Author Archives: JdUb

CALL BACK POET     –    September 2014





Bed of Nails

I thought I read you well

Foresaw our future

in a teacup

Woke up to the rain

I had my head in the clouds

tripping on treetops

I wanted to cut off

your wings

Set fire to the sky

But I always knew

you would defy gravity

and rise like a Phoenix

I could never hold

you down for long

Pull you into my bed of nails

I have a desert

in the pit of my stomach

A sandstorm in my eyes

Memories mixing

with regret

No reservoir of comfort

Just another casualty

M.Shanti 2013



Shanti or M.Shanti, which her close friends know is short for Michelle and which they also know never to call her, came to poetry late.  After being introduced to it through her brother Francis, in 2000.  Who at the time was on the QPF board and involved in the Brisbane poetry scene.  After attending SpeedPoets, as an audience member for several years, from it’s inception, Shanti became so saturated by poetry, it entered into her blood stream.  The natural progression then was to start writing and reading her own poems.  Shanti has been attending SpeedPoets ever since, except for the occasions when work has got in the way.  Shanti has read at a variety of other poetry gigs but SpeedPoets will always be her favorite.

(For my Dad)

She sews on diamonds
to hide the scars
Hums a melody
to void the silence
Dreams of dancing
in the streets of Paris
And the clock ticks on
sunlight falls
across the floor
And in the shadows
she sees the faces
of friends long gone
She plants sunflowers
to light her memories
Lies down amongst the roses
to feel the rip of thorns
And the comfort of the earth
surrounding her body
Safe in the knowledge
that one day soon she will return
from where once she came

M.Shanti 2006



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call -back poet April 2014 – JODI CLEGHORN

call -back poet April 2014 – JODI CLEGHORN

sidewaysBWJODI CLEGHORN (@jodicleghorn) is an author, editor, small press owner and of late, poet, with a penchant for the dark vein of humanity. With short stories published at home and abroad and an Aurealis short-listed novella (Elyora/River of Bones) behind her, the publication of her first poem, Ambrosia, marks a new beginning in story telling.


We almost had sex.
Almost broke the lounge
as ‘Blue Velvet’ played to itself on the TV.
The gas radiator filled the room with heat
augmented by our lust.
When you slipped out into the cold night air
your calling card was my body,
almost covered in carpet burn.

I almost fell for you.
The man who parked his car a block away
so the cleaner from work,
who lived around the corner,
had no chance to put two and two together.
But still you huddled into my door,
knocking with an urgency
I mistook for me.

You, who moved your girlfriend in
so you could pretend to be
almost faithful.
You, who hissed, ‘Not here’
when I said ‘hello’ in the bread aisle
and later turned up to seduce me
while you were almost getting ice cream
for the girlfriend-now-fiance.

I almost cried that afternoon
as you drove off without saying goodbye.
When I was almost no longer there
and you had already moved on.
It was easy to regret everything,
rewrite it in the diesel fumes,
when I was almost at the town limits
but still so far away
from arriving.

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CALL BACK POET August 2014




The Ted Bundy Affair

Forensic psychologists talk

about how he selected

his victim, by the tilt

of her head.

Such an emotive word, victim,

he was never one

for emotion,

he would much prefer, prize,

as in trophy.

Not for him anvil-jawed

fierce-eyed girls

with smooth sure strides,

he was never one

for competition.

Better a girl caged by doubt

or best of all a bleeding heart.

How they bled.

Splintered mouths,

limp below clouded eyes,

curled like a flat spare tyre

in the black trunk of his car.

Rust red staining

the cold steel tools,

rattling along

gravel ridge roads,

where the warm night air

carried the smell of


It’s all in the Grain

And on that night

when I sit with my back

against the summer breeze

of a friend’s verandah

around a table hewn by the

rough hands of a bushranger’s son

laughing about the foolishness of life

please let that table

be silky oak.

And if while driving home

on one of those country roads

like the back of my hand

I nod off and drift

same as the last time

when I first started dreaming on roads

and splintered that ironbark railway fence

except this time there is no highly strung

eight-gauge safety net

to catch me

this time my luck runs out

and I run off the gun metal road

headlong into the crunching embrace

of a grand roadside tree

and there is smoke and shattered glass and spilt fuel

one deflated wheel spinning lazily

under a straw man dawn

please let that tree

be silky oak.

And when the undertaker

toting his heavy green bag

with the body length zip

comes to fetch me

and in his care I ride for free

back to the mortuary

where with a minimum of fuss

he does my hair

taking time to clean under my nails

(it’s the thought that counts)

and only then does he lay me out

in a blue silk lined box

where I can finally rest

and oh yes

please let that coffin

be silky oak

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In the deep mid-winter – Call-back Poet July 14



I’m Chris Lynch, a writer, teacher, and keen traveller, hiker, and photographer.

