Creatrix 41 Poetry

June 2018

Selectors: Peter Jeffery OAM and Chris Arnold
Submissions Manager: Wendy Beach

Contributors:

Helen Budge

Sleepless

Peter Burges

Wadjemup, 2018

Graeme Butler

Getting Used To Something

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Literary Remorse
Window To A Precipice

Frances Faith

There Is Nothing New Under The Sun*

Derek Fenton

Tampering With A Titleist
A Tetchy Triolet

Margaret Ferrell

Snowdrops

Rosalind Franklin

Who Are You

Sally Gaunt

The Idea Of Peace On A Summer Day In Hobart

Fran Graham

Act of Faith

Mike Greenacre

Gone
Rottnest Ghost

Ann Harrison NSC

Freedom

Ross Jackson

Adoption Dog Settled In
Delighted By Yellows Whilst Fearing Purple Shades

Nada Kesic

Long Forgotten

Veronica Lake

Nested Here

Meryl Manoy

No Regrets

Mardi May

Case History

Dean Meredith

What It Means To Me

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Magpies
Notes From A Lecture On Fay Zwicky

Jan Napier

Night Rain
Unit 2

Julian O’Dea

A Matinée

Virginia O’Keeffe

Dining At The Gallery
Dying Rites

Allan Padgett

Longing
There Is A Larger Thing

Mike Pedrana

The Sad Bully

Peter Rondel

Yesterdays

Laurie Smith

Kangaroo Paw

Amanda Spooner

Overthrown

Rita Tognini

Automotive Limbo
Nanjing Fall

Mimma Tornatora

A Simple Death

Rose van Son

Delay
Water Has Memory–

 


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Sleepless

It is night.
The tide is high.
I cannot sleep.
Through the open window
an owl’s haunting call
floats over the sound of waves
rushing the shore.
With morning
the hum of cars
intrudes.
The owl is silent.
A dove is cooing.

Helen Budge

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_______________________________

Wadjemup, 2018

High in the East,
higher than the reach of ears,
Sky blares, breathes white clouds
trailing tendrils of promise
across snub-faced hills
whence, for 50,000 years,
the Peoples came to this then unsevered place
in hope of finding heaven.

Then Sea rose, and colours shrivelled,
trees and hills became dull shades of grey,
the birds that remained turned black,
and, thereafter, Sky withdrew,
gazed only on the backs of the stars,
and the People wept
for only ghosts could come now
to this Place of Spirits.

Then the stranger-ghosts came
to corral Country with Latin words,
make the People bare their throats to coward laws
and spears that spat fire,
to cut down for houses,
soldiers’ huts and gaols
old trees that had shaded bird and beast,
sung with the winds.

Then men and boys who stood and fought
were brought here,
nullii ex nihilo,
yet substantial enough to be held by chains,
and slaved, bled red as the succulents
around the salt-hardened lakes,
until, out of earshot and eyesight,
of country,

their corpses rotted,
sank with their spirits
into the unmarked silence
of subterranean rocks.
So now Warrgul,
clothed in their castoff skins,
wanders forlorn among spindly winds,
soughs through the trees

while pelicans sail in black profile
across ice-blue gesso seas,
unaware they have been appropriated,
made symbolic Christs
required, in times of famine,
to pierce their breasts, feed offspring their blood;
while quokas hide in stunted scrub
picking at mangy fur with childlike hands,

or, propped on their bums,
watch from behind glints in their beady eyes
as sweaty tourists marvel at sea lions doing nothing,
encourage foreshortened crows in Morton Bays
to exchange truncated caws for scraps,
hire bikes and maps, and, with incomprehensions
as colourless as the sloughed skins of sorrowful words,
trample havens only meant for ghosts.

Peter Burges

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Getting Used to Something

As I swung through the gateway,
I saw the rusty roll of ring-lock sitting there,
wrapped in memories, just as it has always been.

Then in the singular moment that
I closed the gate and glanced back,
that rusty roll of ring-lock, suddenly appeared
as  just   a   rusty   roll   of   ring-lock,
that has it seemed, always been there in the garden.

