Saturday, November 19, 2011

A slight change of pace...

Recently, I joined the Southern Highlands branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers.  It's been wonderfully inspiring, I have to say.  Each month, some writing topics are given as a kind of non-compulsory "homework".  This month, I actually tackled one!  The topic for poetry was "New Times".  Here's my effort:

New Times

She sags against the pier her filthy robe
A mockery.
Too blear and dull to clean or wash or dress
Matted hair in lousy, rank disharmony
Her blackened fingers rhythmically harass
The stench fouled air.
She stinks of piss.

Pedestrians avert their eyes and skirt
Discard a glance of pity or disgust
The city gleams with commerce, shines with industry
In this showcase of the prosperous, there’s no place
For such as her.
They’ll move her on.

Along the foreshore lights begin to glimmer,
The leisured and the young to come and play
Lover’s murmured voices drifting promises
To the twilight, not for them the close of day
Their universe
A world of hope.

Between the pylons, wakened to the darkness
Her every sharpened sense alert and bared
She battles them again; again remembering.
With all her strength, defends, she sees them clear
Those torments past
That shroud her still.

                                                   Kerry Miller

Incidentally (or perhaps not so incidentally...) I was searching for an image for this post online, and found an Australian charity that provides sleeping swags for homeless people.  The image above is from their site.  If you are interested, find it at:


  1. You could write so much about that portrait and we'd never get o the bottom of well.

  2. Yes, Stuart - I think so too. One of the other writers at the FAW commented that you could draw a novel out of the poem - which I took as a wonderful compliment - maybe I'll even try to write it one day...

  3. i dont criticise poetry, especially of living friends. I might do it of a long dead poet. Even then it kind of tears the magic apart. She deserves another poem. Is she demented? Does a son somewhere miss his mother?

  4. Stuart, I think she does - and I think the talented Mr Mawbey should be the one to write it!! Email it to me & I'll post it here (You can be my very first GUEST BLOGGER!!!)

  5. Uncaring unkempt
    world of pain an attitudes thought
    we reap what is sown

  6. Wow! Stuart you wrote it in haiku!
    And it brings an ache to my heart.
    Thank you for adding your words.



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