Longest Pleasure (Finishing Line Press) and The Silk Of Hunger (AuthorsPress), Vinita is an award winning poet, editor, translator and curator. Joint recipient of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2018 and winner of the Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Award for Literary Excellence USA 2015. She is Poetry Editor with Usawa Literary Review. Her work has been widely published and anthologised. Her poem won a prize for the Moon Anthology on the Moon by TallGrass Writers Guild, Chicago 2017. More recently her poem won a special mention in the Hawker Prize for best South Asian poetry. She has contributed a monthly column on Asian Poets on the literary blog of the Hamline University, Saint Paul USA in 2016-17. In September 2020, she edited an anthology on climate change titled Open Your Eyes (pub. Hawakal). Most recently she co-edited the Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English 2020-21 (Hawakal). She judged the RLFPA poetry contest (International Prize) in 2016 and co judged the Asian Cha’s poetry contest on The Other Side in 2015. She was featured in a documentary on twenty women poets from Asia, produced in Taiwan. She has read at the FILEY Book Fair, Merida, Mexico, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival among others. She is on the Advisory Board of the Tagore Literary Prize. She has curated literary events for PEN Mumbai. Read more about her at www.vinitawords.com


Splendid Poison Frog

Was it a cold December Wednesday
when you left?
A frosty, flinty, pin-point moment
that seals most pull-outs.
Silent like a hushed Mayday signal
reverberating in the ripples of a pond.
What time exactly
did you hop over
to where nowhere exists?
Did the sun flicker
at your vanishing act?
The way yellow convulses on a color palette
when mixed with green
before turning blue.
Was it the hour of dusk,
your favorite hour,
when you looked your dashing, heart-throb best
skin, brilliant coral, eyes, kohl black.
A fungus with a long name
colonized your body.
A local phenomena, some said.
Like a cloud breaking-up
a balmy summer’s evening.
Did the next morning feel
like a fine after-showers morning?
Estimated Extinction date: 2020
Cause: Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

Tim Loveday

Tim Loveday is a poet, a writer, and an editor. As the recipient of a 2020 Next Chapter Wheeler Centre Fellowship and a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship, his work aims to challenge toxic masculinity in Australia. His poetry/prose has appeared in Meanjin, Cordite, The Big Issue, Babyteeth, Meniscus, Text Journal, and The Big Smoke, among others. A Neurodivergent dog parent, he is the verse editor for XR’s Creative Hub. Tim currently resides in North Melbourne, the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people.


at the end of the rail

in the morning when the sun peels
back like a paper cut and the blue
metal is thunder under our feet
i see shadow-diamonds spread
across the train yard and i feel
as small as a bird and as wide
as a sail


last night i listened to your two way radio
i pulled the blanket up to my ears and shaped
myself into a satellite    its static jargon a dialogue
with god or grease or grit i heard the miracle of
boom boom boom
                                                      we were the
new age of romans with a thousand outposts
we were cowboys riding iron centipedes


before dawn i threw off my blankets
like old ghosts             sprang from my bed
like new smoke           heard your voice
in the walls                  as you swept
me up                          in your wings
took me           to your shoulders

atlas or he-man or rambo
on the rails       duke on the frontier
you smelt of oil aftershave radio waves
you whispered to me in the language
of future and the earth

fell away


i had barely seen the blue streets
how the stars grew hazy in the steam
how horizon bled the false border of morning

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ we lived before the aftermath
i am a fault-line across your chest
liquid gold sprung from your veins
i fill the cavity where your heart should be
i am young country
boom boom boom


at the station the rails rattle
in the flyscreen and the man with
the corkboard halo is chequered
like a topographic map
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ when he grins he shucks open
a territory calls you by
our last name
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­  i hear
a town or a street or a mountain
or the origin of a valley


in the office you say
wives and work as if they
tighten bolts avenge crimes
on your holsters there are radios the size
of guns            you are blue men with
un-dreams as big as china
under your eyes

everyone is envious    

go ahead the man says into his radio
laying the rail with his words


at the terminal box you teach
me to splice the rails   my body
a limp flag made of flesh
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­  i hang from the lever
asking for islands to swell
on my biceps

birds turn into reverse silhouettes

it’s excalibur you exclaim
stick your foot down like
sinking a spade

boom boom boom


when we walk the rails we tell history
this parallel never met by our shadow
i swim onto your shoulders as day
breaks egg-shells
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­  i am the new
collar ironed by my mother
and the space above your
head is a frontier


from here the world is flat
borders white lines in the dirt
you can feel a train coming
in the shake of the earth

we are going to be giants you say
gripping my shins
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­  i roll up my
sleeves and flex my arms
giving you horns


at the door meccano in full-scale
you swing me into the carriage

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ the child who is flightless
climbs on the back of the
wind    held up a hurt bird


in the cabin men breathe planets
onto perspex    they hark like myna birds
rooted bitou bush hunched like cane toads
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­  they claim to live at
these gears      they’ve got
tickets to show it

they’ve crossed this country
ten times over              sleepless
they’ve seen land where water
is foreign         where open cuts
are oasis

