Almanac Poetry: In a Kelly town museum



Marriage of Aaron Sherritt by Sidney Nolan, enamel paint on composition board, 1947. (Source: National Gallery of Australia website.)




In a Kelly town museum


near the bluestone step
on which Byrne


stuck a boot
as he gunned down


Sherritt, the mummified
conjoined heads


of a freak calf hang
upon a meat hook



Acknowledgment: first published in foam:e, 2019.


To read more from Kevin Densley CLICK HERE.


To read about the launch of Nicole Kelly’s book Lament on Thursday 22nd October, click HERE.



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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Another winner KD! So much said in so few lines.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Col.

    I must’ve gone to that Kelly Country museum when I was about nine years old! Curious what stays in one’s head.

  3. Kevin Densley says

    Ok. One for Kelly buffs … look closely at Nolan’s painting of Sherritt’s marriage (above) – what detail about Sherritt himself indicates that he was a Kelly sympathiser?

  4. Leanne Kilby (Meeking) says

    Hello Kevin,
    Just hazarding a guess here: would it be that Sherritt’s tie and hat band are both Kelly green in tone?
    By the way, you are a blast from the past for me. We shared a house in Grovedale many moons ago. ?
    All the best, Lea

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Lea.

    Great to hear from you! Yes, I remember sharing the house in Grovedale, of course.

    The Kelly green tie and hat band is a good “pick up” on the your part – what I had in mind specifically regarding the Kelly sympathiser issue was that Sherritt wearing his chin strap under his nose “Great mob” style, indicating his allegiance to the Kelly gang – he was even photographed like this.

  6. Kevin Densley says

    * above should read “was that Sherritt was wearing his chin strap under his nose “Greta Mob” style” *

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