• Thomas Simpson


Cockburn Sound


Madness of the full

moon drives

anglers onto footholds

in the rocks. Whispers

of cocky salmon

and snapper

have men hiding

their rigs and bait. Desperate

casts and whipping rods

reflect the yellow lamplight

of empty vessels

waiting their turn

at Coogee.


The dead water speaks

of change — fingers

of the old-timer

pleading down the line,


the sea floor — newcomer’s

hands on hips

feeling hard-done-by

while his patient partner

gently wipes

the light rain

from her phone. 







Another storm

that doesn’t hit,

sweeps over the eastern

hills. Feint shards

of lighting pass

the windows above

our mail sorting frames.

You share my longing

for the north,

for weather. Your brown calloused hands —

still holding on

to the next letter —

shape the gorges

of home, paint Kununurra’s

broad flats steaming

after evening torrents.







Left over space


between brasserie, cop-shop

and motorway.


Kids comb

piles of trash

for objects of interest.


Police lean on vans

sharing cigarettes

with left over people.


An old woman

knots her heavy brow


a print of Jesus hanging

from a tag

on her faded canvas tent.