Cherries, Verity Oswin

The trees had been spatchcocked (a violent act) against the trellis.A wind broken with salt set the orchard a-hum.The cherries fell plump, desultorily.The baskets were lashed to our waists. You were a treble clef— arms curled round the stave.I was afraid of heights, men— the withered endsof everything — I found you under a tree […]

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salt of the earth, Mykayla Castle

i. i look, and i cannot see the mountains.i drive by an unfamiliar patch of world,the bridge of a song i know by heartand cannot find the hawkesbury under it.the sky is a shrivelling orange rind,white smoke like mould— wherefrom comes my help? Here, it is coming in a distant squall of rain.it opens old […]

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Luggage, Ann-Maree Irvine

There’s the bag by her side Tan leather,Two straps,The simplest design she could find.Bursting at the seamsWith miscellaneous papers and files,The importance of which is duly debatable.Though her determined gripWould have you believe they hold the meaning ofLife. I suppose for herThey do.They represent theConstant refrain she strives to attain.Through theForty hour weeksSchool lunches andSleepless […]

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Breathe, Christine Zielinski

Breathe the earthmoss soft on barkradiant.Breathe the waterrunning fastover rocksmoothed to sand.The tang of saltlingeringon your tongue,on your skin,as it bakes brownbeside the waves. Download PDF

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my grandmother’s charm bracelet, Ceilidh Newbury

my grandmother’s charm bracelet was awarded highly commended in The Quarry – Future Leaders Creative Writing Prize 2020 my inheritance part onethe fourth time we meet it isn’t in personit’s in my inheritancea chain that threads little silver pieces of youi run them cold through my fingers and tryto hold your hand the hedgehogthe hedgehog […]

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sirius resting, Hayley Ward

characterised by dormancy; this resting quiescenceis not what I’d call a superior learning experiencebiologically defined as a phase of not growingyou defend your sustainable course suite slowing inviting us to lie fallow in a state of passivity whileyour dividing methodology defines course viabilityyou will not be able to answer questions at this stagebut your feedback […]

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He Disappeared into a Bottle, Alyssa Byrnes

He Disappeared into a Bottle was awarded 2nd place in The Quarry – Future Leaders Creative Writing Prize 2020 Some used to talk,obligation building in the throat;‘How’s John?’asked for the sake of asking.Though they knew,rather, didn’t know.Lips pursed in the silence,discomfort clear in shifting eyes,hopeful for swift response. Nieces and nephews knowing theyhave an uncle, […]

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The Years Have Just Flown By, James Fisher

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’‘Send failed. Message not delivered.’ Is anybody out there? Send help!Self-help. Helpless. Less of a man. ‘Don’t be a girl.’Don’t be afraid to try something new.‘Oh it’s nice, it’s different, it’s unusual.’Am I pretty or pretty useless? Looks can be deceiving.‘And for my next trick…’      […]

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Learning Curve, Judith Mendoza-White

2020 rollercoasterson twos and zeros insolent with power.It frets in graphs of lives and deaths,of fearin curves that must be flattened,in figments of plans delayedto a future hollow with maybes,betrayed by frozen hourspulsating with religious or pagan zealwith gods surprised by sudden altarsby noise of curse or prayersby faith unearthedin spears of anguish or of […]

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On the Breaking Down of Leaves, & (Not a) Big Deal, Lauren Forner

On the Breaking Down of Leaves Your tangled intricate lacemore finely-spunand delicateas you waste away –emaciated –in your attempt to sustainthose around you. Your fall is soft and noiselessa sail to a forest floor,your sacrificeunnoticedand your gold skeletal remainsincomparable tothe bright and gaudy bloomsthat shootfrom your slow melt into the earth. Glossy foliageand scented stamens;nature’s […]