Jules Leigh Koch

Jules Leigh Koch was born in Sydney and raised in Adelaide. He has conducted poetry workshops in schools, colleges and at the South Australia Writers Centre. He also works as a mentor with writers from the Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust. He has been a recipient of two South Australian Literature Grants in 2008 and again in 2011. Jules’ working life is shared between Forbes Primary School and Centacare, working with children and young adults with special needs in education and in the community.


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Waiting for Daybreak


the daybreak
is pulling itself up
over the suburbs

with one or two stars left

about us the sunlight
is fine-tuning the shape and texture
of things

the courtyard is a bird cage
of sounds

while traffic lights
for the screech of brakes
and the sky

for the bark of a dog


The New Estate

systems have collapsed
an electric light flickers
all over the pavement

the wind is bartering with trees
for the last leaves otherwise
the avenues are as featureless as a railway track

streets and parks
have Aboriginal names
only a few residents can pronounce

slowly the moon has dragged itself up
from behind the night
to be exactly where it should
while each star has been accounted for

the artificial lake is as calm
as a sedative

Port Melbourne

the blood clot of sunset
is fading

the sky is a spillage of ink
on blue carbon paper

along the esplanade
the wind

gives mouth
to mouth

to the Norfolk pines

against the wharf
waves rise and fall

then crash
a forklift load at a time

across the bay
a steelwool mesh of cranes

while a half-formed moon
is tugging the night
behind it

Rachel’s Insomnia

she walks through room after room
with the artificial stars
of street lights
in each window

her eyes are unpicking the moon
from its black canvas

her every moment
is a vase on the edge
of a shelf
and her unsleep

is a
against flesh and bone

along the hallway her cat
the shallow breathing
of a mouse

while the second-hand refrigerator
p  u  r  r  s
all night

Fortitude Valley

the red light district
is becoming more and more blue with sirens

around an incident
pedestrians gather with the same detachment
as a police line up

the streetlights have fallen halos
and every window is a peep-show

the moon has blindfolded itself with clouds
and stars have closed their curtains

along Brunswick Street
sex workers
count the carloads of boys circling
their corner

two times… three times…. four times… five
to keep themselves awake

as night settles down
into its trenches
or becomes an all nude girl revue

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