Ordinary Time

I don’t know if I can tell you the truth.
What if truth were prismatic—
everyone looking through fruit-
coloured panes?
So begins a conversation between two poets who have never met. Join Anthony Lawrence and Audrey Molloy on a lyrical journey through time and space, exploring themes of impermanence, distance, extinction, friendship and love, through the natural and imagined landscapes of time travel.

Ordinary Time

In late 2019, during what would become, for many people, the last few months of ordinary time as we knew it, a correspondence began between two strangers, via email and the narrow medium of the Messenger pane, and unfolded, one poem at a time.

Without so much as the germ of a plan in place, the exchange evolved into an intense collaboration which ultimately became Ordinary Time. Whether courtship dance, blood-brotherhood, or epistolary love affair of the imagination, the reader can decide.

Most extraordinary of all was how this conversation played out in a realm known only to two poets who, at the time of this book going to print, have never met, at least not in the usual definitions of time, space, and light.


Where would you go first, my friend,
when the apparatus glows
with banks of tiny lights
and hums like the Aurora?
Back in time or forward? Novel world or old?

I’d return to where you were
the day I passed, disguised as egret,
loon or puffin,
with the roofing nails
of sand eels looping from my beak.

Ordinary Time will be published by Pitt Street Poetry in August 2022 and launched by acclaimed poet Judith Beveridge at a special in-person event on 18th August at The Royal Oak, Balmain. Bookings essential! Online sales are available here.


Praise for Ordinary Time

In Ordinary Time, two poets explore what it means to take on ‘the shape of curiosity’, the ‘prismatic’ truth of things. Then they allow us to eavesdrop.

Delightful. Written in a form that evokes unsteady pillars but also the sudden sight of a murmuration, these poems range far but always bring us home.’

– Helen Mort, author of The Illustrated Woman (Chatto & Windus, 2022, shortlisted for the 2022 Forward Prize for Best Collection)


If you would like a review copy of Ordinary Time, please contact the publisher at: psp [at] pittstreetpoetry [dot] com