Stories on a Map

Quettreville Hospitality

Quettreville Hospitality largeMocco Wollert


A generous table invites friend and traveler,
precious hours are spent sharing crusty bread
while amber liquid calls from crystal decanters.
Chicken steams on pearly rice competing
with autumn coloured cool ratatouille.
The table bears platters of snowy cauliflower,
freshly picked green beans from a summer garden.
Fragrant cheeses on a straw platter beckon
with sweet and pungent irresistible aromas.
Smiles weave bonds of friendship newly found,
voices blend and hands speak in all languages.
The black coffee is strong in chipped mugs,
golden cream creating islands of sensuality.
Chairs are pushed back, drowsiness fills the room
outside sounds ebb against the open window
as Sunday lunch slides slowly into pleasant memory.


© 2014 Mocco Wollert
Image: Rubens, photographed by Georges Jansoone

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.