Jim Puckridge

Jim Puckridge was born in Port Lincoln in 1941. He grew up in what was then a wild and beautiful coastal environment, and with parents who loved the bush, the sea and books. He studied English at Adelaide University and then taught in Australia and overseas. He later gave up teaching and enrolled in a degree in biological science – so returning to his childhood engagement with the natural world. His first collection, Night Fishing, was published as part of Friendly Street New Poets Seven (Wakefield Press, 2002).

Night Fishing may be purchased on-line from the Wakefield Press website.

Night Fishing

A boy, I rode nightly
The town jetty’s bow,
Heading its long hull
Into the dark,
The waves passing on starlit paths
Murmuring around the piles
In known voices, unknown tongues.

My line felt tides,
Crabs tinkering,
Nudges of bodies passing,
Or something reaching up the line
To grab, tug and drag me down
Then snap the line and leave me
Dangling and dry.

Nights I steered
Port Lincoln jetty
Into new seas,
My line sounding deeps and shoals,
Fashioning at my finger’s ends
Monsters and miracles.

From Friendly Street No. 7 and 24

To Bed 2

You lie by me, on your side,
Limbs folded each to each
A flower closed.
My hand resting at your waist
Without moving knows well
The smooth rise of your hip.
The smooth rise of your breast.

The wonder is that nightly
You come to this bed
Where all your wit and passion
That flares in the world
Breathes beneath my hand.

From Friendly Street No. 7

Shearwaters 2

Skiing this avalanche of air
And ocean smoking with hurled rain
The shearwaters come,
Flint sharp and light as leaves,
Stroking with tilted wings
The shaking bellies of the waves,
Swinging high rebounding from
Their mothering and drowning sea
Then stooping back to touch her
On they dance their blessing of this day,
And will dance I hope
Across all gales of change.

From Friendly Street No. 7