The virtues of hoarding



They throw things out they do — no clutter there
Rooms bare like haiku
What comes in the front door goes out the back
Virtue for the household's not to hoard
No remnants kept of rack.

Let me have things about me not thrown out!
Reminding things are made by hands, spent from the earth,
You can't take any with you, that is sure,
Nor likely leave behind.
But when they ask, 'Do you have a widget, a grommet, a poem by ...?' yes, I have.
These old signifiers, tools, curiosities, taking up space
Papers in piles, things for re-use, jars, books, ancient dolls.
What do you worship? This clutter? Or a bare shelf?
Oh, what a busy house, clutter of work, clutter of minds.
The world with us, noise, phones, computers, people, cars day and night, problems, fights,

And within the cluttered home for the body
A small space for the soul
but light and a straw mat.

Valerie Yule


In the end
comes home.

So home
must have
no walls
to limit the return,
nor roof
to block
the upward
gaze of wonder.

Home must
be as particular
as the memory
of rain
on a certain
on a certain
in childhood.

Home must
be as empty
as a monk
for a god.

Home must
be as spacious
as a desert plane
full to bursting.

Home must
be the thoughtful
pieces fall
though may not
ever fit;

as tender
as the fall.

when the universe
to its limit.

In the end
comes home.

Rob Donnelly

Something to celebrate!

We are not what we seem
We are made of memories
Not flesh and bone
We are the special experiences
Both rewarding and challenging
We are the quiet moments
Not just the big occasions
We are the thoughts
The conversations, the feelings
That we celebrate and deny
No, we are not the surface
The appearance, the shield
From the world
We are not that, never were
Never could be such a static thing
We are life in action
Developing, evolving
In every moment
Something exceptional
Something to celebrate!

B. W. Shearer

Zen retreat

I dive under a still surface,
Pay homage there,
Perhaps for days,
To the door dogs
Sleep and Boredom.
Then, maybe,
A green translucent silence will
Engulf me,
Depth shield me,
In a flow rich and thick with slow time.

Sounds can enter there.
The wind is its waves.
The clash of kitchen dishes,
A sigh of the person sitting next to me,
Are coloured fish
To watch as they pass steadily by.
And mind knots, nudged,
Nourished, by birdsong and passing thoughts
Slowly unravel
Into free waving seaweed.

On and on it flows.
And I know
That even if the sun were to rise from the west,
This sea is elemental,
And cannot be disturbed.

Nola Firth


Val YuleValerie Yule is a psychologist and teacher, and a researcher in the areas of imagination and literacy.

Rob DonnellyRob Donnelly is a Canberra based poet. He is currently working on a collection of poems exploring the early colonial experiences of Tasmania. 

B. W. ShearerB. W. Shearer is a Melbourne writer who has been published in the USA, Poland and Australia. A collection of his children's plays, Plays to Value, was published by Curriculum Corporation in 2005. 


Nola FirthDr Nola Firth is an essayist and poet, and an advocate for dyslexia awareness and support. Her work has been published in anthologies, literary and academic journals and in media outlets including The Age. She holds a PhD and is an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. 

Topic tags: New Australian poetry, Val Yule, Rob Donnelly, B. W. Shearer, Nola Firth



submit a comment

Existing comments

Thank you for the poetry. I am delighted each time I see it as part the particular edition of Eureka Street. The brief descriptions of each writer's background suggests a tiny insight into the place from where the poem comes. Many thanks.
patricia scully | 10 April 2012

Seems it is virtuous to hoard delighted to hear this wisdom
esme banks | 10 April 2012

something to celebrate
Gave me goose bumps
Just sold a home of 40 years to move on to another space......much heartache for family and friends....
the poem reminded me of other spaces and their value
in the journey
Gaj | 10 April 2012

Delighful poems... about an intersting topic... one which personally consumes me! nice to view from other perspectives!
"Recovering horder" | 11 June 2012


Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up