AUSTRALIA is from Rae’s final collection of poetry The End of the Line, Rochford Press 2019. The End of the Line is available from the Rochford Cottage Bookshop at the same price of $15 (normally $25): https://rochford-pressbookshop.square.site/product/the-end-of-the-line-by-rae-desmond-jones/6?cp=true&sa=false&sbp=false&q=false&category_id=12
The End of the Line is Rae Desmond Jones’ final collection of poetry. Rae worked on this manuscript during the last year of his life and it’s publication is a fitting tribute to a great poet.
“Rae Jones was one of the great characters of the Inner West. His commitment to safeguarding the built environment led him from being an activist to becoming Mayor of Ashfield Council. Rae’s poetry reflects the eclectic and progressive nature of the community where he lived, as well as his passion for politics. It canvasses a range of topics including family, friendships, history and the state of the world”.
– Anthony Albanese
“The End of the Line is an animated collection, bristling with the varied perspectives, moods, and colours of Jones’ consciousness and ‘voice’. Jones was an impressive raconteur and his distinctive physical voice echoes through the pages. The poems shift easily from the social/political agora to the deeply personal, to contemplative, spiritual/cosmic dimensions. He investigates individual and terrestrial mortalities, and concepts of being. He can be playful, cheeky, bawdy, satiric, savage and biting – as well as reflective, passionate, lyrical and grave. Shadowy images inhabit the book’s atmosphere at times, but in the final poems there is a sense of achievement – of abundance and joy: ‘Harvest the glow’. This is a vivid book. In ‘To prepare a course of poetry’ Rae advises – ‘ Porridge should be avoided’.”
– Joanne Burns
Like most poets of worth there is an identifiable template to a Rae Jones production, but within its quite necessary bounds, what a variety! And in this book, with much of it concerned with his and our mortality, this variety continues. Heart-on-sleeve when required, sardonic when required, often in the same work, these poems are distilled Jones, from a man with a life and career more multifarious than most of us. Though the physical Rae is gone, in Sydney’s Inner West and in Australian poetry, his legend still grows.
– Alan Wearne
Many of Jones’s poems finish with the natural world as aloof, seemingly unaffected by the odd juxtapositions in human life – …… But mostly nature serves as pool of comparison, as site of possible transcendence, with what Jones wishes to see, gracefully, as the insignificance of big-noting humanity: this is the descant strand hovering over his fervent engagement in this gritty world – viewed partly in ministerial solidarity, partly in a parody of disdain, and partly in raging shit-stirring protest.
– Gig Ryan, Sydney Review of Books