Convenience granted
by layers of industry.
Packets of history
tins of invention
jars of innovation
bottles of design
tubes of ideas
aisles full of symbols
the most popular encyclopedia.
For that bag of sugar
harvesting, extraction, crystallisation
drying, packaging and transport.
Bags of flour from wheat
6,000 years grinding
for clean white brown strong hard weak soft.
Bread staple food
grains baked since 10,000 BC.
Carrots and potatoes pointing back to earth.
Chocolate from a small evergreen tree
near the equator.
Pods picked fermented dried
cleaned roasted shelled
ground liquified mixed malaxed
conched tempered
packed and delivered.


Copyright Sandra Roe

How to Feed Pink and Grey Galahs

Find them in the local park
by the road side or
wherever they are in your neighbourhood.
Gently call out to them
your address
where you live.
Be specific
they know the way.
They will follow you home.
One evening about a dozen
at the front of your house
or in your backyard
sit and look at you
check you out.
Put out some seed
and tell them
yes, this is the place.
They will do this twice.
They will return
very soon
sit on your letterbox
or on the pillars of your gate
eating your seed.
Listen out for them
every day.
They will sit in your tree
and squeak.


Copyright Sandra Roe

Standing at the stop

standing at the stop
a man came up
a fellow passenger
for the bus
but the bus was late
and he showed me the bird
and its baby in the tree
can you see that, he said
the wattlebird feeding its young
there it goes
the bus was late
but it came along
where’ve you been
I asked the driver
well obviously I’m late
he said

Copyright Sandra Roe

The Dawesville Cut

It was The Jolly Frog then
on the Old Coast Road
just past Mandurah
right by the Port Bouvard Bridge.
Now it’s the Hard Rock Café
but it’s the same inside
white tablecloths
good coffee
and a startling view of the Dawesville Cut
the channel cut for fresh water flow
from the estuary to the ocean.
There was a small jetty then
just down there
with young men fishing
and some pelicans.
I can’t see it today
the bushes have grown too high.
There were scars then
scars on the land over there
on the opposite high bank
bulldozers had cut golden swathes.
Now rows of large houses
look over the ocean, the inlet and the cut.
A whale came into the cut one day
crowds of people came and watched.
Today there are only shags
drying their wings on the bridge pylons.
Uncle Bill’s ashes were scattered here one day
they took his boat through the cut to the ocean
and the wind whooshed him away.


Copyright Sandra Roe

The Shape of Australia

Australia is a vast continent
rather flat and therefore dry
like a big brown and green biscuit.
When the Europeans came
they were white dots on this vast canvas
which they regarded as blank.
But black dots were here before them
few in number
but with a vast nomadic web.
When the white dots grew their tiny towns
their small squares and triangles
their boxes
along by the river
and laid their farms and crops
like blankets
with woolly dots and brown dots
over the hunter gather grounds
of the black dots
the black dots grew hungry
and threw sharp lines
at the woolly dots and brown dots
and ate them.
Punished by the white dots
who with their brown lines fired red dots
the black dots retreated
to the edges of the blankets.
The white dots went on to prosper
when they discovered gold dots
in the outback
and they built bigger
grander boxes.


Copyright Sandra Roe

Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit

I love to visit Outback Australia. It is vast, beautiful and has wide open spaces which are terrifyingly seductive. It is rich in nature and mineral resources.This is the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. It is Australia’s largest open cut gold mine. Oblong in shape, it is approximately 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and 579 metres deep. It is large enough to be seen from space. Owned by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd, it produces 850,000 ounces (28 tonnes) of gold per year, and employs about 550 employees directly on site. To recover the gold, the ore is crushed, passed through a gravity circuit, subjected to flotation to produce a concentrate, and then roasted in a small smelter. I took these photos in 2007, and it was very windy in the lookout.