States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Dog Barks Heard from the Kitchen’ by J.P. Quinton

The river has always
sat in front of me,
mud between toes
shooting down grassy
hills on cardboard. My
brother dragged a sheep
behind a canoe
to the other side,
and painted a warning
on his rose canvas
when my sister drowned.
She was throwing rocks
when swallowed.

Dog barks heard from the kitchen.

Mum ran screaming up
the hill, a limpid wet body
in her arms, almost
like the canaries
the dogs killed
lying at the bottom of their cage.
A nurse heard cries
from five houses away
and saved her.

For a long time
I wasn't allowed near the river
and cursed it.
Its myriad voices, silent.

 

J.P. Quinton

J P Quinton

J P Quinton

J.P. Quinton lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. He is an adventurer and writer. In 2011 he became inspired by the story of Bon Scott while cycling around the U.K. The novel Bad Boy Boogie: the Adventures of Bon Scott is the result of four years research and interviews with friends of Scott.

Quinton has also written multiple books of poetry. New Poets is available through Fremantle Press.

He is now researching his next novel about bushwalking. Over the next few years he will be walking the Australian Alps Walking Track, The Shikuko Island Temple walk, The Heysen trail, the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand and the Pacific Crest Trail. When he returns to Western Australia he aims to walk the Bibbulmun track in 13 days.