2 poems by Stephen Oliver

Stephen Oliver is an Australasian poet and author of 21 volumes of poetry. His work is published in Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature. His poems are translated into German, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. His latest poetry collection is The Song of Globule / 80 Sonnets (Greywacke Press, 2020), and a chapbook, Heroides / 15 Sonnets (Puriri Press, 2020).

FACTORY TOWN

The suburb goes one way,

chimney smoke the other. One plane tree; its bole wide as

a well, lava flow of roots massing at the base,

next to the rusty rail line. A derelict munitions factory,

wall graffiti that reads, ‘No certainties in this life.’

>

Everything seems to be pushing away

from itself – clouds scroll Spanish like a rubric of skunks

on the move, clustering, only to expand and contract.

>

Those brick facades

down main street, faded dull as dried blood, each with

its fugitive dank doorway, reeking of urine, or something worse.

There’s no one to be seen, as if the rapture had hit,

but this one orchestrated by neo-liberalism.

>

Nobody talks about the Mayor’s

speech he gave a few years back; the brouhaha it caused,

the boosterism, hand claps and backslaps –

turning the munitions factory into a ‘museum/theme park,’

‘revitalization of our abandoned factory town.’
>

Someone talked about making a

documentary, but that never got done. Winter snows make

up for lack of heart, turning this place into some sort

of soft lens crime scene – from the helicopter’s perspective,

>

seems peaceful enough down there, fairyland graveyard,

nicely packaged rust-belt town. Trenchant as a death notice.

2 poems by Stephen Oliver

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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.

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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

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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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