Swipe ’till your heart’s content and enjoy the fantastic poetry of our members!

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

marriage counselling
cushions on one side
of the sofa

writer’s cabin
letting in
the sun

Debbi Antebi
London, UK

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

blackberry vines
mend the picket fence

where the blue
begins and ends…
seagull wings

Gavin Austin
Sydney, Australia

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

after work
explaining the lipstick
on my facemask

Taofeek Ayeyemi

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

the morning paper
in the pond again

souvenir tea-towel
adding a gum leaf
to the billy

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

monsoon breeze
the scent of pakoras
from ma’s kitchen

Dr Mona Bedi.
Delhi, India

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

autumn wind –
still in the same place
dad’s old chair

Mirela Brăilean

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

the sky wide open
for the birds

Pitt Büerken
Münster / Germany

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

grass trees
a silent audience
in the amphitheatre

the popularity
of primary colours —
crimson rosellas

Rohan Buettel

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

security question
my first pet Stinky
lives on

fish on my plate
I avoid eye contact
with the cat

Alanna C. Burke
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

in the window
a young bird begs

sign of the times
on the church gate
book sale this way

Coral Carter

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

face down
on the haystack . . .
a scarecrow

summer noon . . .
the coconut vendor sleeps
under his cart

Kanchan Chatterjee
Jamshedpur. Jharkhand. India.

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

new yams roasting—
the rising heat
of old opinions

wrapped in mist
and whalesong

Lysa Collins

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

hotel bible
sooner or later
time to check out

Alvin B. Cruz

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

last hug—
the goodbye
before tears

the weight of war medals
old legs remember

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

where the sins of the flesh
no longer apply

bleak house
the keyhole stuffed
against the wind

Mike Gallagher

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

longest day . . .
training my horse to walk
through the mud

Goran Gatalica

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

he makes me feel
like a child again
not young just small

Candy Gordon

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

rabbits come and go
above the daisy fields
and bones

Cameron Haworth

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

the wattle blossoms
brighter this year

lockdown yoga
my boat pose
sinking fast

Louise Hopewell
Melbourne, Australia

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

sunday at the museum
cleaning lady washes
buddha’s eyes

Vladislav Hristov.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

dry creek bed
a dingo’s howl

Marilyn Humbert

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

a spider abseils
across broken webs

Zina Ioannou
Sydney, NSW

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

rosellas and wrens
wheel and chase
prayer flags

Earl Livings

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

on a thistle
the same bee
that pollinates my daises

a masked ball
with no dancing

judging every move
of the gymnast
my cat

Wilda Morris

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

buttered scones
the widow tempts
the mailman

well past
their best before date
my thought and prayers

Calgary, AB, Canada

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

cancelled event—
my dress hangs

Jaya Penelope

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

a still winter night …
the clock and i
still working

Amrutha Prabhu
Bengaluru, India

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

hard copy mag
with two fingers
I try to zoom in

Carol Reynolds

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

gentle swell
the paddle-boarder’s
wetsuit still dry

she polishes the leaves
of her fiddle-leaf fig

Cynthia Rowe

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

bare branches
visiting the landmarks
that shaped you

Liv Saint James

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

a heron wades
knee deep
a crocodile winks

Barry Sanbrook

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

Broome airport –
a flock of red necked stints
head for the bay

Maureen Sexton

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

August winds
the cat grass bends
his whiskers

Tom Staudt
Sydney, Australia

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

hang gliding
the sequential take-off
of fledglings

Debbie Strange

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

still water
the decorator crab
all dressed up

Richard Thomas

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

closed for renovations
butterfly wings clip
the long grass

Rose van Son

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

he brings some home
on his sleeping bag
forest scent

David Watts

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

for the kitchen vase
a clutch of dandelions
in my toddler’s hand

spring thaw—
the dirt where dad
would have planted seeds

crackling fire—
a hint of eggnog
in her kiss

uptown bus—
the strangers in front of me
exhaust their conversation

Michael Dylan Welch
Sammamish, Washington, USA

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

summer solstice
the lengthening list
of evening chores

Elaine Wilburt

Creatrix 54 – Haiku

sultry night
the moon slips quietly
into the pool

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

mirror, mirror

enjoy the view
from the side window
but whatever you do
keep your gaze fixed
so you can never focus
on the disaster ahead
it all whooshes by
with such blind glee

the ones in the front seat
will understand far too late
their terrible mistake
they even told you
they liked the mirror
because they could see themselves

you could have said
that you can never see yourself
only what is behind you
but you saved your breath

you knew you were going to need it
for the crash
that will come
the moment you close your eyes

four, three, two, one

Mar Bucknell

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

A Murdering of Dough
or A Fantasy for Australian Wives

Still dazed
by last night’s battering
she’s forgotten her apron

peers now
through purpling air
at lump on board

fleshy mess
stuck to hands
streaking sides of jeans

hears last gasps
as she pummels
divides into loaves.

She struck back
for the first time last night

then fled into shock


escape from raisin-like eyes
staring back.

Still can’t look at the sink
wash off stains
and rolling pin.

Knows that
left yeasted by hate
he will rise again and again

like dough.

Fingering darkness
and knife-edge
she sighs

becomes lost
in crimson
seeping in
across the kitchen sill.

Peter Burges

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Misstep Fall

Light hued doors that clang
and clammy hands that dive
to perspiring walls.
The twisted ceiling that rushes
for the floor as a foot slips
on the rug.

The oomph of air as it gushes
to cloud dust and the harsh grab
of old fibres that scrawl bare flesh.
The slit of world compressed
to one eye, shaved small and close
as the far wall recedes.

The muffled groan from somewhere else
as ears collapse each sound, each scrape
each sibilant wheeze.
A hand stretched grabs what fold it can
grips a clump with the hold of a child
and shrinks the pull.

A slow creep along the horizontal
to standing, married to perpendicular.
The length and width compared to height
and breadth without a bed to make it comfortable.
And getting up can be difficult as on a cold morning.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Bali Days

I slip through days with ease
They meander lazily by
Without determination or arrival
I have no means to stay them ..hold  them.. maintain them..
They wash over me…
Then sometimes…
On occasion, they grab at me…
I try slipping by
They hold me…against
a freedom I promised myself long ago…simply to let days slip by.

Larraine Duncan

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

A Sonnet for Jetstar

Jetstar finally lives up to its name,
‘Shitstar’, one that’s well deserved and earned
its pathetic parent, Qantas, the same
branded by thousands thoroughly burned.
Hiding behind patriotic adverts
with cherubic children drawing us in.
Nothing but profiteering perverts
and nothing but a scurrilous sin.

Quick to snatch our bookings and cash
then cancelling our flights within hours,
to the short term money market they dash
just concerned with their interest, not ours.
It’s not us, it’s Covid, is what they say,
as they snatch our dreams and then fly away!

Derek Fenton

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Precious partnership

‘You are so fortunate to have each other’.
Her words halt us, draw attention to
this woman’s demeanour. Her eyes,
bright as ever, change within the moment,
become moist, hands tremble
as she tells us Sunday is the eleventh
anniversary of her husband’s
death. Then she loses control, tears
begin to fall. We hold her, draw upon
our empathy.

Suddenly, the supermarket shopping
becomes unimportant.

We are born with a mutable state of
resilience. Life holds hurdles.
Learning to cope can involve
relationships, undesirable change,
stress. And yet, humans can rise
above their mental suffering.
Marry resilience with hope and this
partnership can work miracles.

Later, we meet our friend again in
one of the shopping aisles. This time
she smiles widely, anxious to stop us.
‘There are good things in my life too.
I have a lovely daughter and four
beautiful grandchildren and they all
visit me’.

We share her joy as we discover
she is not defined by her enduring pain
but by that precious partnership.

Margaret Ferrell

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Underground Miner

As I fly away from home, Into the humid darkness I go.
Ear plugs in, hard hat on, from daylight to darkness
I descend into the hole to start digging for gold.
, I am an underground miner.
Member of the frontline underground mining team. That earn our living deep underground.
I hear a crash and a bang; I see rocks tumbling and stumbling…
I don’t want to see light at the end of my own tunnel,
I will see the light out the hole again.
I am a underground miner.
Most important thing to come out of a mine.
Is the miner.

