QLD Writer’s Week Feature #9 – Trudie Murrell

QLD Writer’s Week is winding up, but there are still quite a few features to come. Feature #9 introduces Trudie Murrell.

What excites you about poetry?

What’s not to be excited about?  For me, poetry is life, distilled.    The words on a page are exciting, the sound of it spoken, how a poem can change me.  I am excited to have so much poetry in my life right now. 

Living in Brisbane and writing and performing here I am surrounded by poets who surprise me, share ideas, encourage my writing and give me feedback.  I am reading, writing and hearing more poetry this year than I have in perhaps the past ten.    For the first time in my life, writing is not necessarily a solitary activity and that excites me.

When I work on a poem it swallows me up and though I am living, I am living through its filter until it is finished.  I love the feeling of finishing a poem, knowing that it works.  Poetry catches my ear, it makes me look at things closely, it makes me think and makes me wonder.  I find art and discipline balanced in a good poem.  It is a new and joyful experience to find myself with  people who say ‘yeah, me too.’

What are the themes that interest you / that you like to explore in your own writing?

The human experience.  I like to turn things on their head.  I write about things I see and feel and hope that others can relate.

Charles Bukowski once said, ‘poetry is what happens when nothing else can.’ How does a poem happen for you?

Finally my writing is assuming more of a disciplined routine, thanks to external deadlines.  Previous to this I’d potter about until a poem grabbed me by the shirt front and shook me until I sat down and wrote it out of me. Often I’d dream a poem and wake up to write it.  Now days I am trying to make time while my youngest child has her mid day snooze.  I’m trying to sit at a desk and focus while I write or edit.  Although I can still be found scribbling notes on food wrappers while children demand my full attention, the garden grows wild and the house work has to tend to itself.  I find I come grudgingly to routine – but it is worth it.

 

Waking Salome
 
The minutes stilled and folded
into the old chook shed.
On its threshold the girl,
a red plastic bucket,
the curl and release of
fingers on a handle.
 
Mid morning heat
flattened everything,
the breath from her chest,
the chooks on their nests,
corrugations in the roof.
 
A tentative step,
creaking of feathered
disapproval,
her grandfather’s face
nodding her on.
 
She reached the broody hen;
stab and sting at her temple
and the trail of blood
it’s beak had drawn
crossed her cheek.
 
In her grandfather’s hands,
glossy feathers and a half finished scream,
in her grandfather’s eyes.
only her,
full of his cracked open heart.
 
Triumph coursed cool
through her small
body, whispering
he would kill for her.

 

 
About Trudie:

I am a Brisbane writer, raising three children together with my enormously patient and supportive husband.  For the past twenty-five years I have performed and written plays, poems and prose for adults and children. I find poetry sneaks into everything I do. I have been published for the first time this year.

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3 Comments

Filed under interviews/artist profiles, poetry & publishing

3 responses to “QLD Writer’s Week Feature #9 – Trudie Murrell

  1. “I love the feeling of finishing a poem, knowing that it works.”

    I have not asked this for 44 years, but here goes again:
    what’s it like?

  2. Liz

    Beautiful words as always Trudie! It’s fascinating to see a little more of your creative process, and I totally sympathise with the whole ‘trying to adjust to routines’ problem! Well done, looking forward to hearing more of your work.

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