Instead of my usual blog, today’s post is a poem by a young Perth writer—my son, Sam*.

I loved this poem about the Swan River. I loved the sense of darkness that pervades it—the clouds, the ‘looming’ city, the shadows, the houses trapping the river, the boats cowering—which contrasts with the peacefulness of the water, rippling and tapping against the boats.

With permission from my friend, Mia Laing, I have included her painting of boats on Freshwater Bay, as I thought the poem and the art complemented each other perfectly.


Freshwater Bay, by Mia Laing

by Sam

The sky is thick with a blanket of clouds,
Rolling over the surging river,
Marching westward, towards the sun,
On a never-ending journey across the world.

The trees and hills loop around the water
The houses crowd in, trapping the river,
They go on and on, snaking around,
Stretching as long as the river itself.

The city looms in the distance,
As large and tall as the cloudy sky.
It casts long, dark shadows that reach out,
As if trying to dig into the river.

In one corner, the boats are cowering,
They don’t dare venture out,
But sit, buffeted by gentle ripples,
Hoping they can hide from the wind.

The river stretches out, water rippling,
Gently playing, tapping the boats around.
It laps at the shore, trying to break through,
But the shore is as strong as steel.

Author Bio:

SamSam loves reading and writing. He often tells his mother he’s doing his homework, when he’s reading instead. Sam wrote his first novel when he was eight, and he’s currently writing the second book in his trilogy. He says he’s writing a trilogy because a series would be too hard. His pet hates are finishing a book and having to leave the world of that story, and falling asleep as soon as he climbs into bed because he likes to lie in the dark imagining his stories. Sam wrote his poem, The Swan River, in 2014, aged eleven.

Artist Bio:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMia is a West Australian artist, wife and mother. She’s paints still life, landscape, pet portraits and life portraits, especially of children. You can read more about her and view her paintings on her website.



*It’s my blog, and I’m allowed a bit of nepotism from time-to-time!