Rae Sexton

Mirrors novella collection (Redress Press)
Coping with Fallout (Five Islands Press)
Fluorescent Voices: Friendly Street Poetry Reader 21 (Co-editor)
Also a writer of non-fiction

Armistice Day

red poppies gashed: these bloom
at the edge of the shopping centre
with a sudden splurt of red
something the weedkiller missed
a swift hurt on a grey day
an escape: beyond council workers
with deadly hose and ghoulish mask

From Friendly Street No. 18

Horace Trenerry

South Australian Artist, 1901 – 1958, Aldinga

Nobody caught the light so
and held it cupped in his hands.
Opaque in slabs
it defined the summer hills
dry stalk and dust
the road to the sea
the cliffs and the plains
the fruit-trees and the chooks
scratching grain
in the yard.
When we look at this summer land
we re-interpret it:
“That’s a Trenerry,”
we say.

From Friendly Street No. 18


you said nothing:
worked for a bookie in the afternoons
spent your spare time making a cage
for a hundred brightly coloured birds.
Their calls fulled the yard. Soon
war came. No word.
Your sister looked after the birds,
lost three brothers on the Burma railroad
and long march through Borneo.
You returned from New Guinea
with a suppurating tropical ulcer.
It lasted another forty years,
like you.
Then your sister
visited those wartime sites
of lush greenery:
hated the difference between rich and poor,
the impoverished clamouring outside the grille
of the Consul’s gate (her son’s).
She remembered when you returned
the first thing you did was open the cage.
“They’ll die in the wild,” she declared
but you said nothing
nothing at all.

From Friendly Street No. 20