And I think now, if my kids come through that gate

and encounter it as I had done for so long,
then they too would have memories of it.
Should this occur, as such things may do,
they would not realize that it was happening,
unless suddenly the magic might break,
as has just happened to me, and they see
just   a   rusty   roll   of   ring-lock  sitting there,
one that has become enmeshed
in the coil of their experiences.

Graeme Butler

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Literary Remorse

Liberty stutters arrogance
in every lie, every crossed word
strung and crucified as the world
rotates on a porcelain heart.
Solidifies the creative edge
to a gurgled refrain based
on echoes that strain
to hold a voice
a note,
as the meter beats
larger, rounder, fatter.
Each register higher
holding, absorbing
until
a crusted flake
peels away, imprinted
with every word, every death
that sucked air
and fell un-
said.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Window To A Precipice

Lonely people flow like water,
drift mute on the solo path
with hesitant feet and stolen
breath.

Mouths falter and hold
around thrown words
“can you spare a dollar?”.
Eyes tied to shadows
chase the flit of scraps

and dreams scamper on gusts.
It is cold and the sun holds
its anger as the city settles
with its unattached face.
There is an undercurrent

that swells subterranean vaults.
Shifting with every flush
every thrown switch
that resembles an echo.
It’s as if sighs

are all this city remembers.
The staccato steps, burnished
by littered lines of bins.
The dark coat of night
is the only friend as sleep finds

escape for too short a breath.
Shatters the chalice
as the world slows with morning.
Empties trains with eyes narrowed
and mouths shut.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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________________________________

There Is Nothing New Under The Sun*

But
the moon witnesses birth as labouring cows
wait to calve steaming, sopping, bundles
by that softer light,
and poets too,
while third watch songsters craft their babies in minor keys.

It is not until midnight,
when milky moon gazes down at the thirsty eyes of creation
that lovers and writers dare
cast the dice
to spin up another from the infinite combinations
of rhyme and reason.

How unlike the fire of the sun
is the cool alabaster moon,
yet
when she turns her face toward us,
do our yearning hearts not burn?

Frances Faith

*Ecclesiastes 1:9

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Tampering With A Titleist

I’ll take some sandpaper to golf today
to rough up my pesky ball in the rough.
I just can’t get my slice to go away.
I’ll take some sandpaper to golf today
and work on it in a devious way,
because to hit it straight is far too tough.
I hope there’ll be no cameras there today,
because one scandal is enough!

Derek Fenton

A Tetchy Triolet

What is a grumpy old pensioner to do,
but grumble and moan about the young.
It’s an ailment that’s far worse than the flu.
What is a grumpy old pensioner to do,
but attack everything not of his hue
now that he’s on life’s ladder’s last rung.
What is a grumpy old pensioner to do?
No HRT for men who’re highly strung.
Swap his oxygen for laughing gas,
but then Centrelink won’t fund it alas!

Derek Fenton

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________________________________

Snowdrops
______
after Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Whiteness:
walls, beds, faces –
the one solace
snowdrops,
their petal-tips
a lift of green.

I stand alone above the town
linger over a full moon
silvering the firth,
sense change hovering.

Moon withdraws
estuary darkens,
eyes mist,
thoughts recede.

In the grip of grief
numbness erases.
I recall only snowdrops –
three white petals
and that lift of green.

Margaret Ferrell

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________________________________

Who Are You

Civil war in Syria rubble cities
People shelter in ruins
Old frail people
Mothers scavenging for food
Skeletal children

I am seeking a country free of bombs
Will your beliefs conflict with ours

Natural disaster in Somalia
Shrivelled crops
No income
Starving people
Decomposing bodies

I seek a country to feed my family
Will you work for your keep

Murdering tribes of Kenya
Kidnapped families
Children soldiers
Women violated
Bellies empty

I seek respect for women in your country
Has violence damaged your mind

Ours is a free speaking open country
Christian based
Acknowledging cultural differences
Respecting rights for women
But can we trust you will adjust to our way of life

Rosalind Franklin

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The Idea Of Peace On A Summer Day In Hobart

A light zephyr forms
milk skein across the water;
A child scrapes sand on the shore,
swimmers clamber onto a moored pontoon.
A top hatted young man in Victorian frock coat approaches,
He has acute powers of observation.
We smile at him as he collects his
fossils, ferns and skinks.

