Sequestration* and other poems

by Judith Steele



Down he comes
handing out food clothes light
and again he comes
handing out violence and darkness.

This world is small
the children say
surely other worlds must be
above and above us?

Only God can move
up and down between worlds
handing out pain and pleasure
in this mysterious way.

*“Sequestration” was the first charge made against Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, 26 April 2008, after the discovery of the 24 year captivity of his daughter and her children he fathered through incestuous rape.


I was reading a poem
about a mother’s memory
of her son’s first schoolday,
and I remembered first day
for both of us
at the new secondary school.

From the staff-room window
I saw my son standing alone,
hands in pockets
of his new grey pants,
slouched sufficiently to suggest
to schoolyard observers his ease
and approachability

but I saw
his chin tilted
eyes straight
shoulders squared

against whatever battering
I’d dragged him to
this time

his spirit as always
sternly alert
and courageous.


Mirror, stained glass window, curtain
throw light and shadow on the red quilt,
undulating centre surrounded by still life

How long do you think this will last?
It’s not your bed

Life on the ocean wave
lasts only until the night
he sleeps elsewhere

and you attack his bed
with a carving knife

Early hours of morning weeping
you try to patch the waterbed
with masking tape

He comes home
The wounds are fatal.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Judith Steele is Australian, currently lives in South Australia. She is co-author (with Moira McAuliffe) of Fighting Monsters, (Vaughan Willoughby, Melbourne, 1998) and was twice winner of the Dymocks Northern Territory Red Earth Poetry Prize (2001, 2002). Her poetry has appeared in Northern Territory and South Australian publications; in Gobshite Quarterly (Oregon) and Tema (Zagreb); and in webzines The Animist, Thylazine, Four and Twenty and In Other Words: Merida (May 2013).



viejos tributo merida jpb

Artist: Juan Pablo  Bavio

Anciana de Yucatàn


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