The dull bronze creek water shivers
at the mites and evening flies
that dip and carouse in the sudden
stillness before dusk. A magpie peers
imperiously from the bridge rail.
Green finches snap and bicker
in the weeping willow; its trailing
fingers tremble and pollen drifts
like snuff spilt from a box.
High in the ironbark gum, galahs,
dark grey now, squabble and settle
then launch into the deepening sky
like ash blown onto water.
Ripples spread from under the broken tree
lodged tight against the bank.
A plump water rat, wet-sleeked fur
gleaming in the last light, glides out
and over the small dam of branches
and sodden leaves; his long white-streaked
tail rules a line at the end.
This poem of mine was published last year in Divan, an online poetry journal published by Box Hill TAFE. Not so many years ago, journals and magazines (ezines) were considered "not real publishing" by many writers - after all, if you can't hold the magazine in your hand, show it around to friends etc, what was the point? Direct them to a website? No way. But times have changed, and there are many ezines now with terrific reputations, starting with Slate (as a biggie) and covering a broad range of styles and poetry.
There are haiku journals, online versions of print journals, and even journals where you can hear audio of the poets reading. What has turned the tide, I think, is that poets are realising that with a print journal, you've maybe got an audience of a few hundred at most, whereas with online journals, you have a potential audience of thousands. Also anyone can Google your name and find your poems that way.
Divan 7 has accepted three of my poems, and will be launched early in 2008. I've also had two poems accepted by Mascara. I'm very excited about both. And what is even better, for both journals I was able to email my submissions, thus saving on postage and paper. Now all I have to do is buy a special notebook and when my poems are published, I'll print them out in full colour and paste them into it. Because, really, I still like to hold something in my hand.