2 new poems by Paul Williamson


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.

About the contributor

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).

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