Private Conversations


This will be the page where I share some of my poetry. Private Conversations is the working title of a chapbook manuscript I’m dedicating the next couple of months to editing and, next year, trying to find a publisher for. Every now and then I’ll new poems at the end of the previous ones, so keep scrolling down. Thanks!

The poems that appear here, starting with these, will be at various stages of drafting. Sunset Birds was written while we were camped in our caravan in a paddock next to a pub–the Sandy Creek Hotel, if memory serves–about ten minutes out of Warwick, on the Darling Downs in Queensland. We were there for New Year’s Eve 2010. Henry Parkes was written as part of a Sydney triptych, during my visit there for the National Poetry Slam final in 2007. (I’ll publish the other two poems later.)

Sunset Birds

At every sunset here the violence of noise erupts

as the sulphur-crested cockies arrive—

although at times it’s as if they’ve never left—

They make their wall of sound, a million

competing syllables and screeches, marking

of territory, advertising of presence, their dominion

a kingdom of aural chaos.

At the same time, the other birds arrive

in utes and 4 wheel drives, dolled up and quiet—

their choir will sing later, joining in with the band,

swaying with the small crowd

on the sticky carpet

head smooth with

too many Bacardi Breezers

and a day off to recover

and to think about why

they keep landing on the same tree,

night after night.

On Viewing the House Once Occupied by Mr Henry Parkes, Grafton St, Balmain

Like the country he federated

this old pile’s been renovated

to within

an inch

of its life.

© 2011 Cameron Hindrum

Two new poems  October 29 2011

(‘Leaving an Island’ is actually about a year old, but this version represents a susbstantial rewrite that I completed today. ‘The Rope Swing’ is brand spankin’ new, as of today.)


Leaving an Island


Beyond the frame of my cabin window

the sea rolls endlessly out of the dark.


Behind me, unseen, my country draws back

into the unmarked silent horizon.


Exile begins with release from the land,

The fading of light into darkness.


New lives write themselves on the ocean,

new countries form in the mind


of heroes, martyrs and cowards alike,

borne on a tide of blood and belonging.


While I am cradled by unseen waves

I wait for the void to evolve into


shapes again, traced by careful morning light

on the other side of escape.


The Rope Swing


I have made myself a pendulum.

At once I am free and governed.

I trace an arc through a summer moment.

I have become

a rhythm.

At momentum’s end I hang

in the height of the afternoon air

Before time, as it never will again

drifts into reverse.

© Cameron Hindrum 2011

2 thoughts on “Private Conversations

  1. Liz Charpleix

    G’day Cameron, Impressive Published Writer.
    Your birds put a smile on my face. Gorgeous birds and cars, loud singing, just like the Woody Swallow that perches on my car mirror loving himself every day. (Or maybe he’s a girl bird like your Qld ute lovers?)
    Liz Charpleix (did I tell you I’m now Charpleix?)

    • Thanks Liz–glad I could make you smile. I was aware you’d changed your surname. Tres chic! We must catch up some time–I’m likely to be down your way for a launch in the next few weeks, I’ll let you know when ’tis on if you like. Cheers, C

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