Barbara Temperton

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ...

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 up ...

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 cind ...

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
ove ...

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 hiberna ...

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