All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.


Retirement Snaps

My retired friend is back
from Queensland and her winter break.
The sun did her good,
and the quiet time for reading.
Shocking what development
has done along the coast, but still!

Her best day was at the Zoo, commercial too,
but lovely trees, and there she saw
at long last (and snapped) her first brolga.

But Harriet the tortoise! - born
about 1830 - now the oldest
living creature in captivity -
young once in the Galapagos -
sailed with Darwin on The Beagle
(along with other tortoises
which they ate) back to England.

Harriet retired to the country
with a Mr Wickham, a gentleman naturalist -
who after many years retired her to Brisbane
to live with another gentleman naturalist -
who at length retired Harriet
to the Botanic Gardens where she roamed freely
enjoying a various diet of flowers.

For the flowers' sake that
came to an end and now she lives,
vastly broad and slow,
historic, astonishing, phlegmatic,
in her last long retirement on the Sunshine Coast.

'Took lots of snaps, but Harriet -
she'll come out just looking like a rock.'

7.00 a.m. August 13, 2003
Max Richards, North Balwyn, Melbourne

Note: The lines sent at 7 just now, adapted 'off the phone' about Harriet the tortoise, give her story how my friend told it.

I then 'googled' Harriet the tortoise and learned from 'crocodile hunter' that Captain Wickham (formerly of The Beagle) brought three tortoises, Tom, Harry and another, with him in 1841 to Newstead House when he was Government Resident at Moreton Bay.

Circa 1860 ( says 1842) the three moved to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens zoo, where Tom died in 1929.

In 1952 Harry moved to Fleay's Fauna Sanctuary and was renamed Harriet.

Moved 1987 to the Queensland Reptile Park, now renamed the Australia Zoo, which is 'between the Sunshine Coast and the Glasshouse Mountains' and the base of the notorious 'Crocodile Hunter'.

Harriet weighs 330 pounds (180kg) and eats hibiscus flowers, zucchini, squash, beans, parsley, endives and bok choy. Max Richards


Hot winter

led by frustrated showers
on the motorized parade
sound I was waiting for, boom

stop before this turns east
road on trucks
to repair
below the long risk

this day ventures
weather a harvest
ruckus, flexible crunch
breathe under water
bray wheels—yo

sky soon turns self up
one breast still under
and trucks phizz
ambulances, every dodger uniforms

each drop
floats unsecured

Jill Jones, 1.20pm, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia



kindly given to me
large print brochure
'O.A.P. Festival'
Festival for O.A.P.s
mentions goodies
mentions delights
how to cope
with alzheimers
mobility for elderly
and much more
not much about
marathon running
lovely lap dancers
loud rock concerts
boozing and sex
and daily orgies
I sort of lost it
coming home.

pmcmanus 8am
raynes park uk 13/8/3


nothing new

the last sip of
the first cup
eight am
eight o'clock coffee
hazelnut breath
the heat rushes
greets me, at the door
behind the thud
of the daily - nothing new
suicide blasts in Rosh Haayin
two back - to - back
back to school?
i must remember
a larger backpack
for his first day
of middle high

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, MD, 8:20 am


light glows slow
inside cupola's dark
groined curves

or simply pure b&w
on the card

post Camere Illuminati
& Son et Lumičre

already past
a late gift
to shine beside

the computer's gleam
screens scramble

& morning light

attracts the eye

Douglas Barbour
'Pantheon, Paris, France 2001' gelatin silver print, advertisement for Dianne Bos show:
Edmonton Canada 09:00


Who lies in the molested landscape - who harassed
when black is black our
manipulated brains blindly automatically act

---it's him I know /// just free me please---

I need my feet - my teeth
I want the chunks of my face
___my eyes back

selves cut into vertical slices
black is the power of occult second rate interest
the world as computerized parts performs
his lustful need against ephemeral treacherous gains

listen - and get free
from the magnetic medianic cusp of his selfish grasp
hating the goat - symbolic of his devilish must

anny ballardini, italy


"Standards of evidence": massed banners on parade
as witnessed from great altitude. Correlation
and causation mooch past each other, like cows in the night.
To prove is to draw out the entrails of the thing,
long spools of algebra - "worked out with a pencil",
as one joke has it.
what I would call anecdogma, which is this world's
inexorable answer to itself, wherever the question
comes from and however it is phrased.
ASYLUM TB MENACE, says our autistic
savant columnist, pricked by danger measles jab;
barren of empathy, not knowing that fire burns.
Assemble expert suicides, forlorn stalwarts
of hard-pressed causes: truth will outlive lethe
provided you don't swallow. What is given
is not innocuous, but is medicine
indeed for self-inflicted vertigo.

Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 23:19pm



for Ylva Hellerud

ringing the bell
awaiting response
looking at the names
i realize i may have friends
residing in strindberg's
last place of residence
on top of drottninggatan
under august "falaise"-like
cloud formations with
august's troubled head
obscured and upside-down
as in his own falaise-painting
my own face on foreign
shores upside-down where
i fool myself i speak
the language and fool
myself i may function
in spite of august i get
answered in english
whenever i open my mouth
to utter their language
still breathless after
the wonders of the vasa
museum where the
swedes have the
confidence to display
an ancient war machine
anno 1628 that
sank on its maiden
voyage due to faulty
design and a ballast
that was grossly
miscalculated deaths
were anonimous then
unanimous even the
salvage was the greater
victory the 1950s
divers the victors and
there's no response
so i turn away from
the bell and the names
on the door all so familiar
although virtual aeons
separate them i'll
come back tomorrow
weather permitting
unless i call the august
strindberg so listed
in the 2003 stockholm
telephone directory
to ask if his museum
is up to scratch
and should i
visit ... ?

Árni Ibsen, vickersgatan 15, sšder, stockholm
11:00 pm


Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

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