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Graham Nunn

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Graham Nunn is a Brisbane based writer, current Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word (,
co-publisher and editor of Small Change Press
( and a founding member of local performance group SpeedPoets ( His work has been described as assured, achieved & ambitious. He has published 4 collections of poetry and all titles are available by emailing the author at

For more information go to


calm the breaththe ocean will calm

breath gathers itself in a comma

a comma informs the current

weaves panic into water

so calm will curl the rising wave

red as dusk settling

this sun drownedlonely in the chest

whose white sand will purple later

night so soon will wear

the wound I wearthe panting wave

breathe hard

breathe quickly

breath in me singsmy lungs

the ocean surface in unblessed rage

scavenging lullabies

gullswings darken at tips

plunge in shadow the day

opening into a ripple

gathering in panicthis breath 

to rise from water

the scarlet ocean at dusk

furious before it calms

and cloaks soft that breath

the indestructible work of breath

in my mouth as in yours

This is the dream

to hold the light
as birds enter into it
fillet the sky to fine bones

to lose myself in the air
we breathe for each other
a thumb-width above the sea

to ride the current
away from this harbour
under morning's blue fingertips

to touch every shore at the same time

White Crane

Only weeks ago, two of them.
Each standing on one leg
side by side.

Now, day after day, just one
comes to stand
by the river

and at night returns
to the nearby sports-field
to stand alone until dawn.

The river is not a place
of daydreams
and not for mourning.

For the crane
and cormorant
it's a place to catch fish.

Try to mourn here
and you'll soon be carried off.
Daydreams, friends

drift all one way -
the river has no breath in it
but it ripples.

What the heron knows

is it takes effort
to stand still

silence is an elegy
for the dying light

and each breath
is a prayer

for those who move
along the stuttering

whiteness of flood-lit asphalt
away from the savannahs

of our origin
those smooth, descending

pastures to the sea.