Stories on a Map

Quettreville Church

Mocco WollertQuettrevill Church large


Large portals guard its sanctity
allowing my careful entrance only
through a small hidden side door.
Inside waits a languorous sepia world,
soft dust veils trailing the pews,
a ship becalmed in time.
Outside the patient cemetery
waits to claim the congregation,
tenderly guarding flesh and bone,
holding infant, parent, stranger
until they all become grey stone.
The big church dreams, altar waiting,
worshipping with the hourly bell;
hymn books in well handled order
praise the creator in silent song.
Sunday descends with dignity
upon the holy, steadfast ship
with her solemn headstone garland
of bloom-covered, silent graves.


© 2014 Mocco Wollert
Image: Ikmo-ned

Wollert 150Mocco Wollert was born in Cologne and, as a child in Germany during the Second World War, survived the bombings of Cologne and Dresden and capture by Soviet forces. She eventually succeeded in fleeing to the west, making her way to Australia in the 1950s. Mocco taught herself English along the way by reading books in the language, and now writes happily in either German or English. Her often passionate and sensual writing about human emotions and intimacies, which she views as reflecting a European literary heritage, stirs feelings that are universal. Her economy of style draws on the influence of Japanese haiku, which she much admires. Mocco has had eight books published in Australia and focuses especially on poetry. Her most recent book is Australia – Images and Inspiration, written in collaboration with the artist Glenise Clelland and published in November 2014. She is currently working on a memoir of life in 1960s Darwin. Mocco’s poems have won numerous prizes and have been widely published by the literary press. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and they have two daughters.