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Venie Prize Category: Highly Commended

Local Astronomy by Jennifer Harrison

                              We have our own die-back               bark-ringed skin telomeres shortening like rusting ladders                diminishing rung by rung          

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Bogong – a Lament by Sue Aldred

In December 2021 the ICUN declared the Bogong Moth (Agrotis infusa) a threatened species (along with 123 other members of our Australian wildlife family) Millions upon millions they came,                 sucked south from Sunshine State,                

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Manna Ash by Stephanie Powell

the manna ash is weeping sugar a tart nest, almost honey. from a balcony in the city its flowers appear only just thicker than dust. from up here it is always looking ready for take-off. trunk bitten with holes like mouths for singing, like a good choir on a clear

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Clear and Ancient Shadow by Danielle Baldock

Long through time we have known you Our hearts beating fast against yours For you the slow pulsing beat Of land and mountain and stone goes on Slow but sure, you are anchored upon this land And so we have chosen you The marks of red earth and human hand

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Saving Angelthe by Meg Mooney

I pick my way around dry grass, cow pats, prickles it’s hot and this is not pretty country we pass a huge coolabah sprays of new leaves lit like emerald glass this tree and my friend remember when people walked this country held landmarks like this in their minds nearby

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Carving the Golem by Kristen Lang

The stone knows at heart, of the microbes tucked into its grains, that they too are stone, like the trees, like the flatworms. The birds are the shards of its wind-caught self. For aeons it has leaned into the act of speaking – earthquake and avalanche, bark and hiss and

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Toolangi by Simone King

She is on the last frontier, the edge of forest as she knows it. She breathes in air frost-laced and petrichor and surveys the scene, looking for a landing. There is none, the crater’s gaping mouth has eaten mountain ash, messmate, and spat out splinters. A single fern stands in

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Tracks by Ryan Dickinson

Tracks To watch monarchs flutter Long signs of songlines through grass and ferns at Gum feet A path set for a royal stride, too precise for I to follow Maybe the dragonfly can see me lost unto the new sacred, Undone into becoming scanning the small world horizon for a

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The Poem After Forests by A. Frances Johnson

Take the Wikipedia entries for ‘forest’ and ‘water’ and change the tense: forests are to forests were; water is to water was. Relieve yourself of the pressure of time; the poem forgets/forgot ruminants, rockfaces and oceans. Never mind that Bo Peep admonishes /admonished us, all ribbons and bows, a pointed foot, farthingale aslant. Her rhyme never has/had

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A Heart Like This by Kristen Lang

River we’re on – so much upstream, so much drag-pull-heave, water still upland, all cow and cow feed, almond trees, cotton and rice seeds, all you and me, each day: the eat, the clothes, the machines, none getting down now to the river we’re on. We eats up the river,

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The Dingo Poem by JP Quinton

“So the plan is the dingoes wipe out goats then we come back and humanely shoot those dingoes because they’ll have tracking collars so we can find where they go. If for whatever reason we can’t … shoot those dingoes, those little 1080 poison time-bombs will go off.” A.B.C. story:

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Nature is a Misreading by Michael Farrell

It’s 10am. He’s already talked to the birds and flowers If to be human is to be baroque, he would like to feel more involved, or more complex. Originality is concerned with origins he believes. But no one knows what came before language, or before language became a way of

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Transgression of the Trees by Jeff Guess

after a now lost avenue of Southern blue gums for roadworks (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) all many hundreds of years old In places the road through the valley is complicated by blue gum blossom. There is no forest in its falling here- it clogs the bitumen with all its best intensity car

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How We Get Through Accidentally by Geraldine Burrowes

like mammoths in tar most of the universe is missing dark matter and noble gasses keep it from falling apart lines of liquid in full solar glare detect soft -ware the data so far doesn’t check who set it off won’t matter two hearts balanced on surfboards white skiffs glide

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Black Swan Polyptych by Stuart Barnes

I am still The black swan of trespass on alien waters. —Ern Malley, ‘Dürer: Innsbruck, 1495’ One percolates java. A season burns. The other spoons ant after exciting banded sugar ant onto windowsill. Subaru fulcrum, The Weekend Australian, newsagent’s ‘’Ow’re youse?’ Not unnerving oestral ewes, the lovers whoop over Language’s

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Painting Trees at Valla by Brian Purcell

By chance they rise from the dull green floor dappled, pulsating columns uninterested in my measuring gaze their stray arches lowering beneath Autumn’s bright blue dome How can I paint a leaf when bunches of leaves pulsate like cicadas in the sun’s full heat? While I paint they shrivel, burn

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Other News

Do With Su

I am very excited about the launch of Do with Su on the Holmgren Hub. It is a culmination of a long process for my partner in love and livelihood to share her skills, passion and wisdom with a wider audience.

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