Jill Gower


Jill Gower was born and lived the first 26 years of her life in the UK and arrived in Australia in 1968. She lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where she is enjoying her retirement. Jill has been published in various anthologies and journals. She convenes Hills Poets in the Adelaide Hills and edited Frost & Fire, their first anthology. Her first collection of poetry was Elastic Time in 2010. Her second collection, Shape of My Life, was launched at the end of March 2012 and Garden Delights, a Ginninderra Press pocketbook, in 2014.


On one of those five mile sandy beaches
I sat before an endless ocean
And gazed at the black velvet sky
Scattered with a myriad of glittering stars.

I thought about infinity
About all the matter that was floating
Somewhere above my head in that dark space.

Life-form on planets watching me down here.
Celestial bodies of the dead perhaps
Embracing my mother and my grandparents
In some form or other not visible to my eye.

I thought about laser beams slicing the sky
And emails – all those little words
Floating in space; unread poems
Erased from the computer, gone where?

Satellites on their way to the moon
Orbiting the earth in never-ending circles

A shooting star fizzed across the sky
As I watched and contemplated
And felt the absolute peace of solitude
Just a minute dot in this vast universe.

From Friendly Street No. 28: Another universe

Pomegranates of Kandahar

Afghan girl
takes her children
takes her few belongings
all that she can carry
always running
to a better place

runs and runs
comes full circle
back to Kandahar
city of pomegranates
shiny blushing skins
encasing countless red cells

she recalls the taste of the
sweet and sour love fruit
each bead unique
each red and crunchy
with juices that ooze
between teeth
and run down chins

colouring lips red
like blood running
from the mouth
the blood of afghans
injured in wars
the blood of afghans
running over minefields
the blood of afghan women
stoned to death for
someone else’s crimes

love apple
hate apple

all this she remembers
from her childhood
nothing has changed

From Friendly Street No. 29: Blur

Tilbury Docks – June 1968

she stood alone in the milling crowd
her pulse a caged bird fluttering
her heart painted battleship grey

the giant white floating caste
cast shadows from empty porthole eyes
the yawn of its decks engulfed those

who sought a better life
in the land of milk and honey
in the lucky country

eager groups of migrant stick figures
swarmed over decks and stairwells
three of the waving arms her closest family

streamers flowed from eager hands
as the ship creaked away from the dockside
severing the tenuous umbilical cord

she stared wordlessly at the water space
made wider sill by her salty tears
and the iron band tightening around her heart

From Friendly Street No. 29: Blur