Almanac Poetry: Stringybark Creek

Stringybark Creek


This is—
the iris of—


This is—
stark chill—
cold terror—


This is—
the thudding—
crimson heart—


Rifles poised—
in the speargrass—



Stringybark Creek, Kelly Gang and Police (Source: Wikiwand)





Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His work has appeared in print in Australia, the UK and the USA, as well as on many online venues. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, will be published by Ginninderra Press later in 2020. He is also the co-author of a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press.


  1. Yes, not a great moment in Victorian police history.

    Four heavily armed, plain clothed, police ride out, body straps on horses. Talk of not asking their ‘prey’ to surrender.

    The prey was reversed and three of the four Irish born police were no more. The four young native born sons of Irish selectors would not enjoy the promised riches of the new land.

    Stringybark Creek, a fascinating event in our history.


  2. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Glen – an awful moment in all sorts of ways.

  3. Wonderful depiction Kevin. Short, sharp, brutal.

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the comments, Dips – your chosen adjectives encapsulate just the effect I was attempting to achieve when I wrote the poem.

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