Drought Town

This is the summer of red dust. Everything
sucked dry—hollow as cicada husks, wedged
under eaves and porch stairs—waiting
for a wind change. On the road out of town,
empty grain silos loom, perched like headstones
over wheat-field graves. Harvesters sag, tyres
cracked like the asphalt. Rotting carcasses
litter riverless beds—tongues swollen,
flyblown, unslaked. First, a wheeze,
then my pickup spews steam. It dies in a ditch
under a burnt-orange sun. Tiger snake chunks
graffiti the hood’s underside, one blind eye bulging
from the torn head. It must have sought shade
or wiper water—sliding up from the parched earth
miles back. Now it’s just one more dead thing
in a land of dead things. This is the summer
of red dust. It swirls and the road ahead blurs.

– Ryan Stone

first published by Eunoia Review

The Journey Home

She tells me her pain is a squall,
sudden and vicious, like a flash

storm whipping in from Bass Strait
to batter King Island.
Do you remember our Island, Garth?

Her doctors build shelters; nurses
batten hatches, but this tempest

won’t blow over. She says her pain is a vulture now,
circling the desert on threadbare wings.
A glass of water if you please, Garth?

With beak and claw, it slashes and rips
nerve endings, drinks color from her eyes.

The pain is no longer squall or vulture,
she whispers, but a flutter of pages.
One last story before bed, dear Garth?

I don’t tell her that I’m her grandson—
not her brother Garth, stolen by war.

She’s a thin sheet stretched over an empty
bed; a gull’s cry on the wind.

– Ryan Stone

first published by Eunoia Review, June 2019

Unburied Hatchet published at Autumn Sky Daily Poetry

I subscribe to a number of online poetry sites in order to receive my daily dose of poetry. One of my favourites is Autumn Sky Daily Poetry. Editor, Christine Klocek-Lim, selects a wonderful and varied array of poetry for her site and has introduced me to many new poets as well as reacquainting me with some great vintage verse.

I was so excited when today’s Autumn Sky email arrived and I saw my poem – Unburied Hatchet – featured on the site. Thank you, Christine.

This link will take you to my poem if you’re interested: Unburied Hatchet at Autumn Sky Daily Poetry.

If you’re looking for fresh and engaging poetry in your inbox each day, I can’t recommend this site highly enough.

– The Weight – published at SarahRussellPoetry

My dear friend, Sarah, has joined the wonderful world of WordPress. An incredibly talented poet and author, Sarah’s blog is one you won’t want to miss.

As well as her exciting poetry, Sarah offers a weekly post full of great writing prompts to beat off those dreaded blank page views. She was also kind enough to feature my poem, The Weight.

You can read my poem here: The Weight @ SarahRussellPoetry

And please have a look around the site while you’re there, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

 

My poem ‘The Weight’ published by Algebra of Owls

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Such a great start to my day – ‘The Weight’ was published today on the wonderful poetry site Algebra of Owls.

I’ve been following Algebra of Owls since it started and really enjoy the selection of poetry they choose to display. I’m flattered to have ‘The Weight’ appear in such fine company.

Here’s the link for anyone interested: The Weight at Algebra of Owls

Definitely a site that’s worth exploring.

Shout Out

A massive shout out to my wonderful glass-is-always-full pal, Monica, over at the hub of positivity – Look Around!

I’m so caught up in NaNoWriMo and my collection of short stories that I’ve neglected my blog and let my poetry grind to a halt for November.

And then in steps Mon with her guest post defibrillator and breathes fresh life into my words.

Thank you, thank you thank you.

Here’s my poem: My Love

And here is Monica: Look Around!

If you find yourself forgetting how amazing the world is, five minutes in Monica’s company will remind you.

** Featured Poet **

Have you ever tried to dissect a poem and work out where the magic is hidden? Tried to find which words or phrases leave that imprint that you can feel for days afterwards but can never quite place? I do this frequently and never more so than after reading a poem by one of my all-time favourite poets, Jim Pascual Agustin.

It’s been a little while since my last featured poet post – I still haven’t figured out a way to quit my day job and write full time – but I know this next post will more than make up for the delay. When I contacted Jim to ask if he’d consider appearing as a guest on my blog, I had no idea how much effort he would put into his responses. I hope you will be blown away like I was. Without further ado, please enjoy:

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The Scar Examined at Midnight

tell me about that. that scar.

it is a burn. something has grown
over it that mimics skin.
feel.

my memory goes blurry
when you smoke.
i know you need to, but please don’t.
or i won’t tell you the story.

it is not a burn…

–> Read the full poem and Jim’s bio here: The Scar Examined at Midnight