by Nathanael O’Reilly

Pond Frog

a young frog makes her home
in the backyard pond

beneath the stone water feature
unaware that every summer

for the past five years another
frog has lived in the same pond

until consecutive hundred-degree
days heat the water to the precise

temperature at which frogs
die and float to the surface

Neck Pillows

A family of four wearing
Aussie flag neck pillows

pace between rows of seats
in the boarding lounge fifty

minutes before departure
stretching nervous legs

in preparation for twelve
cramped seated hours

between Auckland and L.A.
suspended above the Pacific

Spring Storm

sleep eludes
thunder vibrates windows

before dawn
sweat soaks sheets

bodies stretch
reposition        thoughts recycle


There are too many miles
to travel; too many hours
on a plane. They’d rather
spend holidays elsewhere;
they simply don’t care

to see where we live.
Here is not their cup of tea;
they’d rather save their money
for something more exciting.
We’ve only had one visitor

in the past twenty years.
That’s what you get for moving
to the other side of the world.
Perhaps we’re not as close
as I’d like to think we are …

we always visit them anyway.


waiting for ballots to be counted
waiting for government to be formed
waiting for charges to be filed
waiting for justice to be served

waiting is falling
waiting is drowning
waiting is insomnia
waiting is illness

waiting is stasis
waiting is lacking control
waiting is ceding power
waiting is unacceptable

About the Author:

Nathanael O’Reilly

Nathanael O’Reilly is an Australian residing in Texas. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in eleven countries, including Antipodes, A New Ulster, Australian Love Poems, Cordite, FourW, Glasgow Review of Books, Mascara, Postcolonial Text, Snorkel, Tincture, Transnational Literature, Verity La and The Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2017. He is the author of Preparations for Departure (UWAP Poetry, 2017), named one of the “2017 Books of the Year” in Australian Book Review; Distance (Picaro Press, 2014; Ginninderra Press, 2015); and the chapbooks Cult (Ginninderra Press, 2016), Suburban Exile (Picaro Press, 2011) and Symptoms of Homesickness (Picaro Press, 2010).