New poetry book explores a “soulful and satirical” view of Gardiner Reserve   

New poetry book explores a “soulful and satirical” view of Gardiner Reserve   
Brendan Rees

From hats, coats, and shoes “left behind” at Gardiner Reserve, a new poetry book looks at how “we can find meaning, and even humour” in the “things we once held dear”.   

So says the author, Brendan Gleeson, a passionate North Melbourne resident, who has launched The Records of The Loss Property Department of Gardiner Reserve, a self-published book (Shiel Street Press) of “soulful and satirical picture poems, all baked in North Melbourne”.

“I turned to the writing of poetry for the first time in my life as therapy for healing,” he said while being away from work due to health reasons since 2021.

“So, from my own experience, Loss Property confirms the fact that we can suddenly lose even the things we thought solid and secure, like the ability to work.”

Mr Gleeson said the use of the word “loss”, and not “lost”, was intentional as he hoped it “becomes clear in the reading of the book”.

“Loss Property is a meditation on the question of loss, an unavoidable, even necessary, human experience,” he said.


In this book I explore that ever present, ever looming reality in poems about the ‘left behind’ objects that I constantly encounter in Gardiner Reserve.


But he added, “all is not loss”, and he hoped the book “conveys the prospect of hope in such circumstances: that we can find meaning, and even humour, in the losing of things we once held dear.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece, a friend, neighbour and colleague of Mr Gleeson, praised the new book, saying it “reminds us all of the importance of self-reflection and the search for meaning”.

“I highly recommend this new book to everyone. It is like yoga or a good massage for the spirit,” he said.

“Brendan Gleeson is rapidly on his way to becoming a living treasure of Melbourne, he really is a wonderful soul.” •


Caption: Brendan Gleeson, left, celebrates the launch of his new poetry book with Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece.

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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