Best Australian Poems – Poetry for Australia Day

Poetry for Australia Day

We are approaching Australia Day, 26 January.  Since this is a poetry blog our minds might turn to familiar poets who have written over the years. Some classic ladies like Dorothea MacKellar and Mary Gilmore stand out. Perhaps some of the gents such as A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson (a reading of ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ here) or Henry Lawson spring to mind. Maybe the humourous, like C.J. Dennis, with his ‘Glugs of Gosh’, captivated other readers too.  But there have been many, many other poets since them.  I keep returning to Les Murray and Bruce Dawe.  But, I am always on the lookout for others.

    Black Inc. Publishing have been giving readers a selection of Best Poems for some  years. Although I have not yet finished reading through it, I would like to send out a  shout to Black Inc. and Geoff Page, who have given us the 2015 edition.  We look forward to the 2016 edition.

What are your favourite Australian poets or poems?





Maximum White Space

Maximum White Space

This very brief poem is a kind of ‘spare verse’.  It uses an economy of words to play between the spaces of the page and the poem. The silence of the ‘white space’, as it were, is to give a frame or container for the poem.  Compare with Which Space?

Maximum White SpaceJPG

The Song Without Sound

The Song Without Sound

This is the third response to the film La famille Belier.  Part of the film includes moments where songs are ‘signed’.  This is an impression of that effect.


The Song Without Sound

A third response to the film La famille Belier


Can you hear?

It is the sound

Of a song

Without sound.

The sound

Of a song

Sung with hands,

With eyes,

And with embouchure

Of the mouth

Not for sound,

But for sight.

It is a song sung through




A pulsing hand

On the heart

Of the singer.

Can you hear?

Do you listen

And feel

Its tone?


I am the song of silence,

I sign the words this day,

I visually display sentiments,

And show the tune that way.

When you feel the resonance,

Of the song’s apt tones,

You need not have any volume,

For it vibrates in your bones.


Simon C.J. Falk     16 January 2016



I’m Back There Again

I’m Back There Again

Watching the film La famille Belier raised responses in me.  The daughter struggling to live with the consequences of her discovery took me back to similar struggles over talking on an extra, and more advanced, English unit at school.
I’m Back There Again

A response to La famille Belier
I’m back there again,

Awkward and nervous and


Trying, yes, it was trying,

But trying not to be seen,

Lest the little confidence

Might falter and fall

To pieces.

So I put my name

Upon the list

For the class.

But fright caused flight


I never fronted.

I wanted to and lingered

But could not carry myself

To the info meeting.


He came looking

For me

Yes, me.

That teacher was


To know


Why had I not come?

He still put me on

The list.


I did that English class.
Lived all this again, I did,

In the cinema,

On that wet day,

As the daughter

Of La famille Belier

Found her voice.

It frightened her

I felt it

I knew that damn’ed fear!

For it took me back.

She could not attend

Nor could l

Her voice

She could not own

As with I.

But her voice was freed

And took me back

To becoming.

Becoming self.

Becoming free.
Simon C.J. Falk 15 January 2016

La famille Belier

La famille Belier

Yesterday I saw this film called La famille Belier.  It was very moving and a trailer can be viewed on youtube.  The soundtrack also has a bright vivaciousness about it too. 


La famille Belier

The sight:

Of the countryside

Of Normandy,

Of signing

Between persons,

Flailing arms

In arcs and swings,




And decoding





The ‘sex life’

Of a couple.

Visual laughs,


Come the tears.


The sound:

Of lowing cows,

Honking horns,

Of silence,

Of inaudible groans

Of exasperation,

Of piano keys

In syncopated rhythm,


The intensity

Narrated before us.


The sound:

Of a voice,

First feeble,



Its fissure to freedom,


Out and out,

And flies,

From the back

Of a room to:


To Paris,

To us.

We hear

Its sound,

And its delicate

And unravelling



The love:

Of musician for music,

Of a family,

Of friendship,

Of the melody

That flows

And circles

And gathers

Into its rhythm

The narrative

On the screen,

And plays

A meaningful resonance

On the strings

Of our hearts.




Simon C.J. Falk   15 January 2016


Petite Pieces and Some a Tad Longer

Petite Pieces and Some a Tad Longer

Various bits of flotsam and jetsam that happen along the way. Some of them a bit gross and others leaning towards awareness of the beautiful. 


Arise and awaken

As the perspiration quickens,

And the dread,

The light head.

A freight train,

Stock car race


Whatever else,

Are going on in the gut below.

The duodenum

Is in convulsion


Pitter, patter,

Get to the matter!

Up she comes!

A torrent of liquid

And solids.


The waiting,

The settling,

And –

Ahhh –

The after sleep.



Simon C.J. Falk 10 January 2016



Decidedly Dishevelled



That’s it.

Decidedly dishevelled day.

As the hours pass

It all glides by

In a giddy sort of way.

Urge to sleep

Lurks around every corner.


Somehow is

Or isn’t

Wired quite right.

Hands, feet

Fumble and miss,

Yes, miss,

Today was a miss.

A decidedly dishevelled day.



Simon C.J. Falk 10 January 2016



Early Morning Drive


Early morning drive

Bounces the sleep

From tired eyes

And heavy bodies.


Slowly awaken,

Like petals, testing the sunlight.

And a vista emerges:

Light dancing across the lake,

Geese feeding in the stubble,

Almost serene, this scene,

And pose,

Behind the wheel.

Almost feel alive.



Simon C.J. Falk 10 January 2016



Farewell Feral Carpet

Farewell Feral Carpet

The pictures at the beginning of this post show the hallway carpet before removal.   It was worn, rotten, and, in some places, it was mouldy. The pictures at the end of this post show the floors after the removal of the offending floor coverings.


Farewell Feral Carpet


Farewell feral carpet,

We miss you not at all!

You keeper of lice from the pet,

And every grain of dust to fall.


We cut you and we rolled you,

Then we took you out the door,

We can now see the floorboards too,

Of the crafted timber floor.


Although the wood is scratched in spots,

And the white ants had a chew,

It will get cleaned and polished lots,

And we will sand off all that glue.


So farewell feral carpet,

Hope you enjoyed your final trip,

A chauffeur ride in a utility,

Off to the garbage tip!



Simon C.J. Falk 10 January 2016

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