I have a posy of wild freesias

in a little antique glass inkpot in my room

and they are stinking the place up

without a care in the world.


How can I describe their scent?

Green, sweet, honey, yeast?

What’s remarkable is a couple of them can

stink a room out. They are hard arse.




I am a bit of a bluebird

(no I mean Bluebeard)

when it comes to freesias.

I must have the first of them


in my chamber.


I woke up this morning from a dream 

in which someone was singing

“the Titanic sails at dawn”.


I was curious and puzzled away

until I could work out

what was going on.


“Desolation Row”of course by Dylan.

This city in which I live has to some extent

become a Desolation City.


I had always thought that desolation would somehow 

be more personal (with literary references)

more exquisite and consummate


and not quite so damn desolate.

Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne. Recent work has appeared in Antipodes, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, Scum Mag, The Blue Nib, and The NorthHer work has appeared in The Best Australian Poems 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. Recent Work Press in Canberra will be publishing her next book, the moment, taken, in 2021.