Rae Varcoe

Rae Varcoe is a former physician who loves poetry. She has read it regularly all her life, and since acquiring a Victoria University creative writing MA in 1997, has also been writing. Her poems appear in many journals and some are collected in Tributary (VUP, 2007). In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry.


What do I believe?

that each of us is allocated
finite aliquots of optimism

that early morning waking is a sign
of continuing existence

that semiotics does not refer
to those owning only half an ear

that the prudent Jehovah’s Witness
will not proffer a pamphlet outside Casualty

that the same sex marriage law should
not be referred to as a private member’s bill

that even the most lovely rose
has petals which decline to flush

that what is done, cannot be undone
especially with lips, zips and other bits

that Lord, I am indeed unworthy
but could we negotiate?

that locusts are the only insects
which are both kosher and halal

that I do love you very much
but it’s still your turn with the compost

that prolonged weeping is
best left to cherry trees

that that’s all very well
but you like ironing

that life does indeed make
cowards of us all

that each of us is allocated
infinite aliquots of pessimism

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