Poetry by Geoff Callard

Geoff is a New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based writer. Recent publications include work in Golden Walkman and Live Encounters Poetry and Writing.


She stood there, still half undressed,

shoulder strap down – can you believe it!

I must admit for a plumber there was a surprising 

degree of Nordic beauty. Blue-eyed, stubbled,

hair just a little uncut, lots of leather wrist bands,

a tattoo that I couldn’t make out.

In some ways who could blame her – I had said

there shouldn’t be any limits. But we say these things, 

I didn’t expect him to offer to hold her ladder 

steady as she painted the front room; 

what was he doing there anyway? 

– surely the plumbing is in the kitchen.

So here I am, in the doorway in the house that we live,

burning in my own fire as she gives him a kiss goodbye.

And I pay his bill when it comes.


And they both awoke with an ache 

so subtle it seemed to slip between 

their atoms, the only sign

a hand held up in supplication, a parting

of water, 

a joining; 

mud turning to flesh,

knotting and unknotting.

When is a snake a serpent?

When it has its cold cold eye on Eve 

as she lies in the heavenly grass,

her thighs loosely closed.

The tang of freedom is hard to resist. Adam 

slides to his knees in an alley.

Behind the bins, up against the bricks, Eve gives

her slippery answer.

On Astráil

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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.


  1. Brilliant! Love The Plumber, love the twist; Adam & Eve amazing; love the image of them in the alley, behind the bins; who knew what that day in the Garden of Eden would lead to!!


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