Contemporary Australian Poetry.

Love and marriage by Grace Heyer

Racing Colours by Siobhan Hodge

Mr Harwood

by Karen Murphy


If he was a clock maker,

his clocks would be beautiful.

They would be

the kind of clocks

shown in art galleries

and museums

behind several feet

of red velvet rope

that allowed you close enough

to see

the small hand cast

golden cogs,

while being far enough away

to ensure you couldn’t

touch any of them

and upset

the delicate fabric of time.


If he was a clock maker

people would marvel

at the tiny brush strokes

he hand-painted onto his clock faces,

the intricate mechanics,

the bells and whistles.


If he was a clock maker,

his clocks would be considered

pieces of art,

rare delicacies

like caviar or goats milk cheese.


Because if he was a clock maker,

his clocks would be beautiful

and everyone

would want one

but they would not use them

for anything

other than

being ornamental,

because even though his clocks

would all tell the same time,

the second hand would skip

and they would always be

a few minutes behind,

no matter how many times

you tried to reset them.


Luckily for us

he wasn’t a clock maker,

just a man who left the house

each morning

impeccably dressed

and always late.

Karen Murphy is the pen name for Karen Lowry, a PhD student at Curtin University working in poetry and digital media. Karen directed the WA Poetry Festival (now the Perth Poetry Festival) for two years in 2012 and 2013 before stepping down to focus on her studies.
She was highly commended in the Poetry d'Amour Love Poetry competition in 2012 and has been published in journals around Australia.