Joachim Matschoss – Still Life Woman with Rat

P Joachim Matschoss LE P&W Vol 1 2019

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Poems by Joachim Matschoss

Joachim Matschoss was born in Germany and now lives in Melbourne/Australia. He is a playwright, poet and Theatre-maker. His Theatre Company, ‘Backyard Theatre Ensemble (BYTE)’ presents diverse pieces of theatre all across Melbourne/ Australia and internationally, both Youth Arts and for adults. Joachim has created theatre in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, India, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan, Switzerland and China. Joachim’s poetry is published in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA. Joachim’s latest book, Rain Overnight: Travels in Asia, is available directly from him or from good bookshops in Melbourne and on Amazon.

still life: woman with rat

something moved under the young woman’s
curly black hair held in place by a white headband
a tiny rat had snuggled into the little valley
behind the woman’s collarbone
red tail, piercing eyes
a tiny rat with a loving heart
she trusts her more than her family
left home at sixteen, five years ago
her step-father’s fist drove her away
and the needles in her mother’s veins
the rat looks up, alert, ready to face life
its nose like the top of a pencil
sometimes its owner struggles to take care of her
this fierce, fiery, ratty little battler
seems to smile at me
knowing that her place near the collarbone
surely isn’t threatened by someone
who’s writing words into a black notebook.


I have never met you
but just last week learnt with surprise
you vowed never to have a baby
and now I started reading ‘kinderfrei’
in which you praise those that like you
chose to be child-free for the sake of the planet
you trust data that states that a child
adds 58 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
a year over its lifetime

you fly to your book talks
you drive to work
teaching children in regensburg
birth rates are one thing
but to condemn those that are parents is another
especially if you drink coffee from take away cups
and use straws for your shakes

bangkok ladyboy

don’t you like what you see?
I’m different, different and free
I don’t hide the sparkle, no don’t turn away
my mum had to face me, me, her boy
some days I howl, and I cry
other days I lie, yes, I lie
don’t they say the best people come in pairs
I am who I am, who cares

© Joachim Matschoss