Vistas of a far coast,
a light absurdly named Blinking Billy,
A line of motor boats,
like self-important bumble bees,
form a procession to Bruny,
Red and Yellow ferries
zig zag the Derwent.
A cream cake cruise ship departs port
nudged by a tiny tug.

We snuggle under the slopes of Wellington

in doona beds soft as clouds;
water seeps down an ivy wall
outside our window.
Young men prune roses in the village.
At Wrest Point jingling polka of pokies
pierces cutlery clatter as diners
tuck into luncheon specials.

Sally Gaunt

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Act of Faith 

Frost-wary hands greet the secateurs
on the frozen metal shelf
in the garden shed, the sun not
yet out to mitigate the pain
of sinking coffee-warmed fingers
into winter-savage soil.

The love of planting and watching
things grow persuades me to persevere.
I draw the drills in rich chocolate
loam and thumb the seeds into rows
as if playing marbles
or praying the rosary.

It is a meditation –
a devotion of sorts,
then a nine-day novena
of waiting for green shoots to appear
a joyous anticipation
then annunciation
that the earth has embraced my work
and found it good.

Fran Graham

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Gone

That sense of wonder,
surprise   travels through
childhood as a train
leading them from one
station to the next,
refuelling their day.

I remember my son
in his highchair or on
the lounge-room floor when
things went missing
we’d ask him where?
to which he’d look around
as a concerned porter
then hold up his hands
to the world: ‘gone?’
Now both he and his sister
have caught the adult express
and left us here
to timetable their arrivals
and departures   with
or without luggage
and with complimentary meals.

Gone, that sense of wonder,
just visiting now   as we
walk down the empty
hallway, hear the horn blow
and gently close the
carriage door.

Mike Greenacre

Rottnest Ghost 

Setting out at dusk
at least fifty nameless souls
met outside the museum,
at first like a pub – the brawl
of voices all waiting
for who we didn’t know.

‘The art of storytelling is lost

nowadays’ our host tossed
amongst us, lowering his head
drawing us within his range,
as we stood as dark shadows that
chilled tales of the unexplained.

Then we sat together as strangers
in the darkness that bound us,
a smorgasbord of races
from children to the old
our minds tense in anticipation
urging secrets out of what is known.

Led as prisoners in the shackles
of night, along thin lines of light
and memory to Thompsons Bay,
we find the narrow limestone prison
where convicts were stored as standing
baggage, lashed by wave and sand.

He tells of the Aboriginal prisoner
whose life was beaten to his grave,
but as a flame in the night sky
vowed revenge – haunting convicts
and pushing lighthouse-keepers to
their end, before his rage was spent.

Our ranks have now closed, as
we leave the cemetery, where
thirteen lives are buried, but only
seven named, the stark breeze
tearing through windcheaters,
awakening the ghost within us all.

Mike Greenacre

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Freedom

I took the basket
and picked my flowers
then placed them against your will.
The garden offered many choices….
roses marigolds
daffodils and tulips
all different colours
gold blue parchment white
and pink touched with crimson.
I took them on my journey
discarding each as they died
no regrets
my choice
not yours
you found it hard
I know
and when the vase was empty
the flowers no longer there,
I stood tall
took a breath,
My choices….
Freedom.

Ann Harrison NSC

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Adoption Dog Settled In  

taut fleshed greyhound
before full length window
daylong draught of sun

from my seat on
the matching lounge
I face its sprawl

of comatose
well baked bones
till curtains closed at dusk

Ross Jackson

Delighted By Yellows Whilst Fearing Purple Shades

yellow’s more than a wavelength of light
______ bananas, frangipani flowers, cheese-
______ enough yellow scents
______ that the blind will appreciate
all may agree at egg central that yellow’s alive
that yellow cake is nuclear

but of purple I’m suspicious, am wary of plum
______ Bono’s
amethyst goggles
______ piss me off
lilac’s irrational and what is it with Indigoes
in soft lavender hats?

sharp eyed, camped out with a hose
______ at the edges of my street
could anyone doubt purple
more than I?

