ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caroline has published six poetry books. The last one is
called Fraser Island Dingo, featuring a long poem about a mother dingo’s
Caroline has given public and private poetry readings in
Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, USA, and talks to schoolchildren. For eight years
she co-ordinated the Gold Coast Writers’ Poetry Group.
In 2004, she was short-listed for the Newcastle Prize. In
2005, she attended the first Florida Poetry Festival. In the
same year she won a scholarship to a poetry seminar at Sarah Lawrence College,
New York. On return to Australia she cut a CD, reading twenty-one of her poems.
In July 2006, she conducted a workshop supported by the
Gold Coast Writers’ Association.
She has had competition success. Her work has been
published in Australia, New Zealand and America.
Caroline edits poems for private collections and can be
contacted at email@example.com.
Whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them
And the dirt
Just to make clear
Where they come from
READ A SAMPLE:
How big the Queensland property?
Plenty big; too big for the city mind
From my city office I would see cattle
stretched over plains, under gum trees.
I would be hurrying their complacency
with my voice and the authority of my horse
through gates or baked wooden yards.
I would catch the train west, past the city’s
last houses, through hours of watching trees
to a small town, a small station, the pick-up ute
and a stockman leaning, cross-ankled against it.
He drove earth roads to the homestead,
its eiderdown of stars, cups of tea,
home-made cake, rough mattress, then oblivion.
I would wake newborn to the smell of earth
rolled out by the sun, and with that soul-renewing
smell of horse, leather and dirt, ride out
to the real and natural.
How many cattle in the homestead paddock?
Plenty, and easy to be lost.
Once young musterers left me
for the thrill to chase a native animal.
I shouted, rode in circles,
I rode my horse until my bottom ached,
led him until my feet ached, rode him,
led him, reliant he would take me home,
as horses do, or to water, as horses can,
but indifference lay smooth in his fetlock.
The three dogs stayed. They played.
They sniffed amongst gum leaves
and clutches of grass at tree base;
jumped scrub to chase hares and wallabies.
The sun wouldn’t stop shining.
The trees kept advancing.
My mind slipped amongst them.
None gathered as guides besides
the banks of a creek.
My canvas waterbag swung empty.
We all bled salt.
At dusk we found a shallow creek.
In line we all drank the brown water,
heaved our lungs, blew out our bellies,
then followed the creek.
The late breezes smoothed the heat
on our bodies, but not my anxieties.
I expected a night curled between saddle flaps;
then a clearing, and tyre marks yielding
to the gate of the square homestead,
brown, bland and beautiful
that breathed man’s pioneer spirit,
his relationship with himself.