blackmail press 28
Gail Willems                                Western Australia

Part time nurse, write when I can, member of OOTA, published on radio, in journals, magazines, anthologies, and newspapers, now living in Mandurah.

Kitchen - Charles Olsen
Five years old
she clambered
    on one end
the stretched out ruler
of a wooden see-saw
    kicking down
small bare feet
Band aid on one toe
    strawberry blonde ponytail
    at every bounce

further, higher
   with each swooping breath
‘til midway
her hands flung skyward
   giggling, waiting
for the happy balance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                             (Acknowledgement to Geoff Goodfellow)                                     

  (a terzanelle)

Here and there a crack
a network of dread
in that shadowed den dulled flat

I talk loud inside my head
behind a mouth of stone
a network of dread

shout from deep in the bone
lie in wait for the shadow to creep
behind a mouth of stone

I reach for the wall    seek
and finally find what isn’t there
lie in wait for the shadow to creep

under the door, then I tear
down the black dog before it leaps
and finally find what isn’t there.

I am a shadow that seeps
here and there a crack
down the black dog before it leaps
in that shadowed den dulled flat


Under nigrescent cloud
a suicidal slope streams spume
winds cover hollows guttered by waves
sea sized eyes and star tanned shoulders
confined to a scragged shore
one crack in a grey wall

In this country of water
ships disappear
your cold flashlight

Two kinds of people walk here
those who feel the loneliness
those the loneliness feel

Under darkened cloud
sea bashed rocks stream
foam  loop a foot caught silvered
a fuschia toenail flags
this bay of suicides

Under shag strewn cliffs
‘neath a darkening sky
they gravitate


kites fascinated you
coloured wings wet jewels
they flew with the light
the flip of the ocean
performed an incidental clowning
flicked aerostatic acrobatics

you cried out the flavours you could see

in a scouring sea a board detached
bobbed back to the surface
doing a hammer dance
wings trampled in the incandescent foam

you cried out the noises you could feel

away from here cocooned                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
a bone lattice mind
glitters in the white faced bolts
of electrocuting moonlight
stores in its rafters
the soft long cases of butterfly kites

away from here cocooned