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Poems: Small Town Stairs and Country Footy

Books & Poetry

In today’s Poet’s Corner, Lee Coulson contributes two poems reflecting on different aspects of country life.

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Small Town Stairs

He lives way out west.
The edge of a bloodshot compass,
Where it doesn’t pay to work,
His aeroplane wings grounded forever.

Small town stares,
Small street stairs,
The blank stares of closed shops,
One way stairs,
Looking nowhere.

She lives way out nowhere.
One of Julia’s generation,
Pregnant with impossibilities,
Too much pause for thought.

Small town stares,
Small house stairs,
The blank stares of closed minds,
One way stairs,
Leading nowhere.

Country Footy (1976)

Bury my ashes here
Bury my past here.
Bury my teeth here.
Bury my wounded knee here.

Eating cold spaghetti sandwiches at half-time.
Invading the ground for a desert-booted kick.

Flying fists,
Spilling teeth,
Specky marks,
Hammy’s torn.

Mayor strutting like small town mayors.
Victor ludorum* is sponsoring us today.

Perfect physiques,
Pirouette, turn,
To the trick of the dying light,
Like beefy ballet dancers in the mud.
Champions held aloft.
Local legends forever.

*Latin: “the winner of the games”. A trophy presented to the most successful team, club, or individual competitor at a sports event.

Lee Coulson, originally from Adelaide, lives in Mount Gambier where he is the librarian at the Mount Gambier TAFE campus. He enjoys writing poetry and prose, particularly in response to local issues and events, and studied the Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing at Adelaide TAFE. 

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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