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Fellow creatures

  • 03 February 2020


Selected poems


Fellow creatures

with blazes nearby, TV news bars well on fire

we human animals are panicked

feel the shudder of rotors above our roofs


very soon thirsty


will thunder down to drink

from our neighbourhood lake


may we remember tomorrow

nothing will be more worried

than pelicans in broken reeds

the night heron in its naked tree


we should pity frogs and dogs

and other animals, not so far away

also trembling in their homes


time for us to pray

from what God has joined together

let nothing separate




Jogging by Herdsman Lake

he jogs on twisting plaster

of limestone path

circling the lake


swooping welcome swallows

splinter shadow and brightness

bisect shoreline trees


surface water suns itself

trickles between islands of rushes

idles towards an unseen drain

there is no race


youngsters are passing

but he's still jogging

however sluggishly


pursued by that future

when curtained off

he will toss in the towel


he runs on, he runs on

more aware of

his breathing now




From Mount Eliza

your gun sight blocked by the haze

across a long range of hills

the city below a lacquerish dream

Perth Water in just enough focus


to see jellies bobbing

a metre from Mounts Bay Road

you scan a littered shoreline

million bricks of an old brewery


you peer into the crow's nest

of a colonial palm tree

wind waggling its elephant ears

lurid as wasp, a cyclist clad


in orange and black

buzzes up Mitchell Freeway

beyond the gleam of the city

lots going on that you won't see




Single bedroom apartment, Churchlands Green

looking down upon the suburbs

her third-floor window view

headlights joust up Pearson Street

a girdle of street lamps to the east

mapping Herdsman's jagged, black sea


beyond Subiaco, a stack

of poker chips above the CBD

crossing the room to stare

through west facing window

at a hump of dark


foreshadowing coastline

Wembley Public Golf Course

crowned with a cloud of light

illuminations from the driving range

where clowns propel white tracer


shadows of old trees spilling down grassed banks

daisy chain cut-outs

which she fancies

as tall, dark men holding hands

going downstairs for a walk through the Estate


houses lit up on all four sides

spying people sharing hives

soft volumes of light in family rooms

filled with warm, warm lives

another thing she's never known




an Academic Taskforce sign

its arrow pointing down

a street in our suburb

where we meet


a happy looking Chinese family

the little girl in yellow padded jacket

is waving, waving at us

Woofy trots six steps forward


wags his curly tail

a tide of smiles, Yangtze wide

in this way and that nods either side

morning greetings, or Ni hao



Ross Jackson lives in Perth. He has had work in many Australian literary journals and some of his poems have appeared in New Zealand, Ireland, England and Canada. He writes about the experience of aloneness in the suburbs,