Contemporary Australian Poetry.
Mr Harwood by Karen Murphy
the moon she is enormous by indigo eli
Red dirt races, weekend dive again
and small cheques.
Lean bay bodies measure all distance,
of each length.
Anonymity of agouti,
tacked silks turn shoulders,
neck or hip.
Rotational cut frozen upon
scapula, or seared
Patina of sweat reads effort more
cleanly than whip glance,
each propulsion. In no other sport
is the athlete struck
Facial blur crosses the line, snap up
win by a whisker
or tipped hoof -
each skinned hide is a penalty blow,
drawn by eye outside
for blood bubbling on lips from lung,
but not leg, nor bruise
Plastic snap grades colour behind rail,
impartial tarps hide
“It’s a tough game”, some say, and no horse
Siobhan Hodge holds a doctorate from the University of Western Australia. Her research focused on Sappho’s poetry and its translation. Born in the UK, she divides her time between Australia and Hong Kong. Her chapbook of reflections on Sappho, Picking Up the Pieces, was published in 2012 as part of the Wide Range Chapbooks series. She has also had poetry and criticism published in several places, including Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Page Seventeen, Yellow Field, Peril, Verge, and Kitaab.