Anne M Carson

Anne M Carson is a Melbourne writer who is most happy immersed in creative projects.  She gave up social work to write, teach and produce visual art.  Her prose and poetry have been featured on local and National Radio and she has curated two PoeticA programmes on Radio National.  She has been published in a range of literary journals and anthologies including Best Australian Poems, 2005.  




The Hearse

All around us rude life swirls.  Our guests

mill in the vestibule, spill onto the footpath,


sharing grief and reminiscence.  No-one notices

the hearse pull out from the curb, the lead man’s


measured pace.  The air holds its breath –

an undercurrent shivers out like an eddy


stirring just a handful of leaves.  It brushes

my mind, prickling.  My sister notices too. 


The sky like a lid on a box, lowers.  Underfoot,

the bluestone is hard.  Death has us in a press. 


We turn in slow synchronicity, each sealed

in our own sling of sorrow.  Time opens,


draws us into a pocket of pain and departure. 

We watch the hearse move away with our father’s

unaccompanied body.  Around us, inside us,

molecules rearrange, adjust to his dying. 



Green Is The Colour

Wilson’s Prom 2009

Cloaked in convalescence, the landscape without foliage

resonates with loss.  Once forest, now individual trunks

stand out, painted the black of cinder and mourning. 

I know the theory – bush regenerates after fire, birds


return, rise from ashes.  But the burn here is heartbreaking

hillside after hillside – stubbled with match-stick thinness,

like the poor head-hair of chemo patients.  In some places

recovery is obvious.   Eucalypts have put on sleeves –


pressure bandages on burns victims you hope protects them. 

Elsewhere a moss poultice covers the earth, blanketing harm. 

No regrowth yet in the banksia forests – sounds are broken

and brittle.  Seedpods remain silent.  Their mouths will open


eventually, articulate with seed.   I’ll trust seeds’ eloquence,

their tumble into the waiting ashbed – kernels of thought

into earth’s imagination.   Green is the colour when

the regeneration wheel turns.   Shoots will appear, new ideas


nosing their way into life.   Already the grass trees thrive. 

From burnt beginnings, single, solid spears rear into space,

fields of lingams insisting on existence.  The tale of recovery; 

I want to be told it again and again, until I have it by heart.


Corfu Asklepion 
Beds align on the north-south axis.
Feet face out, heads in, a corridor between
Pods where we wrap ourselves,
Compose stories of the day before sleep.
We are the stamen round which our night
Petals furl; the stem where dream fruit grows.
Like the tundra wants rain, the wound wants the dream.
Salamander flare, lapse into sleep.
Let the Asklepian dog lick your lesions
The dream serpent bite you back to health.
Unwind the petals, the linens, the wings
Over wounds in the clean wind of night.
Dream on while the Dream Master
Walks the corridor between beds,
Walks between sleep selves, bestowing dreams.
Homoeopathically, just a little dream will do.
Asklepius was the god of healing in ancient Greece. Patients visited his sanctuary, slept in the Asklepion and hoped for a healing dream. He was said to appear as a dog licking or a snake biting.