Swanport

had been a drag:

father-in-law (stickler
by the sound and look of him)
made allowances, thinking you
doubtless in dread
of the touch of scarlet fever
on the children but then
asserted such illusion
dispelled
by your subsequent
avoidance of the place.

And to be sure you believed
it grew yearly more and more
sluggish, monotonous; did not
show yourself the model
daughter-in-law
.

There was that in you
which would not compromise.
What says that character in Ibsen?
Compromise is the very devil.

But you hated whiskery Henrik
or anything commonplace.
Repulsive, uninteresting
was your typical beef
about his characters and plots.
You sat on your cold-arse monument
impervious to the fact his Nora
in A Doll’s House smacked of you.

-33-

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Cutting the Clouds Towards
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Foreword by John Lucas ix
  • Prologue 1
  • Ship in a Bottle 3
  • To Tasmania with Mrs Meredith 5
  • At Sea with Mrs Meredith 7
  • What Mr Meredith Asked the - Ship’s Owner about Dick 8
  • Mrs Meredith Looks about Her 9
  • Mrs Meredith and Hobart Culture 10
  • Mrs Meredith and Hunting 11
  • Flora and Fossil 12
  • Mrs Meredith Goes a-Gypsying - And Enjoys a Barbecue 13
  • The Merediths Attend a Ceremony 14
  • Mrs Meredith Speaks of the Good - Old Days of Privatisation … 15
  • You Rambling Boys of Liverpool 17
  • The Call of the Genes 18
  • Dear Mrs Meredith 19
  • Dear Mr Simpson 21
  • On the Right Side of the Earth 23
  • We Meet at Last 25
  • I’Ve Been Wanting to Ask … 27
  • Dear Mr Simpson 29
  • Taking Things in 30
  • A Bummer 31
  • Swanport 33
  • And for the Record 34
  • Fax from Launceston to Michael 35
  • A Hasty Rejoinder 36
  • Something You Can’t Deny 37
  • The Interview 39
  • In Mount Field National Park 41
  • News of a Death 42
  • In Flowerdale 44
  • Hadn’t We the Gaiety? 46
  • About as Far as We Can Go 48
  • Your Art Mrs Meredith 49
  • The Princess Theatre, Launceston - 18th October, 1995 51
  • Threads 52
  • Journal Entry for Tuesday, 31st Oct 54
  • Dangerous I Know 55
  • A Poem for Wybalenna Chapel on - Flinders Island 56
  • Making An Exhibition 58
  • A Last Glimpse 60
  • Epilogue 61
  • Melbourne Central Cemetery 63
  • Select Bibliography 66
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