Southern Beech Forest by Mark O’Connor

Forests of cascading moss—
trees webbed with a green bewitchment
not of their making.
It’s the woods you imagined for Sleeping Beauty
—lichen pours from the boughs
like a green arrested waterfall.
Here it seems to have always lately rained, the drops
still swimming on the leaf, boles beaded with droplets,
like a water jug.
Below, are the half-aquatic ferns
that thrive on a twilit glow at midday;
the fronds shine like gills
perpetually glibbed with water.
The forest has two weathers, rain and drip-dry.
It ingests sunlight and rain in half-hour doses, mixing them
with odd exudates of planet-skin to build this loam, this roof.
Such thickets Earth draws round her like a shawl
to keep out heat and chill, remnants of
old Gondwanaland beech forests
that carry with them still
the breath of paradise, since
now it seems agreed that Eden must
have been rainforest.
Purchased from  Australian Poetry Library, 2017-05-19
The Australian Poetry Library (APL) aims to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of Australian poetry by providing access to a wide range of poetic texts as well as to critical and contextual material relating to them, including interviews, photographs and audio/visual recordings.

ABWF Writing Competition 2017

Breaking news: Competition deadline extended. See below for details.
The Apollo Bay Writers Festival is proud to announce the ABWF Writing Competition 2017. Four prizes across three categories will share in a total cash prize pool of $2,175. The competition is open to any style of writing including: prose; poetry; song lyrics; radio, screen or stage play; or any other format. Just so long as you can send it to us electronically as text (images or photos of writing will not be accepted). To give you a boost we’d like to remind you that our theme this year is social justice which we’re promoting with the phrase, ‘Use Your Words’. Writing to the theme is not strictly necessary but will earn you bonus points that might get you across the line. What we’re looking for are strong ideas with a good execution of the concept and a certain amount of x-factor. Judging the competition are Isobelle Carmody, Bryan Dwyer and ABWF’s director, Pete Mawhinney.

The three categories are: Open, Youth (12-20), and Children (under 12).

  • The Open category, with a first prize of $1,000, is open to all ages and all styles of writing to anyone living in Australia or holding an Australian passport. In addition, the Open category includes a Best Local Entry prize of $500 for the best entry by a person living in the local area (see the terms and conditions).
  • The Youth category is for people between the ages of 12 and 20 years that live in the Colac Otway Shire. The prize for the Youth category is $500.
  • The $175 prize for the Children’s category is for kids under the age of 12 years who live in the Colac Otway Shire.

Entry is free and closes on 27th of June. DEADLINE Extended. Entry now closes Monday, 10th July.

To be honest, we haven’t had as many entries as we’d like. We’re keen to see more writing so we’re giving you more time. Anyone who submitted prior to Tuesday 27th of June, is allowed to resubmit their piece if they want to give it a bit more polish. And, to be clear, your submission doesn’t have to be on theme. (Pieces that do respond to the theme will get bonus points.) Check your desk draws or old folders on your device for that unpublished piece that hasn’t found its home. Maybe this is it. Send us your best and you could win $1,000.

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