December 2010 - January 2011


David Malouf

A touch of the sun

'Photograph #03' from Marco Fusinato's 'Sun Series'. Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

Earlier than the sun

and stronger, our need

for comfort in the dark.


Always on time

with its doodle-do and smallgrass recitativo

we take the sun


as given, its shadow-play

of slats on a bed-sheet

(a hot thought


in a hot shade) semaphore

to the blood that knows nothing

of distinctions, dawn


from dusk, May from December. Or

in a deck-chair within sight

of the road,


and of rain-pool and melon-flower,

what sunlight

is to old bones.

David Malouf
David Malouf is an award-winning Australian author. His latest novel, Ransom, is inspired by Homer's Iliad.

Cover: December 2010 - January 2011
View Edition

From the front page

Strange bedfellows

The battlelines are blurring as Melbourne’s lockdown protests heat up

Black Summer at Currowan

A community’s experience of Australia’s worst bushfires

Image of Charif Majdalani’s ‘Beirut 2020’

‘Beirut 2020’ by Charif Majdalani

The Lebanese writer’s elegiac journal captures the city’s devastating port explosion

Nuclear fallout

The waves from Australia’s cancelled submarine contract keep building

In This Issue

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Fat of the land

Pablo Neruda's collection of bottle ships at his house in Isla Negra, Chile. © Magnum Photos / Snapper Media

The voyage

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Archive this

The Gaza Strips

More in Summer Reading

The Lists

A story
Children performing for tourists in Sinuiju, North Korea. © Linda Jaivin

A day in North Korea

Big statues, high swings and a ‘Sound of Music’ sing-along

 Warrego Highway, Miles, on the Western Downs. © Nicholas Purcell

Pianos of small-town Queensland

A tour of instruments and their owners

Ocean Drive, Miami. © Virginia Duran

Back to Miami

A dip into childhood

Read on

Black Summer at Currowan

A community’s experience of Australia’s worst bushfires

Image of Paul Kelly

Unfinished business

Every Paul Kelly song so far, from worst to best

Image of Laure Calamy as Julie in À plein temps (Full Time), directed by Eric Gravel

Venice International Film Festival 2021 highlights

Films by Eric Gravel, Bogdan George Apetri and Gábor Fabricius are among the stand-outs in a program of unusual abundance

Image of Covid-19 vaccines

Dissent horizon

Why do we object more to mandated vaccination than mandated lockdowns?