______ but aint it good to binge on yellow
___ to wrap up mellow
______ in a banner
______ of silky, yellow light!

Ross Jackson

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Long Forgotten

I cling to sleep
float on dreams
scant remembered.
Fading.
Down the rabbit hole
in mist of memories.
Fading.
Lost.
Buried deep
within illusions.
A world mine.
Alone I linger.
Lid covered lenses
reluctant to invite the day
nestle easily within bony socket.
Was it a dream?
A hope
a reality lived
long forgotten
a door to another reality
of corridors I’d walked before?
I don’t recall.
as fragmented images
slip through
sleeping lashes.

Nada Kesic

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Nested Here

Nested here
mid rumpled sheets,
folded together
in a pleat of time
your limbs lax
soft with sleep

Slatted starlight

dapples our skin;
a nimbus of light
keeping the world distant.
Your metronome breath
marks time passing.

Outside,
the storm of society
whirls closer
whines like a dog
snarls at the windows
seeking entry.

For the moment
we are snug,
out of life’s continuum,
safe in the eye of the storm,
folded together
nested here.

Veronica Lake

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No Regrets

In the shade of an umbrella on the patio I sit
in quiet contemplation – a time to reminisce –
the pleasant hours we sipped our tea sharing this sheltered place
‘though long gone, I feel your presence still fills this space.
The funny comments that you made, the anecdotes related,
this was our little private bower where we contemplated
our long life together, blessed in every way.
No regrets, loving memories fill my heart today.

Meryl Manoy

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Case History

Well, here I am in fifty x-rays,
a skeleton who writes poetry
to the rattle of porotic bones.

In my heart’s echo chamber
free verse reverberates to
the melody of skipping beats.

Such a diversity of voices
in this orchestra of organs,
my discordant symphony.

The spice of variety with
a blending of chemistry
seasons my ageing life.

Mardi May

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What It Means To Me

Nothing really, other than what it once was, and might someday be; it is Nabokov and Lolita, fine words masquerading as fine thoughts, beauty, thumbing its nose at hypocrisy; a canopy of stars, shining like a magical dream coat, worn in and out, as though every day were special; the cut and thrust of a firm cliché, like a can-opener liberating our precious little morsels; a knife and a cheese-board, waiting for their crackers; an infinite chess game, a series of riddles never to be solved; the wildest of rides, starting somewhere and finishing nowhere; the madness of sewing machines, stitching raindrops into oceans; simultaneous pleasures, of ether and pain; the delight of a teetotaller, stumbling through a whorehouse; it is movement, straight lines becoming circles, ellipses, other fantastic shapes; making right from wrong, black mating white, vice-versa and so on; it is hoax, joker, and the tawdry fluff of life; slow suicide, striptease, titillation and shame, such that others might soar; long falls at great heights, flying gracefully … all the way down; excess and deprivation, like sadomasochistic rituals of greedy expectation, spiralling as moths into hell; hate and love, constant war, broken people, uncertain rules; scatterings of seeds, rocks and minds waiting for water; mountain and abyss, joined forever by tides, and in-betweens of death and bliss; and have I mentioned, dear reader … the great bull elephant charging through our minds, yes, sweet suffering; enough said, except a glimpse of yesterday hinting at tomorrow, perhaps; not much more than that really, it means nothing to me, now or ever, poetry, Amen.

