Poems of Place

The evocation of place has been a mainstay of poetry since the first ever poet worked out that 'ugh!' and 'grugh' sounded alike. Here are some poems of Queensland and Queenslanders. Click on the titles to read the poems.

  • Alone in the Pool 1944

    by E.M. England    So softly I go that the heron Who waits downstream has not stirred. Perhaps he thinks me a bird; Thinks me a brown bird gliding The...

  • Australia 1942

    by Peter Miles    It was good to lie in the sun discovering the texture of the wind and its pure pattern like a blind man in great folds of pure silk;...

  • Brisbane 1917

    by Alice Gore-Jones    A red cathedral's tiles, a tapering spire Piercing her gaunt zinc roofs, the city lies. Dim blue hills rise about her...

  • City Hall Brisbane 1945

    by Emily Bulcock    (Written at St. Helen's Hospital before an operation)  I saw you rise, proud tower, slow, sure and strong, And chaos change to...

  • December 1951

    By Martin Haley    The day of the Midsummer Solstice. We speed along by the Ithaca Baths. A heat wave rages. People of all sorts, shapes and sizes...

  • Derby (WA) 1947

    by Arthur Wade    Flat, Featureless, Foetid; Muddy as the mass mind of multitudes. Brown, Like a sere cloth Scorched in the flames of Hell. White,...

  • Exhibition Cameo 1943

    by Frank C Francis    The music and the laughter simmer down Like an ebbing tide that slinks into the dark, As the last bright firework splutters to a...

  • Farthest North 1927

    by Victor Kennedy    Away before the stretching eyes The little valley lies, And who would not be out with me along the tropic way? We sipped the wine of...

  • From an Upper Verandah 1875

    by James Brunton Stephens    Extract from "From an Upper Verandah" What happier haunt could the gods allot For loftiest musing to sage or bard?- Yet I would...

  • In a Chain Store Cafeteria 1940

    by Paul L Grano      This is where the People take tea- salmon rissoles, two, and chips for sevenpence, meat pie, potato mash, a penny less- this is...

  • In the Bush 1915

    by Francis Kenna    A thousand miles and more to the westward, Somewhere the city lies, I strain mine eyes for the glare reflected Up in the starlight...

  • Leave-taking 2017

      Farewell, old hills! No more my feet shall tread you To find the dingo’s den or emu’s nest; Beneath the eucalypts that overspread you,  No...

  • North Queensland Lullaby 1931

    by Lucille M Quinlan    Sleep, my birrahlee;1 hush, my soft grey dove! Misty grows the cane-field, purple the range above. From the scrub by the...

  • Pacific Moon 1945

    by Peter Miles    The boom of the surf again in rising wind…. For a long while now I have been remembering That stark sweet music in continuous...

  • Palmer River 1928

    by Victor Kennedy    Gold upon the mountain side, Gold in rock and river, Gold in men whose spirits ride From the vast Forever To seek again the better time,...

  • Path at Stradbroke 1944

    by E.M.England    Other lovers will have found it now, Or, over-run with undergrowth and bough, It may lie list'ning to the surf's mild thunder-        I...

  • Poinciana Tree (Bowen Park, Brisbane) 1945

    by Emily Bulcock    As softly as the touch of moth's frail wing, As imperceptibly as falls the dew, Comes Beauty oft, in dovelike Quaker dress; But the...

  • Poinsettia 1945

    by Emily Bulcock    Midwinter clutches on the skirts of June- And lays her blighting touch on bud and flower, Her west winds, shrilling, play an eerie...

  • Queen St - Sunday 1946

    by K.H.Bradshaw    Sunday afternoon has long shadows Of couples in Queen Street;  And a sailor sits on the G.P.O. steps. Yellow placards bleat the soft...

  • Queensland 1862

    by Eva Mary O'Doherty    Thou are, in sooth, a lovely land, As fair as ever fancy painted, In virgin freshness calm and bland, By shadows dark...

