Sentinel Poetry (Online) #60 ISSN 1479-425X


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December 2007  - 5th anniversary issue l Poetry





I'm back in toon
I'm unemployed.
I drink cheap vodka
and my dad's beer
trying to pick up threads
of an old life -

all the shops have changed
and everyone’s different,
or are they the same?
Familiar faces are strange;
I keep getting lost

in shrunken shopping centres.

Even the bars have changed

there's a new club “Eden”,

it’s apparently no good. 

Seashells chippy now reigns supreme

it’s taken over Jockey’s Whips

only leaving one brand of chips.

I'm back in the toon
and I'm a waste of space.
I have no purpose.

No-one’s home but me -

while they’re working

I’m stacking up cans.

I sit in Tynemouth park
with my best friend
and the baby
who's so big now.

She talks about teething,

the possibility of first words.


She can’t leave her in the car,

to get petrol when she’s alone

so she drives me home,

stops at the garage

while I try to stop it crying,

I’m no good at this either.


Later I remember the park,

sitting on the rundown bench,

distracting ourselves

with dog and baby
we've nothing left

to say to each other.



The Gypsy King


I watch the fire dance

reflected in your eye

as we listen to the Cimbalom

ring through the trees

and the Hungarian gypsy song

haunt the night.


The gypsy king

is playing his mouth.

He is high, aging and crazy

"Where is the alcohol in this?!" he laments

his cries breaking the air.


Stars coat the sky

like ripples on water.

I have never seen so many,

living in the city.


My only music

is the sound of my can opening

adding to the percussion.



Boys from Belfast

Sitting outside the hostel
Sydney winter sunshine
with the boys from

smoking and drinking
hair of the dog
we all feel like crap.

The boys from Belfast
have been here for years
came here for work

and never went back
they’re living in the hostel
'just for the craic!'

before this they lived
in a $150 apartment
5 of them sharing 1 room.

They never think ahead
more than a few weeks.
They’re really broke

but only need to work
a couple of weeks
to afford yet another

week long drink and coke
bender. The tramps who
live near the hostel

pop a bag of wine
making us all jump.
Foxy tells us that

one of them tried
to mug them last night
with a spoon.

As the hostel guests rise
after a heavy night
and stumble to the tables

the boys from
Belfast laugh
'what's going on John?' says Foxy
'I don't know' he says

and they fall about
in laughter. They know
everyone, and no-ones

unwelcome to sit and laugh
with the boys from
as they recite lines from Borat.

'I like! High five! Sexy time!'
It's annoying but it
makes us laugh

There's tourist sights to see
and places to visit
but we don't need all that,

the best thing we've done
is sit and laugh
with the boys from Belfast

who left Ireland years ago
and never went back.






Julie Egdell




3 l 5 l 4



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