Backyard Listening by Coral Carter

"Backyard Listening is a very Australian collection in tone, theme and breadth, a physical and psychic feast deeply steeped in the Australian milieu encompassing the rural, urban, suburban and desert, delivered with muscular energy and unswerving directness. It is sharp, unsentimental, sometimes as harshly beautiful as the landscapes it inhabits, it is evocative, full of rich soundscapes and held throughout with a strong empathic core. This is a personal and communal journey through Australian histories and herstories, where the empathic voyeur in the Backyard Listening is there as witness. " — Julie Watts



one morning when

one morning when
the clothesline was strung with water beads
the power line was hung with galahs
I saw …

a black shouldered hawk hunched
on a lookout post
a hoodie of clouds pulled over his head
hunting birds grow thin in winter
as reptiles sleep the cold away
and small birds hide from rain
I saw …

a grey and white cat squashed on the highway
between bush and streets
its belly full of natives
clawed from lower branches
its greedy guts mashed into well-kept fur
a grind of mince under CAUTION WIDE LOAD wheels
the head still intact
popped eyes stared in the direction of a fireside

Coral Carter


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