Valery Wilde

Born in 1949 in England, Valery migrated to South Australia while young. She published her first poetry collection ‘Mad moon alight’ in the book she shares with Louise Crisp ‘in the half-light‘ (Friendly Street Poets, 1988). She is now returning to writing after too long away.


for the women at Pine Gap, Greenham Common etc.

Have you noticed that women fight differently
from men?
like honey ants
they teem in groups
dig subversive tunnels
and undermine great structures.
Side by side
grain by grain
then carefully retreat
too busy clearing away
the debris careless men leave behind
to watch its toppling.
And for all the crushing
with a heavy heel
there are more and more and more
waiting in the nest
preparing for the next alert.

It’s not that they can’t fight you know.
Why I’ve seen a slip of a girl
toss a man clean over the bonnet of a car.
He didn’t even feel the duco.
She did it when she was angry enough.
It’s just that women prefer other ways
where structures
instead of people
get hurt.

And what is a poem
but ant tracks across a page?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

From Friendly Street No. 13 and Tuesday Night Live

Star Jumper

I grasp at your stars
snatch them to me
fingers catch
in threads woven deep
as a night sky cloud
and your mouth
still wet
from a kiss
travelled upon milky aeons
for this
you to me
and know the universe implodes

From Friendly Street No. 17

Heritage Walls

You built such good walls
all round the house
keeping the garden in
stone ribbons decorating and plantings
lengths of jigsaw rock
disappearing into the earth
as if she had eaten them up
reappearing later like intestinal worms.

You built such good walls
I feared when you left
the garden might go wild
and the kids.

The walls are still there
though they look different
branches and weeds have grown over them
and the children run across them
as if they weren’t there.

Sometimes the odd rock or two
falls off.

I haven’t replaced them.

From Friendly Street No. 14