Carole’s poetry and other writing

Read my short story, ‘All the Light’, on the Meanjin blog.

Or my poem, ‘Undone’, published by SWAMP, an online magazine for postgraduate students around the world.

Read my personal essay, ‘Hoodwinked‘, about my relationship with a group of endangered hooded plovers on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Listen to ‘It’s Time’, finalist in the 2015 Radio National Earshot ‘Pocketdocs‘ competition.

I’m currently working on a poetry collection. Here are two of my poems, the first, the winning poem in the 2007 Page Seventeen poetry competition.


The Irises

I passed the house today.
The irises were blooming –
pushed their way through
the long grass of ‘I don’t care’,
through weeds of ‘you don’t exist’.
Nodded their heads
when a whiff of wind
whispered my secret.
We were in cahoots ―
the wind and I.
‘You can’t ignore the irises’,
we said.

 I walked up Byron Street,
past that block of flats
with the jacaranda.
I hoped she’d be there ―
the old Chinese lady
with the poodle. Always
weeding her garden.
Except today.
I wanted to tell
someone about the irises.

 On Hemp Avenue
the house with the magnolia
that reminds me of holidays in Eden
has high fence posts along the front
and palings piled in the drive.
Tomorrow it will be
a private magnolia.

 I was crossing Henry Street
to walk through the park
to sit on the seat near the duck pond.
I wanted to feel the morning sun
soak into my dark places.
Wanted to upend my urn of grief,
watch the wind scatter the ashes –
flotsam and jetsam of
another life, another time.
A stranger’s arm tugged at my own;
The ute was on my blind side.
I was still thinking
about the irises.
(from Page Seventeen Issue 6)



It’s in small print
on the front page –
woman cyclist hit by bus
ontinued on page four –
tyres catch in tram tracks
dies instantly
I stop reading
look out the window
try to imagine it

 The crash is so loud I jump
the rosella
writhes on my back deck
arches up its tail feathers
lowers them again in increments
then lies still–
head turned too far sideways

 I cradle the bird in my hand –
its body warms my fingers
in the cold of morning
think of the woman’s body
twisted into wrong angles
a downy feather blows in the chill breeze

 The bird’s claws are curled inwards
wrapped around
the memory of a branch
I look down
into the lifeless eyes
that stare at something
I can’t see

 All afternoon
outside my study window
a crimson rosella
flies from tree to tree
(from Poetrix issue 8 and Avant 2009)

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