‘We have just received the remains of an Aboriginal dug up at Gunnedah, price £6/10/0’
Tost & Rohu, Correspondence to the Australian Museum Oct 1911.
In the echoic cylinder of night,
carved ironbark tattooed
only by the sallow moon’s light,
ministers a wild sky lament -
lanceolate leaves, knives carving
theft into the sheets of wind,
a low guttural fugue of mothers
who will not be denied a child.
Beneath, the thieves wield
pickaxes, shovels and spades.
Bleak tools borrowed
for a grim surgeon’s practice
of dismemberment, bones prised
from the cloak of bark and soil,
sinewy and disgraced by this
sudden disinterment, hefted pale
into the cold dark like a stone
carried clear and dripping
from a river, heavy and weighted
with the tarnish of plunder,
a Gunn-e-darr man, rising,
carrying his country as witness
to patternings of shame
no craniometer can measure.
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.