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Books & Poetry

Joyce Freedman's Drought

Books & Poetry

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Canberra-based poet and former public servant Joyce Freedman ponders nature’s response to the harsh impact of drought in the first of two poems featured this week.


The tree’s almighty sigh
A crow’s raw cry for rain.
The earth, patterned and dry
The tree’s almighty sigh.
Mustering clouds ask why
Waiting engenders such pain?
The tree’s almighty sigh
A crow’s raw cry for rain.

Needs to pay attention

Vexed by my lack of urgency
in stacking my groceries,
the woman queuing behind me asks:
What on earth are you doing?

Sorry, I say,
I was just messing about.
An echo from my childhood,

my response surprises me.
This strange, inattentive child,
whoever she is,
chuckles all the way home.

Joyce Freedman was born in Wimbledon in England and has lived in Canberra since the 1970s. She has been a public servant, studied painting at the ANU, and seen her poems published in The Canberra Times, Quadrant and other magazines. In 2009 she was shortlisted for the ACT Writers Centre’s Michael Thwaites Poetry Award.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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