Dean Finninmore

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

lost art of pastels

you are invited to fish,
cast a mind out for hope
in five oceans, from one lush island

just a hook, a line, none sinker,
trawling through sly workings of turquoise
and dream, you, invited, fishing

under talc light from far flung moons,
lapped by erratic tides,
these five oceans, on one lush island

standing, sideways in water,
taking in ink blots, scribbles, veins
of thinkings, you, invited to fish

call it the lost art of pastels,
ponds of forget, deep hues of solace
in five oceans and on one lush island

but knee deep, waves in whisper,
hope tugs, hope runs, hope is but horizon
on five oceans and from one lush island
where you stand, invited, fishing

Kevin Gillam

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Time Flies

Carnaby St
patchwork flares
home in bed
patchwork quilt

Candy Gordon

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The Other Version

You said you’d never
put me in a Nursing Home”
she glared accusingly at me,
digging up a conversation
we had had maybe
forty-five years before

as my mother was wheeled out
through the loungeroom
to the ambulance
waiting patiently as a judge
to the resisting subject
whose sentence
was already known.

“Things are different now”
I tried to tell her
and her type one diabetes
was the beast that
clawed its way
into every moment of her day

with her need to be pushed up
and down the hallways,
the exact timing of medications
and my father’s role as
cook and carer tipped the trolley
of health declining days

making the decision
that no-one would say,
one she would never accept
and kept her life as
the other version
from which there
was no escape.

Mike Greenacre

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Magpie Call

They know me by name
at my front door

their voices climbing
up and down
the chromatic scale

raising me from sleep
with the tenderness
of a lover’s touch

knowing just where
to go to lure me
outside like the Pied Piper

and watch me spread
the cat crunchies
before their waiting stares

until one moves forward
then others follow, snatch
and retreat and call

not to invite others
but to carol territory –
this is their feast alone.

Mike Greenacre

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


Six pairs of polished black shoes
a casket lowered,
dust blows.

Words on a mourner’s ute seen
clear through the trees,
            Building the future
            restoring the past.

A stooped, white haired man locks eyes
with the young man at his side, mutters,

The youth takes his arm
warning finger at his lips.
Undeterred the old man goes on,
The Old Clock on the Stairs.’
            Longfellow. Gone, forgotten.

People turn, glare,
stare as he declaims,

He scuffs his brogue in the sand,
bends, picks up a
handful of fallen leaves,

crushes them between his fingers
drinks in the sweet sharp scent of eucalypt.

Dust blows.

Jenifer Hetherington

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Choose: Six Voices

Choose your persona, Rick Grimes, Robert Neville−Max Rockatansky.
Choose everyman for himself.
Choose a long-range petrol tank—
Choose toilet rolls—ammunition—Ventalin
Choose a diet of non-perishable goods and bottled water—
Choose who you’ll eat first
Choose a Colt Python .357 Magnum
Choose man’s best friend, structure and triple-redundancy.
Choose beyond Thunderdome.

Choose to tap out early.
Choose to take comfort from the thought that you weren’t such a bad bloke.
Choose not to make a fuss.
Choose to leave everything to your cat—including your cat.
Choose eight loved ones to comprise your cortege.
Choose to go quietly into that good night.

Choose to be the fifth guy in the elevator.
Choose 1.4 metres—
Choose to be that prick because some armchair-epidemiologist told you it’s all a load of
Choose to know more than the World Health Organisation.
Choose to ram your unsolicited rhetoric down everyone’s throats—
Choose to know that you know best.

Choose to rally round.
Choose to always look on the bright side.
Choose to check on Doris, the old lady next door.
Choose to put a teddy bear in your window—and one in Doris’s window too.
Choose to knit face masks for frontline workers at Great Ormond Street.
Choose to take the expert’s advice over the pundit’s.
Choose to ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.

Choose hysteria because your hair salon’s closed.
Choose to lament the collapse of the injectables market as the world is brought to its knees.
Choose to play out your vacuous life through an endless pantomime of histrionic social
Choose a diet of junk values and a veneer of tat.

Choose a novelty Zoom background.
Choose to drink on the job because it feels good and because you can.
Choose to make your internet service provider the scapegoat for your being a lazy bastard.
Choose ‘skip-intro,’ —choose one more episode—choose one more—choose another.
Choose to do it t o m o r r o w.

Choose your future.

Chris Hipwood

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Not Quite a Christmas Carol

Marley was dead…dead as a door nail
So begins Charlie’s festive tale.

‘Give to the poor your ill-gotten gain
For you, Old Scrooge, are a right-royal-pain!
Learn to do good with that which remains
Or walk eternity bound in chains.
Tonight, Penny-pincher, you’ll be visited by three.
Heed their warning or in hell join me.’
Such was Marley’s warning to Scrooge—
This Karmic time-bomb his to defuse.

When the clock struck twelve that Christmas Eve
His senses Scrooge did disbelieve:
Before him appeared a pimple-faced sprite
With a perilous warning, cold as frostbite:
‘I am the ghost of Christmas past.’
Said she to Scrooge’s flabbergast.
Choking on his whisky mug
Scrooge spat back, ‘Bah-humbug!’
To this the sprite yelled, ‘Listen, you miser
I am your miserable fate’s reviser!
Sent here to help you right your path
Quit turfing out orphans, you sociopath!’
Hand in hand down memory lane
The sprite showed Scrooge he’d wrought great pain.

The second to challenge Scrooge’s worldview
Was a giant that came when the clock struck two:

‘I am the ghost of Christmas present.
Neither card nor gift have you yet sent—
Start writing and gifting, you Skinflint—repent.’
Before him appeared the Cratchet kin,
Among them the sickly Tiny Tim.
At the coldest heart could that dear boy paw
But not one degree did Scrooge’s heart thaw.

The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Spoke not and did not succumb
But pointed only to a crumbled headstone
Untended, unremembered, and overgrown.
Upon the stone Scrooge read his own name…
But walled and icy was his heart
So came his riposte quick and smart
‘Casper, you must all think me a mug!
You’re the effect of a hallucinogenic drug.
Administered, no doubt, by rival landlords—
Here’s a penny, buy some vocal chords!’
Heads then tails spun through the air
Until Scrooge awoke in his wingback chair.

Neither hindsight nor love rewrote his tale
Avarice won out, his great white whale.
And so chose Scrooge for what remains
Sealing his fate—eternity in chains.

Chris Hipwood

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Cool Water

Down to the river, intending a swim
A day fiery hot, a pool of cool water
Out from the bank, the jetty shot forward
Crumbling old boardwalk, covered with slime
Quick dash down the grass, long strides on the wood
Jump high in the air, arc out to the stream
Carve down through the water, curve under the skin
Down to the bottom, kick up to find surface

Rise beneath pier, planks slumping on water
Breath near exhausted, unsure of direction
Sink down to the sand, probing for light
No sense of an exit, panic takes hold
Darkness comes quietly, darkness in me
Silently floating, through the cool water

Ruari Jack Hughes

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The photo not taken

a story of a real event*

oh, the photograph I’d have taken
if I’d carried a camera back then
had been able to train my lens
on the large congregation
of swans
milling on lakeside water
swilling with blown leaves
shed down and froth

if only I was camera ready
when stopped on the path
circling Lake Monger Drive
I’d have had visual proof
of a single white swan
in the middle
of a flotilla
of black swans

a white swan in Perth?!
I hear you say
where is the evidence
of that so called ‘real event’?
but I swear that I saw
(Forgive the cliché)
with my very own eyes

a wonder of acceptance
an undulating black circle
a bullseye of white
a sight interrupting
my stroll around the lake
where no shot taken
of that single, exotic swan
settled cosy as you like
amongst a glide
of native, black swans

a natural wonder
of acceptance
by Jove


*A week or so prior to that actual event, I sighted a pair of white swans at Jackadder Lake and I presume that they subsequently became separated and one went on alone to Lake Monger. I also presume the pair had journeyed down the Avon River from Northam.

Ross Jackson

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

To an angry young poet

one of many young poets
whose only fun
to share with others
that they’re very annoyed

you’ll remember these moments
as the only time
in your poetry life
you’ll know for sure
absolutely all the answers

and be so
bloody well clear
on who deserves love
and who deserves hate

it would be better to seek wisdom
pursue it hard
though it retreats
ad infinitum

tune into
bee intelligence
where there’s that line
of bottlebrush in blossom

dig it out at your local café
sit at that table
facing the window
consult someone
minus a smart phone
who’s looking out

in a contemplative way
though be aware

that when it comes to
locating wisdom
you’re likely
to get hopelessly lost
if you’re relying
on Moi

Ross Jackson

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

I believe in death

for ever and ever

I believe in death,
that great certainty,
overshadowed by the unknown.
I sense a thumb poised
on a stopwatch knob
that on an impulse will press
the end of my run.

