Neika Lehman’s ‘comber’ makes mention of colonial violence.

self preservation

Dad’s given me Tasman salt flakes
I’m usually private but
I put them on my university work shelf
above the melting hot desk
reminders of home &
so that people might dare
steal borrow and never replace
their dreams carrying them off
& intensifying on their tongues


8 May 1841

You will no doubt recollect my speaking to you yesterday

about my mother

who is at Flinders Island

and who name is Mrs.  Brig .

As it is a long time since I had the pleasure of seeing her and as my situation and circumstance in life would enable me to help her live with me in comfort

may I respectfully beg

leave to solicit your interposition through the proper


of getting an order for the removal of my mother from Flinders Island to my residence in this township of Perth. Any expenses attending her conveyance to this place I shall be most

willing to pay.

Dalrymple Johnstone


5 June   
I believe Mrs. Johnson is well able to support her mother
and that          no possible
injury can occur from her
being permitted
to reside with her. Mrs. Briggs was not one of the
w i l d a b o r i g i n e s
but always lived with Briggs, Mrs Johnson’s father.

Capt. Moriarty to Col. Secretary

January is new year recovery
until it is January 26

the violence in my head does not subside
until we switch off at the house post-protest.
we do not pay, none of us do
it’s just a word & a code: 3957
a married poet’s gesture & new
rituals that tread of his step.

as clay I take the dog to the long grey beach
needing the prick of all gathering upon me
a mother gull’s two young stalk overhead
entertaining that lore grows back
or that I shouldn’t be here
or that with growth there must be absence
& that it’s just incredibly windy.

no one had heard of this beach before
the creek mouth wields ash
as it does flowing water
remnants of 8 years past when
further away
those particles christened
an entire town’s aura.
It was all over us &
yet out of reach