Published 10 July 202011 August 2020 · Poetry Poetry | In my fortieth year, I realise I am not them Eileen Chong The moon rises above clouds— in the cold light, all is grey, and white. Night sky turns on a paper wheel. Stars are silvered, immutable. The only sound: a deer scarer filling, emptying, and filling again. Reflection The evening I realised that Verity La was not going to take my feedback about Stuart Cooke’s ‘creative non-fiction’ piece — which has been widely criticised for its sexist and racist representations of Filipinx women — seriously, I turned to poetry, as I usually do when I am troubled. I don’t consider my writing ‘therapy’ as such, but I often think of what my poetry teacher, Judith Beveridge, once shared with me about her best friend, the late Dorothy Porter. Dot would say to her that her poems told her what she needed to know before she knew it herself. I sat at my desk in the early hours of that sleepless morning, and the words came. I could not find many of them—my emotions around the situation were so new to me, and so raw. And the moon—yes, poets and the moon—hung there, in the sky. I then thought of the Izuki Shikibu poem, ‘Although the wind…’, translated by my friend, the poet Jane Hirshfield. And my poem emerged on the page in response, a clean blade of hurt. I offer this poem to you, here in this shared space: in solace, in solidarity, and in my hope that we will, as a literary community, not only heal from this great rupture, but grow together, and commit to and enact change, for the better. Eileen Chong Eileen Chong is an Australian poet. She is the author of eight books. Her next collection of poetry, A Thousand Crimson Blooms is forthcoming from UQP in April 2021. She lives and works on unceded Gadigal land of the Eora Nation. www.eileenchong.com.au More by Eileen Chong › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 3 November 20233 November 2023 · Poetry our neighbours poem Ender Başkan our neighbours face appears above the fence – hello. our neighbours have a chat with us. our neighbours learn our names. our neighbours become our friends. our neighbours landlord thinks the market is ripe. our neighbours are told to leave. our neighbours try to buy their house at an exorbitant price to keep their kids in the school zone. our neighbours are denied. First published in Overland Issue 228 25 October 202325 October 2023 · Poetry The inhabitants Elif Sezen I died today, among many others, my grandpa died too, and our neighbours, / my best friend, the one with braided hair yes, and our sweet sweet doctors, / our motherly nurses... We heard a blast, then a whoosh of some kind, / and all gone.