I believe in death,
that event by which
that which is animate
is rendered inanimate,
for all time and even longer.
I don’t deny death
just because it hasn’t
sunk me yet,
or see it as being
not life ending but renewing,
as in Heaven.
Death will be
however it cast itself to be.

I won’t deny death
just because it is beyond
my understanding.
It may prove to be
a beginning
or nothing at all.
While alive, I believe in death
as my inevitable parting from life.
If death does not come to me then, then …

I believe in death.
Others may mock the notion,
but birth does not mark
a newly hatched eternity.
And I’m not assuming
that immortality for myself
that I do not wish.

Peter Knight

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Gorge-ous [an inner voice]

By gorge! Hey-ho!
feast, binge, bolt down all that you can,
swell your overburden, spill your reflux,
feeling uneasy, purged, regretful,
but ah!, the life
of driving thirst and appetite.

Life, to be fruitfully savoured,
may not reward you as you would like,
by eating yourself to taste oblivion.
Yet overeating, indulgence, treating,
extravagance, obsessing food and drink,
seem so necessary and pleasurable
even while experiencing indigestible pain.

Amid carousels of appetisers, entrées and main courses,
you may choose desserts first, so sweet, to cushion your discomfort.
Then fillings of pies, toppings, sauces, baked treats, all appealing.
Try, try again! growing oblivious to taste.

Constant cravings work at your mind,
you may even consider eating your children, as Cronus did.
Are you moved to do so, but for the criminal sanction that apply?
Feeling emptied, for you there are no just desserts.

Roly-poly, fat and jolly, [yes, given in to your desires again,]
you spread outward to plump, paunchy, pudgy, portly,
tubby, beefy, rotund, obese, any of these or all.
And yet you remain nauseous
at the thought of missing out on more.

By gorge, you taste, savour, relish, degustate,
you need feed faster to pork and down as much you can.
Later you can spew out what troubles you inside,
the vomitus, if not quite quieting the lingering pain.
But for now, eat, drink, again and again!

Peter Knight

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Carnaby Cockatoos

Cruising over the suburbs,
a clustering flock of refugees
wheel in from the wheatbelt.
Carnaby cockatoos,
bunched together in funeral black,
lamenting in chorus,
wee-lou, wee-lou, wee-lou.
Rain is coming.

Thousands once filled these skies,
feathering the sky with dark shadows.
Now breeding sites are destroyed,
forests logged by governments,
jarrah, marri, banksia, all sacrificed
as suburbia comes creeping;
a disease infecting the land.
Habitat is lost.

Heralding change, spirit guides,
they bring enlightenment.
Today, so few of them remain,
poached and sold, eggs stolen.
Survival looks slim, future bleak.
Sweeping across sky, seeking sanctuary
their calls drift in melancholy appeal;
wee-lou, wee-lou, wee-lou.

Veronica Lake

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Yai Yai

Squat and dark,
She sits solid,
Soaking up the sun
Like a vast solar panel.

Legs planted firmly,
Immovable force,
Blinking in the brightness
A gargantuan bird of prey,

A gravid form
Draining energy,
Flesh pooling into space
Like a nuclear meltdown

When she rises
Cities shake
The earth trembles,
darkness shrouds the land.

Veronica Lake

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul…. Emily Dickinson.

Fires to the north
travelling towards beloved farm.
In lockdown I brood
for there is nothing
I can or cannot do.

Cancer in the throat
slowly choking my son in law
whose treatment could kill.
Corona bound, there is
nothing I can do.

Oh yes, you can pray
but what use is that?
There is nothing prayer
can or cannot do,
so I wait in hope

the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul.
has its task to dowhen our works are done,bodies must bide and settle.

Geoffrey Lilburne

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The cat next door

In the grey chill
before sun lights

the distant city,
I am wakened

from dreaming sleep
by the 7 o’clock cat.

Prompt with hunger
it needles the doormat,

eager to wind its sinuous
self around my heart.

Mardi May

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Great Grant SonofAmerica 

To hell with the world
and truth unfurled
by patient search,
or going to church,
and brotherly love
and God above,
somewhere up there
at the end of the air,
and being employed
and elsewise annoyed
by anything more
that I but abhor.

Nothing matters
but you, love, and me.
And not even you,
but me.
My country tis of Thee.

Chas. Melton (aka Anil)

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


The bumbling bear of memory
ambles through the orchard
of the past, tasting, tasting,
savouring some,
ruining others,
rumbling, remembering,
stumbling along,
gathering the harvest
of long seasons, some
bitter, some overripe,
the best as crisp
as a new morning.

Julian O’Dea

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


Flopping on the bed
our friendly white Samoyed
happily blows phlegm
into the air
like a tiny Moby Dick
disgorging precious

Julian O’Dea

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Winter journey

We drove along Canning Mills Rd between orchards and bush.
Over the serrated rows of peach and plum bridal veils of white net
flapped soddenly in the relentless rain, sagging like discarded wraps
of fast food. They twist tightly, shrouds of summer safety now forlorn.
Returning at dark on the corner where deep bush green meets packing shed
and lycra bikers straddled coffee station benches in past summer heat,
the Moon Cold Store rang in stars and winter travellers. One year
we stopped the car, sent out white breath and gazed in awe at
the Milky Way, crystal sharp and hovering above Japanese
exchange students who’d never seen one star let alone a bridge
of heaven gloriously stabbed in bruised coalmine dark.
But this afternoon black wattles formed a golden tunnel defying the rain
and grey spinning clouds; coming home has never felt so good.
At Karragullen the old man’s house is still upright, fibro and lath,
its valiant stairs house sharp potted plants, surprised they’re still exhaling.
The packing shed where his sons and daughters rattled fruit down the boards,
has been scraped from the ground, replaced by persimmon trees
which draw foreign tourists to flutter like butterflies beneath the orange globes
and pose giggling for photos sent home to families who if they could,
would colonise Canning Mills Road believing we, who quietly live here,
couldn’t really hold it dear.

Virginia O’Keeffe

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

down along a river

a curving bitumen footpath facing pond or river
led through winding times & barely breeze –
to rippling skyflecting surface with coots-a-scudding

watching the still feathered bit above water
thinking of the whirling musclefed parts under –
how or why or where is a webbing

listening to middle distance jet blasting to troposphere
feeling a warmth of autumn sunrays facefilling –
ducking to avoid lycra-clad cashed-up bitcoin men on flashy bikes

gazing at a bunch of horses galloping hard to finish post
heard a belting scrum of jockeys screaming –
tried to not hear a sound of viscous whipping

(nearly lost my way there)
walk along a little further see a tangle of threads & tiny flowers –
adhering close to hostplant trunk & welcome branching

a knowing grin at evolution’s clever pathways & invention
later was thinking slow & tuning mind to time & nomenclature –
how i’d nearly lost my way then found a cuscuta

this first half of a longago binomial flashed to conscious mind
then a feeble frown brought on by memory’s dimming capacity –
a searching for but missing the second part of the nomial bi

but then an erupting grin on recalling a common name
all he could blubber in a moment’s joy was toddle dodder –
it seemed to make a lot of sense in these trying times

Allan Padgett

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

switzerland disappeared that day

we perched among teasing reams of wildly-tinted zinnias
bursting into zurich’s bubbling skies
as he joined with me and smoked away
so quietly all we could hear among the lapping
shores was a tinkle of silly giggling

trying to hide our reverence. but it wasn’t quite that way
as i crossed the border into deutschland
(where is germany) and the border
guards looked like stiffly-standing henchmen from
an age just passed. i might have thought they

were stasi if i had known then what i know now, they were
that serious and worse, threatening, as inside my rucksack
cringed silver-wrapped foils of dusty darkened sticky brown
smelling sweetly of experimentation and adventure
bought from a man in amsterdam’s bustling square

whose big sack full of dopey illicity selling at a decent price
for this poor traveller, sucked me in. meanwhile,
back on the breezy warming shores of lake
zurich we yarned and laughed as the day dispersed
and far too soon, this american traveller and i were

arm-in-arm at the station where he was catching a train
to vienna. we said our sad goodbyes and that was
the last we ever touched, by word or skin. i trained to the outskirts,
hitched to hospenthal, met a beautiful english woman, talked
& kissed till dawn. switzerland disappeared that day, and so did i

Allan Padgett

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Nieces on Facebook

The names are disquieting;
flags on a thread of hate and hugs.

