August 2008

Justin Lowe


Justin Lowe was born in Sydney and spent significant portions of his early childhood on the Spanish island of Minorca with his mother, a painter, and younger sister. After completing his schooling in Sydney, Justin spent the late 1980s and early 1990s in London where he worked as an attache to the foreign office. Justin currently lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.


there is an army of us camped across the river
soft laughter amid the rasping billows
the tanning hides and bronze-limbed hags
chasing your dogs around the coughing mounds
we are time's dark hunch planted here

and yet it is you who define us

hold us here
our faces hovering on the river's surface
our whispers blending with its whispers
our movements somehow both random and deliberate
as though every care had been taken from us

every year we come to scavenge the windfall
prey on your consciences
bury our hope in tiny bundles
beyond the flood line
plant stone crosses to keep your dogs away

you are not quite the dream you think yourselves
when was the last time you saw your faces in the river
asked yourselves a question without picturing us?
aren't they our whispers you bury in your pillow
under your footfalls on the market stones

in the cough of your shutters on a rainy night?

you wonder where we go, don't you
in the warmer months
when you air your sheets on the walls
and the world should by all rights
feel as though it were knocking at your door



Justin Lowe: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 40The Cortland Review