Behind Orana Takeaway

My poem Behind Orana Takeaway has been included in The Disappearing, a project by Red Room Poetry that maps poems to locations in the suburbs of Sydney and beyond. It’s a pretty awesome project that includes the work of over 150 poets; some of the work has been commissioned and other pieces are submitted by readers/writers.

I’ve written about a place called Orana Food Bar, a takeaway shop across the road from Kellyville Public School where I spent a few years in primary school. The poem is about those often wordless discoveries kids make about each other, the secrets they keep, and life on the edge of a city.

I was lucky enough to be one of the commissioned poets, so there’s also an audio recording of the poem. You can read and listen to the poem here. 

Because of the struggles with formatting poems on websites, Behind Orana Takeaway has been posted left justified, which isn’t quite what it should look like. The original version floats in the middle of the page, with line breaks that fall into each other like thoughts and recognition building. For me, many of the lines I’ve broken in the middle of the page, away from the left margin operate almost as half breaks, not quite the full break of a left justified line. This is lost when the lines are all left justified. Below you’ll find an extract from the second part of the poem, arranged as I intended.

Update: The great news is Red Room have been trying to overcome the problems with the formatting. We’re not quite there yet, but they’ve put in a link to a pdf of the original poem for people we are keen to see the poem in its original form.

And a friendly reminder, as of April 2017, my first collection – BONE INK – is available here.




  1. I read this earlier, and it was a treat to hear it spoken as well. It really brought it to life. So moving, and a great story to tell

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