In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jessica L. Wilkinson reads her poem 'FAUNE et JEUX' which features in the 2016 Victorian anthology.

 

FAUNE et JEUX

FAUNE et JEUX 3 - cropped

'FAUNE et JEUX' appears in 'States of Poetry - VIC'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Jessica L. Wilkinson's biography in 'States of Poetry - VIC'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jessica L. Wilkinson reads her poem 'FAUNE et JEUX' which features in the 2016 Victorian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Adrian Caesar reads two poems, 'Charlotte's Grace' and 'Spring Fall' which both feature in the 2016 ACT anthology.

 

Charlotte's Grace

(For my grand-daughter)

Coming in with stones from the garden
your first impulse is to make them shine.
Washing rocks, you call it, and give them
full treatment, soap and flannel and rinse,
your three year old hands and eyes intent,
absorbed, and this not a one-off game;
it becomes a favourite as if
to establish your own ritual
you show the specimen to me gleaming
in your eyes and palm the offer of a gift;
I finger the treasure smooth and damp
and see how even grey can offer a gloss
on elemental wonder and variety;
though it dries back, the sheen gone,
stone and water and gift abide
suggesting through silent invention
sermon and parable: child's play.

Adrian Caesar

 Spring Fall

I see you stand with your back to me
at the French window as you did last March
looking at early flowers
yellow and crimson, pansy and primrose
peeping from their crust of snow and
above them the steel-sculpted angel
rearing from a wooden plinth: guardian
of the courtyard. In those bleak days I knew
you were reading the cemetery metaphor
of your blighted time; your death-sentence
delivered too early before you'd finished
flourishing, much less gathered the fruits
of later life; the hope of a ripe fall.
I did not speak then, not knowing what to say
and keen to lend what strength I could to
elongate your stay. It's only now you've gone
these words insist, should I have spoken and
what said? The silence echoes in this
recurring scene of you turning to face
breakfast, the torture food had become,
and me, who could not stop the haunting
of that cold figure, the austere seraph
you'd bought, body and wings
three curved scimitars surmounted
by a featureless ball-bearing head,
apt messenger of death in spring;
an angel built to last: terrible, hard
and comfortless.

Adrian Caesar

 

'Charlotte's Grace' and 'Spring Fall' appear in 'States of Poetry - ACT'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Adrian Caesar's biography in 'States of Poetry - ACT'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Adrian Caesar reads two poems, 'Charlotte's Grace' and 'Spring Fall' which both feature in the 2016 ACT anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton introduces her poetry collection, 'Ghost Nets' (working title), and reads the title poem which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

 

Ghost Nets

Evening, at the edge of the reef
a ghost net snags my fishing line.
Lead-core line is made to last and often
braided round plastic craypots tumbling
from West Coast to Madagascar
to 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 adrift
surfs an off-shore rip away
over the spines of whitecaps
and into her unknown out there.

Out there, in the gyre of derelict gear
and mid-oceanic islands of snarl,
cast off gill nets, lost purse-seines fishing,
shrouding the dead, the not quite living,
sargassum and its broken dreams.
Far off of the coast of this mute continent
rubber-skins of drowned Zodiacs
are being knitted into ghost nets.

I let my snagged line go and with it the reel,
go back, over reef rock and pool, to the beach.
An albatross is dead on the sand, gut blooming
plastic bits and pieces. Night is inevitable,
as is tide's turn and sea wind-writing in nylon
and polyester filaments, in salt and stinging sand,
in the razor-edge of grasses.

Sea wind rushing inland
papers sand dunes, spinifex, fossils,
with the names of my dead friends,
with the names of ghost nets.
Sea wind carves their names
into the hulls of abandoned boats.

Barbara Temperton

 

'Ghost Nets' appears in 'States of Poetry - WA'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Barbara Temperton's biography in 'States of Poetry - WA'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton introduces her poetry collection, 'Ghost Nets' (working title), and reads the title poem which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'Foxes Lair' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

 

Foxes Lair

Casuarina leaves disable the dog.
He halts on the track ahead, scratches,
then sits and sulks, his undercarriage
a matt of clinging tendrils.
My hands prickle with casuarina scales
so small they're almost unseen,
but my palms know they're there
and the dog does, too, his eyes accusing.
The she-oaks shouldn't have been a surprise,
but were. We came upon them suddenly
as we emerged from the jam and mallee.
I try to unthread their brittle strands
from the dog's thick coat, they snap in two
then two and two again.
I am brought to stillness
by the sense of something quickening
in the woodland behind me.

Barbara Temperton

 

'Foxes Lair' appears in 'States of Poetry - WA'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Barbara Temperton's biography in 'States of Poetry - WA'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'Foxes Lair' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'West Coast' which features in the Western Australian anthology.

 

West Coast

I drive in on Daylight Saving Time
with a pale, fat moon rising
over the Moresby Ranges.
New subdivision: Ocean Heights Estate?
It looks like Sandcastle Land.

Foreshore dunes
limestone-terraced into sharp ledges:
high-priced real estate
perched at weed-wreathed ocean edge
awaiting global warming.

Blowouts hibernate
beneath a skin of Papier-mâché
seeded with sunflowers,
native pelargonium, alien grasses.
Feral pines adorn the verges, neatly
supplanting saltbush, acacia.

