shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


David Adès is a Pushcart Prize nominated Australian poet. He has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is the author of Mapping the World (commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008) and a chapbook, Only the Questions Are Eternal. His poems have appeared widely in Australian and American journals and literary magazines and have regularly been anthologised, most recently in Australian Poetry Members Anthology 2015 and Verse Envisioned: Poems from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Works of Art They Have Inspired. In 2014 David was awarded the inaugural University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor's International Poetry Prize and was also shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. In 2016 he was a finalist in the Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize and highly commended for the Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize.

David Adès


The Bookkeeper

The bookkeeper is a serious study.

In pursuit of perfection she wears seriousness
like perfume: all those pages with dotted i's

and crossed t's, the impeccable script of her hand,

those long white sleeves, that covered skin.
Single-minded, she derives such pleasure

in her pursuit, the tidy ordering of things,

each in its own museum place, the joy,
the relief of balance tingling her soles,

she never sees the ever mounting casualties

outside the little circle of her light.
The threatening dark is there, to where

she will not raise her sight,

in case it comes for her, entropy's manic
laughter and all things toppled over.