Anna Brooks

Anna Brooks has published poetry and short stories in various journals since 1992. Her work has appeared in the following journals: Blast, Centoria, Four W, Friendly Street Readers, Going Down Swinging, Hecate, Hermes, Hobo, Island, Mattoid, Muse, New England Review, Northern Perspective, On Edge, Overland, Poetrix, SideWaLK, Social Alternatives, Spindrift, Wasteland, Westerly and Womanspeak. She co-edited Friendly Street Poets 19. A collection of her poems, Picking up the Pieces, was published in 1996 (Wakefield Press/Friendly Street Poets). Other interests include art, natural history, bushwalking and rockclimbing.

Otway Ranges

for Doug

Something golden
is rising out of the mists here
not weight-grey
but shimmer-white
and clearing
as a lifted veil might
reveal a smile
or meld the strands
of some half-remembered dream
from childhood
or earlier…

There is a sense
similar to
the inner reaches of orchids
the shush and lull of waves
low light through
soft-headed grasses
the quivering ring
of cicadas
noticed and unnoticed
as the fingers of mind
gently open
and close…

And the sense is
sometimes within
sometimes without
like the stroke of a cheek
over soft belly
where there is neither one
nor the other only a sweetness
flowing between
and the mist which is singing
with the glow
of something half-known
coming to light…

From Friendly Street No. 17

Small Things

…and in that hot week
of non-stop hiking
incredible country
she remembered
not the vast mountains
but one still afternoon
naked body cupped
in a cold cauldron
smooth sculpted rock curves
churning satin water
then quiet dreams downstream
as the flies settled gently
like musical notes
along her toes
utterly still
while the deft play
of a lizard’s mouth
removed the dark dots cleanly
one by one

From Friendly Street No. 18


she noticed
these days
the wolf was
less savage
snarled and paced sometimes
but with none
of its former frenzy
gnawed her fingernails
cruelly short
but no longer tore off
the whole hand ferociously
mad with pain…
on rare occasions it even
stretched in the sun
eyes closed
and bristled fur
smoothed down
by feathers of light

From Beating Time in a Gothic Space: Friendly Street No. 23