Roundabout windrowed by sand
directs me to my soon-to-be street.
An adult date palm, transplanted like me –
gale-force sea-breeze flaying
its skirt of fronds – inclines toward the land,
acquiescing like the sand
to the so one-sided, the so-insistent wind.

In the near distance,
waves thrash about in the shallows.
Big dogs surf the trays
of 4-wheel drives heading home
from the 4-wheel savaged beach.

In the front yard of my new rental,
two stray ridgebacks are too cock-legged busy
pissing on green reticulation flags
to acknowledge my arrival.

Barbara Temperton

 

'West Coast' appears in 'States of Poetry - WA'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Barbara Temperton's biography in 'States of Poetry - WA'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'West Coast' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'Anniversary' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

 

Anniversary

We've been in mourning just over a year,
or just under, depending on the date we're marking.
Not always celebrations, anniversaries
have a way of keeping their appointments:
they're ticked off at the level of the body
and brain, our biochemical wakes.

I've felt strange all week, sick and sleep-obsessed,
a willed agoraphobic. Show me the cave
I need to crawl into and I'll be there.

No headline-making bereavement here,
just the absence of two small dogs,
their apparitions appearing to join me in my chair.
This evening, with fever, I made room for shades
and only then did I mark the date,
our two dogs dead twelve weeks apart, a year ago.

Their anniversary arrived like a virus
assaulting the muscles of my heart
in a darkened room.

Barbara Temperton

 

'Anniversary' appears in 'States of Poetry - WA'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Barbara Temperton's biography in 'States of Poetry - WA'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'Anniversary' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'My Mother's Ravens' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

 

My Mother's Ravens

They toll hours. I trace the peak and trough of raven-call
through brick veneer walls to the hospital – an hour away –
with every throaty rattle, to my Aunt, morphine
pump filtering sleep. She's comfortable, her nurses say.
Housebound with telephone, I'm waiting, listening
for whispering oxygen, for rattle-claws on tiles,
black birds stalking roofs of this cinder block suburb.

Several streets away, Xanthorrhoea crown
the square of dry grass in front of my Aunt's
vacant house. Unlike banksia populations
infected by dieback, struggling in nature strips,
on road verges, in yards haunted by abandoned
cats and warring neighbours, Xanthorrhoea thrive.

Summer, a palimpsest of sirens, squealing tyres:
hoons burning-out their cars. Peace in these long, hot days
as temporary as sunset or red sunrise.
Aged grass-trees leaves, dried, rustle for want of burning,
relive bonfires flicking embers, altars shedding
resin and ash, crematoriums birthing stars.

Ravens escort each day into these shabby streets,
comb bins for kitchen scraps, find fresh offerings
at backyard shrines. They cold-call at lounge room windows,
cruise the verges, check out stained mattresses, TVs,
rusting patio chairs straddling discards left out
for collection. It's the season for kerb crawling.

Bottlebrush blossom stains the footpaths red. Fenced-in
in her garden, my mother strikes cuttings and grieves,
putting out prayers, chicken bones, cheap mince, nurturing
the Australian ravens. Her two raucous callers
keeping their day's appointments up and down the street.

The hospital is an hour away – maybe two –
depending on rush hour, the freeway. My Aunt's room
is where oxygen flows through tubes into the shrinking
spaces in her lungs. Landlocked with telephone,
I hear the ravens calling their claim from the roof.
Singing in counterpoise, neighbour at her clothesline:
Summertime
and the livin'
is easy*

Barbara Temperton

 

'My Mother's Ravens' appears in 'States of Poetry - WA'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Barbara Temperton's biography in 'States of Poetry - WA'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Barbara Temperton reads her poem 'My Mother's Ravens' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Love and Tradition' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.

 

Love and Tradition

for Aunty Nancy Bamaga

rising sea
takes and
breaks into backyards
to trouble families

we cannot live
with the seas in our bellies
we cannot rest
with the sea at our legs

the tide
is coming
to stroke
our dead

we want to know
who unplugged
our island
of childhood

island
of love and tradition
let them see
what has gone under

Ellen van Neerven

 

'Love and Tradition' appears in 'States of Poetry - QLD'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Ellen van Neerven's biography in 'States of Poetry - QLD'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Love and Tradition' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Roo tails' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.

 

Roo tails

The ground felt like it did when it's about to storm. My feet were brown and my big toe blistered. My grandmother was talking to my grandfather. A wet patch on my grandmother's back. Her hands roping those tails along the fence.

She turned to me and I saw her. Grey. A little heavy. Everything I came here for. A magpie flew lower.

Ellen van Neerven

 

'Roo tails' appears in 'States of Poetry - QLD'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Ellen van Neerven's biography in 'States of Poetry - QLD'

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Roo tails' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Chips' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.

 

Chips

Can I say
white people really bore me sometimes
to be exact
I grow tired with what's unmentioned
idling in surf club bathrooms
nothing wrong with the chips
but they're talking about Tasmania
my thoughts haunted by islands
maybe I'm dying
I've too many chips
teeth like stones
take me to be flossed
and cleaned
I need new soles
sticking to the floor
what is happening
with the dialogue of this country
they are killing people with words
if I'm not back soon
tell them I've had
too many chips

Ellen van Neerven

 

'Chips' appears in 'States of Poetry - QLD'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Ellen van Neerven's biography in 'States of Poetry - QLD'

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 QLD Podcast | 'Chips' by Ellen van Neerven
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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Ellen van Neerven reads her poem 'Chips' which features in the 2016 Queensland anthology.