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Books & Poetry

Poem: Pomegranates

Books & Poetry

Mediterranean fruits of antiquity at home in South Australia are the subject of this week’s Poet’s Corner from medico and “gastronaut” Susan O’Brien.

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punica granatum

Shining spring leaves
guard the dancers:
slender sculpted sepals
studded with gold
flaring red petticoats
of crushed silk…

Skirts fade and fall
slim bodies swell
to polished scarlet summer orbs
with calyx coronets

facets align
colour deepens
jewels of flavour
perfectly packed
in a leather pouch
of deep magenta

Regal fruit of Carthage
garnet apples
hanging on
against the winter.

The Good Oil

Olea europaea

Mediterranean ancient

The grove
the tree
the crop
the pick
the crush
the slurry…
First press beryl
liquid gold to follow

Olio verde
First of the crush
Extra virgin
Cold pressed, cool stored
green in green glass
life-extending polyphenols
mind-extending flavonoids

Olio, olio
Culinary magic:
simply slurp it
fruity on the nose
pepper on the palate

Olio, olio
lingual velvet.


cydonia oblonga

Fruit of Smyrna
millennial survivor,
quince is no
tender cultivar

Deep in a dry gully
the yellow deepens
the skin toughens
the brown fluff thickens
the stone cells round the core
form rocks
the flavour is deep promise…

Quinces seek no flattery
and patience is rewarded:
Gently rub off all the fluff
pack into a heavy pot
add some sugar, enough water
simmer slow
for nearly ever
Your reward will always be
deepest ruby,
fulsome flavour.

Susan O’Brien lives half of her time off the grid overlooking the gorge of the Finniss River on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the other half in Adelaide’s CBD. Since recent semi-retirement from medical practice as a GP with a specific interest in mental health, she has started to capture her poems on the page, writing about what the natural world may present. A particular associated delight is South Australia’s produce – its wines, olives and other Mediterranean fruits. Her poems have appeared in Friendly Street anthologies, and she has performed at places such as the Coriole vineyard, and on 101.5 FM Radio Adelaide’s Gastronaut program.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.






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