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 graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, was published in late 2023 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. 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.

Leave a Comment