Published in Overland Issue 209 Summer 2012 Uncategorized Winter war Maria Takolander At dawn the birch trees are ice-smacked: shocked and glassy. The man limps across the snow, like a toad, his only illness memory. Light presses against his eyes, like a shard of the bottle he broke over the night — though it was the evening, softer than skin, that had tempted him from hiding. He recalls the suckling: iron-bitter as the earth, yet river-silken. Then the black sky: pricked with stars like a medieval device and cold as iron. How the birch trees, pale as naked men, were flayed against them. Maria Takolander Maria Takolander is the author of a book of poems, Ghostly Subjects (Salt Publishing 2009), which was shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award in 2010, and her poems have appeared annually in The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.) and/or The Best Australian Poetry (UQP) since 2005. She was recently awarded an Australia Council grant to complete a collection, The Double, which will be released by Text Publishing in 2013. She is a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies and Creative Writing at Deakin University in Geelong. More by Maria Takolander 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 9 December 2022 Fiction Fiction | Quitting Matthew Sini A week after Tom left, Gus was yawning through a morning piss when the patter on the roof intensified to a rattle. Before he could shake the last few dribbles into the toilet bowl, the rattle swelled into a roar. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 December 20229 December 2022 Politics Socialist politics after the elections in Victoria Daniel Lopez Speculative strategy aside, the most satisfying thing about the Victorian Socialists result is that it proves there’s a mass audience for an explicitly socialist project. It’s not just that socialism is electorally viable. It’s more than that. Now, VS has made it possible to articulate a socialist answer to the systemic problems that are degrading our lives. And, if we place our bets wisely, we can back it up with numbers, both in and out of parliament.