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Memory as desire - A place as friend

This poem is from a submission I made in 2012 that required it be set in a real place, hence the description at the bottom. It was rejected, (along with hundreds of other poems to various publications that I've submitted to over the years), but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile. 
I hope you like it.

The Veins of a friend and a friend in vain


Dark river waters
I cannot see my reflection
Brown earth liquid flows
Yet I know
Even at this young age
That I’ll always be with you
Even if after today
I never see you again
Slow perpetual wonderings
Leaving me behind.


The river bank imbued
With the corpses
Of trees
Reaching out
Clinging to the water
In memory
Perpetually changing
Forever dying
Bringing life.


I return
My past is lost here
It’s already too late
I’ve grown older
So far removed
From how it used to be
And what is to come?
It used to be easy
But now I’m frozen.

Location: Campbell’s Bend, Victoria.

I grew up in a tiny town on the banks of the Goulburn. I spent many summers swimming in this particular location and in fact, I learnt to swim there. As a teenager, I got drunk there, took drugs there and had sex there. My first published book, Bottomless River is set there. (available to read for free).

I have not been back for many years. I’m almost too frightened to, in case I don’t recognise it anymore. The physicality of a river changes as much as people. However, I do hope that families and other youngsters are having as much fun now as I once did.

Paddle steamer at work - 1878 - slightly before my time

More Poetry.    

AJL Books


  1. Beautiful poem Anthony - so visceral

  2. You brought me right back into the journey of Bottomless River. I've found when I revisit the people or places of my past that were huge and overwhelming, they're small now - symbolically and literally. Memories take up much more space than they deserve, I think.

    I love you, dear friend, and am most grateful (and can't believe) we ignited a close friendship through blogger and the coffee-shop.

    Take and keep faith. xo

    1. Thank you Robyn. Yes, its a long way since those days. So much has happened since. I love you too. xo

  3. Yes, it used to be so easy, when we did not know the consequences of our actions, and did not know change comes.

    1. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Wish I could be that way. Cheers.

  4. So beautiful and heartfelt <3

  5. Very good Anthony. The feeling is familiar to me. So much so, that my head quickly filled with memories of my own past.

    1. Thanks Pat. We all have them I guess. Well, not all, the lucky ones do.


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