Stuart Barnes

Stuart Barnes is the author of Like to the Lark (Upswell Publishing, 2023) and Glasshouses (UQP, 2016), which won the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was commended for the 2016 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the 2017 Mary Gilmore Award. His work has been widely anthologised and published, including in Admissions: Voices within Mental HealthThe Anthology of Australian Prose PoetryBest of Australian Poems 2022, The Moth and POETRY (Chicago). Recently he guest co-edited, with Claire Gaskin, Australian Poetry Journal 11.1 ‘local, attention’. His ’Sestina after B. Carlisle’ won the 2021/22 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize. @StuartABarnes


                        (Eremophila ‘Blue Horizon’) 

I have always adored the desert,  
its transformative blues and solitude.      

            I transform the bluesy solitude    
             of winter—I polish small gold trumpets—  

gold-tinted blue-tongues polish off my trumpets—      
I raise my hands, lanceolate and blue. 

            Lancelot was raised by hands of blue;  
            I improvise—I play blue notes. Roll low

my soul cries. Playing blue notes, rolling low, 
I weave the earth and the atmospheres. 

            I grieve earth’s people, flatten their fears,  
             weather the emu, the stormy blues.

The emu untethers glorious blues.  
I have always adored the desert.