I was born and grew up in Papua New Guinea, and have also lived in Australia, the US, China, and Japan. I’m based in Brisbane, Australia, but maintain a strong connection to the land of my birth.

I’ve worked as a freelance writer/editor, English teacher, tutor, workshop facilitator, examiner, soldier, photographer, labourer, and college manager. I have degrees in journalism and ecology, an MA in TESOL, a Grad Dip in Writing, Editing, and Publishing, and a certificate in Wilderness First Aid. A graduate of the fabulous Clarion South Writers Workshop (2007), I’m currently writing poetry and a book about walking the length of Japan, and co-writing a novel with my friend Christopher Green. I’m also the owner of Tangled Bank Press.




Here is a list of poems posted in April from Chris’s web site:



the old pack again:
one more trip

Poem 2014/50

and on this song
I run

Poem 2014/49

drinks with the old groundsman       who goes there?

Poem 2014/48

dawn clouds rush towards me… a black bird flicks its tail

Poem 2014/43

kumul cries in the forest… west papua

Poem 2014/42

sorry, Muttaburrasaurus, too busy t his week

Poem 2014/47

dinner conversation
splits, converges, splits…
old friends

Poem 2014/45

bone moon…
it’s the Earth
that’s bleeding

Poem 2014/46

by Beethoven’s ninth
speaker phone

Poem 2014/44

in evening rain
the red light

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Call-back poet May 14 – Vanessa Page

QPF 2012 10171836_499905496778373_1537225095435729443_n

Vanessa Page

Call-back poet May 2014


Vanessa Page is a Cashmere-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Feeding Paper Tigers (ALS Press, 2012) and Confessional Box (Walleah Press, 2012). Confessional Box won the Anne Elder Award in 2013. Vanessa has twice been named runner up in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and in 2013 was named runner-up in the John Knight Memorial Manuscript Prize. She blogs at
Canary in the coal town


Somewhere provincial she stirs thin air. A sulphur-

yellow slash of tee-shirt daisies; pink knees and

elbows. As if shaken loose from the bomber’s nest.

Her mother is at the bus shelter, sitting, counting out

last night’s change – handbag heavy. Wearing pieces

of past unions around her fingers like shrapnel.

In the council-kept grass, a treacle-eyed dog sniffs

at something pale and still. This postcode; as obvious

as the saw-toothed bones, testing the length of its pelt.


Midday beats on Brewarrina. Everywhere, the dead art

of sign writing marks a portal to another misplaced place.

Drifters are crouched outside the roadhouse, face-deep

in itinerant shadow – the slow slap of rubber thongs on tar

measuring time’s movement. In the Gamba grass, decades

of wasteland spoil are buried with the message sticks.

There’s something dangerous about the middle distance,

in the quiet menace of scarecrow men – kerosene eyes

that swim beyond social convention. Out here, heat is not

the only mirror that exposes the dark heart pumping away

inside all of us. Grey nomads pass through town, pressing

the auto-locks – fumbling with maps. This is our existential

blind spot – without words but not unspoken; a shared

endlessness, still littered with the same dingo fences.

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savanu – call-back poet March 14

Savanu wins callback March

He approaches the mic with swagger
to rip his words up on stage
every SpeedPoets. Delivers

with a voice only Sav can
and last month Sav

won callback poet of the month

with a poem which had God wearing skin

and the SpeedPoets crowd went upside down
Sav swaggered back to the mic
to deliver another

and that’s why I can’t wait to hear what he brings to the final in November

gonna be epic

2014-10-25 15.10.47 2014-10-25 15.10.50 2014-10-25 15.10.55

 When I’m in my head

Can’t stay away – From myself

Vocalizing thoughts

Habit-Tunnel vision

Lot’s of real scenarios

Endless inner chatter

New and improved – All inclusive

Package of wonders

Series event – Strategy

My mind is a funny thing

Amid the chaos

Never not thinking

Ideas take hold

When I’m in my head

The old becomes new again Submerging Torment After CareCan be – Master of deception

