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Family business


Selected poems



Family Business


There are fewer holiday makers

going down the highway to beaches in summer

or up to the snow in winter

as Black Summer, Covid surges then high inflation

bring thinner trade to the historic wool-farming town

with nineteenth century red brick for business

and wooden houses for living.


Shops have less stock on shelves.

Local sales still go out

to farms on the Great Dividing Range

a ground-down mountain range of low hills

covered with grass for grazing.


The bakery is clean and bright, service cheerful.

Mother waits at the counter while her daughter brews coffee.

Cooking is done out the back

to fill the cut-back menu

and maintain the family’s dream.

The business survives as well as most.





Standing to face the sea

the dull green wash

then white stripes of growling surf

further out the deep blue

he watches and they calm him.


Shoreward, bees worry small blue flowers

in sand in front of low hard scrub.

Far behind, eucalypts green the escarpment;

as he gazes they calm him.


Turning he walks towards life

with its work and loved ones

to take up his part again.





Paul Williamson is an Australian poet. He has published poems in Australia, UK, US, Canada and Japan. His has seven collections including  Edge of Southern Bright (Ginninderra Press, 2017) and A Hint of Eden (Ginninderra Press, 2021).  He contributed to and participated in the release of the Canberra/Nara Twin City tanka poetry volume in Nara, Japan in late 2018.

Topic tags: Paul Williamson, poetry



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