Poem- 15 (5.2)

Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 5, Number 2. November 2022. ISSN: 2581-7094



--- Barrina South

I was here

marked only by the words on the page

abstention from the outside world

affording space for deep listening 


Godoomba, Godoomba

Godoomba, Godoomba


words roll lightly across my tongue

drinking  it in like sweet water

from the swollen banksia flowers after the rain


words awake a conversation, a  susurration

that comes up from deep within the valley floor

they remember, I have been here before

a long time ago


body is sore

assailed by doubts

caused by unsympathetic orators of past critics

time spent lamenting

for unfinished poems


that sit 


just outside my window

hanging in the morning mist

just out of reach

or stolen at dusk

carried on the antiphonal call of the currawongs




                                        --- Barrina South 

(first published in Too Deadly Our Voice, Our Way, Our Business by Us Mob Writing 2017)

bulging banks, sodden with water

          nature’s refuse washes away downstream

                   dry branches bounce, to the rhythm of the current

ripples form,


          and disappear

tree trunks, freshly painted with the river flow

turn to marble


scars made by the Old people, are reminders of past floods

farm fences delve into the river and straight up the other side

                   they fence the rivers too


crumpled water tanks lie on their sides

kerosene tins

          bed frames

                   broken glass remains, in memorial to those who once lived by the Baaka


Listen carefully


You can imagine the women from the Mission


                   as they care for their children playing in the river

a place of respite from the government gaze

                                      and control




                             --- Barrina South

cool damp air

finds bare thighs

warm palms slide


my hands dig deep

into sandstone grit

last of the light

lilac shadows

contours of

armpits and pelvic bone


I take Country home to bed

in my hair and on the soles of my feet


Ghost Gum

                                            --- Barrina South

(first published in Too Deadly Our Voice, Our Way, Our Business by Us Mob Writing 2017.)

upon the once young creamy, pink-tinged skin

pooled blood appears on the surface

caused by previous contusions

leaving her discoloured


recent lesions continue haemorrhaging

old sores still weeping

the disfigured and swollen skin

now tight

shiny, ready to split


her veins draw the healing sap to the surface

to medicate all wounds

seasonally white, powdery, bark scales

are shed

stolen by the hot wind

saucer like seeds fall out of wide-open woody mouths

of those who sing, as they regurgitate

the beginning of another


in the cool of the night



she reaches up and gently sways

dancing in time with the stars

as they sweep across the desert night sky


Interliminal Encounters: Indian and Australian writers in po(i)etic dialogue, eds Amelia Walker and Aden Burg