2015 Satura Prize Winner: “A Clarity of Smog” by rob walker

rob walker

Congratulations to rob walker, winner of the 2015 Satura Prize for his poem A Clarity of Smog in the Friendly Street Poets Anthology 39: Silver Singing Streams, as judged by Mike Ladd.

Congratulations also to those on Mike’s shortlist for the prize:

On the Footpath by Elaine Barker

Growing Pains by J.V. Birch

Scrub Grey by David Cookson

Serbian Orthodox Christmas Lunch by Jelena Dinic

Security After the Ball by Steve Evans

No Major Changes Will Happen at Midnight by Roger Higgins

Journey by Jules Leigh Koch

Fine Art by Lousie McKenna

A Question of War by Josie Walsh

Thanks to Martin Christmas for the pic.

A Clarity of Smog

nine days in japan and already you’re a megalomaniac
drunk on the fame of being slightly apart.
backhome there are bushfires and The Test on tv but here
you’re in the manic phase of a bipolar New Year.

even getting off the train at the wrong station when you can’t read
the signage and no-one speaks your mother tongue doesn’t phase you.
a divine messenger disguised as a middle level clerk tells you
that the train to Mega is nexto-nexto.

You’re completely alone in your iPod universe as Antony sings
everything is new in the space between your ears and you
walk the winter grey concrete streets of Mega/Shikama houses & and steel
smokestacks beside a river tamed with cement.

refinery pipes, mega-pylons supporting arcs of cable
inscribed from some point above and
triangulations of scaffolding infrastructure
your artificial horizon.

you know in your bones that the sun rising red through smog is rising
just for you and despite photochemical haze there’s a clarity like
individual rainbow crystals refulgent
on dead rice stalks beneath your feet.

the day is new, those birds you pass have migrated from Siberia to
forage for insects between the backstreet cabbages at this precise
second for your entertainment alone. you love each moment.
like now.     and this one      now.

the entire day is unfolding. you don’t need a god
when the Universe is so perfect and self organised.
each day dripping into the vast pool
of day spent.

occasionally we find ourselves
at an intersection where
any choice will be
the right one.

rob walker

Friendly Street Poets 39 Anthology Southern Launch!

FSP cover promo1

Southern Anthology Launch: Sunday 13th September 2015 @ Signal Point Gallery, Goolwa

Regular monthly poetry reading & Southern Launch of Friendly Street Poets 39 at Signal Point Art Gallery, Lower Gallery, beside the wharf at Goolwa. Friendly Street Poets will read their poems from the Anthology.

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm, $5 entry to read.
MC – Nigel Ford.

Copies of the book will be on sale for $20.

This poetry event is brought to you by Alexandrina CouncilFriendly Street PoetsNigel Ford Life Poet.

More details here.

Poem of the Month, August 2015


A(n end of) Love Sonnet by Kristin Martin

As crimson bruises blossom on my cheek
my husband guns our car into the night.
I screamed at him to leave, within a week
he’ll crawl back home, beg pardon for the fight.

From in her room our treasured daughter cries;
instinctively I dim the lights with shame.
Or is it pride? Or fear of judging eyes?
Too many people think I share the blame.

The door creaks and her trusting eyes meet mine.
She smiles and pads softly to my side.
My love for her torpedos up my spine
to banish thoughts of fear and shame and pride.

I hold her and I understand it well:
tonight my marriage ends. It’s time to tell.

Together with To My Mother in Law by Athena Taylor, selected from the August FSP readings by 2015 Anthology editors, Margaret Clark and Murray Alfredson.

Picture by Martin Christmas.

For more Poems of the Month,

Click here

Asian Poetry with Joshua Ip at SAWC, Sunday 6th September

Joshua Ip is the Singapore Literature Prize winning author of making love with scrabble tiles (Math Paper Press, 2013), and sonnets from the singlish (Math Paper Press, 2012). He has co edited two poetry anthologies: A Luxury We Cannot Afford (Math Paper Press, 2014) and SingPoWriMo (Math Paper Press, 2014).

On Sunday 6th September, Joshua is holding a special workshop on Asian poetry forms (2:00 – 5:00 pm) at the SA Writers Centre. See the event post for details.

The scheduled poetry reading has been cancelled.

SA heats of 2015 Australian Poetry Slam… on now!


A total sell out for the first SA heat of the 2015 Australian Poetry Slam (pic: Martin Christmas).

Plenty more to come… here are the rest of the heats, with the finals on 24th September, which will determine the SA entrants for the National Finals in Sydney.

Heat 2: Friday 28 Aug, Salisbury Institute
17-19 Wiltshire Street, Salisbury
Register from 6:30pm for 7pm start, free entry

Heat 3: Friday 4 Sept, State Library of SA
North Terrace, Adelaide
Register from 6:30pm for 7pm start, $5 entry

Heat 4: Friday 11 Sept, Woodcroft Library
175 Bains Road, Morphett Vale
Register from 6:30pm for 7pm start, free entry

Heat 5: Thursday 17 Sept, Wheatsheaf Hotel
George Street, Thebarton
Register from 6:30pm for 7pm start, $5 entry

SA Final: Thursday 24 Sept, The Goodwood Institute
166a Goodwood Road, Goodwood
Doors open at 7:30, 8pm start. Tickets $15 Book online at www.trybooking.com/147442

Presented by SpokenWord SA, Word Travels, Australian Poetry Slam & SA Writers Centre.