Janne Graham

Janne D Graham comes from a background of social policy and health advocacy – not one designed to develop a poetic sensibility. She corralled a compatible group of women because she wanted help and support in her newish venture of poetry writing. It worked. The various outlooks and values, different knowledge bases, to say nothing of personalities, have provided a supportive environment for her writing. She has even had a little publication success. Julia Irwin was well-known in the busy poetry circles of eighties Canberra, publishing and performing. She left for the Coast to pursue her love of dance and a new husband. Back in Canberra, less active and shorter of sight, a chance meeting with a distant relative led her to The Moorings. There, her love of words lay in wait for her, coupled with a growing interest in the beauty of small things closely observed. Now she lives not far away in Braidwood and it’s all happening there, too. Neva Kastelic likes to take photos and write poems about the moment. Through a happy twist of fate, she became a part of The Moorings group. She has learned a lot from her fellow Moorings poets, including to not start her reading of a new poem with an apology. If there is a theme to her poems it is this: ‘what’s it all about, Alfie?’ Her poetic goal is to write a perfectly formed sonnet. Maybe not today. Meryl Turner had begun to write poetry again when she was invited to join The Moorings. This group has enabled her in many ways but particularly to experiment with the matching of poetic form to ideas and words. One member contributed with her knowledge of Japanese forms, another with close observations and yet another is a friend who shares Meryl’s love of art and the word. After workshopping there has been the encouragement to place poems deemed ready ‘into the drawer’. For Meryl, writing is both wrestling with concepts and playing with words.


Giant Steps

Until 2003, ancient legislation in France banned women from appearing in public clad in trousers.

sleek-limbed in black leather
stands on the stage
discussing poems and dance …
a pirouette of tutus

As for me, an audience member, I have not owned a skirt this century.

– Amelia Fielden


Pass some time in the great white space.
– Glyn Maxwell

Stare down the white of the blank, blank page:

Sails billowing, wind blowing wild
a yacht riding ocean’s white-horse rage
a cumulous cloud, whimsical, flying
soft drifting snow falling peacefully down

old style fridge with the art of a child
satin and sheen of a bridal gown
gardenia brought as a visitor’s token
a doctor’s coat as he tends the dying

These are the spaces where poems are written
– Janne D Graham

Ode To A Tomato

O ovoid shape! Perfect for hand-cupping
Thou silent form of silk smooth skin
Purple-red diffuses into bottle-green
Ready for the picking
Your sweet-earthed perfume
Suggesting delicious mingling
With beetroot for hearty soup

Your taste so rich and deep
Your crown these days of summer heat
With produce of Black Russian beauty.
– Meryl Turner

autumn sentence

it’s really now in autumn that I feel I’m firmly caught in my truly-past-my-prime years and it’s now these past-my-time fears overtake me and I grizzle that the evening cold just makes my back ache and the early darkness and its silence slowly hobbles my once-easy spirit and defiance and my mind becomes a slack and boring sitter on the nearest fence while my ankle’s got a cannon thumping in it and I know it disappoints you that my missed-its-time-love’s got sore joints and is there any point to my breathless grasping for the fading finish line fading faster as I’m gasping in the thin dark air and leaf mould and the cold embrace of too-old.
– Neva Kastelic

At Strathnairn

deserted road
moss-backed tortoise crossing
stalled at our approach
now cars are everywhere
as we lift him, small paws dangling

almost but not quite
this makes up for the snake
we ran over yesterday
I still see the sun
blaze off those bronze scales.
– Julia Irwin

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