don’t explain


this is just a bedtime story
exactly like all the others
lurking in the bleak unknown spaces
aching tunnels, delirious explanations
witches who eat little children
fanged wet open reddened mouths
death waiting wishing hoping
only for your dreams
to be the dreams that are ink-stained blue
trouble in your breast beating
late we are for it is late it’s getting on
the gloaming hours – needles in your breast
wish we that power were just something
you could give away
sleep, children, in the morning you’ll feel light
the sunshine reassuring as a noose
bury my weary soul beneath a tree
in some glassy forest where none will see
that dark bulb scratched down in dirt
set the cove of trees aflame
for we have had the providence to plant them
expressly for this purpose


Thank you to the dedicated organisers of this weekend’s Art, Not Apart festival in Canberra. I was only able to see slivers but those that I did were beautiful and terrible and wonderful and wayfaring and joy daring in equal turns. I was grateful to have had a chance to be a part of it.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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