Jill Gloyne

Jill Gloyne was born in 1931 and spent her early years at Port Augusta where her father was the local dentist. After training as a nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital she married Bill; they have five children and ten grandchildren. She now lives on Kangaroo Island where a lifetime of varied experiences provides material for her writing. Following her MA in French Language and Literature (1978) she had two articles published in Australian Journal of French Studies, Monash University (1985) and Essays in French Literature, University of WA (1985). In 1997 she published You just had to deal with it, a history of women and healthcare on Kangaroo Island and in 1999 she published a book of short stories, The Nautilus Shell…and other tales. She has won numerous awards for short stories and poems and been published in various anthologies. Her first poetry collection, Peeling Onions, was published as one of the three short collections in Friendly Street New Poets 9 in 2004.

Peeling Onions

I need to hone my sharpest blade
to peel away the outer skin
and feel its pure white heart,
but that is just the beginning;
with head averted
to avoid the fumes,
I slice and chop relentlessly
with the cutting edge of my pen,
weeping as I tear apart
the heart of the matter.

From Peeling Onions: Friendly Street New Poets Nine

Let’s not Compare

If you expect to read an English sonnet,
think again. Who wants to read iambic
pentameter today? Who gets their kicks
from fourteen lines, three stanzas and a couplet,
or has the time for regimented verse
demanding as it does so strict a rhyme,
a b a b and so on down the line
or abba which I know is even worse?
Poor Shakespeare wrote one hundred fifty four,
the lovesick coot. Was that the only way
that he could get a satisfactory lay,
to write all day and then re-write some more?
Today, amongst his fans, he’d have a ball;
with verse as free as love, he’d fuck them all.

From Peeling Onions: Friendly Street New Poets Nine

Making Bread

Sunlight, on its winter bias, scarves
her hair with bands of silver. Floured hands,
in ritual creation, sculpt the heart
of the world from a grain of wheat. Sand

metes out the time she needs to work her dough,
knuckling invisible points of air, again
and again, with expertise, to and fro,
back and forth, until it’s ready. Then,

dividing it, she rolls out strips, plaits
them like her daughter’s hair; the final glaze,
a smile from the yolk of the sun, a song that’s
set to sing with the voice of warming rays.

She does not set the world on fire to prove
her worth. Proves it daily beside her stove.

From Peeling Onions: Friendly Street New Poets Nine