width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Winter/Spring 2012


Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne


Memories Are Our Truest Heirlooms

Solemn, she says
when asked how it felt to hold him.

Found under foot in the shallows of Coogee, melding to her hand like a
slow dancer wrapping and curling, wrapping and curling, inching as a
thousand summers pass.

She asks to set him free to be with his family and he slides through
her fingers, silently parachutes to the sea floor settles,
camouflaged by insipid yellows.

© 2012 Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne


For Those Who Came Before

I feel as if I have let you down
scrubbed out all your hard earned
physical hand-me-downs
broken the chain—a thousand years
of pox on me.

Nanna’s eyes will never be seen again
nor will any child inherit Pop’s nobbly knuckles,
their spark is gone and the buck stops with me 
and my failure to pass on any genetic fingerprints.

Yet here’s an intriguing thing about families —
similarities are not all hard-wired 
and in our daughter we see facial expressions, 
overexcitement, or the flourish of a hand gesture 
that have been gifted from you by me to her 
a precious package of inheritance.

© 2012 Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne



Sodden little fellows
sitting silent as molluscs
on the overhead wire.
Eyes half-shut against
the persistent rain
on what should have been
the first day of glorious Spring.
Perhaps they were caught out
by this imposter?
By the time they thought
to move to shelter
their feathers were clumped
with drizzle 
and all they could do was sit, 
heavy-bodied under the darkened skies 
on the electrical wire,
cautiously watching 
me under my rainbow umbrella.

© 2012 Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne


Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne lives in Perth, Western Australia. She has a BA Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Writing) from Curtin University. Her poetry has been published in print and online journals. Her first collection of poetry, People from bones (with co-author, Bron Bateman) was published in the UK and Australia in June 2002 (publisher, Ragged Raven Press, UK). Her poem, “Venus of Willendorf” was selected for the anthology, UQ’s Best Australian Poetry 2009. new collection, Domestic Archaeology will be published by Grand Parade Poets in the first half of 2012.

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