What responsibility do I have
to extended family
beyond the rare post
about some disinformation
that’s fired her imagination?

How reluctant I am
to go back into it again
and knock on that plastic skull
to whoever is on their cloud flitting,
scanning, clicking, scrolling,
thumb-in-mouth staring
through two sweetly stupid pupils
at malice in a lollipop meme.

Chris Palazzolo

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Outer Space

Some words on any square metre
of highway bitumen you care to think upon,
out that way, or in that direction,
past the last lights of town,
and beneath the ragged hem of stars,
a sublime and arbitrarily singled out
mat of modern human industry,
which once knew the back of a shovel
and the sole of a boot – but that’s the extent
of intimacy with its fabricators – now
knows tire tread, kangaroo and goanna foot,
the sun during his blazing hours
and night black as the ink
that dries on this page.

Now, why; why the hyperfocus
on a huddle of tarred bluestone –
Is it safety you seek? Or is it the infinite?
Or can only the astronaut behind
those high beams answer that?

Chris Palazzolo

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


murmur, just outside hearing, voices
weave through evening, louder now

call from unmapped territory
almost glimpsed

as with kohl, brushed deftly into eyes, blurs
the edge between a cup, my fingertips

my face, its reflection
refracting in the ripples of a pool –

unnoticed years, recontour every line
– in night-light its breath quickens

restless shadows flow from skin to sheet
subtle hues mediate, mute borders –

as if the edges of my hands
are disappearing into time

Yvonne G Patterson

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

the publicans daughter

some publicans didn’t like the thought of me sleeping in the back of my parents
yellow ford parked out front where
mother served beers
and father bashed the drunks.
this one was no different.

(since he owned the most violent pub
in our small town)

he made sure i slept indoors until closing time.

on the outskirts
east it splintered.
legged with numerous snake-drunk dirt tracks.
a pub in the middle of no where with tentacles;
red strips of foot-fat scaling pathways sprawling into the spinifex-pregnant levee banks
that mothered itself into the
squinting sharp chirping heat.

built beside the slim-dusty-glass-smashing-blood-splotched pub stood
a double story regal homestead. the publicans house.
it shadowed haughtily like a rook on a broken chessboard.
and thats where i met veronica.
the publicans daughter.

i was eleven and she was fifteen
and as she led me to the family room,
i was excited to have company instead of echoes and thuds and pillow-less cold back seats.
she was tall and broody and i was lean and head bowed.
what i remember most that night was veronica telling me a story.
her younger sister, a shirley temple mantle-piece picture was preparing for bed when she
heard it too.
she burst into tears and trampolined her heavy fear
through the creaking mouth of the hallway passage
into the slamming chamber
of her room.
but me,
i glowed warm like a mothers smile.
under the dim undusted light of a chandelier
veronica convinced us that the world was going to end soon.
excited I asked when.
perplexed she repeated soon.

later that night I was back into the cold stiffness of the back seat car.
as always,
he would drive home drunk and knuckle scarred and
she would be pleading her innocence to his slurring accusations.
as always he begins to hit her.
her soft head thuds against her passenger window.
her screams normally cause me to urinate as i
spring up from that back seat,
and with my little vinyl patterned imprinted arms,
begin splintering him with little fists of nothings,
but all to protect her.

but this night i didnt.

this night i curled up tight, trying to squeeze her screams and tears out of my head and
replacing it with hope!

i was thinking of what veronica,

the publicans daughter
told me.

that the world was going to end soon.

and then finally, finally,

he would stop hitting her.

Mike Pedrana

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The company of milk

Each morning, music would rise up to the office
of the Dairy Superintendent: he’d hear the usual
sing-song of churns trundled over wet concrete
for loading onto the trays of lined-up trucks
and a higher note too, the ping of water
jetting from hoses against the huge steel vats.

Proud of his role in ‘the second-biggest
milk company in the southern hemisphere’,
managing the whole process, he liked to recall
where this work began for him: the milking shed
on his family’s Hawera farm, and then hard years
of yakka in a cheese factory down the road.

Yet the calling may have come from further back,
beyond his conscious memory, the merest
dreamlike trace of a lingering sensation:
the primal bodily comfort of an infant
nestled calmly against a soft warm breast
and sipping the creamy juice of nourishment.

Ian Reid

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The Half-Way House

Have you eaten? Come in
a disparate group of men on the pathshuffle forward eyes down

an old Aboriginal looks me in the eye,
gives me a whiskery smile, finds a
place at the table

roast lamb, veg, a glisten of gravy,
intent on filling bellies the men
eat quickly, in silence

sticky date for dessert, popular with
everyone, without pause plates empty,
back for seconds

Sunday night dinner over, a scraping
of chairs, stacking of dishes, the men
trickle out, fan into darkness

the old man walks up to me, thankyou
missus you’re the best cook

Norma Schwind

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The Canning Stock Route

We cross a Dune.
Cross another dune,
one kilometre from the last.
Cross dune after dune
in a world of shifting sand.

Swing west.
Dunes becoming jumbled here.
Skirt the sinking tail of the next,
beat east to recover direction.

The next sand hill is a monster.
Continue east, flat out,
hard right, charge, foot to the floor,
ignore what the engine says.

Slapped in the face
by a flowering Grevillea eriostachya
through an open window.
Shudder to the crest.

Blue sky –
can’t see the bonnet
as we drop into a windward blowout
and wait for the trailer’s whiplash.

Laurie Smith

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

not grandmother

I have always known them
as Babushka, dolls
nesting – one inside
another. me inside my mother
my mother inside her
mother inside her mother.

us, echoes of our past
selves. passing into
one another, like a river
channels into arteries
of its delta.

our voices, our form
growing increasingly
smaller. taking up
lesser and lesser space.
reducing. shrinking.
diminishing to a point.

But my Russian friend
insists, they are Matryoshka
not Babushka, not grandmother.
not grandmother inside
mother inside me.


Creatrix 54 – Poetry

mons  d’Elle

good  morning !!

it  will   be  “good afternoon”  by  the  time  i  send  this,
while  savouring  a  late  Flat  White,  and,  more  than  enjoying
re-reading   “Hearing  Fred  Williams”

the  view  from  North  Beach  Deli
is  of  a  silent  Sun shining  over a
turquoise-blue-grey-nestled-down-dampness  of  salted ocean
observing   an   even  greyer  quilt  of  solitude  sky  ..  ..

clean   looking   birds  of   the  sea  hang  in  the  faint  zephyr
designer  females  escort  even  ‘more  designer’
manicured  paws  along  the  promenade
..  ..    oblivious

silhouette  ship,  without  sails
dreaming  of  setting  course  for  Neruda’s  Valparaiso
sits  on  a  fractured  horizon

all  is  good  with  my  world  ..  ..
listen  for  a  new  door  that  may  open
following  a   most  exquisite  one  that  gently         closed

i’ll   read   “sand  words”   for  the  umpteenth  time
as  I

lumber  towards  his   infinity

tomorrow’s   Sunrise   ..  ..  dawns   a   fresh   Winter

Geoff Spencer

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

sorrow’s   gate

reef   to   reef
washed   by   salt   and   solitude
wind   that   draws   strength   from   possibility
an   idea

horizon   limited   by   understanding
tumult   gathering,
an   expression   of   time   bowed
by   the   stricture   of   departure’s   gate

what   remains   of   love’s   memory,
in   a   violent   sea   of   sorrow
wrenched   as   a   torn   ligament
shoulders   its   burden

gathering   cloud   prepares   a   cascade
..  ..  envisioned     ..  ..  unwanted

what   will   follow   before   the   storm   abates

a   wounded   darkness


Geoff Spencer

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


A photo, dog-eared,
more-so on the top right,
removed from the album so often
it knows the path
bends to accommodate me,
recalling memories.

A glimpse of somebody’s life
between the borders
as this island once enclosed me
with rippled turquoise
sea spray, sand, waves.
The photo holds time and space.


