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


Snap shut

Trevor Joyce, Cork, Ireland


I've given up knowing
there are too many
stairs and glitches in the timetable
each day's a blast
today's is colder
windows shimmy-shake the breeze
there's a cold a-coming
the grey hangs high
but I've given up
thoughts of rain
even last night's false prophets
fell on the dust
and came back dressed as heat
as if we could forget

Jill Jones
1.15pm Wednesday 10 March Surry Hills



joyfully cheerily
dancing lightly
writing speedily
across the page
he tripped up
over a carelessly
left fullstop
which sort of sadly
benumbed him.

pmcmanus 9am
raynespark london uk


A Silent Afternoon
[begun Sunday, finished Wednesday]

Saturdays, after work,
a slow late lunch is in order,
then a drive to overlook water,

or among dark tree-ferns, or
along a ridge between eucalypts
glimpsing some wide vista.

Kangaroo Ground has a lookout tower
we both recall as fraught with our
former separate lives, but oh the view!

- north, to the Great Dividing Range;
east, to the Dandenongs; south
over city to bay and bay-mouth.

Finding ourselves at Watsons Creek,
we browse among objects
brashly claimed to be antique;

or else, should restlessness rule,
we drive by properties for sale,
inspecting any that are open -

if good they're unaffordable;
if affordable, unlivable.
Besides, the effort of moving!

And recent houses look so vile -
dominated by their garages,
bright bricks clash with garish tile.

Best then to cruise for pleasure,
a silent afternoon of leisure,
and maybe the western sky colouring.

Yesterday was such a time,
familiar roads turned away from,
gold and green fields surprising

with shiny ponies grazing
or with children, being handfed;
a golf-green peopled by a hundred

or more complacent ducks,
a flight of other birds? swans??
turning where the river turns.

Soon, seeking lower ground,
we skirt sports-fields on the flat land
where winter once meant flood

but cricketers are now spread
looking quite as archaic
as their pavilion is historic,

soothing two pairs of tired eyes, one driving, the other gazing and smiling and then dozing.

Home to the flaking weatherboard,
roof-tiles chipped and lichenous,
a 'knock-down job' in developers' eyes.

'The mind that has put its house
in order is silent.' She holds hers
until greeted by her dog's noise.

8 pm Wednesday 10 March 2004
Max Richards
North Balwyn, Melbourne


Chinese poem poem

my fingers were
fresh peeled spring onions
hidden in a green sleeve of silk

after a bath
my breasts were cool as peonies
and purple grapes

my hairpins are heavy
I am too weary to comb my hair

I have heard that Spring at Two Rivers
is still beautiful

how many springs have I known
since I laughed against a doorjamb
eating green plums?

Alison Croggon, Williamstown, Australia, 9.06pm



who would have thought the old man to have had so much water in him and such
playful calculated fury the rain's hit our house squarely in the face for
almost a week now our windeyes swollen and soaking and we have the drenched
promise of no let up for a few days more

a beautiful pregnant woman is making a case on the wireless in praise
of the genious of plain simplicity and begins by playing bang bang he shot me down
bang bang i hit the ground bang bang ... her face a smiley her cheeks
flushed her eyes wide in wonder her baby due in a few days

the treacherous shallows and the sands on the south coast claim yet another
trawler the crew rescued this time by courage skill and technology before
camera eyes while such worldly goods as catch hull nay hulk and trawl are
slowly but surely munched by shifty grains of sand in a few days

árni ibsen
12 noon, march 10 2004
stekkjarkinn 19


Morning Rituals

my own buisness

morning rituals...

suddenly it dawns

there is nothing
quite like
the morning rush
of your word play

deborah russell, baltimore, md
10:27 am . 03-10-04


blood on the ice
blood on the library floor

local or national
equally seen
on the same small screen
comment on the airwaves

the hockey player
to the ice by the star
the act caught on camera
his neck breaking there

the student stabbed
by unidentified 'attackers'
just his blood trails
later shown
'several puncture wounds to his torso'

and the talk goes on
the whys and wherefores unknown

but oh how the talk goes on

Douglas Barbour
Edmonton 08:55 Wednesday


overnight sprinkle of snow on shed roof
gone by seven-thirty
a flurry of flakes by eight
gives way to rain to sun to snow to rain to sun to snow to rain
the afternoon market is busy
cold shoppers shuffle into the warm mall
for tea and a toasted teacake
outside the stall-holders pack up early

