Magpie Tales – SB Wright


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Magpie Tales by SB Wright

SB Wright grew up in the NT and currently works as a Teacher Librarian in SA. He was a regular contributor to Tincture Journal, and his poems have featured in Verity La, INDaily Adelaide, Eureka Street, Bluepepper, Writ Poetry Review and the anthologies The Stars Like Sand and Poetry & Place 2015.


Sample some of the poetry below:


Black Snake Driving

We drive
north to the next town;
pass fields of stubble, grey
in late summer heat.
The road slows and stretches out;
a long black snake
basking in the morning sun.
Straight, the ride lulls us
to a meditative state.
Sheep so still, a quick
glance sees them stone;
small granite boulders nosing through
the lee side of the hill.

We drive
north to escape the sense
that standing still
is one foot out of six
beneath the ground.
Road side’s littered with plaques
that mark the resting place
of towns half-remembered in
the double barreled names
of the district football teams –
Premiers ‘06,
‘07 and ‘13.

We drive
north, the vista
never seems to change
but ruined farmsteads
claw up from the scrub;
each year sees them less
above ground than before.
Limestone monuments
forestalling the end of a dream.

We drive
north and the next
town feels just like
the one we left behind.
Familiar looks in faces
resigned to settling down.
Dusty streets, shrivelled
grass, young children marched
off to a school
that bears family names
on halls, fundraised
playground sets
and clay-brick memorials.

We drive on
and on, that long black snake
to feel it curve back
upon itself.



limestone ruins
seasoning the hillside
pepper trees



Beach landing
after R Somerton

We wait until low tide.
Wade to the island,
rifles slung crossways
in case we fall.
The beach a 10 foot crawl
through mangrove mud.

The stink hits us
half way out,
wind blowing from the south
the smell of the dead and dying
fish mixed with the mess
of a thousand Shags.

On some silent cue,
we unsling,
slide in the longs.
We line them up in twos or threes.
Work like machines;
score a century each, maybe more.
Wade back before the tide
to weathered smiles of fishermen
and a crate of King George.

Later, discharged
with one working leg,
I ask him what it was like.
He shakes his head.
Stares instead
at the island.


Hear SB Wright perform Beach Landing


Magpie Tales will be available in both print and ebook editions.

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For the print edition, please visit the retailers below or watch for your favourite store in the coming days:



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