Dean Meredith

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Magpies
______
after John Kinsella’s “Night Parrots”

if at all, mavens of the blue,
how motherhood wraps you
in egg, nest, wing. flute bird
call like school bell, ushering.

if at all, mimic voice, imitate
intimacy humans are familiar
with. amid eucalypts & lines
telegraphical, seek yourself.

if at all, we can’t tell a whole
truth, only our own version, just
as every hatchling will not live,
offer song, become your totem.

each feather is a wish from
the universe: thus, each bird
is a bouquet of potential, of
fulfilment, if at all.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Notes From A Lecture On Fay Zwicky
______
given by Tim Dolin

a poet of middle age
she would write
between midnight &
4 a.m. her condition
of poetic imagination

quietly she would get on with her work
scribbling “a reckoning, a precise reckoning”
stating how poetry is not a career
but that “getting by with Jesus” could
lead to “preaching holiness to dogs”
& make one “privileged by poetry”

now, beyond the veil, how her words
shape this poet of middle age to write
midnight predicaments & happenings
before dawn rumbles pink sky sojourns,
a cat called Malarkey my saviour &
congregation, purring like a bird
whenever my ciphers capture an
accuracy of our imagined worlds,
how we reduce damage with
______________________________ appanage

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

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Night Rain

falling from clouds unseen and soft
____ meddles among rooftops and steeples
prises twiglets from shingles    swirls
____ coracles of eggshell and feathers
along gutters glutted and spilling
____ fringes of silver    splats splats
milkbottle doorstops



night rain
beading zucchini     peas     tomato
____ in glass and crystal    seeps sleep deep
into loam and lawn noded by clover
____ ponk ponk
frogs pausing     gulp
earthworms squiggling airwards
____ to breathe     explore

night rain
romancing the apple’s boughs to chalice
____ too holey to fill
slants    slants     artfully etching darkness
____ into woodcut     carved lines
familiar as the maker’s mark
____ writ on window glass
in runny runes 

Jan Napier

Unit 2

It’s not
about living above them
it’s not
their stubbie and butt garden
it’s not
bad language and too loud tv
it’s not
stamping boots and slamming doors
it’s not
sneaking and peeking behind blinds
it’s not
her shrieking and no please no
it’s not
my forefinger di-di-dialling
it’s not
a knife tip bright with intent
it is
the waiting   waiting    waiting

for that blinking blue light
that kills you.

Jan Napier

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A Matinée

Up late today
I look out and see
that the birds
are putting on a matinée;
dressed by the plumassier,
repeating their lines;
show business parrots,
topknot pigeons, magpies
in black and white
like Reformation divines;
bowing and strutting
and telling each other
their ancient, subtle lies.

Julian O’Dea

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Dining At The Gallery

Excuse me she says, the flatware’s blunt.
Is not my problem the waitress flutters
Do you want another one? I could tell the manager.
She overlooks the harbour where the battleship tugs
at anchor, grey and squat in Sydney sunlight.
No don’t worry, they’re all the same
tried three already. Why it is so hard
to sharpen knives remains a mystery to me.
Her voice is rising sharp and bitter.
The woman with yellow sunglasses
stops her fork of felafel halfway to her mouth
and stares, surprised.
Six ladies’ heads swivel, coiffed,
collared, cheekbones slicing the air.
They raise their painted brows.
Indiscretion is distasteful.
And they’d had soup, torn the bread,
knives not a requirement.
She is making a scene as earlier
she had complained
over the price of salad: Extra?
Security is called. Cannot have a disturbance
amid diners on the terrace where the pigeons, doves
and cheeky ibis forage without cutlery.
Inside
judges have awarded First Prize to
a painting entitled:
‘anarchy’,
for “its incise depiction of
insurrection in a modern dystopian society.”

Virginia O’Keeffe

Dying Rites

Bodies thin like string in pale blue dressing gowns,
they cling in grief to buttress comfort in bewilderment.
How could this happen to their niece so vital loud
wiped out by a truck three suburbs down the road?
Unknown neighbours trickle in through doors and
waft their arms in loose condolence then heel away
thinking thank god it wasn’t one of mine and
who will I see about funeral times, no papers now delivered.
From the back room keening wail her mother, a narrow
straw of woman, eyes hollowed dark and face of paste
stares, at you trying to remember how to mouth the niceties
the etiquette of paying homage to death when all she wants
is to hold her child and see her eyelids flutter
before she grins. Alive.We have no rituals left
in suburbs anymore, no laying out and midnight vigils,
the candles flicking in the gloom around the bier
the body washed and wrapped or dressed in Sunday best
hands folded over, skin cool and waxen on the table.
After the service the wake will carry on till dawn and
men will stagger home following wives long gone to bed
leaving the detritus of grieving for someone else to clear.
Now it’s left to the sanitary sweepers-up of dying
in nondescript chapels of brick and tidy panelled pine
a celebrant who doesn’t know the living let alone the dead
and nervous visitors who squirm uneasily on hard chairs
and think who chose this song and I didn’t know they liked
red roses, when can I be gone?
When I die
give me a jazz band, bumptious blasting to send me off,
carouse and laugh aloud and do not cry, that’s enough.

