Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site

Autumn on Australia Street


Australia Street

I know it's autumn when exotic imports
lose their cargo of leaves
Empty branches startle the sky
Northern cut-outs curling in the sun
catch on fence wire at the school
flooding gutters after rain

In summer the gumtree in our yard
slims down, mindful of the dry spell
Oily crescents pressed underfoot
soften the asphalt under the line
Loose bark hangs in strips for weeks
like forgotten underwear

Gum nuts line the pathway to the bin
tiny hulls, our hidden progeny. 



Dark hands
beat the silence
Curled tight they hold
the anxious moment
— let others slip by

Years of blackness
spread across the palms
— rivers dispossessed
__going nowhere

Time runs out
with the present fear
— a lifeline held
__in metal cuffs
__caught at the wrist 



A man carries a child
on shoulders
braced for war

Small hands
hold arms
raised in surrender 

Brenda SaundersBrenda Saunders is a Koori poet from the Wiradjuri Nation. She has just had a chapbook Firestick published by the Varuna Writers' House at Katoomba. She was resident there recently as the Dorothy Hewitt Poetry Fellow for 2012. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, Brenda Saunders, Aboriginal poet



submit a comment

Existing comments

Hi, Is it acceptable to repost content of Eureka Street on Facebook with credits included? It is probably a great way to amplify the reach and influence of such an excellent service. Pace e bene, Regards, Terry Fitzgerald

Terry Fitzgerald | 22 May 2012  

Hi Terry ... Yes it certainly is acceptable, and we encourage all our writers and readers to do so. Thank you for your kind words about Eureka Street. Best, Tim Kroenert, Assistant Editor, Eureka Street

Tim Kroenert | 22 May 2012  

Similar Articles

When kids and cancer is a laughing matter

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 31 May 2012

Sleepless parents, on the eve of their child's surgery for a brain tumour, confess their fears to each other: that he will die, or acquire a disability. But they turn this, too, into a game. Far from making light of the situation, they find, in humour, genuine solace from genuine fear.


God gathers dust

  • Peter Gebhardt
  • 29 May 2012

Never hoards it, for he has new urns to make, for us to admire and, sometimes, to love.