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Torie Cooper – The Camp

Cooper profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume One, December 2020.

Torie Cooper is an Australian-American poet who has authored two volumes of poetry, Nature: A Collection of Poems and Laying Nana Down: Poems of Caregiving and Loss. The latter volume is currently used for educational purposes by staff at Calvary Hospital, Sydney. Torie’s poetry has also appeared in a variety of publications. She recently wrote her first non-fiction book, Love, Laughter, and Morphine: A Compassionate Guide for Caregivers of the Terminally Ill.

Nature: A Collection of Poems
Laying Nana Down: Poems of Caregiving and Loss
Love, Laughter, and Morphine: A Compassionate Guide for Caregivers of the Terminally Ill


The Camp

There was silence in Heaven.
Yahweh wept in anguish.
Crematoriums ceaselessly coughed
black smoke of horror.
Beyond barbed-wire fence,
delicate fallow deer
quietly foraged
in nearby woods.

Seaside Market

Shiny, silver-scaled fish
with sunken eyes
lie side by side,
tucked into beds of crushed ice;
piscine companions
of capture.

Opaque squid with flaccid tentacles
rest alongside
mussels and Dungeness crabs,
dreamless beneath frosty
fingerprint-riddled glass.

Curious children bundled in coats
stand tippy-toed,
ignoring pungent odor
for a peek at other-worldly creatures
of the cold sea.

Fish monger smears gloved hands
across damp white apron
before deftly wrapping
Coho salmon in butcher paper;
transferring package to
outheld hand across the counter.


© Torie Cooper