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Books & Poetry

Poem: My mailbox is a fridge

Books & Poetry

Places both country and city-wide with their ‘anywhere-in-Australia feel’ are the inspiration for this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Troy Forrest in Adelaide.

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My mailbox is a fridge

This place you get to pull your boots on
to smell the warm concrete after tardy rains
the sweetness of sugar gum leaves scrunched in your palm

This place you’re from long or blew into
to set up stumps by stretches of shale
rinsed by crystal salt baths
on rust-coloured clay that dries and blows
in willy-willies
snaking between weatherboard Settler’s homes
with Great White Kelvinators for mail boxes
past rendered outdoor kitchens in concentric burbs
squashed together Colorbond etched
where fat lamb and rosemary sizzle
and kids shriek Marco Polo
in rashies, cheeks streaked, white buttons
battling a sun that blues the sky brighter than any
and there’s always a former talking on the screen and in the air
and there’s a ball on the Kikuyu strip out back
where a Hills Hoist used to hang

This place does crackling Bahn Mi and couscous and crumpets
smeared black bright as bright
where it’s hot and wet and light and its battlers are trying
it’s an awkward mix, this place
being on job preserving observing
plaiting better

On a good day, it’s bloody magic, this place
it’s a dog leg pockmarked white metal road
saltbush down the side concealing the arms coat
past the one ten K sign where you can plant the foot
and stick your head out the side window
keeping your grinning gob shut so you don’t
eat flies
feel the Doctor blustery southerly
the steamy build-up Up North
listening to crickets and watching the blue
eucalypt haze stretch over out far
and smell that magnificent rain
on dirt that’s been here since ever

on this magnificent place
you get to pull your boots on.

Troy Forrest grew up in the South-East of South Australia and lives in Adelaide with his wife and two teenage daughters. With a BSc in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Adelaide, a Graduate Diploma of Management from Central Queensland University and Certificate of Coaching and Mentoring from the Australian Institute of Management, he is the founder of the consultancy Strategy Road, through which he facilitates strategic planning, training, sales and leadership team coaching for clients in health, agriculture, education, wine and more, throughout regional Australia. Albeit new to poetry, the disciplines of writing overall through his business and other publications have been part of his livelihood for more than 30 years.

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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