Luke Best is from Toowoomba on the Darling Downs where he was born in 1982. He is married with three children. He has been published in Overland and his manuscript Percussion was Highly Commended in the 2017 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.


The Hoarder’s Rest

It’s been years, though here I am,
shivering on the porch,
tricking the lock. 

My skin is sewn to my clothes
and clouds loom in protest.
I’ve come to thieve your manuscript 

As I enter a stink
charges the door.
Here in the house we built, 

the collectibles: bottles, cans,
empty smoke packs. The lino
peaks through where it can. 

So much shit
stacked window-high.
The bruise of ink on walls—

a thousand daily rags
shed their news.
Down the hall to the study

I can almost hear
the canter of your pen, feel
the thick presence of thought. 

Still the tidiest room.
The desk shoulders the weight
of your words.  

On my way out, a trip wire or twine;
something in the rubble to let you know
I’d snooped here.


At the Dumping Ground

Wind angers the bough
that is trying only to shed debris
and keep its leaves.

What a place in which
to write. The stench
frees all other senses.

We write and the gales
hurl abuse.
Amid waste

we bed down,
tuck each other in
by the recyclables⎯

the poems we forged;
dead weights the wind
will not carry.