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ i sit back and watch you
walk ahead on the rails


trees white-paper in the train’s blared
whiteness        shape themselves into
memories         call themselves footprints

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ they’re roped to fence posts

this is morning            not mourning

my breath leaves my mouth
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ like a greenhouse
boom boom boom      


up ahead on the rail you dance
with your arms of red light
and i wonder what it means
to write history with your
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ your blood let
disfiguring the open
cut of morning


whatcha think of your dad one of the men
asks     his cadence forty packs of imported
cigarettes         in his fist is a gear that i know
lights up streets turns show houses into
nuclear families
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ he’s a hero i say but
the word feels tiny      when i’ve seen maps
that lay across this country like a bandage

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ you’re the beginning
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ and the end of
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ of the world

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ you’re the answer
to everything


way off the plant blinks like
a child-killer    a christmas in morse code
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ spaghetti pipes spewing
white venom
ethanol bruising the sky purple
everything       screams

the horizon quivers     the drivers pull the horn

birds rush to their nests in the clouds
fall through invisible floor boards
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ burn up on re-entry


sometimes i wonder
if you ever stopped in those
towns where you once said
the waters ran like blood

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ did you own a skeleton key

did you ever peel back
excalibur feel the weight
of the blade in your hands
alter the course of this


in my ears our heart
boom boom boom

my eyes mirror
the blood-shot sky
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ the thrum of the engine
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ rattles through my bones

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ all my ancestors are ghosts
­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ all my ancestors cling
to the atmosphere

as you walk the rails
fade into morning        settle into history

men talk talk talk

we have learnt distance
in this country

we have learnt to never
look back


Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal writes from Kolkata and is the author of An Afternoon in My Mind (Copper Coin, 2021)Karmic Chanting (Copper Coin, 2018), Ink and Line (Dhauli Books, 2018), and five other books of poetry. He serves as the director of Chair Poetry Evenings-Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival and managing editor of Verseville.


If I Could 

If I were a travelling air
without any bony cage,
moral circuits and routes

blowing to the will of paddy fields
smelling the sexual union
of grass roots with wet soil

I would swoop and lift the infant souls
of dead harvested crops

fetching them to their seeds
and allow them to breathe me again.

Rachael Mead

Rachael Mead is a novelist and award-winning poet and short story writer, with her creative work appearing widely in Australia and internationally. She’s the author of the novel The Application of Pressure (Affirm Press 2020) and four collections of poetry including The Flaw in the Pattern (UWAP 2018). In 2019, she spent a month in the Taleggio Valley in Northern Italy on an eco-poetry residency awarded by Australian Poetry.


It takes a mountain to raise a cheese 
A golden shovel of Terrance Hayes’ ‘Lighthead’s Guide to the Galaxy’

You want answers, so immediately I’m in a panicked state.
What is a regenerative economy, anyway? I’m a writer. My time
is spent exploring on foot, trying to see things differently to others
like the way the piode is a jigsaw from below but from above is a roof.
That’s a bit simplistic. Trying to give you answers is making me careless,
the way I get back to the room, pull off my boots and sling my bra
not even looking to see where it falls. Some think nature is all about sex
but I’m leaning in another direction. I’m missing the moonlight.
All this walking has me in bed with the sun, weighing the valley’s life
and trying to piece it together with words. You want me to show my thinking
but resisting the seduction of witness and metaphor is not easy to overcome.
It’s as if you’ve offered the finest single malt whiskey but refused me the ice.
I’m trying to be critical and speculative but I’m just grinding out the syllables,
constructing poems from form, allusion and a well-thumbed catalogue of words.
I’m great at questions, seeing how problems connect, replicate themselves —
but critical speculation? I’m a dog yapping at unseen dangers. I can’t say
what should happen here, the possibilities clamouring so I can’t tell prank calls
from those with something important to say. The word on the street
is it’s better to ignore what you see. Go with what you perceive.
My bedroom window is black with possibility. This arrangement
feels impossible. What can I offer? I walk. I watch. I make poetry.
If only I was more original, walking around like a pregnant woman
confident in the form of her creation, her offspring welcome among us.
I’m not used to being so beyond my depth. As a wife
I can fake it, clean the house before guests arrive. (Don’t think about that.)
But here, all the surfaces are peeled away, lack of faith in myself
laid bare in these echoing lines. I scratch pen on pages to start fires.
The answers are needed, the world staring down its own destruction
and here I sit twiddling around with rhythm and the fall of a word.
Beyond my window, the darkness resolves into birdsong and branches.
Grass will grow. Cheese will be eaten. These futures are not empty yet.
But I’m not so deaf that I can’t hear this valley whimper.
It’s just that I’ve no particular claim to wisdom –
only the ability to watch, witness and fill with the pities
of someone gifted in seeing backwards. It’s a leash,
the tug of it jerking my head as I peer into the night’s
potential – ghostly, nebulous and keeping me from sleep.

