“Long Exposure of a Red Sunflower in the Breeze” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


And Then, This

Melbourne wind died down at about dawn
so devout birds sang habitual hallelujahs.
Blue summer sky is fact not metaphor
so al fresco breakfast of heavenly apple tart
and hellishly good espresso made by hippy-
to-exist barista. Pandemic, war and climate
crisis still hang around but there’s indifference,
caffeine and pastries. How lucky to be here,
sitting peacefully in morning sun as the not-
so-fortunate queue for shrunken expectations
in hellholes. After lunch I may read or stroll
along the beach before aperativo.

News Flash: my neighbour, who defeated
every virus, whose life seemed to mirror
my own – we do share a clothesline – found
something in all this beyond endurance
so quietly ended her life, which leaves me
more space on the line, once they remove
what she left hanging there.


Allan Lake is a migrant poet from Allover, Canada who now lives in Allover, Australia. Coincidence. His latest chapbook of poems, entitled My Photos of Sicily, was published by Ginninderra Press. It contains no photos, only poems.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well a school psychologist. She loves hiking the urban and woodland trails of “anywhere” (and pausing often to shoot photos) with her very patient husband (and often collaborator), Ted. Her images have been featured on the covers of magazines such as Ibbetson Street, Wild Roof Journal, Poesy Magazine, Humana Obscura, and Arkansas Review; as well as on the pages of publications such as Oddball Magazine, Ember Chasm Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Beaver Magazine, and Lateral. Her works are archived at institutions such as Poets House NYC, Brown University, and Harvard University.