Two Poems by Nicola Pett: “The Boggy Hole” and “Boarding Bush Girl”

Gum Trees photo for Nicola Pett's poem Boarding Bush Girl

The Boggy Hole

The rain has moistened, softened earth,
my spade, I take, my bulbs, my worth,
I slice into its grassy girth.
Clouds gather low, no sound, no soul,
I dig, I dig, the boggy hole.

I strike a rock; I fling said stone
beyond the hill so overgrown,
a crack resounds and then a moan.
I dare not raise my head, a soul!
I dig, I dig, the boggy hole.

A beetle zooms into my teeth,
a sharp, cold shell, a clack so brief.
Did stone smash to the skull beneath?
I dare not look to see the soul,
I dig, I dig, the boggy hole.

I plant the bulbs, so glistening white,
roots gritty, straggling in the light.
I pray, I wish with all my might,
not limp like leaf, lies below soul,
My tears, they soak the boggy hole.

Boarding Bush Girl

They talk rough with me at that place. 
I’m gunna run away miss, I’m gunna run away after school. 
I’m gunna get on the wrong bus miss. 
They talk rough with me. 

They say I hav’ ta clean the bus. 
Yeah, I ride in the bus. 
But I don’t wanna clean the bus. 
This weekend, they say we gunna hav’ ta clean it,
 I’m gunna run away. 

It’s a prison, miss.

I ran away before, 
to the river, 
me and my friend, we camped by the river. 

That was me miss, 
I was running through the bush at the back a’ your place. 
You in Katherine East, miss? 
That was me and Junior, 
we was running, we was laughing in the night. 

Me afraid?
Nah not me. 
I’ll get a big, ya know…
a big club miss, from the tree
and I’ll hit him and run.
I run real fast miss. 

Nah, I can run faster. 

I’m not homesick.  
I don’t want to go home miss. 
My brother, he’s a man now, 
he said if I run away again, 
he’ll break my jaw. 

I’m gunna run away miss.
They talk rough with me.
It’s a prison, miss.
I’ll hit him and run.

I run real fast.

Nicola currently teaches English and Literature in Cairns, Australia. She has worked as an actor, script writer, voice-over artist and creative producer. She enjoys writing poetry in her spare time.

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“Wet Trickery” Poetry by Stephen House

so many parties
too much everything 
dancing on broken glass 
blue lips of lust 

nurse my mind
bathe my need 
wake up to an icy dawn
in a park with that man again 
in shattered mist i crawl within 
grip his poison soul 

why do i slide back to you 
slouched in your way of always the same 

i feed him a cigarette 
didn’t i see you mumbling and stumbling 
last night 
somewhere we both loathe in crave  

a dying bird at the edge of a pond
i kneel to hold its rolling gasp 
stare blind at screeching eyes 
me and my other truth entwined 
in crumpled song 
of sharing death with slipping more 

and i say nothing like always before 
now is again the void   

a scarlet flower in bubbling mud
i lick the bloodied petals
whisper prayers into a rocky breeze

don’t cry drowning in fight 
wet trickery never helped before 

for god’s sake 
stand up and move away from you
do something new
recite your manufactured silence
of repetition midnight through and through
feel limp courage fade
hold me
help me
or slink away as you do and do
and release me until the next time chimes

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council and an Asia-link residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. He’s published often and performs his acclaimed monologues widely.