Gerald England
Hyde, Cheshire, UK


as I ascend from

shelf to shelf

through the day

I find the tenants

of moments:

purple-sheen'd grackles

brown & speckled sparrows

gulls of all varieties

holding their thrones

their princedoms their

static powers

sprinkled all around

West Irondequoit, New York 2:15, 3/10/04
jerry Schwartz





0 Errors. 0 Warnings.

Peter Howard, somewhere in the UK


I am feeling bitter
nothing at all is coming
bitterly empty
& emptily bitter
while death pre-
empts my bid
to know why
that sounds around
is the cause of envy
as well or ill
as emulation
yet of love
the ground

Martin Walker, Lagorce, Ardèche
23.04 Romance Time


The day job
Someone once sent me a card
an illustration like a 1930s horror film
"The Job That Ate My Brain"
People who think they are writers
should not have routine day jobs
I know Wallace Stevens managed insurance
Charles Ives had the same job
Dana Gioia was a Lever Brothers manager
until he sold out
They are exceptions if not
exceptional in their ability
to leap between two moving trains
like Hoot Gibson in a serial Western
Most days it's impossible
I fake work
fight on the phone with a cell phone provider
leave exhausted halfway pleased
only because I did not call
the customer service person an officious asshole
Small consolations
that lead to now, freewriting
that a Composition teacher would grade
Nice Start Needs Work.

Ken Wolman, sea bright, 9:50 pm



ruptures that and pushes it,
divine comedy,
uncommon in photography.
"Fight the good fight."
Anyway for me the desert is remarkably powerful and beautiful
runner I found that remarkable.
Worried, not so much about photographers, although

more about espionage or sabotage
digital video camera and film
just as documents. I'd like to film the factories spewing
terrible ear-piercing sound that goes all the time.
Companies will be there until . . .
Impractical vision I'm talking
published in a book. After that I always felt very uncomfortable.

Barry Alpert / Silver Spring, MD US / 3-10-04 (10:39 PM)


electronic curving:
eyelash of letterings
so wistful

morphing to balloon yet
another "Signed

X" and "Date": all the clerks
are reading the same amazing
romance novel behind the divide

or watching the outside
flock turn to a familiar

mood a filmy crossing one row
of six absolute--why

does no letter beyond
in this spectacular alphabet
form a square?--
(seriously: anyone know?)

windows of
the world have long been united in cinder
block square frames
like here

not unlike
the manila business
of an afternoon's
sun come filing in

renewal clerks
at the motor vehicle
department who might give
the state's precocious
stamps & red pens
away forever

wear pointy badges
in gray desserts of bored
or hollow metal
sounds over
curled hair
& being

idle in the late winter gloss
& scrape of plastic desk inserts
for the in or the out wire
baskets & the grimed desk
trays posing like stage crew with 17
inch monitors

chris murray, Arlington, TX, 10:30ish, 10 March 04


"The oldest pub in town," the tv says.
And the smiling barmaid:
"It was the wild west," she says, "Wyatt Earp"
she says "drank here, there was a brothel
upstairs." Pleasure
for some, for others
not. She smiles, her teeth
are perfect, her eyes
glisten. How'd
you have liked it,
I think, that work

Mark Weiss, somewhere in the USA


Snap shun

Anny Ballardini
Bozen, Thursday, 11.3.2004


11/03/04 Lip-prints / Before

Lip-prints on your
artefacts, your
fossils, fostered in my secret
places, found in private
books and drawers,
clean, beautiful and old,
vessels from Before -
before everything dissolved in the millennial acid.
Accidents, artefacts,
individual and cold.

My lips are still warm - hey,
I'm warmer than Before, I'm burning with it -
and I would do now what I didn't then,
would fly on my jets and light your sky with my eyes -
but all I can give you are lip-prints
on the glass,
on the cold old glass.

Janet Jackson, somewhere in Australia


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.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (, was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (, while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon ( Poetryetc is now archived at and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon

These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.