Pieces scatter
child becomes adult
now a larger island
surrounds me, afloat
in a different ocean
in a changed world.

Yet still my body dances
to the rhythms of the calypso
beat, pace, tempo
sounding board of the mambo
steel band combo
taking me home.

Amanda Spooner

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

What colour are my eyes? 

Why the fuck did I put on my best lipstick,
my prettiest skirt and brush my hair to smithereens?

We amble down the path and through the gate
caressed by roses.
The road stretches and disappears into gentle hills
covered by evening mist.

I sashay, swirl, navigate the potholes
and glide towards the old Holden
parked on the street.

He moves in front of me and opens the car door.
I smile, get in. He smiles too, talking.

In mid-sentence he halts,
peers behind him to the fading light
straightens, lets the door slam in my face
turns and walks into the shadows.

Neighbours have returned
from their evening bike ride.
He’s over there, welcoming them home

He returns and climbs into the driver’s seat.
Then without a glance towards me
resumes our conversation where he left off.

Tell me again

why the fuck have I put on my prettiest lipstick, best skirt
and styled my hair?

Amanda Spooner

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Weapon of Choice

These days I wield caffeine as a sword!
It sits on my belt
dripping the blood of tasks we’ve slay’n
I unsheathe her more readily than I once would have
our eyes growing callous from the things we’ve seen

All those years I stood by
let brutes with unfair advantages trample me
unwilling to stain my name with the grinds of war
Sure we’ve gone on rampages
not unlike the men of which I speak
underserve’d and unapologetic murder
returning with only a vague sense of our deeds
but hoping that the ends justified the beans.

Perhaps I am the very evil I strive to undo.
Maybe it’s best for my sharp-edged friend
to retire to the mantle
and search for weapons of peace.

A good night’s sleep is the bow at my back!

Kaelin Stemmler

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Grout Spider

Little grout spider
Crawling along the road between shower tiles
Does he know where he is?
Struggling to hold on when the humidity rises
Does it bother him?
The little grout spider

Little grout spider
Builds a web in the corner of the bathroom
I attempt to shoo mosquitoes into it
Of benefit to us both
I don’t mind him
The little grout spider

Kaelin Stemmler

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Love Till It Hurts

Never a dash of milk with passionate people
They don’t dilute their drinks nor their feelings
They like things fully, in their purest form
In fact they don’t like, they love

They love their coffee black
Their chocolate dark

They love being hugged till
They can’t breathe
Being kissed till
Their lips bleed

They love till it hurts

Karine Suares

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The Little Jacques Prévert Book

The little voice in her head
Recites those lines
From Jacques Prévert.

She learnt them in the class of Mrs Meyer.
Or was it the year before, with Mrs Lecouteux?
She just remembers the desks, the blackboard
And the lines.

She’s thinking it’d be nice to teach them to the boys.
This weekend, she would show them the little Jacques Prévert book.
They would laugh at his humour.
The boys will repeat the lines
And memorise them.
Will they see the same images in their heads?
Theirs will probably be more modern.

Karine Suares

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Battle lines

The battle lines are drawn
Won’t listen anymore
Don’t wanna hear ‘bout resilience
Ain’t got hope
Keep your wrap and recovery
I’m sticking with my dope

All I’ve got is anger
I’m holding onto that
Ain’t no positive outcomes
I’II always feel just flat

Tired of the same old same old
How’re you feeling now?
From 1 to 10,where are you?
There ain’t no scale, blue is blue
Black is black
I’m not coming back

Keep your groups and positivity
I’ll hold onto negativity
A future bleak, no friends, no sleep
Just endless days with curtains drawn
And phones not ringing anymore.

I nod and smile, you think I’m fine
Don’t know what’s in my mind
Just nothing, just an empty space
But know enough to look ok
Don’t wanna stay
Don’t wanna stay

Answer questions, discuss the future
Been an improvement you say, what rot
Ha, how I wish you’d go away
Leave me with this anger
That’s all I’ve got

Suzette Thompson

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Shanghai Suite

East to West
Planes bank in smog-smudged
sky, target the Pudong
runway. On garden-
edged freeway, taxis race
the Maglev train to Puxi.

Window View
A muddle of cables
strung across sooty concave
roof; a hot pink T
shirt dangles at the wall’s edge,
hung out to smog-dry.

Shanghai Sequoias
Tall, slim, tender green,
triangular—the Sequoias
reach for the heavens;
mimic this city that
levitates above the sea.

‘Box Lunch’
I lift the lid—crumbed
fish on rice bed, tofu, duck
liver pieces, fried
spinach and mince-stuffed dumplings;
Pandora’s Chinese lunch box.

Dream of Poetic Invasion
The Japanese came
in nineteen thirty-seven,
destroyed land and life.
Instead of tanks and soldiers,
they should’ve sent poets—and tanka.

Rita Tognini

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Why the Imperative Makes Me Moody

Some verbs hurl themselves from the tongue,
demand the imperative —

But ‘ENJOY!’?
That’s a gauntlet
flung down by the cappuccino,
Veuve Cliquot, Waygu beef,
absinthe-poached marron,
marrons glacés.

—feels like an open hand
on collision with a face.

—tenses the body
as an interrogation, duel, battle,
a guest appearance before a firing squad.

Past, present and to come
can be rolled around the mouth
savoured on taste buds sucked of sweetness
between tongue and palate


Queuing to buy a coffee
the wall-screen menu bawls out—

I escape
to a competitor’s counter.

Wait for experience’s lottery.

And enjoy.

Rita Tognini

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

Always a Good Start

Always a good start
to set the scene
for sweet surrender

with enough time
to nourish your day

get cracking
stir in a measure of kindness
& feed the soul

speak volumes of happiness
don’t worry if spilt milk
leaves a big mess

stand out from the crowd.

Mimma Tornatora

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


Tomorrow you will tell me
I am your continent
the one who makes you
long for home

Tomorrow I may tell you
of the things you never asked to know
Of my wanting to be alone

Tomorrow you will buy
flowers I waited for
too long

We’ll cry for who we are

Tomorrow we’ll lie
closer together
Maybe we’ll make up
Maybe we’ll make love

I will retreat
I’ll write this poem

And after tomorrow
it’ll be the same again
We’ll sleep
backs turned to each other
You on your island
I on mine

Tineke Van der Eecken

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

On the inside, from the outside

For Annamaria Weldon

Woodgrain hardened by time,
softened by touch,
a lyre’s voice,
young women’s dreams.

You move my senses
to the island of Malta,
your mother’s skin, the Mediterranean,
ancient Pinjarra country.

You navigate by stories,
sing back country
on the inside, from the outside
until boundaries disappear.

Tineke Van der Eecken

Creatrix 54 – Poetry


I see you in half light
so I can transpose
transmit the word to you
so you will understand

(in)stead you find the murmur
when light is not enough
when dark finds (it)self locked out
you leave a note
a (mess)age text
a voice (no)longer activ(ates)
as if it does not work

nor does it hold a hand
(trans)lucent billboard blend
when one is not enough
tell me how it is
when one is not enough
tell me.

Rose van Son

Creatrix 54 – Poetry

The Hunter

Night is hot, Air is thick.

A dark shadow is casting over the land.
The Wolfs are out hunting.
Eyes wide, snouts sniffing and jaws watering.
Want to taste my flesh, do you want a bite?
Are you out hunting?
Sink your teeth into my skin.
Ripping deeper and harder.
You don’t even flinch when you hear the cries.
You’re in for the kill.
Tonight, you’re out hunting.
Tomorrow you’ll find another sheep.
But tonight, you’ve eyed the wrong pray.
I’ve seen many like you before, I know your hunt.
Tonight, you’ll be the hunt that’s hunted.
I’ll leave you with scars and wounds.
So, let me ask you dog, are you out hunting?
Couldn’t you see that you are a sheep?
Trying to lure your pray with your fleeced wool.
Too focused on the hunt you didn’t see the trap.
Now I’ll take what you’ve stolen from many others.
Heartless sheep.
How’s your hunt, did you savour fresh meat?
The moon told me you’d be here.
Return to your flock, look for bones in the scraps.
Howl on the mountain at the distance moon.
Foolish sheep.
You don’t have the strength to build a pack.
Little sheep, are you out hunting?

Chynna Wilde

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

uphill walk
the deepening breath
of eucalyptus

autumn’s shadow
mother’s spectacles
outgrown her

Ramesh Anand.

