2 new poems by Paul Williamson

Paul Williamson is a Canberra-based poet. His work is published in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada and Japan. He is the author of five collections, including the recent Edge of Southern Bright (Ginninderra Press, 2017). He contributed to and participated in the release of the Canberra/Nara Twin City tanka poetry volume in Nara, Japan (2018).


A friend’s father invented and fixed cars behind his house.

The son of a blacksmith, he shuffled among black-oiled spares

spread on the concrete floor and benches; appraising

eyes and thinning hair, a gap-toothed grin on oil-smeared face. 

What he charged to keep my youthful wrecks rolling

changed with how his cash flow fared; on average cheap 

sometimes more. The friendly repairer

is buried now. He died of emphysema

like his father; the same lungs, the same smoking.

I used some of his mind for gaps through lean years;

and now in later life, for work and sense.

Perhaps my children and grandchildren

now use cogs from his mind.


Grey autumn morning hangs over the wetlands.

Beside the reed rimmed lake

above black ducks, coot and spoonbills

flying foxes polkadot the casuarinas 

persimmon bodies, grey dog faces, black leather wings.

The colony moved here from the main road

where they roused fear over property prices.

Here the air is peaceful.

Most hang like large chrysalides

others are uncomfortably spread.

A few daytime insomniacs

take short flights to stretch their wings 

before these gardeners and pollinators of ancient forests

make their dusk procession to the latest sweet feed.

Now that you're here

The Blue Nib believes in the power of the written word, the well-structured sentence and the crafted poetic phrase. Since 2016 we have published, supported and promoted the work of both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, essay and journalism. Times are difficult for publishers, and The Blue Nib is no exception. It survives on subscription income only. If you also believe in the power of the written word, then please consider supporting The Blue Nib and our contributors by subscribing to either our print or digital issue.

On Astráil

Poetry by Wendy Dunn

Wendy Dunn Poetry
Australian novelist and poet, Wendy J Dunn, lures you through a delicate poetic meditation on the nature of creativity, reminding us that each artistic creation is an act of courage.

Poetry by Geoffrey Forrester

Poetry by Geoffrey Forrester
Under the softly expert eye of Australian poet Geoffrey Forrester (Tug Dumbly), the simple ritual of a common haircut is delved into and its implications expanded in a way that cannot fail to delight!

A Poem By Brett Dionysius

Poe By Brett Dionysius 1
Australian poet Brett Dionysius coaxes us back in time to the burial of a plant by an Ice Age squirrel, and how that plant may feel to be ‘woken’ from a 32,000-year-old sleep.


Australian poet Fraser Mackay dances in the space between regret and speculation, expertly exploring the unsettled nature of relationships while leaving us with a lingering sense of hope.

2 poems by Daragh Byrne

Poems by Daragh Byrne
Irish-born, Daragh Byrne has lived in Sydney for a decade. He writes informed by a longstanding meditation practice and his background in physics.

Editor of An Astraíl, Denise O’Hagan selects poetry from new and established voices in Austrailia and New Zealand and is constantly searching for fresh and innovative voices in poetry from Ireland or The United Kingdom: Submit to An Astraíl.


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