The feeling of washing – Mia Slater’s evocative poem


“I love to write because it’s the simplest, most direct way to make something out of nothing,” says Byron Bay’s Mia Slater, succinctly summing up the art of using imagination.

“I’ve been writing since I was a child – making illustrated storybooks, or typing on the computer. But I never thought of writing as something to pursue until I started University,” she says. Now in her third year of  an arts degree majoring in writing  at the University of Queensland Mia says that for her poetry is like solving a puzzle.  “For me it’s exciting there seems to be just one right answer for every poem, and the poet has to experiment with language and sound until the pieces fit together.”

We loved the poem she sent us which so beautifully draws a word picture of a summer’s day.


The Washing


There is a feeling

only felt when washing

whites, hung and drying

in deft slanted slats

of domestic sun.


A clean, soft feeling

only felt when standing

in damp, dress-shaped shade,

down pillowcases

with buttons undone.


A feeling

like bathing

in clear and cool water –

observing the warm

sun on your shoulder


and feeling the lick

of a slick fish skimming

your calf in water:

a dry, spiny bur

flicking your ankle.


Mia Slater



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