New Poetry by Gareth Jenkins


The wings of peculiar dragon flies,

curled abdomens

silhouetted in a sky

ungrounded by grief.

And still the sea spray barrelling upward

into that column of light against the crumbling rock face

salt white     red white     grey white


huge leaves massive sun away.

Luminous in death

Bottle-brushes scour into speech against the tin.

I wake exhausted—all night running.

The dust. The sweat.

At the last bend (always the last bend)

I rise—a white fire sheet

of salted silk against the wind.

Ahead a field of paperbarks aflame.

White blazing behind shadowed mountain

luminous in death,

enticing me home to the deft silence of your touch.

Lights out

Your bladed shoulder is a wingless beam in this neon car park.

Dark amber glass shards fleck asphalt.    

Lights out in the Video Easy.

Tremble skin touched in the shadows of midnight.

The shadows of wattles rooted in concrete.

The shadows of dashboard lights.

Another long shift


the day

of one last sigh.

Depth span

Algorithms predicted last night’s mist,

its roll and flow across the bay

wind thrashing the bare arms of spotted gums.

Overnight facial recognition software churned the identities

of a billion public transport travelers, mapping the contours of faces

via the depth span and fill of 80 topographic points.

Condensation travels the angles of the roof

to fall in perfect parallel drops,

irregularly spaced explosions against the balustrade of morning.

About the contributor

Gareth Jenkins has taught poetry and poetics in schools, youth centres, universities, libraries and prisons. He is the designer and editor of The Toy of the Spirit (Puncher & Wattmann), the first book-length publication of writings by Anthony Mannix. Gareth’s first full length collection of poetry, Recipes for the Disaster, was published in 2019 by Five Islands Press.

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