After Midnight: Toowong, by Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is a Brisbane-based writer and critic with a PhD in burning the candle at both ends. Zen serves as Cordite’s assistant editor as well as a poetry editor with Voiceworks. Her forthcoming manuscript was recently shortlisted in the Thomas Shapcott Prize. You can find Zen on Twitter @zenfrost and blogging at

This poem first appeared in Issue Four. Please support our work and buy a copy or subscribe today.


The night’s swelter

cut with lemon myrtle,

we slink

between ibis-legged houses

and wakeful graveyard.

Possums troupe feats – wire

to teeming wire, with tails

inking the sky.

So many ladders to widows’ walks

and gated views of the city,

glinting under fog:

stone suburbs to woodcut oubliettes.

At night these dark hills

are waves to carry us. We belong

to the hour of the curlew –

to the blues of its determined song.

Insomnia is a great way to get exercise in Queensland’s cooler hours. I wrote this poem in paean to the murky-moonlit split streets, hills and goat tracks of Toowong, Auchenflower and Bardon.

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