Elly McDonald


Complex Organisms (1983)

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fashioning roses

You restore my hand from a crown of thorns

starfish into petals

I could hug you; so crude

when your is an origami touch

as if I were sheer and white like

a nautilus shell pure

coddling, coaxing growth

from an African violet bella

donna prima donna temperamental

unearthing a fossil, living coral

flushed with myriad gasping, sucking mouths


taking: life-giving, sleight of hand

a healing touch – herbs and tenderised nettle

by moonlight, calm and soothe


cultivate concern

Author: Elly McDonald

Australian-born, with English mother, has lived in several Australian cities and in London. Travelled widely. Way way back when, published widely as a poet and short story writer. For the first 20 years of my working life I worked as an entertainment journalist, publicist, PR consultant and in advertising and media agencies. In the second 20 years, I worked in marketing roles at non-profit organisations then retrained as a teacher, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees. Also did miserable McJobs, and a long, happy stint at an art gallery.

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