'Aftermath' by Josephine Clarke | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

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 be no name for this

letters and numbers in degrees
of requiem     so many points
of a pin     where the fire spirit chose to go

a doorway into another room where undressed,
old hills roll in wrinkles
trees like stubble
on anatomy we don’t normally see
roads like a lover’s tracings
on flanks, shoulders

camera is a word for room in another language
– this is a tender lens

how do we forget
the defence of bark
how a hill names a track
the requirement of sun for shadow

photographs on a wall


Josephine Clarke

A version of 'Aftermath' was published in Westerly’s online edition: New Creative, September 2016.

Josephine Clarke

Josephine Clarke

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 published in Cordite, Westerly, indigo, Eureka Street, and the Review of Australian Fiction. She now lives in Fremantle and is a member of a collective that organises monthly poetry readings for Fremantle Voicebox, and has been actively involved with Out of the Asylum Writers’ Group, based at the Fremantle Arts Centre.