Gemma Parker

Gemma Parker is a poet and teacher at the University of Adelaide. Her work has been published in Award Winning Australian Writing, Writ Review, LiNQ, Typishly, Tokyo Poetry Journal and Transnational Literature (forthcoming). She is a PhD Candidate with the JM Coetzee Centre for creative practice. Her PhD project is a creative exploration of themes associated with Nietzschean nihilism, configured as hybrid-genre prose-poetic fragments. She was the 2015 winner of the Shoalhaven Literary Award for Poetry. She lives in Adelaide with her husband Guillaume and their two children.


Studies in Moonlight

The sparkle on hickory or white-oak leaves seemingly wet with
moonlight strikes one to the heart. One suddenly misses the capital,
longing for a friend who could share the moment.

– Yoshida Kenkō (c.1283-1350)

I don’t even know
what a hickory leaf
looks like. I yearn

to write poems about moonlight,
the wet darkness, solitude.
Far from the light-noise of cities,

to write in a place of true night,
in the medicinal north.
To compose more

than opportunistic poems
about the marginalia of life.
Doesn’t one also miss

the rush of loneliness,
and long for distance
from every capital?