2 poems by Ben Hession


I reach vague hands of sympathy,
a ghost upon this common earth.
(Christopher Brennan)

Of one million sighs: what a place for love, or 

to be loved, hot enough to melt lead, here is

the crushing atmosphere of carbon dioxide –

an existential fog, thickened always with desire:

a tang or sting of overcast vitriol, diffusing sunlight 

as days revolve and resolve themselves back-

wards, when naked hindsight dissolves a sky-god’s

optimistic assumptions. For instance, finding his 

fearful candour behind fantasies, which wish upon 

an evening and morning star: the projections across

a broken mattress of players in stifling consciousness.

Intimacy is sleeping with my books, I quote it often, 

sage words quickly lost in the suffocating clouds. 

I venerate the heart I disinter from volcanic plains, where

feckless devotions beat arrhythmia. Unconscious pieties 

sculpt her hand – yesterday’s futures live within the touch, 

bright grains of fallen dust crumble away: my skin’s burnt again.

Numbness is fatal. Distances dream measurements in breaths.

Lost, I must let go of the flesh. Soon, I’ll return to the horizon.

I look forward to where I landed. There, I hope to take flight.


a dim gleam whisper-sketches

the capital north, the coastline

crescenting back as a lunar

appetite raises its light on waving water

a stream of lust moistens

intelligence with instinctive silence –

its manic measure of the month

borne within a recondite glow

feeding a private laughter,

insouciant, yet distinctly clear

music in its mercurial resolution,

cutting to pale perceived pretenders

onto itself ‘falls the shadow’

between storms and tranquillity

the tidal thrall rushes with perspective:

cleverness, doubts, points on a compass.

About the contributor

Ben Hession is a Wollongong-based writer whose poetry is published in Eureka Street, the International Chinese Language Forum, the Cordite Poetry Review, Verity La, the Mascara Literary Review, Bluepepper, the Marrickville Pause and the Don Bank Live Poetry anthology Can I Tell You A Secret? He has reviewed poetry, and is a music journalist involved with community broadcasting.

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