John Kinsella translates Ouyang Yu

By November 2021, Ouyang Yu has published 137 books in both English and Chinese in the field of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literary translation and criticism. His second book of English poetry, Songs of the Last Chinese Poet, was shortlisted for the 1999 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. His third novel, The English Class, won the 2011 NSW Premier’s Award, and his translation in Chinese of The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes won the Translation Award from the Australia-China Council in 2014. He won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection in the 2021 Queensland Literary Awards, his bilingual blog at: youyang2.blogspot.com



Intermingling the waves of sleep
with the bric-a-brac of instructions,

I shift one word via another word
and take a left turn at a left turn

wondering which direction
they want me to take — I refuse,

of course, looking for codes
in the blossoming of transplanted

trees, those uprights of consonants
in the calligraphy I write maps with;

how much eating and shitting
can the room of a vowel take

out of homonyms and the particles
I line up to the appropriate side

of some old old universe — blowing
hot & cold, the stem of a lotus

simply the direction heaven lays down:
atonal tones on an instrument tongue —

seconded people leaving my mouth,
shout outs and tongue twists waking asleep.


John Kinsella’s recent books include the memoir Displaced: A Rural Life (Transit Lounge, 2020), the co-written poetry collection The Weave (with Thurston Moore, UWAP, 2020) and the collection of stories Pushing Back (Transit Lounge, 2021). Vagabond published Supervivid Depastoralism (poems) and Five Islands Press (Apothecary Archive) Saussure’s Kaleidoscope: Graphology Drawing-Poems in 2021. UWAP will bring out the first volume of his collected poems The Ascension of Sheep: Poems 1980-2005 in early 2022. He lives in wheatbelt Western Australia on Ballardong Noongar land.

OJO Taiye

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian poet who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with society. He also makes use of collage and sample technique. He is the winner of many prestigious awards including the 2021 Hay Writer’s Circle Poetry Competition, 2021 Cathalbui Poetry Competition, Ireland.



All quiet on the fire front 

What is it that makes me see myself
more loving than the capitalist world?
Every time I watch the news my heart
goes out to the lonely orphan bear.

Look: there, as when a cone explodes
during a flare, another dog lay lifeless
on the charred ground, staring at a falling
pylon—the quieting chorus of ruin. Nothing

is blooming today & a man in my mother’s
village is breathing and asking— will the
water be gentle with me as it rises? I’m long
past hopeful and yes, beyond upset, I wish I

could say they’re just animals and my mother
is not sick. Still everything that is burning has
a name. Always something fragile and my father
looks up at me and sighs. We’ve lived in many

shelters. Even after the mud slide, a river slopes
along my heart to forget, for a second, the volume
of destruction. The thing about summer is: it doesn’t
come as joyful as it did once. If we are talking a-

bout a feverish planet, a thick pall of smoke still
hangs over my country’s green lungs. There is a
premonition before a ruin. Every herder I have
ever met said something about drought. More

drought. Or maybe to ruin the moment of camping,
a thousand heat-strokes & oh, there is famine too—

Monique Lyle

Monique Lyle is a DCA candidate with the writing centre at Western Sydney University. She is currently completing her first manuscript, The Park, which explores her experiences growing up in Sydney Housing Commission in the 90’s. Recently her work has appeared in Overland, Flash Cove, Otoliths, Plumwood Mountain and also Dance Research.


a shark

found am
in the garden half
in the weeds
a pond you
of pigeons
and flutter
bies in
over grown grass
field you
think of a
landing on damp.

if a
girl is
all alone left
will be no
eat there will be
won’t be any water melon. there
will be
tiny hand tiny
cock roach crawling. by time the
there get
will be late too—
eve taken will
apple cleaned
suit even gorgeous

when you are
over grown field with a
on your
and stinging nettle. when
purple flutter
lands on a
flower another
bug will
there with it
when a
root pushes
brown mud, a
small green leaf
lives under
when a small
attaches itself
underwater, a blue
lands on a
flattening itself
out onto it when a red
scurries through the ocean.
jagged in the
garden an
distance coming one
arm another
leg another
a shark and
you here

Lisa Nan Joo

Lisa Nan Joo lives on Gadigal land and is an emerging writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her work has previously appeared in Kill Your Darlings, Strange Horizons, Meniscus, Seizure Online and Spineless Wonders.



Plastic Nation

In the end, it feels inevitable. The floating island of plastic is declared a new nation, and becomes the world’s foremost thalassocracy. Ambassadors of PVC and polyethylene squabble over the borders, and stake claims for distinct nation-states among the sea-drift. New language emerges from the percussion of waste: the voice of the sea, but woven into a tapestry of six-pack rings and fishing nets. It sounds like a wave trapped in a torn plastic bag. The new nation sends out armies: swift, many-limbed proxies that surround and submerge their landed enemies, until the old borders mean nothing. The nation buries itself in the skin of the ocean, stretching until it’s fit to burst, and then it purges itself on the shores of the new world, and buries itself here, too, leaving no survivors, implanting itself into the canopy, the humus, the bedrock, the fossil record. Accelerating towards the erasure of organic materiality. The earth is an endling. The last of its species, abandoned to deep time.