InReview InReview

Support independent journalism

Books & Poetry

Poems: Adelaide & The Old Town Still Lives Strong

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Linda Kohler continues her look at South Australian places and rivers through a family connection.

Print article


With its River Torrens, arts and culture

Slow river afternoons
hoist themselves around
occasional bends
and sharp players.

It is news when there is news.

It is hard to live here:
more cars than people,
and parking a thriving heart
on a slow boat
keeps the poems
and painters
awake at night.

The Old Town Still Lives Strong

In memory of grandmother Ivy May Kohler
who moved to another river at Renmark on
marriage to William Kohler also from Adelaide,
who became more a lover of the Murray
River than the Torrens.

I cried seventeen rivers when you died,
all of them bigger than the Torrens.

Seventeen years later
there is still the way
William would say,
“they’ve turned the Torrens upside down again”
and you, calling blasphemy,
defending your river, his ‘stream’
with flood force.

It might please you to know
the water sings
your proud armaments,
perhaps to prove William wrong,
it’s still flowing these days.

It takes a mighty soul to hold an empty river.

Linda Kohler lives in Adelaide but grew up on a fruit block outside of Renmark. Her family has also had associations with both of today’s locations. Her poetry has been published in various Australian journals and anthologies, including previous contributions to InDaily’s Poet’s Corner. She has been a highly commended applicant for the Australian Society of Authors Poetry Mentorship Program, a waitress, a television scriptwriter, a proofreader and teacher. Her inspiration comes from the natural world and the beauty of the human spirit.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Books & Poetry stories

Loading next article