Close-Up Books is proud to announce the release of poetry collection When Figs Fly by Jane Downing! The collection is available in both ebook and print editions (by clicking on the image) and you can sample several poems beneath the blurb: Australian poet Jane Downing‘s When Figs Fly reveals life in Australia and beyond […]
Close-Up Books is proud to announce the release of poetry collection When Figs Fly by Jane Downing!
The collection is available in both ebook and print editions (by clicking on the image) and you can sample several poems beneath the blurb:
Australian poet Jane Downing‘s When Figs Fly reveals life in Australia and beyond with a keen eye for poignant details that linger, deftly capturing the beauty of the natural world, the bittersweetness of childhood and memory and exploring the all-too familiar foibles of human nature.
Local Positioning System
This corner is where the gutter backs up and the road floods.
It is dry now and everyone will forget until it rains again.
Keep going, up past where kittens popped out of the drain once, summer
balls of fur and eyes, in front of the house where the piano teacher lived;
she said ‘you have the hands of a flautist,’ so my piano lessons didn’t go far.
This line of trees was lopped around when I was in high school,
see how the branches have been cut to make a canyon for the power lines
to pass through. It’s all built up now: No. 32 is on the spot of the Paddock of One Sheep.
They’ve put a second storey on No. 29 and the hedge around No. 26
used to seem like something from a fairytale; things are taller when you are littler.
Turn right at the corner with the apartments. There was a girl who learned the violin,
she lived in the one on the lower left. Mostly windows are blind eyes but at dusk
she’d put the light on, stage lighting her bowing. Exhibitionist. Maybe I was smarting
from my piano teacher’s words, but I see her ghost in the window every time I pass.
It’s a long straight road next. In summer it is the best way to town because of the plane trees
The temperature drops 10 degrees instantly. And in autumn it rains itchy fluff
with the cockatoos up there ravaging the seed balls. No, that’s not a cockatoo.
It’s a scrap of paper in the wind.
They say these are the days
you’ll remember forever
But you take photos anyway
Then the face in the mirror of the memory
Is not the one in the frame
You are not the little girl
behind the heat haze of cake and candles
You are behind the garage mortified
at finding not one minty in the hunt
But you point the camera at your child anyway
determined to capture a trick of the light
She smiles behind her own singing candles
And you wonder where the memory hides
Detention Deficit Disorder
How do you write a poem about Manus and Nauru
We’ve seen the razor wire footage/ listened to the reports
succumbed to Attention Deficit Disorder – look a celebrity died
Will a well chosen image connect
Move someone to action (not me)
like poetry in the old days recited in the heat of revolution
Does this need a personal anecdote
to give it a punch above lecture/harangue
a poignant quote*
A crisis point to bring into focus the human face
that reveals the inhumanity of our country of the Fair Go
turning a willfully blind eye
and blaming the hypocrisy of smiling politicians
Will a reference to Hitler help any (no)
How could the Germans not have known?
It’s not as if we don’t
History will not be kind
An Apology will be too late
Having written a poem will not have been enough
* ‘Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.’ Robert Frost
A few years ago you might remember me posting about one of my first short fiction sales – Somnus and the March Hare.
Michael cannot sleep and it’s ruining his life – but when the March Hare pops out of a picture book and offers to help him cut a deal with Somnus, the Roman God of Sleep, Michael has no choice but to accept.
A short story set in Australia for fans of magic-realism and contemporary fantasy.
the notes pour me, boneless,
between the sheets
and I flick the light off,
sleep has become holy.
dreams stay just out of sight
and the slumber of the church bell
that has not been rung in years
brittle, teenage slang
floats through the night
and puts fear into the great,
who are most perfect at being still.
I set no alarm.
the white of hunting lights
from tennis courts
keeps part of the town awake
and the moon slinks away,
still unable to cough up
so I lie on my back, breathing
but not counting as each note
sinks me into the mattress
like a countersunk man.
Very excited today to announce the opening of a manuscript assessment and editing service, Close-Up Editing & Assessment.
Brooke and I have been hard at work, quietly planning and preparing for this, and are at last ready to open – with the launch of the website, right here:
It’s a simple site, which should be nice and easy to navigate, so have a look around and please pass it on/share this with anyone you feel might be interested in getting an assessment of their work done.
Close-Up will specialise in fiction and poetry assessments, but is open to other genres and forms.
Thanks for reading!
Ashley & Brooke
Submissions are open now!
This is a fantastic competition, one of the best poetry comps in Australian, hands down (and I’d still say that even if I hadn’t won a place in the past). With an amazing range of categories and prizes, including cash and mentoring, it’s well worth entering so go, go, go!
The $5 dollar entry fee is extremely reasonable for such a large prize pool too – so make sure you get your entries in before 5pm, Friday the 26th of July.
Things are so far beyond tough in Queensland (Australia) at the moment, with widespread devastation due to flooding. I wanted to alert your attention to something Queensland poet Graham Nunn is doing at his site, the Ocean Hearted Flood Relief Project.
Basically, Graham is donating his book sales and and matching each sale with a personal donation. It’s one of the best collections of Australian poetry around too, so have a look at the link above and see if you can help.