Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Coburg by Amelia Walker


The old man hung stuffed animals
from the trellis in his front yard.
Sometimes he'd hobble out to water the tomatoes.
If he spoke English, it was a secret.

When it rained, the corpses swelled
and the framework creaked as if to sigh.
The tomatoes were red and round as valentines.
I don’t know who ate them.

I came upon this poem in an anthology called Reflecting On Melbourne and took to it straight away. Such a little charmer of a poem, with its own weird energy. I don't know Coburg, which is on the Upfield line, very well yet, but this poem gives me a way of seeing it. An entree into its mystery. Amelia is a friend. When she lived in Melbourne we boarded together for a bit and she ran me to the doctor and made me mushroom soup when I was very very sick. So she's nice with it. We also toured Frankston together with the Melbourne Poets Union and I miss her very much now she has gone away. She is a seriously committed poet but she has a light, fresh touch which is very appealing to me. I always thought she would go far, and of course she has. She's gone to The Netherlands.

Amelia Walker is an Australian poet currently based in the Netherlands. She has published two collections of her poetry and three primary school poetry books in Macmillan's 'All You Need To Teach...' series.


  1. Hi Jennifer. I like the poem. It's has a direct, mysterious quality. It rings true. All the best for the new year and congratulations on winning The Kathleen Grattan Award.

  2. Simple and intriguing at the same time; I like the open endedness too.