Home / Gran Slam / 2020 / Margaret Clifford, 74

Margaret Clifford, 74

Age: 74

Kangaroo Point, QLD

She is the author of two-story collections – ‘Stitched Pages’ and ‘Layers of Life’. Margaret Clifford’s spiritual poetry is often used for reflections and rituals. After a childhood spent hiding up a mango tree avoiding chores, and a lifetime of being a “teacher, parent, publican, principal, carer, mediator and social justice advocate”, Margaret has escaped into poetry. She is a fitness fanatic and lifelong learner. Now she’s coming down from her aerie overlooking the Brisbane River to slam.

A State of Mind

The young have much to teach us

their minds rushing

from one country to the next

seeking out, leaning in;

their vision, vast

their viewpoint, fluid

their paths set on change;

they scan the smorgasbord

select one delicacy

roll it around in their mouths

allow all their senses to become acquainted,

savour every single morsel

then, scamper off to save the planet.


It must jar

when they hit hard

against our set ways;

our views held tight, readily delivered;

our failure to update, revise

or look again with fresh eyes;

I must admit

I’m bored with the smorgasbord

my favourite slant not served

the way it’s always done,

and I’ve hoarded more than I need,

my senses cowering

behind the set recipes

worn routines, safe paths.


The young have much to teach us.

So I’m turning around

and going back

and I’m ready to learn.

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