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Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Juleigh Howard-Hobson won the prestigious Australian Returned Serviceman's League's ANZAC DAY Award for poetry (1980), and also holds a gold medal for poetry from the MacArthur Arts Festival. She was the editor of the Arets Vakreste Boker 2004 award-winning Norwegian-press literary collection Undertow. Her poems have appeared in The Old Heathen's Almanac 2006 (Troth), The Girl's Book of Success [both a child's poem, and a short essay regarding correspondence with the Late Sir John Betjeman about her poetry] (Little Brown), Flipside, On The Wing, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Seven Cups of Coffee, Macquarie University Arena (Australia), Focus, Saczine, 9 to 5 and Idunna. Other writings of hers have appeared in the 2002 Edinburgh Festival of the Arts: Writers Quarter, the anthologies Ex Pat (Seal Press), Bare Your Soul (Avalon/Seal), Nesting: It’s a Chick Thing (WorkmanNYTBS list), The Knitter's Gift (Adams Media), and in print and electronic media such as Clamor, Motherload, Low Hug, Yashzine, Caryatid Rises, Metro, Deep South Mouth, Product Syndicate, and Aesthetica Magazine (UK). She has poems forthcoming in The Raintown Review, Idunna, The Old Heathen's Almanac 2007, and Champagne Shivers 2007 (a set of dementedbut ever so classically sonursery rhymes).

Futility 1916

The rooms are empty now of your glad laughter—
Silence and tears sanctify these places
Where we meet, not forever after,
For you are dead and gone.
                                                  We wasted
So much (too much!) of our short youths with patient
Little waiting games and dreams of what
We could, should, would have been…but weren’t,
For you died.
                          So it was all for naught

At St. Alban’s Churchyard

Old headstones—namelessly eroded—green
and grey with speckled moss in the sudden light
that fell after this morning’s rain. The bright
sparkle of the sun reflected in between
these markers, where crevassed droplets fell
on webs, wet-laden now and spider-less.

So do our lives always come down to this:
damp stones in sunny boneyards. Nothing else.


Behind the white-grey edge of far-off hills,
More white-grey: clouds, night-tinged and pushing slow
Across the winter sky. The sunset spills
Bright glints of gold as evening shadows fill
With growing darkness all the world below.

And, too, the world above this great dimness
Fills. A red sliver of the setting sun
Throws out its final burst, then, sinking west
Lets daylight die and darkling fall. The rest
Is utter blackness as the night’s begun.

Letter from Stuart Grey, who died in Lone Pine 1915, to his mate, Joe Nadin

Well, mate, I’m glad,—I’m really glad
To find out that you’re doing well—
That you went home with tales to tell,
That you ever left this bloody hell
I died within. I thought you had

Died here, as well, with me and Blue.
But glad, like I said, glad to find
That you got out, that you are fine,
That you survived. Since I got mine
And our mate, Blue, he got his.

Unhappy Wisdom

And to avoid the path to hell
We had to bid a fond farewell
To things well loved, now left behind.
We could not keep them. They remind.

Twilight Garden

Low yellow lines: overt and sudden bright
in the shifting purple reds of sunset’s fade.

Now daylight grows gray-dark and dim with shade.
And evening slowly wanes and falls to night…
Rowed marigolds reflect the dying light.

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