Solrun Hoaas was born in Norway, grew up in China and Japan, completed
university in Oslo and studied theatre in Kyoto. In Australia since 1972,
she has worked as a teacher, journalist, interpreter, lecturer, and written
and directed several films, including the feature film Aya (CICAE award
l990), documentaries Sacred Vandals, Green Tea and Cherry Ripe and
Pyongyang Diaries. She now writes in Melbourne.


We are the winterlovers,
the cold-weather club,
whose feet move faster
on crunchy footpaths
gripping gravel on ice.

We are the winterlovers;
the soothing softness
of feather snowflakes
melt welcome on our cheeks;
the thrill of a sudden chill
that wakes a wandering mind
dulled by balmy breezes
wafting through warped sashes
of rain-battered windows.

We were the core members
of the cold kids society
who burned our tongues
licking the frost off
frozen pipes, forbidden
fruit enticing as an icy-pop;
stuck, our mouths wide-open
then painfully wrenched
from our sub-zero desires.

The heat, the heat of the skin
stripped when too near
to a winterlover's heart.

We are the winterlovers
in sandals crunching on snow
craving the itch of chilblains,
secret bonding of the snowblind
who dance to the tingles of hail
but melt at the blast of mistral
that whips our brains to mush.

We are the escapees
from sun-scorched shores
slippery with the glistening
and beached slip-slap-slops.
Our hearts are worn under wraps
not on our sleeves, but still beat
madly when we meet
another true winter believer.

We will remain incurable
winterlovers crawling
out from our sluggish shelter
against the endless summer,
cowards while hugging the heat
but fearless when faced
with the challenge of a chilly embrace
and icicle trims on a head.

White Shoes and a Red Sportscar

She wore white shoes
the day a red sportscar
ran over her foot.
It left a pattern,
lozenges on the tip of her shoe,
tyre marks on a flat white bow.
She felt the crushing weight
of the wheel slowly spin,
as he revved the motor in first
to start again up the hill,
the bruising pain long after
as the foot began to swell,
but said nothing then.

"It was my fault," she told herself,
timidly taking the blame.
"I stuck my foot out in front
of the wheel when he stopped."
He offered her a lift. She declined
saying she liked to climb
that sweaty hill every day.

Why did she need to say
it was her fault a red sportscar
ran over her foot when she wore
white shoes to school that day?


I miss you in Yonaguni,
drinking with an old Nisei
with one tooth.
"This is the last country on earth,"
he says.
The akamachi sprawls red on the evening wharf.

I miss you in Kubura -
in my mouth nothing but
a kuba root;
thick and white the miti drips
down the rock.
I drink three times from a lacquer bowl.

I miss you now in Sonae;
the torso
of a horse against the grey sky
behind a family grave.

Two Cats

At the moment there are two cats in me.

One, green-eyed and dappled
clawing restlessly at my nipples,
trying to find that elusive foothold.

The other is sprawled on a garden table,
a laid-back Aussie male,
feigning disinterest in anything
that doesn't promise the sun.

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