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

stirring branches
the rattle
of rusted leaves

the fires
of sunset and storm
his opal tiepin

gran’s living-room
the flying ducks
lower now

Gavin Austin

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

nursing home
i tell her
she lived through the war

Michael Baeyens.
Geraardsbergen, Belgium

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

two-seater desk
dipping pens
into the blue-black

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

for yoga

we launch
a paper boat
on a moonbeam

each haiku
in the shadow
of another

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa, USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

morning glories
a girl unfastens
her necklace

when bud
becomes scent

so many footprints
in just one of mine

of plum blossoms
the keisaku strikes



(A keisaku is a flat wooden stick used to strike a Zen meditator on the shoulder when he or she appears to lose concentration.)

Tom Bierovic
DeLand, Florida, USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

social isolation …
the sound of
other people’s lives

autumn ginko
three ibises
nod in unison
a red leaf
on the walkway
last day of summer
the butcher bird
checks for grubs—
swaddled baby

Nathalie Buckland.
Lismore, NSW, Australia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

eastern greys
the alpha male
a body builder

palm tree
each new frond
a raised spear

Rohan Buettel

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

third lockdown
the spring of my ideas
dries up

in the street
where we children used to play
bumper to bumper

Pitt Büerken

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

on the poetry shelf

bitter espresso
his love letter
under the coffee cup
each day
a year

Alanna C. Burke
Santa Fe, New Mexico. USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

New Year’s Eve …
a mannequin’s smirk
follows me

early morning chill …
a billow of smoke rises
from the fresh pyre

Kanchan Chatterjee.
Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. India

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

in her morning bath—
tree frogs

grandmother’s garden—
the scent of phlox
and solace

Lysa Collins

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

an ostrich escapes
in lockdown…oh
to be in her shoes

old vinyl records
of all things my father
can’t forget

Alvin B Cruz

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

I am Moses
on a smaller scale

Stephen C Curro.
Windsor, USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

summer dawn
a conversation of bees
at the birdbath

spider’s web
her lacey knickers
on clothes line
partial eclipse
the man in the moon
wears a cap

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

so dark outside—
all I can see
is my own reflection

Nick Eaves

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

after the wind
we roll the mangoes
back under the fence

the dryness
of held hands

David Käwika Eyre.
Volcano, Hawai’i

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

summer rain—
tiny ponds
in deer prints

sword ferns—
from a single helix
new fronds
moon shine—
raccoons in headlights
search the garbage

Bill Fay

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

holding back
dropping a letter
into the postbox

a single oak
fifty years on
a lone crow

Mike Gallagher.

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

always easier
than endings

the curve
of her smile
shapes my day

empty wheelie bin
chatters down the laneway
his sole companion

Candy Gordon

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

leaf cutter ants
the tattered banners
of empire

John Hawkhead.
Bradford on Avon

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

vaccination centre
a nurse explains
all the ins and outs

a broken rainbow
in every puddle

Louise Hopewell.

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

behind bars …
the canary sings
to his reflection

Marilyn Humbert

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

perfectly white
cloud above it

Samo Kreutz.
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

sunny sandstone—
the masonic lodge
keeps its secrets

every moment
beneath the bridge
a new river

John Low.
Portland, NSW

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

the moon follows us
all the way

long journey
my ex introduces me
to her ex

happy hour
the old musician in a chair
still rocking

Myron Lysenko

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

bush greenhood
all dad’s tales when
I was young

more gentle
than she’s ever been
new-laid egg

Marietta McGregor

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

outback highway …
vehicles brrrrr across
metal cattle grids

Rob McKinnon

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

house proud
she brushes me
out the door

Margaret Mahony

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

bauhinia leaf
sunlit tracery
butterfly wings

Diana Messervy

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

laptop updating …
the drip  drip  drip of rain
in the downpipe

Leanne Mumford.
Sydney, Australia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

family bible
between Genesis 2 & 4
a pressed blossom

she lights a candle
for her son


Creatrix 53 – Haiku

new suit
to the undertaker

Karen Phillips.
Yarra Ranges, Victoria

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

the books in the bookcase
all fall down

school yard
the raven picks up
a McDonald’s box

Zaidee Pisani-Lysenko (10 years old)

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

painted fingernails …
she whispers checkmate
with the ivory rook

daydream …
the girl that never was
beside the lake

Milan Rajkumar.
Imphal, India

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

ageing …
together we remember
what we forget

childhood home
I watched the outhouse
move in
dawn service
magpies fly low
over the crowd

milking time
the herd separated
by traffic

Carol Reynolds
NSW, Australia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

debate season
splitting logs
with a dull ax

mackerel sky
the wrinkles I can’t
iron out

giggling children
the rhythm of
millipede legs

autumn breeze
a locust song

Bryan Rickert.
Belleville, Illinois, USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

drawing a curve …
my brother teaches me
Surya Namaskar


Creatrix 53 – Haiku

the split space
between stump and sky
—an elegy

Conor Ross

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

a lone peewit
with a mouthful of spider …
trapped in my thoughts

sleepless night
possums squabble
in the almond tree
resort umbrella
a bikini-clad swimmer
shelters from the rain

Cynthia Rowe

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

her abuse
painted in words

dawn paints
their branches

stained glass
a fable turned white

Barry Sanbrook

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

deeper than the
hoot of snowy owls
winter solitude …

her fingers
trace my back
home coming …

Joe Sebastian

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

flooded canal—
the frequent pause
of a spider

as if
snow in April…
cherry blossoms

Manoj Sharma.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

cut into patterns
sewing class

a gardener
and his lawn
perfect buzzcuts

my washing machine
hits spin cycle

the old man
and his dog
waiting for sunset

Tom Staudt
Sydney, Australia

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

looks me up and down
one hand against a tree
lace monitor

Kaelin Stemmler

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

barrel wave
the sun’s diminishing
point of light

midnight sun
the vocal fingerprints
of wolves
the owl
we nearly saw
lantern light
the lake receives
a pair of swans
the stories we find

Debbie Strange.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

perfect skin
the excitement of freckles
here and there

David Watts

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

in the moonlight
your prize roses

the drought-brown mesa
with nothing left to offer—

all daisies and dandelions the hippy’s lawn

Michael Dylan Welch.
Sammamish, Washington, USA

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

I see blossoms
returning to twig
a bottle of wine

Chen Xiaoou.
Kunming China

Creatrix 53 – Haiku

plastic rake
a nest of fibreglass
among the leaves

eyes front
                        soldier crabs march

an autumn flowering
at the nursing home

dawn chorus
morse code

Quendryth Young.
Alstonville, NSW, Australia

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Pushy Banks Branch Out 

Nell Nudibranch
first drew a blank
when asked which bank
she’d like to thank
by Nit, rep for a US bank.

She said ‘I thank
The Nudi Bank
as I’m myself a -Branch of rank.
Its honest plank
has lots of swank.’

Nit got quite rank
and rude and frank
he said point blank
her Nude Bank stank,
and they’d outflank it so it sank.

Nell said ‘Go wank,
you fucking Yank!’


Creatrix 53 – Poetry

A man walks 

A man walks in a line.
Around him is silence.
He walks for many hours
and then stops to listen
with an ear to the ground.
He hears a human voice:

“When you walk, walk with cause.
Do not walk for nothing.
If you lack direction,
then locate the lodestar.
If you cannot find it,
turn around and walk back”

The man hears this and smiles.
He looks to the dawn sky;
it is red and empty.
Around him is music;
The sound of morning birds.
He turns the other way.

A man walks in a line.
Around him is silence.
He walks for many hours
and then stops to listen
with an ear to the ground.
He hears a human voice:

“When you act, act with will.
Do not act mindlessly.
Do you lack direction?
Did you find the lodestar?
If you cannot find it,
turn around and walk back.”

The man hears this and cries.
He looks to the night sky;
it is black and empty.
Around him is white noise;
the sound of hissing snakes.
He turns the other way.

