Archive for the ‘Louise Oxley’ Category

This poem by Louise Oxley captures in a simple domestic scene the angst and longing of adolescence framed haphazardly by social ritual, rites of passage and life in a rural society. Yet there is a deep poetic vision in this poem pushing the readers thoughts out beyond the everyday into the vast  mystery that is the night sky, that is life. It is not surprising that this poem won The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize 2004.

My mother is kneeling with the good scissors

and I am waiting on a hot afternoon

with the ticking clock, the bite of blades against the boards,

yards of crepe falling away from her hands, from the knot

she is tying at the nape, from under the shoulder-blade wings,dummy

the hipfall, the soft handful of puce and crimson, yellow and white

dropping out of her fingers, my mother through a mouthful of pins

telling me Stand up straight. Stand evenly on both feet,

her lips stuck with bright pinheads, Is that too tight?

Beyond the blinds roses have opened themselves to a honey centre.

The hopeful boy will be there with the condom still in his pocket.

Van Morrison’s dark abandon will disturb hay-strewn corners

where the country boys in their farm boots and dinner suits

will be tossing back beer after beer, their hands, like their fathers’,

already growing big from work while their eyes grow small

from sun and rifle-sights. I could go

in this halter-neck with the patient boy down to the river,

my yearning sharp and shadowed as new moons,

adrift in the river of dress, the flowered fabric

shifting from hip to hip, my mother’s mouth full of pins,

the night sky blue as flight, beetle-back blue.


 Louise Oxley

Louise Oxley Photo

 Louise Oxley was born in Hobart and lives there with her two sons. Her first collection, Compound Eye, was published in 2003 by Five Islands Press as part of its New Poets Series and was launched with the others in the series on a grand tour across the Nullarbor and back. It was shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award in April 2004. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals and newspapers. Among her awards are the Banjo Paterson and Henry Kendall Awards and the Tom Collins Award 2003.

Her most recent book isLouise-Oxley-front-cover Buoyancy published by Five Islands Press.

Books can be purchased through the publisher @ $19.95 & $5.00 postage#mce_temp_url#




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