Published in Overland Issue Poetry in Lockdown · Poetry Leaves to the imagination Michael Farrell Standing in the shade of a lion statue or ode to the temporary Schoolchildren desultorily leaf through emails and posts Lunchtime on their collective mind presumably as it is mine When a person is a faun they’re expected to be highly sexed They hide their animal parts in order to avoid being harassed Grammar falls like leaves from a tree shaken by its pages Textbooks are teachers but can’t get kids’ attention or speak Unless accompanied by a human in a kind of kilt or tunic Mosquitoes drive the desperate outside in their underwear Looking for respite repellent earplugs or a cat to distract Light is kind at that time of the night be it electric or cosmic Driving through emu towns looking for a benevolent fix Lovers of art or the bleeding heart sandwich some quiet into Ordinarily frenetic piecemeal lives as they hop from traffic Into a swimming pool or an office or onto a basketball court Where everyone hides their inner parts all squishy and blue From coffee and from the sachets they shake onto their food Seven years or seconds later watering the forbearing plants Words that should not be joined together include pumpkin And breath yet it is something I can’t get out of my head Genesis if you notice invented both weeds and gatekeeping Very early on and disposed of immortality in an aside taking For granted the desire to stay permanently in divine company We shouldn’t assume any colonial poet to have been happy Nor that they would have voted for today’s thumbs up greed Every Reaganite or Thatcherite particle floating in the air Ends up in a water course somewhere and if raided by Coke Might eventually be bottled in plastic for your local mayor Looking to lionise climate change or their idea of species Hiding in this eucalypt like a crow I am rather mistletoe Observing bunches of stuff align including love and kindness Not the most monstrous combination the language speaks of Read the rest of Poetry in Lockdown, edited by Toby Fitch and Melody Paloma If you enjoyed this special edition, subscribe and receive a year’s worth of print issues, the online magazine, special editions and discounted entry to our literary competitions Michael Farrell Originally from Bombala, NSW, Michael Farrell is a Melbourne-based poet, with a collage practice which can be seen on instagram @limechax. Googlecholia is out now from Giramondo. More by Michael Farrell 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 15 May 202326 May 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Two poems by Ouyang Yu Ouyang Yu You have to do it badly. If it is poetry, even more so, because there is no because. If you write like you were the best in the world, you are the worst because you pretend too hard. Too harsh, too. Why do you want to be the best? Is that because you are a lack or there is a lack in you that you feel like filling up all the time? Even when you are named the best, does that mean anything? 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 21 April 20232 May 2023 · Poetry Poetry can already be free Ender Başkan There’s a regime of logic that we can call Australia, that we can say on many fronts is also a fiction. Any poem that meets Australia within its logic, taking it at face value, will be boring and it might be competent. If you use an AI app, it will definitely be competent AND boring materially, but conceptually it’ll be amazing, in that it met evil (management speak/the invisible hand/terra nullius) with cunning, with another kind evil—amoral, not immoral.