Alice Shore

Alice Shore writes, with some success, both short stories and poetry. The Sunset Woman with Butterflies, a collection of poetry, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2000. She self-published some of her poetry written on behalf of animals in a collection called Animalia Spirituality in 1999. Her poetry has been read on Poetica, used in a NSW Eistedffod, and published in numerous publications, and with Kindamindi (NSW) Press, which specialises in poetry for children.

Once a teacher of English and German, and translator of seven languages, Alice now finds even her mother tongue a ‘bit difficult’ and works either in a vineyard or as a school cleaner, or both. These work experiences give her an eclectic parade of life events to be inspired by. Sometimes her poetry works, sometimes it doesn’t. She is always amazed by the wondrous serendipity and timing of how people’s lives hang together.

Did You See Nureyev’s Feet?

Not encased in golden slippers,
flying and flitting
and pouncing on stage,
but in the flesh,
real, naked
malformed and hideous,
the cruel secret of Ballet.

From Friendly Street No. 24

Eating Out

Clyde attracted customers
to Birdwood’s Pomegranate Cottage.
Retired ladies,
blue rinsed and confident,
swarmed like bees to the honey of his publicity.
‘I have cooked for the Queen.’
(Actually, he confided to me that
he’d opened a can of baked beans for her
on the Melbourne to Sydney night train
when he was an army cook.)

Clyde could spin and weave
with words and charm
older women,
nestling into his palm,

But, on that morning,
when an uninvited guest slithered across the verandah,
among matronly ankles, high heels and handbags,
the women departed with screams like bullets,
unheeding Clyde’s calm entreaty,
‘Please stay. It’s only a brown snake.’

From Friendly Street No. 27

I was Clifford Possum’s Tjapaltjarri’s Auntie

for a short sixty minutes,
within the magic of your exhibition,
my ‘nephew’,
where your multitudinous dots
danced and sang in rhythmic call.
Your spirit whisked mine away.

You smiled,
from your photo,
my ‘nephew’,
your black face a grin.
Were you astonished at your ‘auntie’s’ skin colour – Celtic white –
and pleased with the conspiracy?
(The white lady attendant, when told,
‘This is Clifford’s auntie’,
widened her eyes at me, handed me an entry token,

I slipped free
into the worlds of your dots, colours and energy,
my ‘nephew’,
honoured to be of your clan,
wishing it could last forever;
Our Dreaming.

From Friendly Street No. 29