Linda Uphill

Linda Uphill was born in Mount Gambier in December 1980. In 1996 ‘Tears from Heaven’ won Highly Commended Youth Short Story in the Max Harris Literacy awards, and her piece ‘The Lambs’ won second prize in the Auswrite Short Story Competition. Her poem ‘Green Roses’ won the Friendly Street Spring Poetry Festival Prize in 1998 and was included in that year’s Friendly Street Reader.

Linda moved to Adelaide in 2000 and proceeded to eat lots of pasta. In 2003 her collection ‘Scoffing Gnocchi’ was selected as one of three collections to be published in Friendly Street New Poets 9. The book was launched during Writers’ Week 2004. Linda will graduate in April and then aspires to breed chickens.

Last Summer

On the first day of Summer
I closed my eyes
and dreamed
of passionfruit

of its big moist belly
soft-pocked with shining yellow seed

I dreamed of carving it out
and letting the smooth tang
slip down
inside my throat

sunshine lit the fringes of my dream
with squiggling yellow cracks
and Summer flickered my split ends
I opened my eyes
I’m in love
and then

He’s here

I close my eyes
and dream
of passionfruit

From Friendly Street No. 9


Written for a friend whose family
fled from Afghanistan and sought
refuge in Australia in 2001

She was a bright child
Humming educate me
She was one child in a sea
That shook
Eight of them locked in a room
Below deck,
Never seeing the sun
No food
Squeezing eyes tight
While the baby cried
Pressing into each other
Into memories
Of orchards, fresh fish
And fattened calves
In a world filled with terror
Where they stole her brother
And locked her in a room,
Never seeing the sun
Whispering in the dark
Being educated
By a man who would be
Locked in a room,
Never seeing the sun
Who would flee from them
And his children would cry
And arrive
To be locked in a room,
Never seeing the sun
They sat on their beds
Too frightened to speak
As our country
Expressed its compassion

From Friendly Street No. 9


Two nights ago the sunset was soft
and the sky golden tanned as I sat
in the fish and chip shop massacring
my ticket and listening to the sound of
the chips cooking and the
oil sizzling and spitting

The land turned bright navy and the
houses were like stars, forming
an endless sky
and the moon was
a mighty orange
burning away in the darkness

without him
I felt like just another person
watching something beautiful

From Friendly Street No. 9