Writing Place 2021

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At the Hurst

By Marissa Ker

(A poem without a strategy)

In the grounds of the former home of the extravagant and iconoclastic John Osborne,

the sun beat down hotter than a blacksmith’s forge at the edge of the Sahara.

The ghost of Baudelaire pushed his glasses up his nose and sighed,

‘This poem is so prosaic

you could cut it up and use it for a mosaic.’

Inside, the space between the amnesiac computers and the listed staircase

was filled with hush.

Upstairs, a young poet’s ego was having ructions

blocking her in the process of turning gold back into lead.

Resisting the temptation to take off her clothes and laze, she sat down and wrote a poem.

For weak coffee tastes like Chinese medicine

essential oils of lavender and petit grain evoke a tiny doll with a varnished wooden face

fresh air and vistas of British countryside relax the soul.

Then she went for a walk in the woods.


About Marissa Ker

Marissa is a writer who calls Queensland home. Her writing has been published in Plumwood Mountain and The West Ender and read aloud in Australia and overseas. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from The University of Queensland. She also makes theatre as founding artistic director of Lorikeet Players, with a focus on ‘funny stuff with a social justice twist’. She holds a Diploma from Philippe Gaulier Theatre School in France. She is profoundly deaf.


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