Projecting elsewhere

Introduces me – To a few lies

Acts as a distraction

Stuck in a spin cycle

Spin dryer mode

Turning around – In a circle

Like a fish – In a fish bowl

Circles in – Like a whirlpool


When I’m in my head

Can get a bit busy – Identification

Explosion moment – Addiction

Constant background noise

Not vacant – Digging thru an image

Recall – Knowledge

Too many arguments

Pick things to pieces

My own worst enemy-Drifting away

I’m in the future-Think myself into

Swings and Roundabouts


Lost in a maze

Nobody home-but me

Get the feeling-I’m being stared at

When I’m in my head

All I have to deal with

Are my thoughts

Internal envelope

Messing with my vibe

No end to explore

Trapped within- inside- Occupied

A rather poetic – train of thought

Take what I want – Reject the rest

Danger finds a way

More so now – Cause now – I know – How to –

Exact a result


I am the chosen one

Twenty seven Genesis

Came to – This morning

With a massive

Res – Erection

And thought to myself

I am God – God I am

I may not be – the first one

But still – I don’t have

Something else – Going on

As well – Therefore

I am God – God I am

Could be – Possibly – maybe

Did not – Wake up – Back to front

I am – Who I am – I am God – I am


You’re doing well then

Have no need – To play God

God and more – In me

Genetically – Sound

Son of Man

Let me – Give you

A re – Introduction

I was created – In the Image

And likeness of – My creator

Have a life – Unlike yours

I am free – To be me

I am not – A phoney

God comes – With skin on

Therefore – Here I am – I am God


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call-back poet
October 14

Ron Heard enjoys life in Brisbane among the heat, rain and backyard chooks. He cares for an adult disabled son and edits The Mozzie an independent poetry magazine that publishes over 400 poems a year. His collection she-oak, river and wind was shortlisted for the Thomas Shapcott prize. His most recent publication is a verse novel The Shadow of Troy.


The Shadow of Troy, Chapter 1


wet mist slides in from the Aegean

the night is moonless black

the hardest weather to be on watch

and we feel the honour of being chosen

we sit 400 paces from the fires

Kokkinos and me      Naftis

our hair beards and cloaks are wet

no talk      we listen

ears are eyes tonight

we listen

water drips from grasses

laughter drifts from round the fires

waves splash on the shore


the night passes

unmeasured time

with the stars hidden by mist

we listen

a soft thump

frog or footstep?

another thump

Kokkinos touches my ear

finds my hand to point it

yes      footsteps



Kokkinos pursues

I stay to signal

two long low whistles

and a rising tone

second watch needed

I signal again

ten heartbeats

an answer

second watch coming


free now to leave my place

I run

follow the sound of running

but I am many paces behind

I hear shouts      a clash

confusion      a yell

a shepherd’s signal

the ram has got away

I understand

and whistle


the ford

I hold my breath and listen for the river sound


get to the ford in time to hear feet splash


I leap towards the sound

grab an arm

his chest

hold him as he fights to get free

his sweat mingles with mine

I feel his breath

his fierceness

his fear

I tighten my hold

but he is stronger and frees an arm

his hand on my face then

an explosion of light and colour

pain      nausea

as he stabs at my eye

in the pain I find unexpected strength

I lift his feet from the ground

twist him down

until his head is under the water

he struggles wildly but I hold him there

a convulsion      less force

I hold him there

I hold him there

until my own breath is calmer

count another hundred

and drag his body to the shore

water flows from his mouth      cold then warm

no breath

a plover calls      kek kek kek kek kek kek kek kek

Published in The Shadow of Troy


(West End / Highgate Hill)


half way down Brighton Road

a gatepost hums

hisses      murmurs


a microcosm of every sound

within the loop of the river


dawn chorus among the fig trees

an old man recites a poem by Borges

transformers buzz in the Boundary Street sub-station

children repeat Greek verbs

Aboriginal dance      rembetika      flamenco      gamelan

kitchen clatter in a Turkish restaurant

on Dornoch Terrace a cyclist reaches the crest

and freewheels, gaining speed

rain falls on the river

a bus slows

lovers whisper


Published in she-oak, river and wind
night river

black night, heavy rain, open boat

shining torches on the bank to steer

mangroves through the rain green-black, unclear

the open inboard engine’s even beat

the banks give way on the left and right

and we are in a lake of black – and steering

now by map and compass      looking, searching

for wooden beacons hidden in the night

the boat in blackness makes us speak about

Greek underworld, the Styx, the Ferryman

not afterlife      our senses are too keen

sharp with smell of petrol, mud and salt

and now the full moon breaks the clouds, shines low

to make a white and perfect moon rainbow

Published in she-oak, river and wind

in another life I will be

one of the systems programmers

at Deakin University

who doesn’t show up for work

when the surf is running at Bell’s

with a partner

who keeps goats and geese

teaches ceramics at TAFE

and shares my interest in

ten acres at Paraparap

where we are planting vines

and experimenting with

vintages of white shiraz

and, perhaps at times

alone with the sea

I could think of another life

where I have a disabled son

and all the heartbreak and joy

of ongoing care

that mixed with

snatched moments of stillness

make poetry possible

Published in Metabolism, Australian Poetry Limited Members Anthology 2012

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