Category Archives: hendecasyllabic

Poem 003: Australian Hendecasyllabics by Phillip Ellis

Welcome to Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group and the third poem on this blog. This piece, a hendecasyllabic (a form I’d not heard of before so I’ve added a page for it: Hendecasyllable) is by poet Phillip Ellis. Please do comment in the section below telling us what you liked about this poem and what, if anything, the author could do to improve upon it. Thank you – it’s very much appreciated!

Australian Hendecasyllabics

The sound of the surf on shingles reminds me
of beaches I knew when younger, so younger,
in Wollongong, flecked with glass that was frosted
and shattered to fragments. Time was unfelt then,
a mystery made of memories, shallow
and green as a sapling planted and greenstick.

But now I am older, time is so heavy,
a float of a grass so green that’s suspended
within a forgotten shop, in the distance
of time, and I feel its coldness, its rhythm
like words in my jaw, a Wollongong distant,
so heavy it floats a sphere, as in harbours.

And ghost, you are writing, ghost, you are speaking,
and even you know it’s time to be moving:
the past is a country gone, and is distant.
The past, it is real, is all there is, calling
the lighthouse alight in evenings of summer,
your quiddity rendered poignant, inchoate.


Thank you, Phillip.

PhillipPhillip A. Ellis is a freelance critic, poet and scholar, and his poetry collection, The Flayed Man, has been published by Gothic Press. He is working on another collection, to appear through Diminuendo Press. Another collection has been accepted by Hippocampus Press, which has also published his concordance to the poetry of Donald Wandrei. He is the editor of Melaleuca. He has recently had Symptoms Positive and Negative, a chapbook of poetry about his experiences with schizophrenia, published by Picaro Press. Phillip’s website is


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