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Five winters
stone has kept my fingers

Reaching into coat’s
warm pocket
hand navigates ancient Plovdiv

in a piece
of gravel—weather’s shrapnel—
as my old

coat’s wool weaves heat
into my skin
All this

stone’s patient indifference
observes in

of passing seasons
All this discarded time

in petroglyph’s striation
as now
the oil of human

hands laid on
as now their second

fever warms
a fragment of lost Thrace
lost empire


Kate Middleton is a Melbourne writer. She has completed a music degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in composition and is currently completing Honours in Literature. Her poems have been published in many Australian newspapers and journals including The Age,The AustralianHeat and Meanjin, and have been set to music by many Melbourne composers. She has written the libretti for three operas, including Lapse by Alan Lee, which was performed in 2002 at Melba Hall and The Museum of Victoria. In 2005 a selection of her poems was set by Natalie Williams for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; in the following year she won the Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize for ‘Rainbow’s End’ which is published in Fire Season, her first book of poetry (Giramondo Publishing, 2009). She is currently undertaking flying trapeze training.


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Tamryn Bennett is an Australian writer and visual artist currently living in Mexico. Since 2004 she has exhibited artists books (Showers and Clearing and Polaroids and Postcards) illustrations and comics in Sydney, Melbourne and Mexico. Her poetry, illustrations and articles have appeared in Five Bells, Nth Degree, Mascara Literary Review and various academic publications. She has a PhD in ‘Comics Poetry’ from The University of New South Wales and when in Sydney was Art & Publications Director for The Red Room Company.

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