On the rise leading up to the dam   

                its dense clumps of reed

stirring gently in mud  

in amongst the stand of black wattles and soft

                       grey-green haze of spindly

melaleuca           a mob

of cockatoos     maraud      from tree to

           tree            ripping at bark         burrowing

for insects    laughing and

chattering       shrieking bandsaws

            in the early spring sunlight       that

catches at sap       shimmers

leaves          their bodies     are large

            black sails         flapping and swinging     between

branches    they rise   together

calling into crispness            the pungent blue

                     vivid yellow flashing in

lift of stately wing      stirring up small

grey fantails       as they go  

          twirling and diving        

                         in puffs of ruffled air

Thanks to Phillip Hall and Jillian Hall for publishing this poem in Burrow (September 2021)

This Shuttered Eye is launched!

My most recent book of poetry, This Shuttered Eye (Girls on Key 2021) has been launched! Courtesy of Melbourne’s #4 Lockdown we weren’t able to gather in the Open Studio as planned – but we still had an excellent evening on zoom. The book was superbly launched by poet and colleague Anne Elvey to a ‘full gallery’ of poets, friends and family – and some open mic readings added terrific energy and variety to the evening. Thanks to Girls on Key for the event and to the wonderful Michele Seminara who edited the book – a great experience of close reading exchange. Signed copies of the book are available here.

2020 Shelter in Place Poetry Reading and Artist Talk: A collaborative exhibition of poetry and image

Visual artist Sharon Monagle and I were thrilled to open the exhibition of 2020 Shelter in Place last week and to launch the book of this collaborative project – a beautiful publication by Liquid Amber Press (available at the gallery or available here).

This was a project based in individual and collective/communal responses to the challenges of 2020 – we’d love to have your company to hear me read through the year’s seasons, surrounded by Sharon’s wonderful art work: Saturday May 1, 2-4 at the Kingston G3 Art Space in Parkdale.

2020 Shelter in Place: Opening and Launch next Thursday April 15,6-8

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A reminder that 2020 Shelter in Place kicks off next week at the G3 Gallery in ParkdaleA series of cross-media responses to the various intensities of last year, 2020 Shelter in Place is a collaborate exploration in poetry and paint. from me and visual artist Sharon Monagle. Please also note that you will need to register for your free ticket via the links below (to meet Covid-safe requirements).

We would love to see you at the Opening of the exhibition and Launch of the book of the project (Liquid Amber Press) next Thursday April 15, 6-8, and/or at the Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, Saturday May 1, 2-4.

Opening of exhibition and launch of book, Thursday April 15, 6-8

Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, Saturday May 1, 2-4

We’re really looking forward to sharing our work with you!

Rose’s Poetry News March 2021

Hi everyone,
As we all know, 2020 was certainly a rough ride in many ways. However, for me it was also a very productive time both in terms of my own poetry practice and my collaborations with visual artist Sharon Monagle – even if some of those collaborations were via technology!

2021 is now seeing the culmination of that work, with the recent publication of my latest book of poetry plus a forthcoming exhibition with Sharon.

I’m really proud of my new collection, This Shuttered Eye – all
about looking at the world of nature, of art and of human
interactions – and how we are shaped by those acts of
engagement, the shutterings of the imagination’s eye
Available here from Girls on Key Press.

I would also like to announce an exhibition of conversations in poetry and paint, 2020 Shelter in Place, and invite you to attend one or both of our events:

  • the Opening of the Exhibition on Thursday April 15 (launched by poet Anne M. Carson) and

The book of the exhibition (Liquid Amber Press) will be available at the Gallery – as will the book of the collaborative project Sharon and I did before the onset of Covid-19, Who do I think I am?

We hope to see you there!


2020 Shelter in Place: Poetry and Paint in Conversation

My new collaborative exhibition, 2020 Shelter in Place with visual artist Sharon Monagle, opens at the Kingston G3 Gallery Space in Parkdale. Emerging from the realities of ‘friendship in isolation,’ these conversations in poetry and paint track us through that strange year.

  • Opening and Launch by poet Anne M. Carson, 6-8pm Thursday April 15.
  • Interactive Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, 2-4pm Saturday May 1

The exclusive book of the project/exhibition (Liquid Amber Press), including both poems and paintings, will be available at the Gallery.

We hope to see you there!

This Shuttered Eye – now available!

J.M.W. Turner ‘Yacht Approaching the Coast’

This Shuttered Eye – now available from Girls on Key here

I’m pleased to let you know that feminist/inclusive press Girls on Key Poetry are publishing my next book, This Shuttered Eye in 2021. Thanks Anna Forsyth and team! This is a book clustered around the experience of looking – of paying attention to the natural world as well as the world of visual art (hence the Turner image) – and what might happen when that external world, or canvas, or text… is mediated through our own point of view. The eye of perception and interpretation: shuttered, opening, closing, letting in and making sense of.

Spring Sijos

We may still be in lockdown, but it is Spring and that at least needs celebrating!

Spotted Pardalote builds a nest in the earth

Conditions for Joy

A seed        incipient      lodging in the right soil       an attention     

patient    to the act of watering         the warmth of lengthening days and the quiet

dark of build and slip and        incremental           unfurling


In warmth of sunshine      and sudden bursts of rain         a blackbird

sings his territory    to me      from fig tree   to lemon   to bougainvillea            his small body

vibrating     with expostulation     and cadence     and the seriousness of his season

What it means to be busy

Their springtime nest      tunnelled   into a warm bank of earth   the spotted pardalotes

are busy as                          a Buddhist monk                    doing chores and

basking            in the first shimmer       of morning light

Poetry and Music

Thanks to Anne Elvey and Plumwood Mountain for publishing my review of Martin Langford’s new collection of poetry and prose, Eardrum: poems and prose about music (Puncher and Wattman, 2019). A topic that’s very close to my heart!

Here’s a poem of mine which also works to find the shared language of music and poetry:


This is the nature of things           this dense fabric

           of sound

these threads of what thrums              true

                       in my sternum            call it melody

the simultaneity of harmony           where threads of pitch or

             timbre might            intersect                   surfaces tumbling and

touching each other         notes that lean close       then

          yearn apart        suspended      shimmering      somehow

held together                           here is     


marshalled      for a short time      in the generosity

                       of what is beautiful       

cradled              in the phrasing of an idea

           this pattern                 a language that strikes

or glides          or quivers        reverberating

                    through bodies     or wood     or silver       the hollowed bellows

of its making                scribed on air

         this is the way the world turns           the recurring question

of depth     its opaque archaeologies   finding

             the updraft         the prospect of

ocean           unbearability

of the falling away

Old Water Rat Publishing brings you: burrow

My dear friend Phillip Hall has, with Jillian Hall, just published the first issue of the e-journal burrow.

I’ve been fortunate enough for them to publish a pandemic poem of mine ‘Unleavened: Easter 2020.’ What do we hang on to in such a time of loss and dislocation? And yet there is a persistence, a desire to continue; Easter is one way of telling that story.

Have a read: