ROSE VAN SON is a Western Australian poet and has been published in Westerly, Cordite, Australian Poetry Journal, Rabbit, Blood Orange Review (USA) , Grieve and more. She has won prizes in the Tom Collins, Ethel Webb Bundell and shortlisted in the Grieve and Henry Kendall Poetry Awards. Her collections include Sandfire (an anthology with two other poets); Three in the Campagna and Three Owls and a Crescent Moon (Haiku). In 2015 she was guest poet at the Perth Poetry Festival, and Guest Poet at the New Norcia Writers’ Festival in 2018. She has recently completed a new manuscript: Cloak of Letters. She loves language and where it can take her.


After the Snow Queen*
                 For John Burnside

You know the Snow Queen
intimately it seems, speak to her with vigour
say with authority… she will never pick them
I hear your voice         speak every line

as if only to me.

When children grow  
you dip them in, say–
June will continue, with outbreaks of rice.
If the answer ‘I do’ is too hard, you leave the page blank–

move on.         I say, leave the pulpit bare–
answer question 7       if you dare.  



Hida Takayama
             Gifu Prefecture

In your history
heritage homes
aged timber
light beams
print signs
not transferable

those who walk
pass low doors
way lost
words brush-stroked
sweep doorways

steam exposes
dreams             recipes
soft as dumplings

          if I hear your voice   I know
          it is not you   but the wind
          –interprets loss

          –words undone
          you   still in the shadows
          fold paper

          fire set
          to keep out
          the cold



Japanese Grey Heron
             – aosagi

you balance
neck out–
above me
your grace–
as if you
are holy
know the way
to a plane
I can never
hope to reach

not until you fly
         wings concertina
above me

do I know
you are truly



*Italics from John Burnside’s poems: To the Snow Queen and Wedding Season

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

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