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Poems: Adelaide & The Old Town Still Lives Strong

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Linda Kohler continues her look at South Australian places and rivers through a family connection.

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With its River Torrens, arts and culture

Slow river afternoons
hoist themselves around
occasional bends
and sharp players.

It is news when there is news.

It is hard to live here:
more cars than people,
and parking a thriving heart
on a slow boat
keeps the poems
and painters
awake at night.

The Old Town Still Lives Strong

In memory of grandmother Ivy May Kohler
who moved to another river at Renmark on
marriage to William Kohler also from Adelaide,
who became more a lover of the Murray
River than the Torrens.

I cried seventeen rivers when you died,
all of them bigger than the Torrens.

Seventeen years later
there is still the way
William would say,
“they’ve turned the Torrens upside down again”
and you, calling blasphemy,
defending your river, his ‘stream’
with flood force.

It might please you to know
the water sings
your proud armaments,
perhaps to prove William wrong,
it’s still flowing these days.

It takes a mighty soul to hold an empty river.

Linda Kohler lives in Adelaide but grew up on a fruit block outside of Renmark. Her family has also had associations with both of today’s locations. Her poetry has been published in various Australian journals and anthologies, including previous contributions to InDaily’s Poet’s Corner. She has been a highly commended applicant for the Australian Society of Authors Poetry Mentorship Program, a waitress, a television scriptwriter, a proofreader and teacher. Her inspiration comes from the natural world and the beauty of the human spirit.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


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