2 poems by Helen Anderson

Helen Anderson is a New Zealand-based poet, academic and technical writer. She is a past winner of the Auckland War Memorial Museum ‘Lest We Forget’ Poetry Competition. Her poetry arises from the loves, lives and deaths that make up the people and environment of her beautiful, damaged and hopeful country.

CHRISTCHURCH, 15 MARCH 2019

The soft, curved simplicity of the hijab

frames our sister’s face

she walks in autumn’s gentle air 

her children leap and run

a touch of joyful play 

beauty and truth cohere

in the image

absurdity of the next moment

fractures humanity 

again

and again

the flutter of hate

becomes a roar

in an instant

she walks

head bowed

abandoned by our shared Gods.

Will there be a spring?

SIXTY MILLION YEARS OF KNOWING

Tuatara lies nonchalantly 

On its rustling, twigged recliner,

Limbs spread, warming in the sun 

Elegant scaled spine with reptilian peaks,

Mathematically precise curve

To her tail.

Gaudy tracking beads 

On the back of her neck,

An insult to her style as

Carrier of the secrets of the ages

We watch her over the fence

She ignores us, 

We are too new.

Her third eye 

Absorbs the world

While we hope for

A leaf of her ancient wisdom. 

Note: Tuatara is a large spiny lizard-like reptile with a vestigial ‘third eye’ in the middle of its forehead that is native to islands off the coast of New Zealand. It is the only surviving rhynchocephalian.

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

An Astráil editor, Denise O’Hagan

An Astráil editor, Denise O'Hagan
An Astráil editor, Denise O'Hagan on the poets she selected for this issue.

Poetry by Moya Pacey

poetry by Moya Pacey
Moya Pacey co-edits the on-line journal, 'Not Very Quiet'

2 poems by Amanda McLeod

Amanda McLeod, Animal Behaviour
Amanda McLeod is a Canberra-based writer and artist. Her debut flash fiction, Animal Behaviour (Chaffinch Press, 2020), came out on July 3 2020.

Poetry by Eugen Bacon

Eugen Bacon’s work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, Australian Shadows Awards and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans.
Eugen Bacon’s work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, Australian Shadows Awards and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans.

2 poems by emerging poet Georgina Ashworth

2 poems by emerging poet Georgina Ashworth
Emerging poet Georgina Ashworth was winner of the ECU’s Talus Prize in the poetry category (2017), she was also the judging panel’s favourite for the Yarra Libraries Receipt Poetry Competition, as part of the Digital Writers Festival (2019).

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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