Liam Blackford

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

bridge nine

running on parapets
trying to fall off

a boat full of sandcastles
floats in the black water

all the way to the harbour
where our mad love will drown

you made me a portrait
white paper, white chalk

it feels like swimming
in a bed made of air

till we drift in to land
on a narrower parapet
of a narrower bridge

Mar Bucknell

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

learning to read

absence is not erasure
erasure is not absence
the signs are all around
but you must look carefully
and remember
what you see is brand new history
made by squinting

hold your nose and listen
the song changes
shout into the breeze
you will see the wrong trees
a hill that has moved
a river led astray
and the sun has lost its voice

each standing tree
is an absent breath
a stolen breath
a voice away

if you cannot see the songs
you have forgotten how to read the river

the water will not speak to you
it cannot hear your handfuls of sand
but it has also lost its way
the wind would tell it how far to walk

is this the best we can do?
lie among the leaves
eat the air
forget your feet
and listen

sing me.
shush me.
i will not be here.

where i am is secret
find my bones in trees
but only the ones we cannot see.

which are the flowers you will not see?
they are in the songs
you refuse to sing
the ones that taste like blood
blood lost
to sand
where flowers flow

Mar Bucknell

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Autumn Dawn, Sikkim

Mandala in a snow globe:
stars instead of snowflakes drifting
westwards; Pre-dawn wrapping
purple feather boas around ridges’
thin- and bony-shouldered;
fitfuls of frost; leaves furled
crisp about summered silences.

Then a gold-robed, fat-bellied
Boddhisatva enthroned upon
Khangchendzonga, and Mara—
black-faced and already
plotting return usurpation—
retreating with Chief Minister Moon
and starry retinue through West Gate.

No snow yet; just rill rickle and sibilant
grassdrift, log hive bees filling ears
with buzzsmog, dogbarks become
shadowshapes rollicking along pathways
and falling over cliffs to where, far
far below, Gantok’s a strew of wind–
burnt peonies.

Then comes mopswish and potclash
and children brown as chestnuts running
through dapple and puddlesplash, pausing
to prod at weedsog and woodbits dark as
as nightdrift, to gaze deep-eyed upon
nearfaraways’ phantasms found drying
upon sandbright

or fossilised in rocksplits rolled down
gorges by rivermoans into waterfalls’
metronomic whumpings. And all the while:
Death-with-Secateurs slowtime tiptoeing
throughout garden and scrubland
down gorge and along mountain ridge
snipping Summer deadends to make way

for renewal of leafnubs, of butterfly
colour-shows before windowsill cats;
for peal of solstice and heart chime;
for perihelion dreaming to the rhythms
of the poetry of wide-awoke Spring.

Peter Burges

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Banjo Does It Tough

Old Banjo lies in a hospital bed wheezing and drawing air in, falling short of breath, then a deep rattle.

84 is not that old for trees but it Is catching up with Banjo.

After two days of struggling for breath he took himself to Corowa hospital – but not before he’d fed the dog next door. He’d promised the owner. Now this happens. He waited a couple of hours until 5 o’clock, then fed the dog. Hospital can wait. He wasn’t that keen.

Banjo drove his old Jumbuk ute to the emergency department’s door. He didn’t like parking smack-dab in the way, but he couldn’t walk far and this was closest.

Now they had him trussed up on a bed made for a smaller man with leads and monitors and drips. When a young pretty nurse had trouble inserting a jack above his bed head, he suggested she ask the young male nurse. Back in Banjo’s day such suggestions were welcome. Today, she tried again with extra vigour.

The word had got around as it does in small towns. Visitors came. A young couple from over the road. He straightened his workman’s singlet to cover his sun-aged trunk, slicked back his hair with spit. An old world rough elegance surfaced and Banjo apologised for any trouble.

To these two Banjo gave instructions on how and when to feed the dog. At home, Banjo left the house open, so there was no trouble there.

No trouble here either. Banjo was on his best behaviour and full of gratitude.

Last year, Banjo’s house won the Tidiest House in Corowa Award. Not a blade of grass out of place. Roses trimmed and cared for. He was always out the front watering the lawn and the garden. As families were going past in a hurry to get home.

And now Banjo is parked, out of breath, his old ticker running.

Andrew Burke

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Down to One
i.m. Hal Colebatch

What to say about your death?
We were going to change the World
But now you are gone and only
A small percentage of people
Remember you. Sad. I only heard
From a friend of a friend who
Read it in the local paper. So
Now I am nostalgic for
The ‘good old days’ when
We were young poets
Publishing ourselves if no one else would.
Huh. You ended up a candidate
For the Liberal Party – and Viv,
Our third member, went to
The far Left in Sydney. I stayed,
Making a buck in advertising.
Our poems appeared in the same edition
At rare times and we laughed about it.
Change the World? No, the nearest I got
Was changing the typeface!
You’re both gone now. Nature
Nibbled you away and you left
Wives and children who remember
Your quirky ways.

Andrew Burke

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


Drowned in the creep of sand
the mutter of air blown hot
as clouds slug darkness
into the frames of trees.

A jagged jive of birds
echo the contour of hills
bend the cries of ancient
voices coated in dust.

A compromise between water
and fire with life on the edge
cast into the remnants
of stone and wood.

Hard and ungiving
trained on the gibber of lives
that have been and will be cloaked in isolation.

It is difference that unite
the many feet of men/women
point them to the horizon
form trails for others.

It is the harshness of things
that bends comfort into familiar
turns shadows into friends
as the sun shades the land.

It is finding the space

between cracks and serrations
to grow roots, step out each day.


Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Stepping Stones

Smiles and laughs caught in the bowl
of a mountain, strained by the wind
faced to the sun.

The clink of bells as cows wander
green sloped ruins and monkeys
shriek confidential rackets.

Trees crowd close to hear and rain
holds its secret. Sweating, scouring
the rough hillside.

Birds with feathers flashed sunshine
call to bamboo and teak, echo
the slatted lives of local people.

Held to centuries of doing
the ordained sequence of life
fitted to place, custom, existence.

How it all folds into one day
one night and falls into repeat.
The over and over of footsteps

sunshine, rain and the call
of the jungle. How it all comes
and goes and your name

is what holds it together.
Cements your breath to a segment
of passing before it becomes dust.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Book Barn
‘between herself and the sun’ taken from ‘October’ by Louise Gluck part 6

between herself and the sun
the customer’s shadow looms
on the edge of the circle of light
where she sits with her husband
ashen from the heat, as if waiting

for someone to press the button
of a long gone black and white TV
where once the books were
fresh, not heavy with fly corpses
sweat and paper dust

Helen Doran-Wu

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Annus Horribilis

It has been an Annus Horribilis
and now we hope it has come to an end.
We hope that, at last, we are on the mend.
It has been an Annus Horribilis,
if it doesn’t stop, I’ll go round the bend,
it is enough, God, no need to bill us!
It has been an Annus Horribilis
and now we hope it has come to an end.
By imposing stupidity taxes
we can lobotomize anti-vaxxers!

Derek Fenton

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

A slight disagreement

There’s the imprint, the shadow, the germ
resident in the depths of my eye, in my brain.
When the magpie’s beak targets that deepest nerve
strikes again and again, clouds darken, guts cramp
arms slacken, knees wobble, my head is quartered
even the wattlebird shrieks. Constant pressuring
the deepening hurt, I surrender. Give me ergot
that’s what works for deliverance, rebirth.
There’s a saint recommended for sufferers
of headaches, a Saint Gemma who prayed
for more, called for the crown of thorns each
and every evening to take her closer to Jesus.
If I could I would capture her belief. But
what I pray for is blessed relief and miracle of the day beyond.

Wendy Fleming

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

A good friend

                                    has been with me most of this week, her words
holding me, telling of trauma followed by insight, revealing
emotion and beauty. I find I can listen to her for hours, such
is the power of her words. The way she expresses herself carries
me along and leads me to comprehend the significance of
creativity. She shows both compassion and empathy in the
story she tells me; demonstrates how self-interest can be displaced
by love in abundance.

Now it is time for her to leave me, but I know I’ll want to be
with her again.

I lead her to the bookcase, to her place on the shelf and the
company of my many other good friends.

Margaret Ferrell

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

drinking why

I guess you can hear the worms working.
was your fall gracious?
you’ve one wing splayed, pointing skyward

your plumage suggests diurnal,
male obviously, being so garish
and I guess you can hear worms working

eyes open, glazed like stars forsaken,
piercing infinity, drinking why,
one wing splayed skyward

and ants will come, seething black ropes,
swarming, feeding on your story.
I guess you’ll still hear the worms working?

then wind, whittling at hollow bones,
thieving your commas, your full stops,
one wing still splayed, skyward

‘too close to the sun’ they prattle,
but too far from dreams?
with one wing splayed skyward.

