Three Poems from Australia

July 19, 2017
A H T, “Goreme – Pasabag,” December 5, 2014
A H T, “Goreme – Pasabag,” December 5, 2014


A ripple of flicking eyelids,
a rooster’s cry
and the call to prayer
break through this dusty
Islamic morning.

I have been in this room before.
The tense jaws and
broken crockery swept into corners.
Dog snuffling outside the door.

I run,
dog at my heels,
to the top of the hill
where purple grapes
hang low from vines
rising from the pale earth.

From here you can see the ruins.
Columns cut from the rock
Walls collapsed displaying
doll house interiors,
cracked like my skin in the places
where I sat up all night scratching.

Ancient religious spaces
torn open like an autopsy.
Their soul weighed against nature.


Wild Dawn

Beneath cold rushing water
lies a heart shaped stone
washed smooth,
a solid piece of storm.
Within this stone thrashes
all of the wild.

I was washed up too
on that river bank,
grey mist dawn,
a stone in my chest
black and cracked,
rough as my unshaven chin.
I burrowed into my mud,
dragging that cracked heart free
and slipped the wild dawn stone
in its place.
spring morning.



Everything rests on edge,
like the 59th second
of a minute waltz.
time stretching eternally
into the void between one note
and the next.

voices screaming in the yard
of a cottage on a hilltop
overlooking the bay.
ocean views
and the rusted swings
blister the skin
of children in search
of laughter.

A. G. Pettet has published in journals, anthologies, and magazines around the world, including Australia, the UK, US, Canada, and India. His first collection, Melancholy’s Midnight Wandering, was published in 1996, and his second collection, Improvised Dirges: New & Selected Poems, was published in 2015 by Bareknuckle Books. Pettet was co-editor, with Brentley Frazer, of the Bareknuckle Poet Anthology 2015, which was included in The Australian newspaper’s Best Books of 2015, and the Bareknuckle Poet Anthology 2016. He was the assistant director of the Queensland Poetry Festival from 1997 to 2000 and has presented at a number of other festivals.

World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman, OK 73019-4037

Updated by World Literature Today: [email protected]