Anthony Lawrence

If  it  takes  three  beekeepers  twelve  hours  to  share  seven anecdotes about a queen and ten thousand workers on racks of infected comb, how many honeyeaters come and go in the bespoke pastel sky under which the hive has been consigned to  failure?  I’ve  been  distracting  myself  with  such  scenarios but the past floods in.  Late one afternoon, the bitumen so hot you could pull it like loops of black toffee that hardened in  your  fingers  and  smelled  like  danger,  a  gutter  fire  lured me  out  of  my  head,  and  I  did  something  bad  to  a  blind bandicoot with a stick. I hid under the house where antlions were cratering. I came out like something beaten from the door  of  a  phone  booth  in  the  rain  as  a  bleeding  marsupial went like stained cotton rag onto the freeway where a man hit the hazard lights, climbed out to stop the traffic, and gave it safe passage to be dead.

bandicoot – a small Australian marsupial


Anthony Lawrence has published sixteen books of poems, the most recent being Headwaters (Pitt Street Poetry, 2016), which won the 2017 Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry. He teaches Writing Poetry and Creative Writing at Griffith university, Queensland, and lives on Moreton Bay.

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