Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Lame Slave

Eighty years of birthdays
Earned by falling asleep
To look forward to
Over half over already
Surely it’s not that hard
When you’re not really doing anything
Never been able to do much else
Every second day
An acidic dream
Broken by a cat
In darkness
Blinded by the moon
In doors
Daily electric hum machine
Depressive gas filtered in
On plastic airwaves
The next song on the radio
Enough to please
An occasional crossword
Of pop culture history records
Ergo check vilification suppression methods
Up at six
Down at eleven
Never before midnight
Fraught with nothing in particular
Thoughts of something unfamiliar
Next in line, take one
Never a mental break
Slowly loosening finger-skin of a lame slave
Yo, Dad
My god
You look so old sometimes

by Campbell Calverley

The Last of the Smoke

I waken from a blue static hallucination
Silver waves gyrating behind my eyes
My headphones clattering to the carpet
The curtains have fallen open again
A far moonlight
A kiss
The radio’s on
Ice cream at midnight like a young un should
Stepping into the freezer
The door collapses on top of me
Gravel falls from the cliff edge
Two feet from a memory I can’t remember
Someone waiting for me on a boat
As though preparing to take revenge on me
For something that I didn’t do
The sea is full of dying garbage
The rain doesn’t taste of anything
Water is too cold to provide any comfort
Except a feeling in transit
I’ve forgotten how to swim
And the pier is slowly rotting
Trapped on the island you lent me
As a belated inheritance from our grandfather
You told me I’d be happy
Then your dog started eating people
And the rain got louder
Until the channel changed
I went blind
And all the speakers started bleeding ecstasy tabs
The moshers scrabbled like zombies on a trucker’s guts
And an orgy ensued
The disc jockey had a heart attack
The needles dropped through his veins
And Wagner poured off his heartstrings
All the lights burned out
The doors locked
A hundred and seventy people fucking in the dark
Sweating over each other’s corpses
Fingers bitten off
She’ll never play the violin again
(You monster
Look at what you’ve done
Don’t you dare cry for help)
Someone fired up a lighter
Their face a burning demon in the dark
They asked me questions about my journey
I lied to each and every one of them
I didn’t know any better
Then the lights came back on
And everyone and everything is gone
No wires no water no world
(My wings have collapsed under their own weight)
The sun has clouded over
The ceiling has burned away
Hail fills from the corners
And a hissing sound pervades the cold
My car is sinking
And there’s no latch on my seatbelt
There are two bodies in the trunk
And the driver shot himself on impact
The radio’s on and spitting rabidly
My brother is crying from the bends
And the rusty window-frame explodes
Bubbles sinking whisperingly away
(My eyes crack like glass
Crystallic proportions from side to side)
Lulling into a deeper deeper deeper voice
Birds rising to meet the sun
The handbrake goes stale
The handrail breaks
And I meet the stairs all the way to the ground
A red-cloaked ambassador watches me from the dark
(I know it’s a dream this time)
I ask him who he is
(Or is it a she)
He hugs his books tighter to his chest
And smiles
And disappears

by Campbell Calverley

Lost and Found

When I turn out the lights, I see my own reflection in the pale glass:
Someone I used to be.
I do not recognise her now.
Her face is like the moon, the paleness owns her,
The blue flames in her eyes have all but vanished,
The lips have no colour, they seek no words.
This girl is quite lost.
That is what I see.

This is what she used to know:
Life was magical,
She knew who she was,
Her name was her purpose.
Love was waiting in an alley,
ready for her to stumble upon.
That would be an adventure,
She was not perfect, nor did she want that label.
This girl was not a woman, yet she yearned for it.
And yet she knew that if she yearned, this would bring danger:
childhood left quickly,
that adulthood was never ending.
There was time to paint the roses red in her life.
She did not need to grow inches just yet.
Courage, she thought,
was to be brave was to live forever without darkness.
Demanding honesty was not a fault,
as long as she asked it of herself.
Her own high expectations,
 did not know their own height.
Everywhere she walked was rainbows,
they followed her feet and they led the way.
And for her, there would never be rain.
Her God was who she prayed to,
no-one could make her worship in any other way.
Poetry was how the words in her head rolled forward,
Daisies and love hearts scribbled on every blank page.
White was just the absence of colour,
there was no such thing as busyness;
a page needed to be filled until it had company.
No area was allowed to stand alone.
Her bluebell eyes, grew weaker as she grew older,
and yet she refused to be blind.
Everything she wore was hers, mis-matched, without taste.
An artist who knew and loved all things.
This was who she wanted to be.

It is a simple secret.
There is no lie.

This girl forgot.
The need left her empty.
A broken heart can do so many things,
but mostly it makes you forget.
It is simple to forget who you are,
just like this girl,
who even forgot why she was lost.

But why did this girl look into the pale glass and not see herself?
This was what she was,
not now.
But if she was still lost, wouldn't that be what she sees?

To look is to find. To see a different face.
This want gives me the drive, to not be this girl because she is not I.

I find my real face by looking into the eyes of the one who is not.

by Michayla Clemens

Chronos' Corridor

A narrow corridor stretches
Further than any eye sees

An eerie silence
 Fills the passage
Marred only
By the echo
Of heavy footsteps
A hooded figure
With skeletal hand
Ahead or behind

At one end of the corridor
The last light flickers
Splashing light
Up a dusty staircase
Ascending to darkness

At the top of the stairs is a room
Cold and damp

Here lies
The seat at the end of eternity.

by Freya Haanen

Desolate Clive-Listor

That garden is a dreary place 
in Winter

A once lush knoll
                                                           Now brown and dead.

The few live plants
                                                        a lurid, toxic green.

A reflecting pond
                                           beyond blue
it now shows mud

A memorial to the skeletons of trees
                                                                      no dreams.

All life leaves
In Winter

Yet as,
I turn the corner,
cheerful red berries
peak out from behind
emerald leaves
reminding me
of Spring to

A note about the title: it is based on the Clive-Listor garden in the Dunedin Botanical gardens.

by Rachael Hudson 

A Winter Haiku

The short days are here,
The cold nights are a-coming.
We will freeze to death

by Lynette Ying

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