Judy Dally


Judy Dally was born in England in 1950 and came to Australia with her family in 1953. She worked as a secretary for eight years and a primary school teacher for twenty.

She has published two books of poems about teaching: At Sixes and Sevens (1982) and Holding Up Mirrors (1987) and was one of three poets published by Friendly Street Poets and Wakefield Press in Across the Gulf (1992). She has also been published in various anthologies, newspapers and magazines.

She co-edited Friendly Street No. 20 and has had poems published in the Friendly Street Reader every year since 1989.

Judy lives in glorious semi-retirement in Glenelg with her husband John.


At the zoo
I watched a baboon
being groomed by her mate.
And I envied her
his protective bulk,
his gentle fingers
and his loving care.

I thought such tenderness
would never come my way
until, one Sunday morning,
I watched you in the motel room mirror
as you knelt beside me in the bed
and picked the confetti
from my hair.

From Friendly Street No. 16

Spare a Thought

Do not pity the sailor
lifted to new heights by the waves
dazzled by shining walls of water
cooled by salt spray
using the sea for support
the wind for speed
the tide for direction
and at the end of the day
lulled to sleep and sea-dreams
by the gentle rocking
of the sea’s cradle.

Spare a thought for the sea
roughed up by the wind
pushed and pulled by the tide
cut by the prows of boats
bruised by clouds
needled by sleet
smashed against rocks
and at the end of the day
burned by the sunset
sliced by a crescent moon
then drowned by the night sky.

From Friendly Street No. 22

The Space Between

The space between
and sleep
is a sweet heap
of flesh
and sheets
which drifts
and daydream
into a place
where there’s
no sound
the pulsebeat
of muscle,
the whisper
of breath
and the echo
of our silenced cries.

From Friendly Street No. 26