Virginia O’Keeffe

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Longing

I am ageing
and cracking apart
as bones and ligament
fracture. In younger times
you’ve run
your muscled feeling fingers
around into my calves
behind my bony knees
along my thighs. I
beg – silently – for
more inner. This
simple, profound meander-
ing of body into
body
this mindful pummelling
shushes all resistance,
releases flame from mind.

I’m home alone –
and longing
for the little death
of
touch.

Allan Padgett

 

There Is A Larger Thing 

body bent on picnic bench, riverside –
cobalt sky hung low, framed by
chattering eaucalyptus foliage,
a shard of cheddar
melting into taste

pilfered thoughts and textured feeling
abound as small birds flitting buff-
breasted wait for signal time. rufous
whistler, blackfaced, whitethroated,
melodiously conversing,
imprints a sparkling sheen
on this, his shimmering, prodigal day

she perches stage left, waits

past shallow sandstrewn bank
there is a larger sea-born presence,
back arching in water curve. it slices through
this tidal, tan-dark river,
probing bottle-beak breaking waves,
swaying through
its cool wet world,
nosing a path to eventide –
dappled in wind-curled wavelets

under sky, i sit and ponder
the sweating vapour of your dreams,
a rose-tinted scent of ambiguity
lacing evening’s time-setting tide

Allan Padgett

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The Sad Bully

funny-a-thing,
school-excursion-hearted
inside a dark classroomless
____________ picture theatre
______________  with friends,

at back row,
over looking clumsy-heads
__ and teachers light-house scowls.

after a while,
when the plot becomes distraction,
and the darkness,
trustworthy,

you hurl a chocolate jaffa lolly
at the enemy that
is mr thomas.

you hit the back of his after school detention head.

he snipers his
vision on you,
piercingly solid and religiously sharp.

but you don’t flinch.

you melt into the screen,
expressionless,
heart in frenzy and tangled into ribs like fish into nets,
but not yielding to guilt,
not flinching into glance.

your dumb friends are giving you away,
their sheepish ogle
needling
in number
as all eyes,
like lost brackets from segmented sentences,
huddle you away from any abetting:
un loyally

burning in snicker and conclusion.

but you keep statue,
resilient;
because your still bruised and patterned
from your drunk father the
night before,

and all the glaring in the world,
even with packet of jaffa’s in hand
will not break your defense.

and as he storms up popcorn carpet stairs

you say

what can he do,

compared!

Mike Pedrana

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Yesterdays

Daydreams on a gentle day
As I lay beneath the sun
Carried me to that distant time
Where my first days had begun.

I strolled along a distant path
Through fields of golden corn
I passed the house of treasured dreams
In the town where I was born.

The garden still looked just the same
So too those flowerbeds
Where roses show their colours
And the dahlias nod their heads.

I heard my mother singing
The only song she knew
As she pulled weeds from the flower bed
Where those treasured dahlias grew.

In the far-off field I could hear the cows
And the tractor mowing hay
While my brother wields a pitchfork
In his unique careless way.

The sound of water in the stream
Where I fished on an afternoon
Memories of pleasant things
In a world that died too soon

I sit here in the garden
A million miles from all those things
Stirred back into reality
When the midday time bell rings

Now I share my home with strangers
Who are aging just like me
But I know from all those memories
There’s a place I’d rather be.

Peter Rondel

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Kangaroo Paw

Neck craned, crest erect
once a gregarious cockatoo.
Now exiled from sky, rooted in earth.
What natural law did you transgress?

