In 1856, Jane Tost arrived with her husband Charles and their family of four children via the Indian Queen into Hobart. Her profession is listed in the shipping journals as ‘Naturalist’.
My lips have blossomed sores,
dull yellowed flowers,
that weep o’ the months of salt,
wind and close quarters
three months ‘tween decks
and I cannot wait to enter
that cathedral of wild southern light
where the animals who have inhabited
my dreams, strange creatures –
devils and tigers, spotted cats
move in the forest’s
understorey like disobedient children
scrabbling beneath pews,
to see those beasts who grumble,
hiss and cough an islander’s song
of malcontent, leave us in peace
and yet we keep travelling, the sharp prow
of the vessel pointing us southward,
our slow transit worth
the price of trading hemispheres.
Reviews of Kristin Hannaford's collection Curio
Hamish Danks Brown, reviewing Curio in Rochford Street Review
Mary Cresswell, reviewing Curio in Plumwood Mountain, Vol 2 No 1, Feb 2015.
Anne Elvey, reviewing Curio along with Julie Maclean’s When I saw Jimi and Kiss of the Viking in Cordite, 5th February 2015.
Poetry selection from 'Curio'
More poems by Kristin Hannaford
Kristin Hannaford, launching Paul Summer's collection
primitive cartography, Rockhampton, August 23rd, 2013.