And Now, Tenderness (David Adès)

Verity La Heightened Talk

And now, tenderness,

should it come, should it ever come again,
unsolicited, from an unexpected quarter,

should it be felt and recognised,

will break over me like a wave,
dissolving all the crude and laboured stitches

by which I have striven for so long

to hold myself together,
so that my wounds will be exposed,

displayed like blood at a crime scene

that no amount of forensic investigation
will make sense of,

and I, unravelled, will be fragment and fiction,

will be husk, will be
the fading memory of a man.


David Adès returned to Australia in 2016 after living for five years in Pittsburgh. He is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet and short story writer, and the author of Mapping the World (Wakefield Press/Friendly Street Poets, 2008), the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal (Garron Publishing, 2015) and Afloat in Light (UWA Publishing, 2017). David won the 2005 Wirra Wirra Vineyards Short Story Prize and was commended for the 2008 Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award for Mapping the World. 

David has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is a former Convenor of Friendly Street Poets and co-edited the Friendly Street Poetry Reader 26. He was also one of a volunteer team of editors of the inaugural Australian Poetry Members Anthology Metabolism published in 2012. His poetry has been published in numerous journals in Australia and the US, as well as in Israel, Romania and New Zealand.

David’s poems have been read on the Australian radio poetry program Poetica and have also featured on the US radio poetry program Prosody. He is one of 9 poets featured on a CD titled Adelaide 9. In 2014 David won the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poems were also Highly Commended in the 2016 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize and a finalist in the 2016 Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize.

Throughout 2018 David has run the ‘A Touch of Poetry’ Reading Series, primarily at the Castle Hill Public Library, in conjunction with the Castle Hill Public Library and WestWords.