top of page


Steve Evans has written or edited 20 books including Easy Money and Other Stories (2019) and Unearthly Pleasures (2021). Animal Instincts is due out in 2023. Evans directed the Creative Writing Program at Flinders University and now runs community writing workshops. He has won major literary prizes, and writes general adult fiction, modern romance, crime fiction, poetry and nonfiction.


If they have a language, they keep it to themselves

or it’s beyond our capacity to hear.

If they know the making and unmaking of themselves,

they show no concern.

Every building is a song set to the music

of outside watching inside looking out.

I don’t trust a single one of them.

Buildings are a recent invention.

Soon we will refuse to use them.

Some we will burn, some let decay

and then forget what they were for.

We will sleep in the open under trees and stars,

and when we pass those brutal ruins

we’ll wonder who erected them, what

kind of people would

shut out the world that way.


Brave means stupid.

Edgy means unbuildable.

Wild means forget about

the remotest possibility

of getting this plan through.

This is not just about design

but your love affair with you.

The clouds look down in passing

at the little maps you’ve drawn

of harbours, train lines, streets

and towns. Their business is with

bigger stuff. Unfixed, a constant rivering

loose as talking in your sleep.

No one thought them up

or witched them into being.

Look at your plans again.

What do the clouds say about them?

What does the sky say?

The water? What does the

earth say now about where

and how we live?


It was the foldable type that came

in a small blue suitcase.

I got it for my birthday.

We took it everywhere

in case we grew bored

and wanted somewhere new to stay.

If we became lost in its creases,

and ironing them out was a pain,

it was still worth it.

One day we left it on a bench in

a bus-shelter by mistake

and it was gone when we returned.

We placed advertisements everywhere,

posted notices in the supermarket,

fretted at the phone’s stubborn silences.

Daisy once thought she heard it keening

across the night sky for us

but she’s only seven.

It came home two weeks later,

a battered thing on our doorstep,

missing part of an outer suburb.

We held it tight, promising never

to let go again, even though

we would never live there.


bottom of page