from Issue #8: Poetry by Elias Greig

Photo (CC) russellstreet @ Flickr

Photo (CC) russellstreet @ Flickr


White houses

I saw it through the windows as a child –
…..Some fine, well-founded house
…..Placed high: on an embankment,
…..Over a green hill where
…..the clouds rest easy,
…..and the sun spreads it hands.
I’d be walking past with my schoolbag
…..And look up, always up.

Some grace note would sound –
…..A wind chime, a fresh breeze
…..Through neat European trees,
…..And I’d be mourning it:
…..The sense of cleanly purpose,
…..The door opening on an impossible decency.
Where else does longing start but in mistaking
…..Something strange for something lost?




A Tall Man’s Prayer

Lord, let me not fall
…..Crookedly into place–
Rather keep me upright.
Let my tall shadow fall
…..Evenly in all weathers.
My legs keep limber,
My knees well-hinged,
And my long back straight–
…..Keep it a ladder of bones.
If I must bend with age
Let that bending be easy–
Let it be bending
…..Truly – not stooping.




ELIAS GREIG is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. His research focusses on the link between poetic and political representation in the early work of William Wordsworth. Other research interests include William Hazlitt, Mary Wollstonecraft, British Radicalism in the 1790s, and Robert Burns. He has discussed Romantic Literature on ABC radio, reviewed theatre for The Conversation, and is the Postgraduate Representative for the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia (RSAA). All these achievements have been funded by over ten years of casual work: in retail, as a shoe salesman, and, most recently, bookseller; in academia, as a casual lecturer and tutor at the University of Sydney, and, most recently, casual marker at several universities across Australia. Of these occupations, shoes pay best, books worst, and marking is by far the most unpleasant.


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