  • Queensland 1862

    From the land beyond the sunset, out beyond the Coral Sea, There’s a balmy breeze a-blowing, and it seems to call to me Through the magic of the...

  • Queensland Night 1944

    by E.M. England    Slowly the hours, with their star-dusted hair, Trail past the red-faced and broad-bosomed Moon, There is a stealthy glamour...

  • Red Hill 1940 1951

    by Martin Haley    Daily as down the suburb's slope I walk To school that claims a teacher's utter soul For seven timeless hours at a stretch, I who...

  • Redcliffe, Humpy Bong 1883

    by 'Villeyse'    THERE is a long low strip of yellow sand  Bound with a bracelet by the bounteous sea, Of shining shells formed by some fairy hand, And...

  • South Brisbane and the automatic telephone 1923

    by Maurice Little      The people on the southern side, Are feeling most elated, So where you will, you’re bound to hear Their new Exchange debated; It’s...

  • Southport, August 1934 1934

    by June Saunders    Was ever morning lovelier than this Beside a dreaming sea Blue as a cloudy turquoise, and as pale,With Sleep's tranquility? Hushed is...

  • Spring Creek 1937

                       By Lydia M. D. O'Neil LORD, I have laboured for years upon years; I've had my full portion of trouble, and tears. Now- may I rest for an hour or so Up...

  • Taringa 1928

      by Llywelyn Lucas      The air at sweet Taringa Is like Taringa's name, Clanging and sweet and streaming forth In a blue morning flame;   The great hills...

  • The Barron Falls 1935

    I have gazed on sweet Killarney, that Eden of the West, And beauty spots in other lands, where the weary love to rest, And all this scenic beauty...

  • The Bells of Condamine 1944

    by Frank C Francis         Bells along the Condamine,      Sabbath chimes falling Like solemn benediction from the church of Goombi hill.      Bells along the...

  • The big roos' feeding ground 1909

    by Mabel Forrest  In the heart of the timbered country, where the boles of the trees show white, Where long leaves flicker above the grass in the...

  • The Call of the North 1909

    by Mabel Forrest        A creaking crane and a swinging weight, the moist, hot dark about us, And the laugh of a girl from the prow, with mirth that seems...

  • The Dead Lagoon 1895

    by Francis Kenna    Never glint of sunlight settles On its walls of granite grey; Dreary, in the glow of sunset; Gloomy, in the rising day. Never echo...

  • The First Rain 1928

    by Victor Kennedy    Out across the bending cane Slowly after seven moons Falls the soaking tropic rain Kindly to the parched ratoons1. And I wander...

  • The North Again 1938

    by Victor Kennedy    It's well, this tilting of the steady rain That fills each billabong; And yet, my ears are alert again For one cry old and long; It...

  • The Point of View 1929

    by Colin Bingham    THIRTEEN A storm came o'er the hills to-day, And broke in sweeping rain and crashing hail; The great earth shook, and in dismay We...

  • The Sydney Slums 1943

    by James Sweeney    They tell us Sydney's great and grand. I wonder why our statesmen stand For slums that long since be banned – Disgraceful to the...

  • When the drought breaks 2017

      ‘WHEN the drought breaks,  And the grass grows, And the cows are deep in clover, I'll take you then for a trip to town You shall buy new shoes, and a...

  • Where the Pelican Builds 1881

    by Mary Hannay Foott    [The unexplored parts of Australia are sometimes spoken of by the bushmen of Western Queensland as the home of the pelican, a bird...

  • Wind 1942

    by Peter Miles    Grass like small feet following,  wind-worried. Wind in Moreton figs through leaves hand-broad, thick, stiff, through boughs soft...

  • Winter Westerlies 1950

    by James Devaney    Leaning against the wind across the paddock ways Comes Dan home with forward stoop like a man bent and old, Clashes the door in...