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Gregory Piko


The rain-soaked slope could no longer defy the deluge. Turning to a slurry, sliding down the ancient hillside. Jurassic conifers and cycads washed along like ash on the surface of a glowing caravan of lava. Nine metres tall, but the lumbering sauropod never stood a chance. Hit side on, she was knocked from her feet to fall beside the stream. Deeper and deeper beneath the mud. The weight from above forcing the copper-coloured suspension into her nostrils. Between her lips. Around every tooth. Filling the tiniest of crevices.


It was only a small plug. Left over from the previous pour. But it was large enough to impede the flow. Gradually, more and more concrete accumulated in the pipe. Bearing down on the blockage the way a glacier bears down on a boulder hindering its passage. Finally, the pressure was too great. Bursting through, an overwhelming torrent trapped the ill-fated labourer between the formwork and the rock face of the tunnel. Burying him in an instant. Filling the void like molten lead running into a mould.

Closeup of a Black Dog

Gregory Piko was joint winner of the WB Yeats Poetry Prize. His poems have also been commended in the Glen Phillips Poetry Prize and the New Zealand International Poetry Competition. His writing has appeared in Westerly, Meniscus, StylusLit, the Liquid Amber Prize Anthology, Poetry for the Planet, Poetry d'Amour, Authora Australis, Communion Arts Journal and The Canberra Times among other places. Please visit

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