Two Eurydices

“Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I got to stand on a mainstage and perform. Eurydice Dixon won't ever get to perform on stage again, because her life and talent and promise were ripped away from her. Here is the poem I...

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After Blake

Sugar-gliders are scratching on my roof and I wonder how the tin doesn’t scorch their feet – are their mortal soles somehow proof of a higher power? Prostrate on my porch lies a bluetongue lizard sun worshipping. Is it genetics or luck that’s warming his blood?...

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Unnamed

I love how she feels under my fingers – full of thoughts not yet finished and sounds not yet through her lips. And as my hand rounds my stomach, all that she could be lingers in my core. I have not yet found her name: Lily too flowery, and Laura not quite right for...

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Caesarea Maritima

with ee cummings Wonder, my dear, at the abandoned agora and all but forgotten forum while we walk along the harbour. Ruined mosaics pave the decumanus and crumble into marble white, Mediterranean blue, and onyx black tesserae scattered on the foundations for careless...

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To My Brothers

after John Keats My brothers retire to my balcony, watch kookaburras rush from tree to tree, remark upon the bamboo canopy, and remember seventeen birthdays we have shared in familiar company. Ethan picks and plucks his ukulele. Dad builds a barbeque. And what of me?...

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Aubade

I drag like jetsam down to the dam where we would watch the world unfurl, an amber ribbon parting the malachite water from the sapphire sky, and I wait for you like a stone. I stay as magnolias mock me with morning aroma, but they cannot mask the lack of your musk. I...

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Israel

You’ve got someone else in mind as we walk on ruined temple walls. This city was built with the stones under our feet and I am built with parts of you. As we walk on ruined temple walls our tongues reclaim the language of Genesis and I am created with parts of you. We...

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Shibboleth

after Anthony Hecht’s The Book of Yolek * יש לנו חוק, ובהתאם לחוק היא חייבת למות * لدينا قانون وتبعا للقانون يجب ان تموت It’s a god-fearing land you’ve travelled to and the leaders have divided even the dirt into lots. Your yellow fields look swollen for the summer...

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The Obstacle

Aqaba puffs up over the North-eastern tip of the Red Sea like pastry leavening. Her streets score crescents into the land and curve down to the market. Shopkeepers spruik souvenirs and lavish meals: Aladdin’s shoes, Sinbad’s dhow, shipwrecked amphorae, gold oil lamps,...

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Wilderness of Zin

Wadi Rum, the Valley of the Moon as climbers call it, stretches around the sandstone and granite heart of Jabal Ram. A strong -jawed Zalabia man, who has the aspect of Abdullah, stands on a jagged outcrop and stabs his leathery hand into the biting air: the Khaz’ali...

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Snow in the Desert

It snows only three days a year in Jordan and each year the snow comes as a surprise: roads are deserted ski slopes; Amman office buildings are coated in frost-paint; and trees are dressed-up as snowmen. Women avoid icy footpaths, while men stay inside with strong...

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Masada

We stand guard and talk of things divine, a group of twelve Sicarii, relieving the last lookouts from their post. Wind drills up the valley and drives desert grit and dirt into our skin. The Judaean hills surround us like a fortress and Eta Carinae punctures the dark....

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The Photograph

 “It’s when you’re sure you’re not important enough to give pain, that you do it.” – Craig Powell Filed away in the two-faced laneways of my mind is a washed-out photograph of a young girl posing atop a palomino. Her horse’s snowy mane is as white-cold as her...

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