Kerri Shying: 2 poems

air freight

someone sends me air…. it’s from America
the north I am afraid to breath it in keep

it locked up.. in the heat-pressed bubble
that it comes in ..pillowing the book the swatch

of cloth I saw online wanted pinged over the seas
into my lap there is this air now this air

from there stuck here so far from belonging
the air of punk-arse packers eking out

a meth head life in trailers no the air of mormons no
the air from canisters spiked with something

made to kill me

I have a box of air now in my shed it is the
air of All Nations.. it is sequestered .. it leaks through

my dreams.. it is the leading edge of the cloud that brings
the stormtroopers of the New World Order,,I rub my eyes

I cannot breathe and still it comes
the air


the fairy bread of daytime

time drops
like a plumb bob
..flat to earth .. each moment

pulling up
never stops
being .. the fascination

the cat opaquely satisfied
holds the roast chicken position
high on a pole .. beloved


our land continues
a knotted
up .. web of painstaking bargains

every day I
hold out

pod memories.. peas
into enamel dishes

I’m Nanna
the day she said
slamming down her cup
drop another bloody bomb on them
after what they done to us

because someone mentioned Noritake
red lipstick .. on fine bone chin

lamed forever
..stuck with it


I am
my own time lord

the equator
I am ground zero and

I am stuck with it

not knowing
what I didn’t know

changing colours

the fairy bread
is daytime
if you never.. think of night


Both of these poems are from Kerri Shying’s new collection Know Your Country, Puncher and Wattman 2020. It is available from

Kerri Shying is a poet of Wiradjuri and Chinese family, publishing across many journals and anthologies. She is the author of a bilingual pocketbook of poems sing out when you want me (2017), Elevensies (2018) and Knitting Mangrove Roots (2019). Kerri held the Varuna Dr Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship for 2019 for her current collection Know Your Country (Puncher and Wattman 2020). Kerri has been convenor of Write Up, a free arts/writing group for people living
with disability,
for 5 years.
She lives with disability from SLE/Sjogrens and PsA, in Newcastle, NSW with her famous dog Max Spangly. Kerri is nominated for 2020, an activity of the Human Rights Commission, for disability activism in the arts.


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