Mother

She outlived him by twenty five years

in the little house she built

where the hen house was. Flowers

everywhere, she was a woman of flowers

as the years slipped past her, her fingers

clutching cuttings or poking slips

into the soil. And elaborate creations

in vases for the sitting room, the dining

table, the annual Church fete

and Agricultural Show. The stopped

silent grandfather clock in my home

is luxuriant still with the twining vines

that her young hands carved

in its upright oak, the dolphins she sculpted

greet us in her grandson’s hallway –

that tiny bent figure, her fingers

full of flowers, still getting their names right

after ninety years.

Andrew Taylor is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Collected Poems (Salt, UK 2004), The unhaunting (Salt, UK 2009), and Impossible Preludes

(Margaret River Press, 2016). He has published much literary criticism, and written the libretti for two operas, as well as translating poetry from German and

Italian. In 1975 he co-founded Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets, Australia’s oldest continuous public poetry reading, and later the South Australian Writers’ Centre.


He is Professor Emeritus at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.

Since leaving Perth in 2014 he divides his time between Sydney and Wiesbaden in Germany.

Author bio