Julie Chevalier


In the darkroom

Images – agile birds – pressed
onto paper.

              Why invade silence?
              Why penetrate secrets?

Banish dust from studio and spirit;
brush away air-bells to gain clarity.

              Remain constant, forgiving
              passion’s binges.

Imitate the voice of water.
Manage its nature in clean fashion.

              Marry black and white. The seeds
              of love are twenty shades of grey.


Edged in black

On the clearest day mythmakers
consider three fifths of an iceberg.

The wind sighs from the south.
Hunger gnaws the fishermen.

Too many freckles on the noses
of costumed children,

their knitted caps too warm to wear.
A bell that never stops warning.

Hennaed mermaids plunge into the dioxin sea,
gasping each to each. They will not swim for me.

Clairvoyants search for the bank of snow
under the red garbage bin lid.

In a hole in an Antarctic Beech –
a black birthday cake burns without candles.



Julie Chevalier’s poems and short stories have appeared in Southerly, Island, Overland, BlueDog, Poetrix, and famous reporter. Her poem, ‘Women of Antiquity 2002’, was co-runner up for Overland magazine’s Judith Wright Prize for New and Emerging Poets, 2008. She teaches poetry at the NSW Writers Centre and the Sydney WEA. and has recorded with The River Road Poetry Series. Art and photography are re-occurring themes in her writing.