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Hi, I’m Kristen Roberts. I’m going to read two poems from my manuscript in progress. The first is “Termination”.
( based on Anthony DiMatteo’s poem ‘Beautiful’)
You hold her hand, your failings quieted
by the cushion of air between your palms,
by your tandem fall of heels on bitumen.
The train’s gone, and the carpark you cross
is full of cars waiting to be filled, waiting
for the end of a day you know is too big
to fit neatly into twenty-four hours.
You imagine it there, that serpent flooding her,
curlicues of determination swelling
beneath her still-flat belly.
You’re both still children yourselves.
On the threshold you pause, say in silence
more than you have in weeks then close your eyes,
the door behind you, dare not think of what you’ll leave behind.
all kinds of sheep on the hills
Cloud-shadows run the land
like a farmer’s hand over the flank of an animal,
seeking out swelling or pain. They gather in dark flocks
at the peaks of the hills before spilling out
and down, the spooked and the followers,
down to the fields where they skim furrowed soil
and bleed into flooding lakes.
From the road we saw that the stars had fallen onto the hillside,
milling carelessly there and twinkling
as though this might save them from the wolves.
The sky was deeper without them
and the moon not as bright, as though the sole survivor.
The dozers droned for weeks after the fire,
shearing the hill of the charcoal trees and carting their dark scars away.
And one day the hill was shoved, brutally, down the chute
and out into its paddock again, bare and bewildered,
clipped of its coat and defenceless against the looming night.
But this time the stars were high, and the wolves had nowhere to hide.
ABOUT KRISTEN ROBERTS:
Kristen Roberts is a Melbourne-based poet working on her first manuscript, Field Notes from the Suburbs. She won the page seventeen poetry competition in 2011, and the ACT Writers Centre poetry prize (now the Michael Thwaites Poetry Award) in 2009 and 2010. She is currently in the midst of a Retreat Fellowship at Varuna, and can think of no better place to write.
“Varuna is an amazing environment for writers – free from distraction and responsibility, with the bush at your window and all the warmth and comfort of home.” Kristen Roberts
On the way to your Funeral (Quadrant )
One Night Stand (Quadrant )
Old Woman in a Window (Quadrant )
She sees Nothing (Quadrant )
Amid Winter (page seventeen)
Nothing Left for Holding You (page seventeen)
Today is for Swimming ( Quadrant and The Green Fuse )
Until This (ACT Write)
Night Music (page seventeen)
City Trees (Maribyrnong Leader)
An End to a Life (ACT Write, Quadrant and The Green Fuse)
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