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Books & Poetry

Poem: Kangaroo River Searching for a Lure

Books & Poetry

Glenn McPherson revisits a fishing expedition in this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution.

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Kangaroo River Searching for a Lure

Southern Highlands, New South Wales

Take off those shoes father.
When school began you wore them.
Game were the ones who sung poetry
Into you. Others entered by clouds,
Waves and clouds like herrings, herrings
Bent on blue grass.

Remove socks; hold out that rod
Above your eyeline to me while you do.
It’s winter damn it! But you’re a fisherman
And we have come by foot
A few hours down this valley.
Still, the low hum of a plane can be heard
Away to the north.

No-one made you join the military.
No-one brought you to the Lord.
No-one ran an index finger
Along the line you now walk
Into the water as a shadow pours
Down the salmon trunks
To sit by the makings of a fire.

Is it any wonder, the depth?
It drops off after a few steps,
Even though the river is not much
Wider than you can spit.
Of the sunk tree only a few snarled limbs
Above the water for the grey crane,
And kingfisher, remain.

Steam settles about your chest
And there is this sucking sound as you get
Under the snag to retrieve your lucky lure.

Two bass are cleaned and lie
Over the coals. When they are cooked
And you are dry, we eat in silence.
For the first time I see a deer
Pass through the clearing
Dip its elegant head and take water.

Glenn McPherson lives in Sydney. Published in leading Australian poetry journals and anthologies, he has worked as a teacher for more than 20 years. Growing up in small country towns in Central Queensland and North-Western NSW, he received his teaching degree from the University of New England, followed by his Masters in Education then Masters in Creative Writing, from The University of Sydney. He helps run a school creative journal at Broughton Anglican College, assisting students in developing skills in journalism and creative writing. They published their first edition before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and an interview with celebrated Australian poet, essayist and teacher Mark Tredinnick was the first to be included in the journal.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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