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Books & Poetry

Poems: Insomnia & A Man of Few Words

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner features two contrasting contributions from Ros Schulz.

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Insomnia thrashes about on my pillow.
A friend suggests I should train my mind –
focus on a deep well or a long tunnel
to quiet the brain – but I find it
simply invites images, random, surreal.
I give up and concentrate on
writing something in my head.
That’s when I fall asleep.

A Man of Few Words

My electrician is a man of few words
and no eye contact at all – he forges
through the doorway in a sideways shuffle
as though carrying a ladder and watching its extremities.
Maybe a how are ya or good weather in’t
or an oblique political comment –
no reply seems to be needed.

He’ll leave me down at the switch box to note
which of ninety nine wires moves when he tugs it
from way up in the roof, and forget about me.
I came upon him at the side of the house standing,
head to the side, gazing at the plumbing job just done –
four pipes curving down parallel
into the horizontal lead-away.
Beautiful he said.

Ros Schulz spent her childhood in the Barossa Valley and Murray Mallee before settling in Adelaide. A high school teacher for 12 years in country South Australia and then in Adelaide, and a for year in London, she was also a TAFE lecturer in Communication Studies for a further 15 years. She twice won the Mindshare’s Open Your Mind Poetry Competition, an initiative of the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia, in 2010 and 2011, and was co-editor of Friendly Street’s annual poetry anthology Reader 42 in 2018. She has also appeared personally in all Friendly Street’s annual anthologies since Reader 21, in various Australian journals and magazines, and has published three collections of her poetry.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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.


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