Monday, January 28, 2008

1971 – Poetry

My friends Tony and Brian encouraged me – ‘dared’ could be closer to the mark – to submit some of my work to Poetry Australia. I was 16.

We were all shocked and surprised (and I was deeply honoured and thrilled) when, several months later, a copy of Issue No. 26 arrived in the mail. Inside, ennobled through print, were the two poems I’d submitted for publication. I treasured that small, soft-covered book for years, but somehow still managed to misplace it, possibly while living in Tasmania as a junior journalist.

But in those final years at home, Brian, Paul and other friends would gather with me on our front verandah and read each other’s work to each other. We thought we were good poets. I loved Brian’s work, and there was no disputing my young abilities . . .

However, I was never published as a poet again . . .

Was War Like

A lonely patch of battlefield soil,
Trickling wet
In early morning light.
Snow flakes falling
Into a dead hand
Clutching nothing.
Bitter wind moaning high above through pine trees.
All around
A deep human silence.


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