M.L. Emmett

M.L.Emmett was born and educated in Reading, Berkshire, England before coming to Australia with her family. They arrived on the last boat through the Suez Canal during the 1967 Middle East War. Maggie trained as a Registered Nurse at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). She did the Intensive Care Course at the RAH and worked in a range of areas including: CCU; ICU & Retrieval. She completed an Arts Degree at the University of Adelaide working part-time jobs during holidays, including: vampire at the Blood Bank; Relieving Matron at both Hawker & Freeling District Hospitals; Charge Sister at Illoura; and many contracts in ICU at Ashford, Calvary, Flinders, Modbury & Repatriation Hospitals. Maggie returned to the ACH working as a Senior RN in Casualty for 4years, during which time she completed an Honours Degree, part-time over two years. She studied Literary Critical Theory with Professor Ken Ruthven and Poetry & Poetics with Tom Shapcott & Andrew Taylor. She won a Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake her PhD and during her research she taught as a Tutor and Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. She last worked in Media Studies in 2005. She also completed a DipEd at the University of SA, specialising in English, Computer Sciences and Design, and taught at Adelaide High School. Maggie also trained at Radio 5UV and was a book, theatre and film reviewer for 5 years (from 1977 – 1982) and retrained at Radio Adelaide in 2005.  She is also a Legal Services qualified Mediator.

Maggie rejoined FSP in 2005, joining FSP Board in 2006. She worked as the FSP Publishing Officer, Publicity Officer, Mentorship Co-ordinator, Art Gallery Co-ordinator & Poets On Air Co-ordinator before becoming Convenor and Treasurer for four years. Maggie co-edited Rewired FSP 32nd Anthology with Gaetano Aiello . Her manuscript Snatching Time was selected by acclaimed poet Ken Bolton for publication in New Poets 14, with Rob Hardy and Thomas Sullivan.

She is a professional editor, book reviewer, writer and poet.


You breathed your last breath from the air

in this room;

that threadbare Persian carpet

holds flakes from your skin;

hairs from your head

corkscrew the dented cushions

scattered and idly waiting on the sofa;

bed linen scented with your sweat

the goose down doona that stole

your last warmth;

sleep spit and tears

human moisture that permeates

the acrylic layers of your pillow;

an eyebrow hair wedged in the tweezers;

a clipped nail that flew off

somewhere out of sight;

that new toothbrush used only once;

your flannel and towel still drying out;

the wet press footprint on the bathroom mat;

the talcum powdered slippers

abandoned under the brass bed.

Each moment of everyday

we shed ourselves

shed dead cells and renew –

a cycle of shedding

until the last

shedding of ourselves.

Friendly Street Poets Anthology 31 UnRuly Sun edited by Erica Jolly & Ivan Rehorek


Inspired by Robert Pinsky

Morning sun on his face

steady motor murmur

vibrating the hose
Bluebells clamber

over the hill’s top –

nothing to remember
only the same engine noise

that keeps making the same sounds

under his head poised
and pulsing the same beat

no-one to say his name,

no need, no-one to praise him
only the engine’s voice – over

and over, running under him.
FSP New Poets 14: Snatching Time




This carpet – a Turkish Smyrna –

is made with Gordian knots,

tied by the fine fingers of a child

tied to a loom

by a thin, pale leg.

Every centimetre – a hundred knots

This carpet – two and a half million knots

all Gordian

tied tightly

by the fine fingers of a child.

Each thread is dyed with plants

picked by nomad hands

from shifting lands

Henna oranges and Madder reds

Saffron yellows and Indigo blues

Colours bloom and fade

with the change of seasons.

Patterns are centuries old,

never drawn or sketched,

only sung to the young

by the old blind weavers,

who walk the workshops

and the aisles of looms.

In this shadow world

of soured and fetid air

dreamless children

live threadbare under a black sun.

Wide borders holding everything in place

no figures or stories, just a labyrinth

of abstract shape and colour

drawing you in to the treasure

at the centre of the rug.

And the knowledge of the knots

the Gordion knots

tied by the fine fingers of a child

tied to a loom

by a thin, pale leg.

FSP New Poets 14: Snatching Time


Aunt Lottie had a slow and careful walk

every step could jar

the delicate balance

of the fragile grand piano

she had swallowed.

It was no ordinary instrument

it was entirely made of crystal

which added to the fears

of its disturbance

or destruction

by the simplest slip or stumble

or missed footing on a step.

It was a slight inconvenience

she had taken in her stride.

Matters concerning the said piano

were only discussed in hushed tones

on Wednesday afternoons

and only with her dearest nephew, Ludwig

who sensitively seemed to understand

the precious nature of imagination

and the tickling discomforts

of digested furniture and such things

as fancy may create.

Friendly Street Poets:36 Flying Kites edited by Judy Dally & Louise McKenna

© M.L.Emmett