Barbara Temperton

Barbara Temperton finds inspiration in the diverse landscapes and stories of Western Australia. Her poetry has received awards and is published in newspapers, journals, and anthologies. Going Feral, her first solo collection, won the 2002 WA Premier’s Book Award for Poetry. In 2007, Barbara completed an MA in English (UWA) ­under the supervision of the distinguished poet and academic Dennis Haskell. Fremantle Press published her MA project as Southern Edge: three stories in verse in 2009. Barbara was Westerly magazine’s poetry editorial advisor from 2009 to 2011. Ghost Nets is her work in progress.

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘West Coast’ by Barbara Temperton

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
I drive in on Daylight Saving Timewith a pale, fat moon risingover the Moresby Ranges.New subdivision: Ocean Heights Estate?It looks like Sandcastle Land. Foreshore duneslimestone-terraced into sharp ledges:high-priced real estateperched at weed-wreathed ocean edgeawaiting global warming. Blowouts hibernatebeneath a skin of Papier-mâchéseeded with sunflowers,native pelargonium, alien grasses.F ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Ghost Nets: an elegy’ by Barbara Temperton

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
Evening, at the edge of the reefa ghost net snags my fishing line.Lead-core line is made to last and oftenbraided round plastic craypots tumblingfrom West Coast to Madagascarto shroud the coastline over there. I write my dead friend's name in foam,watch a wave rush it away.In another's name a rose adriftsurfs an off-shore rip awayover the spines of whitecapsand into her unknown out there. Out th ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | 'My Mother’s Ravens’ by Barbara Temperton

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
They toll hours. I trace the peak and trough of raven-callthrough brick veneer walls to the hospital – an hour away –with every throaty rattle, to my Aunt, morphinepump filtering sleep. She's comfortable, her nurses say.Housebound with telephone, I'm waiting, listeningfor whispering oxygen, for rattle-claws on tiles,black birds stalking roofs of this cinder block suburb. Several streets away, ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | 'Foxes' Lair' by Barbara Temperton

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
Casuarina leaves disable the dog.He halts on the track ahead, scratches,then sits and sulks, his undercarriagea matt of clinging tendrils.My hands prickle with casuarina scalesso small they're almost unseen,but my palms know they're thereand the dog does, too, his eyes accusing.The she-oaks shouldn't have been a surprise,but were. We came upon them suddenlyas we emerged from the jam and mallee.I t ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | 'Anniversary' by Barbara Temperton

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
We've been in mourning just over a year,or just under, depending on the date we're marking.Not always celebrations, anniversarieshave a way of keeping their appointments:they're ticked off at the level of the bodyand brain, our biochemical wakes. I've felt strange all week, sick and sleep-obsessed,a willed agoraphobic. Show me the caveI need to crawl into and I'll be there. No headline-making be ... (read more)