Leach, Roland

Australia, (b. 1957)

My Father’s Pigs

  1. My father tells me
  2. that he has just come back
  3. from killing pigs at old Vern Brewster’s place,
  4. bleed like bejesus,
  5. and he looks at his hands
  6. surprised they are so clean.
  7.  
  8. My sister had encouraged us
  9. to tell him, No Dad, you’re in a nursing home,
  10. but that’s long ago
  11. and we know he would have preferred
  12. to have died in a bar-room brawl,
  13. been abandoned in the forest
  14. than this soft finish.
  15.  
  16. So I ask how many pigs Vern has?
  17. their weight, ask if it’s true
  18. that they will kill you if you finish up
  19. arse-over-tit in the dirt?
  20. and he brightens up,
  21. as happy as a pig in shit,
  22. as if no one has asked a sensible question
  23. in the last month.

 Roland Leach. My Father’s Pigs. Warners Bay, NSW: Picaro Press (2011).

About the Poet:

Roland Leach, Australia, (b. 1957), is a poet and teacher. Leach teaches literature in secondary school and manages Sunline Press, a publishing venture to publish Australian poets in small elegant hardback editions. When not teaching or writing he surfs.

Leach is a past winner and runner-up in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poems ‘Darwin’s Pistols’ and ‘Wallace’ jointly won the Josephine Ulrick Award, and he has twice received the Tom Collins Poetry Prize. Leach was the editor of Brillig, a bi-annual literary journal of poetry and short stories for students. His latest venture is Cuttlefish, a new magazine that includes art, poetry, flash fiction and short fiction. [DES-03/18]

Additional information:

  • Roland Leach Poetry Prize – The Roland Leach Poetry Prize is a biennial competition run by the City of Nedlands Library Service since 2005. It aims to promote poetry in the community and to recognise and reward outstanding, original works of poetry written by young people in Western Australia. The competition is open to school aged children and teenagers from Year 3 to Year 12, and is divided into 4 categories based on age group
  • Sunline Press

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.