Issue 7, September 2020

Image a woman, eyes closed, under water with hair flowing out with the current.

‘Whatevahappentu Wiimpatji Noongu (Barkindji Woman)’ by Teena McCarthy.


Anne Casey (Guest Editor) and
Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew (Founding Editors)


The past is all about us and within, Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew
The Homes of Others Sahana Ahmed
Millennium Wendy BooydeGraaff
List of Illustrations Siobhán Carroll
On not having kids Anne M Carson
Elegy For Me and My Mother Teresa T. Chappell
Slow Food Chris Collins
My First Issue of Ms. Jennifer Compton
In a section of the museum we find PS Cottier
That Velvet Skirt Ann Cuthbert
On Joy Hester’s late portraits of girls Sally Denshire
Biology Homework Olga Dermott-Bond
Chronicle of Lost Moments Lara Dolphin
Leaving the First State Home I was Placed In Karen Downs-Barton
a house i remember that isn’t mine Ariana Eftimiu
Staying with the Grey Sisters at Age 3¼ Anne Elvey
in / delible Ellie Fisher
Little Scissors Lara Frankena
The Lesson Kathryn Fry
MEMOIR Carolyn Gerrish
Pandora’s Kitchen Allison Goldstein
How to Make a Funeral Wreath Hazel Hall
Building Memories (a sequence) Siobhan Harvey
The expat reconsiders Dominique Hecq
That Woman Ariel Horton
HIROSHIMA Susan Howard
For the Girl Who Worked in Leonard Hall Katherine Hughes
Kitchen Linda Kernan
Redbird Kara Knickerbocker
the garlic wife Nellie Le Beau
How to Make a Snow Angel Emma Lee
I Presented at Your Surgery Still Wearing the Opaque Wristband Wes Lee
Speak for your mother to keep her memories alive Sally K Lehman
Hospice Sonnet Sandi Leibowitz
Taking a picture Sameeya Maqbool
Things Learned Sadie Maskery
Scraps of a Life Cynthia J. McGean
Terra incognita Rachael Mead
Loop Alexa Mergen
Family Landscape: Colchester 1957 Kate Meyer-Currey
Tale of an Australian Opal Helen Moore
Death Without a Body Emily Mosley
Gaslit E.R. Murray
Nani Kavita Nandan
Watt and the onion Jilly O’Brien
The papering of distance Denise O’Hagan
I Do Remember The Wall Rosa O’Kane
Grandmother’s Quilt Vera Oko
The shore you left me Lisa Olsen
Lake Havasu, Arizona: late 60s camping trip Alyson Osborn
Mother is a Cyclo Vanessa Page
A Crimson Rosella on Wednesday Trading Helena Parker
Outside A Pocket, 1947 Mandira Pattnaik
Karanga Sarah Penwarden
Brown Snake Awakens in the Everywhen Fiona Perry
Public pool, women’s changing room Stephanie Powell
Ashridge Forest Vanessa Proctor
Certainty Lyn Reeves
Interview with the Jibber-Jabber from Grey Matter’s Junkyard (A Self-Portrait) M. J. Ridley
misInheritance Autumn Riley
Leave the Light On … please Robyn Rowland
A Daughter Returns Anne Ryland
Waiting Brenda Saunders
20/20 Michele Seminara
Bird’s Song Preeti Shah
JUMP Ellen Shelley
Playing scrabble with my mother Ann Shenfield
To Grow Brittany Smart
How to Be a Good Girl Beth Spencer
Waiting Sarah St Vincent Welch
Fair Warning Abigail Stuart
Spirit Mother Julie Thorndyke
60 Degrees North Lynda Turbet
An olive rolls under the fridge Anna Veprinska
Cognates for a Floodplain Maggie Wang
Just Before Covid-19 Hits I Sell my Gold Miriam Wei Wei Lo
Memoir (advanced reader’s copy) Natalie Welber
Bioluminescence Anne Wilding
Straphanging Jena Woodhouse
This is My Secret Kai Zwiebel

From the NVQ editors

You’ll never walk alone Anne Casey
A chalk outline of the soul Tricia Dearborn
Behind the counter K A Nelson
I feel you breathing Moya Pacey
There were coconuts Anita Patel
Recovered Sandra Renew

Featured artist

BHP (Be Humble Please) Teena McCarthy


Attention, activism, and freedom to move: on women blooming, late and soon, Melinda Smith

Read the whole issue on one long page

Use this link to read the whole of Issue 7 on one long scrolling page. Issue 7 – on one page.


Image a woman, eyes closed, under water with hair flowing out with the current.

‘Whatevahappentu Wiimpatji Noongu (Barkindji Woman)’ by Teena McCarthy.
A descendant of the Stolen Generations, this piece is a self-portrait of the artist lying on her ancestral riverbed. McCarthy says: ‘When I go home to my grandmother’s country of Broken Hill, NSW, I lay in the River Darling. I imagine the water running over me – for we, the Barkindji, we are the river, and the water is our blood’.


‘The past is all about us and within’

For the provocation of Issue 7 – Memoir we have selected two poems: ‘The past’ by Australian poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly known as Kath Walker) and ‘A short slow life’ by American-Canadian poet Elizabeth Bishop.

We have chosen these poems as triggers for your own memoir poems as they resonate with the desire or compulsion to revisit, relive, interrogate, reinterpret, record and recreate the past. In Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s poem, ‘The Past’, she looks back on a long life lived as an Indigenous woman and poet/activist. She co-exists with the past, bears witness to it and holds it up for judgement. In ‘A Short Slow Life’ Elizabeth Bishop’s early childhood is recaptured as a source of deep comfort and yearning until it is wrenched away by her father’s death, and her mother’s illness and life-long confinement in a psychiatric institution.

Due to copyright restrictions we have only included short excerpts from each poem. You can follow the links to read the full text online.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920–1993)


The past 

This little now, this accidental present
Is not the all of me, whose long making
Is so much of the past. …


Read the rest of ‘The past’ online on the Australian Poetry Library website. The poem was published in Noonuccal’s collection: The Dawn is at Hand: Selected Poems (Marion Boyars Publishers, 1990).

Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979)


A short slow life

We lived in a pocket of Time.
It was close, it was warm. …


Read the rest of ‘A short slow life’ online in a review by Michael Hoffman (it’s towards the end of the review) on the London Review of Books website. The poem was published in Bishop’s collection: Poems (Chatto, 2011).

We are looking for poems that are compelling and illuminating. Immerse us in your reminiscences. Let us experience what triggers your memory, how you feel it – as a touch perhaps, or a movement in the body, as scent or breath, echo of a voice, glint, chink, creak … other.

Memory is caught in the slipstream of time – show us how you capture and preserve it from present time and space. Bring us your gems of remembrance held up to the light of the present. Reveal how this illuminates or refracts those glimpses of the past – as witness, judgement, yearning, forgiveness … other.

There are no restrictions as to form. Send us your best poem.

Anne Casey, Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew


Teena McCarthy (artist)
Short biographical note

Elizabeth Bishop (image source)
Wikipedia reference Elizabeth Bishop photo

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (image source)
Wikipedia reference Oodgeroo Noonuccal photo


Artwork: Teena McCarthy generously approved the use of an image of her artwork, ‘Whatevahappentu Wiimpatji Noongu (Barkindji Woman)’. Teena was awarded the prestigious King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Prize in 2018.

Photos: the photographs on this page were downloaded from Wikipedia. The Elizabeth Bishop image is considered ‘in the public domain’. The Oodgeroo Noonuccal image is published on Wikipedia and on this website as ‘fair use’.