On the night of Christmas past

Fearful storm of lightning
by rain or thunder
singularly vivid
showing plainly
rugged outline
Wild landscape
from rocky fortress
Hot weather parched
herbage of plain
to perfect dryness
A flash
more tremendous
suddenly set it
a blaze
in the tenement
Shortly relieved
from apprehensions
copious shower
extinguishing the flame

Erasure poem – ‘On Christmas Rock, 1840’ – from JE Calder, 1849, Some account of the country lying between Lake St Clair and Macquarie Harbour, Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, 3:415-429.

Iron clad blood red



This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Ashes in lashes,
Dust becomes rust
Enter this Temple,
in You I trust

Three stones at the altar
Five moors to the creek
Seven days for hunting
Nine chains that peak

Ironclad crosses
the blood that seeps,
red through this armour,
wounds what weeps…

Enter this Temple,
enter it full,
From the grove, the forest —
my Lord, my Rule

(C) Christine Ueri

If the walls could speak..

Walls with words

Look! you live in a fortress

with stone walls built up high

the workmanship is old

the roof lets in the sky

there is treasure in the mortar

if it all falls in

the slightest gap a way

for new life to begin

a record of your past

lies hidden here within

the mansion in the sky

is quite unlike these walls

Its Caretaker welcomes you and I

and would never let it fall.

“Everlasting Rock”

Lady Mountain

Here we are, nestled in a crisp valley

bunkered by rows of apples, cherries, pears and poplars.

Here in a sun trap shaped by the mountains

rounding us like a sleeping curvaceous woman side-lying

covered in an olive green felt blanket of eucalypts and pines.

Her shoulder point is the top of our hill,

our yellow weathered board cottage

rests in the nape of her knee.

Her feet dangle in the cool trout stream

tickled by blackberries and bracken ferns,

by the rivulet.

Way up nigh the crest of her shoulder,

leading down to the crook of her spine,

lays an open range of field lying open to the air,

uncovered and bare.

Tufts of grass populate the open ground

like goose pimples pricked by a cold southern front.

In Summer the sun peers a brazen eye over shoulder

as an outstretched lovers arm,

by winter it illuminates her waist over glittering blanket of white.

A smooth dirt lane weaves a long crooked leg from the rivulet

to a fork-road navel servicing gates, apple sheds and stables.

It narrows and elevates between the cleavage of tended fields

crawling up the neck, waning into a wallaby lair causeway

leading to thickets of densely woven hair.

Nimble and wiry wildlife dart flippantly into this mat of eucalypts,

accustomed to uninterrupted freedom

to feed and increase.

A variety of bungalows lie dormant

amidst the native and exotic rows of foliage within the valley.

Smoking incessantly, knowing their days are numbered,

the chimneys breathe warmth and life into living rooms

adorned with walls of ancestry.

Layers of generations cover and insulate the rooms,

years of wallpaper, wood, tile and paint,

defending its age and masking the wrinkles of time.

Eyes peer out warped windows twitching at the treetops,

hibernating while the cold becomes stronger.

Bulbs push through the barrier of clay

to herald the coming of Spring

and the blossoms obey

spreading out in their millions,

a white spray along the legs

of lady mountain.