Mani Rao

Mani Rao is the author of Bhagavad Gita – A Translation of the Poem (Autumn Hill Books, 2010), and eight books of poetry including Ghostmasters (Chameleon Press, 2010). She has essays and poems in journals including Cordite, Meanjin, Wasafiri, JAAM, Printout, Takahe, Iowa Review, Fulcrum, Zoland Poetry and anthologies by WW Norton, Penguin and Blood Axe. has updates.




Ding Dong Bell

The jetty’s out
Who’s at bay
War-mongrels Hera Athena

Stout Menelaus
Slender Paris
Homer leads the charge

Imperfection haunts beauty
So imagination can rule
Helen haunts imagination

In the center of her forehead
Bloodthirsty star of the sea

Iliad Blues

I like battles out at sea
Hot spur
Cold water
Blood swimming both ways
Salty meetings
Sharks due 
At the end
Level blue


Peace Treaty

What if Helen died

Cuckold crows
Husband recalls
Body  face  rites

Once broad Trojan devils
Now cower in the shadows of walls
Fearing skywitnesses
Quaking at birdshit

Our boy came back
From overseas with a
Souvenir egg that ticked

A runaway wife’s a rotten prize
Unwanted alive
And dead