A- A A+

Tomatoes, harbour

1 Comment
Rory Harris |  21 August 2017

Selected poems




you fade into the hospital white

above your head a row of floral Hallmark cards

as a husband’s garden once filled every available

backyard space with colour

the glasshouse arrived after retirement

& the run of chooks from neighbour’s fence

to neighbour’s fence

the breadth a quarter acre of block saving labour

you only had to build one side & cut a gate

& bring it down after a son left home

the window offers no view 

but in the addled wisdom of over ninety years

a cruise ship drifts a flicker of something missed

as new owners would grow 

in a legacy of thick rich soil staked against the back fence

tomatoes tasting like tomatoes 





To arrive in the most Australian of cities

& sit at Martin Place

an hour after the ANZAC march

smoke a cigarette

the absent father

his medals still in the top draw


Pubs tiled to the eves

a clink of a new language

for drinking on the pavement


A street scape hangs

between a sound & light & prayer

in the alfoil hollow of ourselves darkness


Each terrace has a plaque

a history of nursing hedged in & clinging

an edge of wailing on an edge of view


Small bowls long beers & cigarettes

against the gathering crowds


This mad big blustering city

hands on its hips hustling the wind

staring out to sea


Harbour ripples dreams

table cloths, tea towels & boomerangs


High vis & one dollar coffee

building a city out of a city

the wind is all gesture & tamed


To the beaches perched between bush & cliffs

jewellery & ferry spray

a march of limbs against the Pacific of our lives


Waves build & flounder

a suburb of things to do romance rushes

palms around the first beer of the day

post grunge trellising vines to the roof of the world

streets turn themselves inside out

where a post code is a haiku


& there is shopping

the department stores are all new season

& there is not a cloud in the sky


I have been here three days

& already have given others wrong direction twice


A weave of lanes & a spread of sand

tumbling water pushed between headlands

an unsocked toe dips o so gently into surf


The hum of the afternoon

strollers take up half the footpath

curve & swerve & cars backed up

& a shop sells four hundred dollar shoes


There is a heart beating here

a commerce of breath

a sleeper on the boardwalk

a foam over our eyes

neighbourhoods & icons

a bridge & an opera house gifts for the new life



A diver’s toes curl over the block

a spring faith threaded plunge

as a needle would sew a seam between day & night



xxxxxRory Harris teaches at CBC Wakefield Street, South Australia.



Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments


Peter Goers 22 August 2017

Similar articles

The inconvenience of being doomed

Megan Graham | 10 August 2017

xxxxx'The evening news has become like a nature hike through the Book Of Revelations,' says Al Gore, the politician-cum-climate activist who made waves with his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Spider music

1 Comment
Chris Jackson | 17 July 2017

Spider webI am, of course, a spider: my obstinacy, a viola; my gossamer back-and-forthing, woven ruminations of a violin. Watch me, busy always to continue a spider's life. All things love the little kingdom they inherit. This is home, intricate with fetched fidget, this scratchy bow-flight is a busy cello urging me to tracery, all tossed about in winds of orchestra.

Finding the high way

Andrew Hamilton | 26 July 2017

xxxxxIn our society ethical questions such as those to do with marriage, crime and punishment, the beginnings and endings of life, and freedom of speech are often highway issues. Protagonists establish in advance the right way to go, keep their foot down and their eyes on the road without noticing the terrain the highway traverses. Road signs indicating another destinations or alternative routes are ignored and towns by-passed. Certainty is gained; understanding of country is sacrificed.

The thin line between apes and humans

Megan Graham | 26 July 2017

xxxxxI came to the Planet of the Apes films a little late, thinking it was just a bit too far on the silly side for my tastes. But with time to kill on a holiday in 2014, I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and found myself surprisingly invested in the emotions of the characters. Released in Australia today is the latest episode: War for the Planet of the Apes.

Civil War gender power games

Tim Kroenert | 19 July 2017

This is a deliberate subversion of typical, destructive Western tropes by Coppola, in which it is the male character who is objectified by the female gaze. In this she probes how this particular man either thrives under or is stymied by such objectification. John is more than aware of the sexual and romantic stirrings he has aroused among his new companions. But in his assumption that his objectification is empowering, he has utterly underestimated the emotional and psychic complexities of those doing the objectifying.