Bendigo, Victoria, April 2021, by JB

Stone. Leaf. Fibre. Seed.

Chance placement of earth beneath stone,

fledgling tree and moss embracing

shelves of rock and ancient soil,

and the breathing,

the breathing of the trees

and the bird-song-murmur,




and held


on the cold air

inside the space

of my understanding,

grounded in the sky’s grey-layered

remnants of a closing day.

The light shifts…

How had I not seen the minute red berries

and the blue stars

lining the mossy floor?


In my bed was I

once lucent



am I now

a well-spring,


a tadpole


in the ice-cap

of a woodland pool,

am I translucent,

alive still with possibility

or am I –

was I ever,


like light?



Fool moon by bluemoon

Concert concert-o
wild with summer hope,
with faded sunlight,
shadows, all,
longing for something
not yet lost,
trans-lu-cent memories
of a past not yet past,
caught in cobwebs
and baskets of shells
under the stairs in a Stukey cottage.

Hexfoils on old walls,
in dark-lit corners;
perfect daisy wheels,
scratchings and scribblings
and sailing ships floating
out into hollow space,
a place on the edge of time
where thy-me stands still.

I gather up my shoes
So they are not taken by the sea
I find my heart, once given freely,
weighted down by sea glass,
anchoring me to earth and sky.

And the night rocks me safe
in the hollow of her hands.



All Souls

Tapestry by Nancy Wood

Tapestry by Nancy Wood


She watches as he hollows out the pumpkin,

scooping out the seeds and

fibrous, complex mesh

with dexterous hands, intent.


So he empties her,

ripping at her woven secrets

to reveal her bared flesh.


And she is laid out,

and gasps for air.



Woven Secrets by Nancy Wood


Thirteen and falling

Mystic Mermaid IIi by Shijun Munns.

Mystic Mermaid IIi by Shijun Munns.

I felt I had fallen from the bottom of the biting ocean floor into the night sky, surrounded by yellow angels, their eyes glittering like silver-sided leaves below me, their mouths opening, popping ‘O’s and smiling wetly at me, and I tried to fall again, waving my wing-like legs and kicking my use-less arms. The air rushed past me, threading my eyes and lips on a string of grey-blue music, and I cried so hard! So hard were my tears that they turned inward and exploded in heavy, aching-green waves and flushed inside my stomach and my breast, and my cheeks lit up from inside and still I struggled until the angels caught my hair and twisted it like rope around their waists, pulling me up, right up into the very heart of being, where light poured over me, until even my fingers and my feet glowed orange…

Written in 1973, when I was 13 years old.

William Blake, The Ancient of Days, from The First Book of Urizen, 1794

William Blake, The Ancient of Days, from The First Book of Urizen, 1794


Sargasso Sea

Deep Ocean Blues

Deep ocean blue…

Water flowing,

silk against warmth

and sunlight, fragmented over me;

the ebb and flow, the wave and ripple

of this death, this ending,

like a fragrance

blown by other breaths.


Ophelia am I,

sea without shore,

water-deep and

not waving at all but drowning[1]

in sainted rains.


[1] With reference to Stevie Smith’s poem “Not waving but drowning”, 1957




Mercy for Sonny Mercer

Barbed wire tree sculpture by DesertTwigs via Etsy

Barbed wire tree sculpture by Desert Twigs, on Etsy

Barbed wire buried deep

in the fields I am grown in,

enmeshed roots, sods, earth

bound tight,


scented loam

holding light and rain and warmth,

rusting the wire,



Sap rising

sap quenched






© Julia Birch







Y’all come back now by Pandora Aselezneva

As I rise from the depths of the water

swimming through my bones

I am on fire,

breathless with the burden

and      release.




lightning crackling in sinew

and nerve,


seeds of light, burning

as they