Published in Overland Issue 243 Winter 2021 Poetry The dead sea Gayelene Carbis We went to the Dead Sea but I didn’t bring my bathers so I couldn’t go in. I had to watch on the shore, I didn’t know then I’d never be back. I was young. I thought rivers and seas and skies lasted forever. I thought they’d wait for me. I thought I could build bridges back to anything, anywhere. Anyone. I remember my Egyptian fiance’s mother had a checkered cloth on the table. It reminded me of my mother’s back home in Melbourne. But here, we were eating pigeon, it had been roasted. My mother’s roasts were chicken or lamb or pork and she always saved me the crackling. Here we were in Hurghada, we were in Cairo, we went to Alexandria. My mother stayed home. My mother never went anywhere. She’s still never been on a plane. My mother’s life fills me with sadness. I thought I had time to fill it with things – Europe, or an island, somewhere, anywhere. I didn’t know, I didn’t know, what life had in store for us. Read the rest of Overland 243 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Gayelene Carbis Gayelene Carbis is an award-winning Australian/Irish/Cornish/Chinese writer of poetry, prose and plays. Her first book of poetry Anecdotal Evidence (Five Islands Press) was awarded Finalist in the 2019 International Book Awards for Poetry. Recent awards/shortlistings include: first prize in the My Brother Jack Poetry Award; finalist in the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize; and finalist in the Woorilla Poetry Awards (Commended). Gayelene teaches Creative Writing at universities and Sandybeach; English/EAL at ACU; and is a Poet-in-Residence in schools. More by Gayelene Carbis 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 16 December 202225 January 2023 Poetry Poetry | Wombats shit candy Michael Farrell To avoid treading on a snake, I stepped on a land mine. Did this really happen, in my dream? No. Is it a fiction, then? Yes and no. The time I spend looking for socks is insignificant: lie, irony, or philosophy? Wombats shit candy. Joke – hallucination? This is in fact a truth claim. My poems: litanies of truth claims. 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 14 December 202225 January 2023 Reviews The moral risk of taking things too seriously: on Gareth Morgan’s When A Punk Becomes A Spunk Elese Dowden In his review of Lucy Van’s The Open, Gareth Morgan writes that Van writes 'against the impulse to ponder dutifully about the sins of the past and present.' This fucked me up for some time. What is it to ponder dutifully? But perhaps more importantly, how do we ponder in a way that's more … metal?