Published in The Diamond & the Thief – September 09
Published in The Diamond & the Thief – January 10
Graham Nunn
Graham Nunn is Chair of the Queensland Poetry Festival, co-founder of Small Change Press and organiser of Brisbane's longest running poetry event SpeedPoets.

His blog, Another Lost Shark is a fertile breeding ground, where poets and writers gather to share their thoughts on all things literary.

Nunn's writing has been described as assured, achieved and ambitious. He’s published four collections of poetry, his most recent, Ruined Man (2007) and he has just released his first spoken word CD, The Stillest Hour with local 'Rock Pig', Sheish Money.

Graham can be found at:
Another Lost Shark
Small Change Press
QLD Poetry Festival

Read more from Graham: Mascara Literary Review Stylus Poetry Journal
By Graham Nunn

Coming back, the land didn't know him.
Not the soft air, peaks and skittering leaves
or blurred faces rising out of the fog
along Kingsford-Smith Drive, not the river
haze of the city
opening into his eyes
through trickle of morning sun
or the aging pier at Breakfast Creek
he half-imagined had been built for him —

the land under his feet and brooding
in shadows cast by the sheer rise of the city
had forgotten him. The odour of the river
drummed into shifting rock
was familiar, but wafted the frail taint
of foreign ghosts. He thought he knew
the sounds: low hum of ferry coming into dock
with passengers murmuring
home home

but it was not. The clouds
had grown heavy, the radio
in hard accents, promised more
rain continuing through the night.

In a crowded bar on Merthyr Street
he trembled like a sailor or fisherman
having seen the slope of the world and its infinite
smallness, having returned
with the illusion he had not changed, but friends
had grown old and disappeared
into home and heartbreak.

After short black and numbing
football on the TV, he rose
weightless as a ghost
and followed the riverbank, with drifts
of crows crying ironic above him
coming home coming home
the land didn't know him.

Empty Garden
By Graham Nunn


We walk through the sun's diminishing arches until we reach evening's blue outskirts, then check-in to a cheap motel. In the room, you undress and point to the galaxy swirling above your hips. I ask about the brightest star drifting beneath your skin. That, you say, is a black rose I planted one morning, shortly after emerging from the flood.


None of the many flowers planted take root. Flowers, like dragonflies, their pulsing colours, rise up and scatter in every direction. Frantic winds tear the remaining stars further and further apart. Although night has claimed the city, the moon still glows. Winter, or something known by that name, soaks through the last porous layers, the ones we imagined never growing cold. It is time to start removing your skin, you whisper, its garden of disguises.


The moon continues to glow like poisoned fish. Two lovers kneel beside a lake, marvelling at the border of their reflections. Am I trapped inside his fiction, or is he trapped inside mine? the boy asks. Yes, she says, just look at us. The space between the flowers has started to grow. That, he answers, happened long before we met.