A couple of Sundays ago I went to church. And not just any church – I attended St David’s Cathedral. There I spoke, at a service that was a cross between an Anzac day gathering and the conventional Sunday morning proceedings usual to a venerable Anglican cathedral. It was the hundredth anniversary of Legacy, and that’s why I was there. Legacy came to my family’s rescue in our coastal town, after the far-too-early death of my father. Continue reading “My father’s Legacy”
is stubborn in stubble,
vertical-board peeling white
to sere grey.
Last week I read a poem for RN (Radio National), a pre-recording to be broadcast in the Friday 8-9am timeslot. I read the second section of ‘Regret’, the less abstract part of the larger poem, that which considers the poignant interaction between an anonymous male Aboriginal and the equally anonymous French sailor, Piron. (Well, Piron was ‘equally anonymous’ at the time I wrote the poem, though I’ve been told that subsequent scholarship has supplied much biographical data.) It was a portentous engagement, and I’ve always preferred this section of ‘Regret’ to the more abstract first part of the poem. ‘Regret’ is to be found in the third group of poems in Physick, ‘Metaphysics’. What I can’t tell you, however, is on which upcoming Friday the poem will go to air. Sorry. But tune in. Continue reading “Listen out – I’ll be on RN! And did you notice this is a new site?”
I’ve neglected you, dear friends, for an unpardonably long time. There’s a reason, though. I’ve been preparing a book of essays for publication and it’s primed and ready to go. The marvelous Ralph Wessman of Walleah Press has put it together, and as usual, he has done a brilliant job. Matt Newton, who features in my pages more than once, took the cover photo – that’s me in the window of the late and sorely missed ‘Joe’ (Jeff) King’s shanty at King’s Run on the Arthur Rive coast. Forgotten Corners is the main title of the collection, and its sub-title is Essays in Search of an Island’s Soul, which is more than a tad saccharine, but certainly conveys the sense of the book.
This is my first book-length publication since Physick: Catharsis and the Natural Things, and I want it to have just as much impact. It’s 17 years’ worth of published essays Continue reading “Forgotten but not forgotten”
… since I last posted. There have been two more performances of Indignados!, one in the inner-Hobart Latin American cafe, Yambu, and the other in the very beautiful Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall. Each was a triumph, and in both cases we had a full house. As I’m about to go to Greece for a month Continue reading “A few things have happened …”
What would a geographer-turned-poet do when he’s not writing poetry? Well, in this case, he has turned his hand to local history. With my good friend, Tom Dunbabin, I have just had published, a sumptuously presented book, A History of the Midlands Tree Committee, 1983-2014. Continue reading “A History of the Midlands Tree Committee”
This is my favourite paper, and exists in article and essay versions. The one posted here was published in Geographical Research in 2008. It clearly refutes the notion that the sawmilling and specialty timbers communities are 100% supportive of exploitative industrial logging, and offers is a dramatic corrective to accepted wisdoms in my island’s ongoing hemorrhaging over the fate of the forests. Continue reading “‘Balding Nevis’”
My collaboration with my artist friend Tony Thorne, that culminated in Last Days of the Mill (a finalist in the 2013 Tasmanian Book Prize), left me with profound ethical misgivings on one particular score. In this 2017 paper, I face that demon down. Continue reading “When a Poet Rips Himself to Shreds”
A poem by Pete Hay
Posterity, in this town, was of no account.
You’d not have thought to die here –
the idea was to salt it away and leave,
to be remembered, in God’s good time,
elsewhere. Continue reading “Pioneer Cemetery, Zeehan”
A poem by Pete Hay
Published in ‘Silently on the Tide’ (2005)
In any village
Massacres in muddy fields.
Tanks roll here, roll there.
Gentleness of boys. Continue reading “Caucasian Haiku”