Had you a voice you would wail
wil-yaaark…
_______________ wil-yaaark…

a lament for your lost gift
of sailing high into a marri
to crack those hard nuts
and savour the seeds.

Laurie Smith

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Overthrown

The mischief and irony of the brain
scrambling memory cells
mercilessly carving life into pieces

Her mind
a labyrinth of disorder
treasured memories of family              place
erode
__ as if with a child’s eraser
_____ smudged
__________ leaving            only
_____________________________     gaps

into which
music and some familiar faces
_____________________________     flow
But sometimes
even music fails

Frustration takes
_________ the upper hand as she tries
_________ to overcome the
_________ tide of tangles and peptide plaques

communication collapses

_________________ Her brain
_________________ paradoxically powerful
_________________ heedless of
____________________________ consequences

____________________________ unfaithfully
____________________________ crumbles
_____________________________________ the rest of
_____________________________________ structure

_____________________________________________________ and
_____________________________________________________ func
_____________________________________________________ tion

And we huddle into the constancy of death.

Amanda Spooner

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Automotive Limbo
According to an expert on funerals, Australians often end up storing Mum or Dad’s ashes in the boot of the car.

Not the boot, I cry.
Don’t leave me there
between the spare tyre,
the wrench and jack
and basket of old clothes
you meant to drop off
to Good Sammies months ago.

_______________   But you don’t listen.

Don’t forget me, I plead,
as you unload
the bags of shoppin
you rebury me under
every week.  Come back!
Carry me indoors
put me on the mantelpiece
or top shelf of the drinks cabinet.
Warm me with plastic votive candles
from the three dollar shop.
Give me flowers or Smirnoff,
Glenfiddich and Frangelico for company.

_______________ But you don’t hear.

It’s been months, I wail,
and I’m still here
in this dark corner
breathing stale air
half-stoned by petrol fumes
waiting to be lifted out by caring hands
or even just collected
and consigned to my final spot.

_______________ But you don’t come.

What if you sell the car?
Will I go with the tools?
Will I end up some day
in a wrecker’s yard
compacted
in a billeted skyscraper of metal?
Will I be reincarnated
as a Holden, Honda or Hyundai part?

_______________ Have you forgotten where you left me?

Rita Tognini

Nanjing Fall

I broke my wrist in Nanjing,
tripped in front of an entry gate
fell straight and true as a sapling
at the feet of a startled guard.

The arm I raised to break the fall
and shield my face hit the bitumen.
Face saved, bone broken, I staggered up
trembling with foolishness and nausea.

The Nanjing doctor wanted
to set the fracture, sans narcotics.
For best healing, he insisted.
I demanded a jab to numb the pain.

Next day, as I climbed the southern capital’s
Purple Hill to tombs and shrines
of generals, emperors and statesmen,
my wrist throbbed in the plaster’s grip.

At the summit, I read of battles and conquests,
felt the pain of other shattered bones
that centuries would neither dull nor heal.

Rita Tognini

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A Simple Death

there was death on the sidewalk
plunged on the nightingale suddenly
her family destined to perish
who will feed demanding mouths of her babies
there was death on the sidewalk
quickly removed
the nightingale flutters no more 

Mimma Tornatora

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Delay  

I can hold in a great deal; I don’t speak
until the waters overflow their banks
and break through the dam –
Leonard Cohen

I hold in words–
wait until breath overtakes
lose myself in your eyes.

In the tree outside my window
honeyeaters fan their wings
wait for morning’s return.

Only then do I know–
your voice silent as wind
but the magic remains.   Hallelujah!  

Rose van Son

 

 

Water Has Memory–

it goes where it has been before
follows levels of a past journey
dips into crevices
fills buckets
side-steps past lives
& although fluid
water’s gripe is not with man
but with rocks man has moved
tunnels dug under mountains
joined city with valley
bridged old with the new–
water dreams of lost waterways
remembers sidings
railway tracks
smooths a gravel path
mudslides, settles in–
curves body
over falls, rushes
headlong into riverbeds
slides under bridges–
water leaves marks
films histories, centuries old
rewrites chapters for the future

Rose van Son

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