Precise observation is considered a prerequisite for poetry, but there are limits as to what a surfeit of detail can bring to a poem, or even to an entire volume. Three new poetry collections, each different in tone and subject matter, deploy close observation to varying degrees of success across poems that scrutinise domestic tension, interspecies dynamics, landscape, and everyday grace.... (read more)
Josephine Clarke reads her poems 'Cantonment Hill' and 'On that last morning' which feature in series two of the Western Australian States of Poetry anthology.
Landscape photographs from Black Saturday by John Gollings
Fremantle Arts Centre, July 2015.
enter a room and find stripes of night on each of the walls
pines have been hushed
black trunks block the light sky
and underfoot the ash is soft, waiting for wind
there can ...
– Dwerda Weelardinup
The whistle of the djidi-djidi on the army tank
slices the evening grey. Someone
is walking their dog. I am walking me
around this once defensive hill.
Gun House, Rifle Cottage. Cantonment.
Embers of a campfire through the scrub.
Quarried and tunnelled
– gradient constantly resettled.
At the Gunners ...
– photograph 1964.
at the bridal table
in front of Mill Hall stage
she is small
and tight lipped flowers
from somebody’s garden
in a bucket behind her head
the shell of her jacket
as though she has been
her chest an empty cavity
all that sheen –
damask on the table ...
your face, pink, lit like we’d never seen it
when your hands at your shoulders met his
for the Pride of Erin
the ease of your gliding
for the three-four Modern Waltz
that marquisite brooch on the bodice
of your teal best dress
your stepping in perfect union on the dance flo ...
Josephine Clarke grew up in the South West of Western Australia, the daughter of Italian migrants. After gaining an Arts Degree and a Dip. Ed. at the University of Western Australia, she taught English at high school before travelling to other states and countries with her family. Josephine has had short stories and poetry ...... (read more)