2013 Creatrix Prize Winners


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2013 Creatrix Poetry/Haiku Prizes from Issue 18 to Issue 21.

Thank you to Sunline Press, Fremantle Press, Crow Books and Tantamount Press for donating the prizes.
Thank you to all of the poets who contributed and to Peter Jeffrey, Chris Konrad and John Ryan for judging the Poetry Prize and Rose van Son, Meryl Manoy, Amanda Joy and Gary De Piazzi for judging the Haiku Prize.


Creatrix Poetry Prize Winners

First Prize – Carolyn Abbs

Doris Lessing 1959

Second Prize – Laurel Lamperd

Waiting Women

Third Prize – Jan Napier

So Far From God

Commended – Sue Clennell

Mumtaz Mahal

Commended – Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Land of Taut Horizon

Commended – Alexis Lateef



Creatrix Haiku Prize Winners

First Prize – Natasha Adams

harvest moon
he picks grapes

Second Prize – Graham Nunn

closing the gate
bones left to whiten
in the sun

Commended – Dean Meredith

a church
next to a pub
worshippers gather

Commended – Margaret Ferrell

still pond
three gulls land on log
instantly six


First Prize

Doris Lessing, 1959

there she is                              fag in hand
pensive                                    dark bobbed hair
shirt-waister frock                   crimplene

i caste my eye                         along a shelf
faded paper-backs                  titles
intricate                                   as vertebrae
i touch a spine                        take a book
parched pages                         crack open
ochred                                     dusty
the mustiness                          of vintage shops
other people’s houses             last night’s cooking smells

i am immersed                        in dystopian tales
(vivid                                      as yesterday)
bravery of women                   in science fiction
the era                                     of golden notebooks

yet surely this photo               is incomplete
she is about to speak

Carolyn Abbs

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Second Prize

Waiting Women   

She saw the young woman
Seated next to a lamp.
A painting by Harunobu.
And knew it was her
waiting for her lover.

In her case
He was her boss.
He didn’t say
he would divorce his wife
but she hoped he would.

Sometimes she saw a news item
About him and his wife
at the ballet or opera
and once at a political dinner.

She smoked non-stop
With a bottle of Chardonnay
at her elbow
listening for his steps
waiting for him
looking like the young woman
waiting next to the lamp.

Laurel Lamperd

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Third Prize 


I am so far from God that only rats
and rent boys see me fight my demons
in knuckle and beer reek alleys.
I offer up my cheek grizzled and filthy
to smug forgiveness   say “ put ‘er there”
hold out my hand     “got a dollar?”
hitch a grin at the shrink and step back.
“We’ll save ya,” cry the Salvos
but it’s too many lickspittle lovers later.
Too many nights of trashed moonbeams
squats perilous as Lucifer’s minions
bladders of chateau cardboard
cops     “move it along there mate.”
I‘d rather chew on windfalls
wormy as graveflesh than gulp soup
flavored with your piety.
I swap censer smoke for Marlboros
or on a good day   mull    trade the latin
for a curse   replace the odour of sanctity
with that of opprobrium.
I am so far from God that only Chagall’s angels
strange naked creatures that they are
bother to mark my passing.

Jan Napier

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Mumtaz Mahal

Mumtaz, 10,000 craftsmen and 10,000 more,
from afar as Turkey and Persia, shed tears
with their pores, for you, rani, princess, queen.
You soar above me, Mute Swan, while my
peacock parading now serves no purpose.
Ah, arthangi, that we were still one!
Cardamom, cayenne, cumin,
ginger and chilli together,
cannot burn more than the sorrow
that my hands no longer cup your breasts.
Mumtaz, 3000 elephants carry
the heavy burden of my love for you.
The jasper and jade, you kept
so close to your skin,
will now guard that final sleep
which I, too, will share,
when my work is done.

Sue Clennell

* arthangi means other half.

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Land of Taut Horizons

I hear him scry on the cry of a sheep
as it bleats the lonely paddock
spread and burnt under the summer sun.

Walks long coursed strides
that know every furrow in the land.
Feels every chiselled ringbarked tree
with defiant limbs etched into his hand
and the summer dam dry as his tears.

He works into this land that brings harshness
to the words that grate against the growl
of tractor and harvester pummelling the terrain
crop after crop, diminishing under the whip.

Knows the slit throat begging bleat of drought sheep
echoing arid days as they reluctantly drop away.
Endures the tenacious crawl of flies
that suck what life remains to feed and fester
on minutest moisture in black swarm advance.

Everywhere the brittle crack of exhaustion
seeps into each step, each trot, each wing flap
to collect in the shadows of dry gullies.
In the final moments when everything is dust
find reprieve in clouds that billow the taut horizon
with a menace grey to black lumbering slowly forwards.

Rejoice as the first drops pierce the heat haze
spit the reluctant land and build to washout and flood.

This land of pendulum extremes
brands terra into the surrender of existence
strangles the voice with its harsh words
so only the strong survive.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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Your lungs were always
too small for your life.

You wanted to breathe in
more air than you could,
made yourself red faced sick
trying to hold it in,

to store it, like childhood optimism,
stubborn and defiant against
scientific fact.

Sometimes you coughed for days,
and when you were bent double,
those strange keh keh sounds
erupting from your chest,
it sounded like there was
an animal inside you,
trying to claw its way out.

You said
that there was.
You said
it was you.

Alexis Lateef

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