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  • Writer's pictureGastropoda

Two Poems by Rebecca Dempsey

Country garden

mosquitos skate over decay

translucent greens

marble murky concrete surfaces

end papering the end

betraying stagnant mud

amid strangulated exotic shrubs

squatting, spindly,

beneath ancient sentinels

(River Red Gums:

remnant vegetation

of historical significance)

moss slippery timber bridges

connect trompe l'oeil ponds

where stewing puddles

accept stiff brown fern fronds

forming Fibonacci patterns

of perfected putrefaction

unequal to the sum of past actions

Mapping beneath

Black opal hearts, glinting open facetted,

to the broad sweep of a southern sky.

Distant and mysterious, the secret side of the moon,

a hidden face scarred and cratered.

A constellation scattered wide across an undulating veil:

meaning in its light and shadow.

Gold threads sewn into night’s velvet blanket,

thrown haphazardly over the open plain.

Shining satellite images reveal what we don’t see:

the underground, lines of communities,

filaments intertwined, subterranean routes

out of view of unheeding travellers.

Only now we perceive

wombats burrowing beneath.

To understand this underworld

we pull similes from the sky

like oranges from high branches,

satiating gaps in understanding.

As above: so below. In darkness, light.

We open windows to witness life anew.

Falling upon what we already know,

we need what we see interpreted.


Rebecca Dempsey’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Elsewhere Journal, Ligeia, and Miniskirt Magazine. Rebecca lives in Melbourne, Australia, and can be found online at

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