Contemporary Australian Poetry.

Mr Harwood by Karen Murphy

the moon she is enormous by indigo eli

Racing Colours

by Siobhan Hodge


Red dirt races, weekend dive again

towilting finish

and small cheques.


Lean bay bodies measure all distance,

universal guess

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

for effort.


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

court contempt


for blood bubbling on lips from lung,

but not leg, nor bruise

heading home.


Plastic snap grades colour behind rail,

impartial tarps hide

the fallen


“It’s a tough game”, some say, and no horse

is available

for comment.

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.