Irene Wilkie

Irene Wilkie’s work has appeared in many anthologies and journals including Blue Dog, Poetrix, Idiom 23, fourW eighteen, fourW twenty-four, Five Bells, Going Down Swinging, Broadkill Review USA, Idiom 23, Australian Reader, Divan, the Henry Lawson Festival of the Arts Anthology, Award Winning Australian Writing 2011 (Melbourne Books), Notes for the Translators 2012 (ed. Kit Kelen) and Australian Poetry Members Anthology 2013. She has won and been placed in various competitions.

Her first book of poetry, Love and Galactic Spiders (2005) and her second, Extravagance (2013) were published by Ginninderra Press. Irene has read her poetry at Shoalhaven poetry festivals, at the Shoalhaven Arts Centre, at Bundanon, at the South Coast Writers Centre as a featured reader, at Newtown and Glebe at the RhyZomic Poetry Readings. Her thanks go to Chris Mansell for a mentorship some years ago, to Varuna for a poetry master class and to the Kitchen Table poets for their friendship. Here is one of the poems from her latest book, Extravagance (Ginninderra Press 2013).


she is not content to paint the city –
not content with silvered surfaces
of balcony and wall    tower and street
courtyard tile and vine

she asks too much  my love   and just like you
flows in airy flimsiness  through open windows
across the floor   shines her borrowed light
searches my face    measures the mood –

she thinks she can banish unease
and calm me    soothe with her touch
in pools of still half-night    my eyes
lids low   observe her smooth advance
the gliding luminosity she exudes
to prove that she can  charm    even though
I know she plans to vanish

like you    my sweet she chooses the perfect time
as she lifts shadow from the darkest corner
the clicked-off lamp   the  bedside table
carved  lilies  in the vase    when her presence
bathes the room    attunes my pulse
toward her clear intention

that she    like you    will steal   wordless
brushing light    gentle against my skin
until I acquiesce    that her gaze
like yours
binds with the twine of witchery
and the heart seeks no escape