Like its precursor Barnacle Rock, Brief Garden is a collection of poems largely concerned with environmental degeneration and loss. The title poem deals with the ephemeral nature of a civilisation and its artefacts, but the focus of the collection goes deeper, playing on the word 'brief', the vanishing of an Edenic garden. Today, our world is further threatened by anthropogenic climate change, oil-mining assaults on natural wonders, flora and fauna, and by continued government intervention into the preservation of heritage buildings and sites. The land tended by Australia’s first inhabitants for 60,000 years is now under siege. In these beautifully crafted and researched poems, voices from the past and present remind readers of what has been taken away.
Praise for Barnacle Rock:
'Barnacle Rock displays a keen eye for the visceral context of some groundbreaking history, embracing the discovery and exploration of Australia....I like these poems; they’re fluently inventive and elegantly paced.' — Ian McFarlane, The Australian
'Thematically, it identifies important and topical issues...Margaret Bradstock fulfils the mission of the evangelising poet — to seize and hold the attention of her reader, to fascinate and enlighten, and to address spiritual hunger in a satisfying way.' — John Upton, Mascara Literary Review
'Dense, a rich read, it alerts the mind into awareness...This is a far-reaching book, its craft tight and its scope challenging. Barnacle Rock finishes in heavy territory, but its right to this is well-earned.' — Robyn Rowland, Cordite Poetry Review