Lyn Hatherly


Lyn Hatherly spends much of her time doing some­thing about writ­ing: edit­ing, pub­lish­ing, writ­ing, and teach­ing. Some writ­ers have been work­ing with her – as mem­bers of The Writ­ing Zone club – since 1997. Cur­rently, apart from teach­ing writ­ing and men­tor­ing other writ­ers, she’s one of the man­ag­ing edi­tors of the new Five Islands Press. In the past she was one of the found­ing board mem­bers of Aus­tralia Poetry, edi­tor of Poetry Monash and the Medal Poets Series. In between lec­tur­ing in North Queens­land Lyn set off in her small green car on a Writer on Wheels tour funded by the Regional Writ­ing Fund. She also acted as poetry edi­tor for LiNQ. Lyn has three pub­lished books: Acts of Abra­sion (Five Islands Press 2006) Sappho’s Sweet­bit­ter Songs (Rout­ledge 1996) Songs of Silence (Medal Poets 1994). She con­tributes poetry and reviews to jour­nals and antholo­gies and has won sev­eral awards. At the moment, after much house and gar­den build­ing, Lyn is busy with a new book about cre­at­ing a gar­den in the nat­ural Aus­tralian style.


It’s a mir­a­cle the way they home
every evening, braids of light from the city
to the burbs and bor­oughs
dark-suited par­ents in sin­gles or pairs
swoop­ing in with the day’s bacon or fish
dream­ing, while halted, of the snug rooms
the glad cries of their young.
From crowded arte­ri­als they sep­a­rate
gem-like threads shine up and down grey dales.
Who could believe they’d each find
that cer­tain open­ing, could zoom at speed
into their own welcome. 

By Feb­ru­ary Shear­wa­ters have nested
in earthen bur­rows, each par­ent sit­ting
alter­nate weeks shar­ing their warmth
with the young as they swell in curved shells.
The other floats, dives for din­ner with the flock
flies unerr­ingly home, feath­ered beats
match­ing the clouds, shape-shadowing the sea.
Each plunges straight and fast into one entrance
among thou­sands, each, to my eyes
exactly alike. Babies in their fluffy suits
squeal with plea­sure before the fam­ily
set­tles in their dim cosy nest.

Flex­i­ble bones

you slip from me
slick with the flu­ids of ingress
and egress
my labia refold like petals
when the world turns from the sun
I think how part of you
sleep­ing now against my thigh
is solid brawn yet baby-skin soft 

you don’t know
in months a child will take its leave
the way you have left
my very bones spread­ing
almost dis­lo­cat­ing
hor­mones unset­tling them
as our child moves out­wards
and onward 

you can’t remem­ber
how a pelvis bent as you birthed
so you fit that thin canal
how fontanelles    those pli­ant spots
flexed your skull
where spaces lin­gered
where skin stretched
and revealed your soul 

you didn’t see the head
of our first child    pointed
as a pixie as she squeezed
into life
only love could melt bones
this way    then fuse
them for a lifetime