Two Views of Rockhampton

Stuart Barnes

‘Testicle theft’s common

in Australia’s Beef Capital.

The bulls don’t feel

a thing,’ laughs a well-read man.

‘Balls of concrete,

steel-reinforced.’

Arid as a cattle ranch,

a barfly grabs his crotch.


A barfly grabs his crotch,

arid as a cattle ranch:

‘Steel-reinforced

balls of concrete.’

A thing laughs: a well-read man:

‘The bulls don’t feel

in Australia’s Beef Capital.

Testicle theft’s common.’

Stuart Barnes is the author of Like To The Lark (Upswell Publishing, 2023) and Glasshouses (UQP, 2016), which won the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was commended for the 2016 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the 2017 Mary Gilmore Award. His poem ‘Sestina after B. Carlisle’ won the 2021/22 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize. Others have been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, the ACU Prize for Poetry and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Recently Stuart guest co-edited, with Claire Gaskin, Australian Poetry Journal 11.1 ‘local, attention’. Twitter/Instagram: @StuartABarnes