Melanie Duckworth

Melanie Duckworth was born in England, in 1979, but has lived most of her life in Adelaide, and went through high school in Mt Gambier. She completed an Honours degree in English and European Studies at Adelaide University in 2000. She has since worked as an English Tutor, Fruit-picker and Home Support Worker, in between reading and writing fairytales and walking in the Adelaide Hills. Her first collection, Triangular Light, appeared together with two other short collections in Friendly Street New Poets Seven (Friendly Street Poets/Wakefield Press 2002).

New Poets Seven is available to purchase on-line from the Wakefield Press website.


I wanted a cat
to sit
serenely, with the moon
in green eyes,
watching me
write poetry.

This cat gets bored.

He nudges my pen,
bites my fingers, sits
on my page.
‘Am I not poetry?’
he asks,
‘am I not enough?’
His purr falls like sand
into the cogs of my thoughts.

And before I answer
he leaps
and leaves,
perfectly –
an Egyptian god,
a fish, a breath
of silver air –
more complete
than words.

From Triangular Light: Friendly Street New Poets Seven


i know the cruelty of consonants
the sweep deep swish
of sss-ss-ssss, the fish gaping



i want to float
soft drifting word-sea
slide through meaning


Kookaburra laugh
helicopter wings whirring
  shatter air

you guess my words


from my throat


with clear tongue
precise mouth, cruel

my words
  choking, knocking, flapping
  dying moths


From Triangular Light: Friendly Street New Poets Seven

Triangular Light

My cat would sit
in a square of sun
if there was one.
In this house
there’s triangles
and pentagons
and squashed,
diagonal rectangles.
The windows twist,
flirt with light –
mashing alien forms
breathing white shapes
on green carpet.
So my cat sits
in the corner
of a misshapen triangle.
And the triangular light
flashes his gold bell,
the jigsaw shadows.

From Triangular Light: Friendly Street New Poets Seven