Selected Poems

Mal Foster has been writing poems since he was fifteen-years-old with his first poems published at just seventeen. He then went on to receive three Young Poet Awards whilst in his mid-twenties.

In 2006 his poem ‘The Wedding’ appeared in the anthology Poetry Unlocked, a collection of poems by international poets produced as part of the Australian Secondary Schools' Curriculum for Literature. 

He is currently preparing a FREE collection of poems for download. 




As children we came up here
pretending to be soldiers with our
green plastic helmets and long sticks. 

We built a camp beneath the trees,
dug down into a hovel and covered it
with corrugated iron that had been
dumped in a skip. 

We lived here that whole summer.
Holed up, waiting for an invisible enemy
or other kids on bikes.

Near the end of the holiday
a farmer spotted us and reported us
for trespassing. 

We were coming back to kill him
the following year
but by then our appetites for war
had been replaced by other attractions.



My children are nameless
they are mere souls
waiting to be born
they are numberless
and divided
they are sexless
and have yet no form
they wander in obscurity
time's passages
awaiting years
for the nine month countdown
to emerge
with faces and with names
into the hands
of the unknown mother
who yet knows nothing
of this conception.




First steps of a journey -
I am one alone among the many
lost amid assorted faces
pounded by instructions
detailed by the tannoy
- Platform 8 - rain pouring in
across the platform
wet steps - lost
in the panic of time
in the panic of missing their train.
I am a face - one face
along a corridor of windows
looking out into the night
the rain-soaked night
the silent city
where no-one knows my final destination.




In Qala (pronounced Ala)
I stopped opposite the steps
of the ancient church. 

Time to chill, relax
take in some sun,
some local beer.

The smell of Gozitan cuisine
wafting on the promise
of a reasonably priced menu. 

The lady who runs the place
leaning through the hatch in the door
explaining her purpose.




Your existence reinvented 
life renewed 

laid out bare 
for anyone new to see 

that's the order 
it’s all in now 

gently severed 
from an excruciating past 

given up 
to these strobes of light 

where I see you dancing 
on attention's stage 

your body smashed 
by middle-aged principles




The wedding:
                 it must be right
everything must go to plan
be exact to near perfection.
We must hope the weather holds
and sunshine dominates.
We must feed the guests
occupy them with our chat
and false politeness.
We must keep them with a drink
a joke
a dance
it must be right -
the wedding MUST succeed
- regardless if ill-fated marriage


All poems taken from Travelling with Strangers. More can viewed on the Write Out Loud website HERE