by Gail Willems


give us this day our daily bread
eyes burn   swollen faces line-up
a hussled order for bread and a small sip

payoff for dumb knees
where many vows were made and forgotten

forgive us our sins as we forgive them that sin against us
from oiled mouths a coiled ambition runs
a curious violence hard to ignore

smile at the menacing kids on the corner
as you sidle past their cold stares

lead us not into temptation
in a jump-cut world seduction lures with an invitation
to drift up some drunken stair and dance with the devil

penitents wearing masks reveal themselves
by tattoos on their backs

deliver us from evil
a half light lurks in the abyss and all vow to be good
as wind whistles through bullet holes

left between what they say and what they hide
the mouths do not listen

for thine is the kingdom
the maimed and blind gather at the doors
their sins in recycling bins

a silence frail as silk blew it’s way
through suicides locked in cages of skin

forever and ever
they who are left to wander in their own heads
bury their destiny listening to the rhythm of dirt

on coffins counting down to amen

You Can Divine My Words ( J Rothenberg)

I like to peel my words        
with my teeth
strip the kernels
in small increments.
I count words with odd fingers-
they don’t always add up.
A breath ago I stacked words
hip to lip.
I count spaces
none escape.
I am plugged in to the mystery place
words stripped of taste.
Skin secrets live out the minutes
on the rims of our lips.
I don’t always count truth.
I count the sound the dawn makes
but not its silence.
I pull the moment
around you   
so that
you can divine my words


Together they tippled the “Drink Me” bottle
she grew and grew / outgrew him / the town
disappeared in the moons vibrations / he shrank
stayed his side of the glass / watched dead leaves
twist his dream / he stumbled from parties / sniffed the pop and crack
scratched dark pink air / watched the grass swim toward him
as he slid into the concrete wall

He stood on his shadow
through the crazed fog his eyes searched for her smile
showed the fires in his mind where he wanted to be
before he vanished in his own blackness

Acerbic words stood at his shoulder

the mirror a surface of  infinity

The Last Coyote

Years have travelled these hills.
Shadows spread by towers
a smear of stone and glass.
I love to spy out the unseen
never forget
how to remember things.
I watch your getaway face
a silhouette.
Beautiful grace
bled through skin.
Your heartbeat at midnight
afraid to move.
I tag path and place.
It disappears in a ragged blue mist.
I feel through my ears
thunder and musk rattle the moon.

I hold my breath.

About the Author:

Gail Willems

Gail Willems –, retired nurse, lives in Western Australia, swims, beach walks, does yoga, likes good shiraz and bubbles.
Poetry published in Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, New Zealand, in journals, magazines, anthologies, and 5UVWriters Radio.
Haiku translated into Chinese and published First poetry collection “Blood Ties and Crack Fed Dreams (Ginninderra Press 2013)