Words by Tessa Stickland | @tessa_sticks
Illustration by Annie Cooper | @kizmo_design


  1. On the Deck


The birds here sound like home

As I lay

on the deck,

half in sun

half in sleep,

I mistake the dull crash of the ocean

for the hum of the freeway

I feel like chipped nail polish

Yellow fractures

Veiny cracks


The wind whispers

to the trees

and wraps its fingers around their bases,

brushes their leaves and branches,

and plaits them like hair

It’s sisterhood

But my eyes are closed

And my eyelashes are damp



  1. At the Window


It’s layers upon layers of green

Deep, long green

The fog gives it a softness

that it doesn’t deserve


Rosellas dart across;

smears of red paint

Distant cattle call

Firewood pops behind me,

an array of damp clothes soaking it up

Someone turns the kettle on


Dirt clad shoes sit clumsily by the door

I feel my hand on a patch of mud outside

Rain spits into a small puddle



And my fingers sink into the mud



Thick, wet

slipping and pulling

It stops when it reaches my shoulder


I can feel myself lying on the ground,

arm embraced,

as I sit, dry, on the armchair

Wet grass murmurs through my rain jacket

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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