Two Poems

by Paul Collis

About Last Night 

I dreamed last night
I played perfect guitar
Boulder to Birmingham.
I got this airplane just to fly…

   then, sad stories,
a last time…
I wrote my mother…
But Mother was gone.
I pretended the ocean took her
Then, I rocked my soul…
The Bosom of Abraham.
Won’t you sing me back.
A dream.
A scream
…an ice Creme.
Sing me too,
before I die.



So Deep the Blue…

I thought I would die.
I reached 19.
Somehow. I thought my death would be.
Silent. Violent.
But death passed me, somehow.
The Dart swerved and missed me,
Somehow, the shadow passed over,
took my friend George.
I cried, when he died.
   Didn’t go to his funeral.
Instead, Death became a companion.
Regular. Permanent. Consistent.
And, then I turned 30.
When Death took my great strength, my Grandfather died,
I died too.
A little.
I stopped the car. Ice wind swept through me, and I knew he died.
The sky went
dark… like blood.


Paul Collis is a Barkindji man, born in Bourke in far western NSW on the Darling River. Paul worked in Newcastle for much of his young adult life in the areas of teaching and in Aboriginal community development positions. He has taught Aboriginal Studies to Indigenous inmates at the Worimi and Mount Penang juvenile detention centres and in Cessnock and Maitland prisons. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a doctorate in Communications. He lives in Canberra and works as a Creative Writing academic at the University of Canberra. His first novel, Dancing Home, won the 2016 David Unaipon Award.