Bug pond (Carl Walsh)

Algae rusts the surface
Daring us to become water treaders and step

A water boatman sculls over the water —
Charon ferrying dead souls
Of needlebugs and backswimmers 

In absentia, Basho’s frog ripples
Entranced by the damselfly nymph

Breaking herself in half, and re-emerging
A flit of fluorescent blue — and gone.


Carl Walsh lives and writes on Wurundjeri land. He’s an occasional poet, crossword compiler, lexicographer of fictional words and writer of horoscopes (and other fairy stories). His work has been published in various journals including n-SCRIBE, Cordite Poetry Review, Plumwood Mountain, Australian Poetry Journal, Cha: an Asian Literary Journal, Rabbit Poetry, Southerly, takahē and Meanjin. He is a poetry reader for Overland and has poems forthcoming in Tokyo Poetry Journal and StylusLit.