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Poems: Hiraeth & Home

Arts & Culture

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Adelaide author and poet Roslyn Ross looks at homecomings after many years away.

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from the Welsh, longing, nostalgia

Source of soul and senses,
place of mind and heart,
so the land dispenses,
no matter if apart.

Smell of acrid eucalypt,
smoke of burning bush,
liquid crystal carolling,
magpies on the roof.

Cerulean the shining sky,
light bursts in a drench,
sunshine screams intensely;
so the day is spread.

Creep of morning calmness,
drift of evening sighs,
so the earth stays breathing;
ancient, worn and wise.


Headland huddled holding staggered ground,
house held fragile against the misted sea,
in distant gazing, silenced windows;
nothing but the sigh of breathing waves is found.

As if dropped at once into final, steady place,
with each rock gathered from the falling cliff,
and pressed tightly into possibility and hope;
so does this small refuge sit with grace.

High above the suck and shrug of salty ocean,
tossing songs of crusting, ancient words,
cosseted by golden, keening bush and leaf;
trailing dusty hands with eloquent emotion.

Horizon hurls itself into its brutal destiny,
far away from what is here and now,
calling softly on the scuds of foaming light;
so my home sits quiet, ever waiting.

Roslyn Ross has recently returned to Adelaide after spending three decades living around the world, mostly in Africa and India, but also in Europe, North America and the UK. As well, she spent time living and working around Australia. Ross is a former journalist, who has worked as a freelance manuscript editor. She has written poetry from childhood, and had work published in a number of anthologies, mainly in the US but also recently in Australia. She began fiction writing about 20 years ago and has completed five novels and a work of non-fiction based on her four years in Angola during the civil war. Current projects include a non-fiction work about tracing her Greek great-grandfather, a biography of her mother, a book on spirituality, and a sixth novel. More about Roslyn and her poetry and work can be found on her blog here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.


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