I guess you won’t hear the worms working

Kevin Gillam

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

kaat badarbiny

             relearning landguage –
running a tongue o
ver grass trees and wel
comes to country, words
that unpick and re
sew, words that staunch the
bleeding. the wounds? too

many. Yagan, head
in a jar for a
freak show on the oth
er side of the globe,
Wagin, nineteen thir
ties, barbed wire at six
p.m., and Wadje
mup (Rottnest), Tent Land
across a centu
ry of incarcer
ated bones. today –

      more bruised cumulous –
army home inva
sions in the Alice,
hooded and haunting
in Don Dale Deten
tion Centre. morrow?
remouthing the pho
netics of a land,
 maarpa – hush of un
spokens –

                       man in coun
try, countryman be
sides tree, tree along
side man, man with man


“maarpa” – Nyungar for shared silence
“kaat badarbiny” – Nyungar for thinking.

Kevin Gillam

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


from the kitchen, the shadow is arachnid
eight legs shuffling across the wall
grey and stooping as it crawls
and dread fills my gut like sawdust

I listen to the wheezing breath of it
the rasp and the rigour of its labour
I tense, trapped by obligation
as the gaunt, multi lensed face seeks mine

she moves like she is spinning web
her walker zig-zagging over the tiles
silver threads of hair wild under the AC vent
the kitchen light glints off implant lenses
as she peers over a smudge on her spectacles

the distance between us is slowly devoured
a black widow entombed by cavernous days
doom and gloom perched on the curve of her spine
she wears them like an exoskeleton she cannot shed

she sucks the colour from kitchen cabinetry
inhaled like salbutamol into her gasping lungs
and all around us pollen falls and petals wither
until the evening is a cocoon of funereal filaments

Ann Gilchrist

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

New Years Day

under the moon
collared by a black tie
my woollen vest
is scratching the night

the quilted darkness
stitched to my shoulders
jacket and coat hang heavily
in the grip of a double gloved winter

a micro climate of body heat
is trapped between the layers
epaulettes numbering a thermal uniform
lined boots beating frozen streets

the air is still but for my breath
steamy puffs in the January chill
of a new decade, a new century
and the party in Angle Park Terrace is over

lit like a grotto in the Edinburgh night
the house is pouring molten gold
flooding the tread of limestone steps
rippling into the rust of wrought palings

a solitary festive greeting
pasting the street with a glittering frost
and sprinkling an artifice of warmth
halting me like a hug

Santa has concluded his nocturnal rampage
his break and enters are discarded wrappers
and a week later the doors are locked
lights extinguished to remnants of faint flickerings

but this two storey terrace is up late
a mute mirage of celebration or crime
my stealth intruding with intent
a dozen scenarios twisting in the night

I listen to the silence and enter
yellow wattage is spinning the meter
in a volume of blaze that blinds my eyes
and then I see her, I hear the snooze of her

empty vessels too many to count
but she is not one of them
she smiles as I search the walls
and mute the incandescence

I smile as I snib the door behind me
the last guest, a belated invitation
to the party in Angle Park Terrace
and the Hogmanay night warms me

Ann Gilchrist

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Childhood Vision

Climbing our lemon-scented gum
out the backyard, became almost
a daily routine, scaling trunk
and branches as Robin Hood

hearing the laugh of kookaburras
accompany our ascent
and the magpies’ warble
reassuring our steps
somewhere close behind

brushing past rough edges
of bark giving focus
to the journeys end, with
the sweetness of the tree’s
aroma urging us on.

The taste of adventure
now alive in our mind’s eye
as we throw our voices as signals
across fence-tops to gather friends
to our tree-top rendezvous

where there was nothing
and yet everything to gain
from this capture of
nature’s world, enticing
our freedom to roam.

Mike Greenacre

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

One Spin of a Coin

The gold sovereign
I remember holding it
as a weight around my days,
how could I use something
so dazzling in the sun’s eye?

Worth a lot more
than currency could describe
and yet its value hidden
in boxes to keep it safe

from the possibilities
of chance – soon to be
spun to a dealer for $20,
almost two thirds of my
weekly wage at the time

with petrol less than fifty cents
a gallon, a packet of cigarettes
less than fifty and a bottle
of beer joining them beneath
this worker’s budget line

and here the possibility
of weeks of satisfaction,
all from one spin of a coin.

Mike Greenacre

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Can you stop that noise?

If you’d asked me, I would have said it was just another day. Cold bugger, but we’d had plenty of ‘em before. Bit of a weird place. That was something new. We’d been in some odd spots over the years but I reckon this one would take the prize for truly unusual. Didn’t matter much. We weren’t there for the scenery. Chasing a few dollars as usual. There was a good chance of putting a decent little pile together. These places, remote work sites, if you don’t booze and don’t gamble, there’s not much to spend your money on. So, end of the job, you can walk off with a pretty fat cheque in your pocket. Anyway, that was the plan. But what’s a plan? Should’ve learnt by now, they seldom come together. Couldn’t have missed by more this time. Wasn’t just a plan that didn’t quite work out. This time, the whole world fell on its arse. Didn’t seem like it at the beginning. No, the sting was in the tail, as they say. Mustn’t get ahead of myself. No spoilers, right? Not good to give it away. Don’t reckon I’ll being giving much away. In the end there wasn’t anything left to give away. Lost the lot. All of ‘em. And I’m not a gambling man. Lost ‘em just the same. It’s not that hard to lose money. But losing people? How do you do that? Especially when they’re the most important things in your life? One minute she was there. And then she wasn’t. Gone. Lost. Walked away? I don’t know. Then he went too. My mate. I loved him. Loved her too. Different, but the same in lots of ways. He was the first. First one who ever loved me. Then suddenly, there was someone else. She loved me too. And once she turned up in my life, the two of ‘em went together. A man couldn’t want more than that. Didn’t want more. Thought I had all there could be. Foolish of me. You can’t have more than your portion. I probably had more even before I met her. I used to think that bloke was some sort of compensation for the rest of it. If it was too much, anyway I got away with it. For a while. Should have kept my head down. But how do you do that when somebody like her steps in front of you. You couldn’t. Anybody would look up. I did. I walked towards her and nothing could have stopped me. But it was too much. For her. For him. Me too, in the end. Though it took a long time for me to get that. We were happy for a while. Barely a year. Then it began to unravel. He went and that was the beginning. Seems that once one of the bonds broke, the others couldn’t hold. We tried. I tried. I guess we weren’t saying what we needed to say. There was talk. Not sure there was hearing. Can you stop that noise? All that racket we make when we’re trying to… What? Say something that curls around and holds? Maybe. Doesn’t seem any of us knew how. We left. Walked away. One by one. Lost each other. Lost ourselves.

Ruari Jack Hughes

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Much more better

I’ve met people, now and again, who say they have
No regrets, nothing they feel bad about in their lives
Nothing worth a second take, another run, even deletion

To tell the truth, I’m suspicious, ‘cos it’s not my experience
There are lots of days I’d happily forget or at least revise
Probably not a year passes without something regrettable

On the other hand, there have been those golden days
The ones you know are unique but wish could be repeated
The days which should dominate memory … but they don’t

I’ve had what you could call my fair share of both
Moments of unalloyed joy, others when the sky was falling
This particular day seemed likely my last, a death day, an end

They say there‘s no warning, no way to know time’s been called
Perhaps they’re right, my father didn’t see the shard of steel
Flying to slash his throat, it wasn’t on his worksheet that morning

And my mother, was she geared up for an explosion in her head
Like a bomb dropped out of the blue on an ordinary day,
The sudden shift from bright consciousness to banal blackout


The day it happened was a day like any other, nothing special
Unless you think of every day as special, I try to
After all, there are only so many of them, not rewindable

I should have realised my time might be up, there were signs
The steady worsening of the headaches, increasing lethargy
Obvious precursors to something dire, which I steadfastly ignored

Turned out not my time, though it felt like death and I almost died
Yet only a slide, down then up again, a rollercoaster ride
Tumbling into illness, lifting up to recovery, new days

There was no shining light, brief glimpse of eternity, no epiphany
I was sick, turned off for a while, lost in a coma where memory
Doesn’t work, nothing‘s recorded, some things irretrievably lost

Living is more than physical continuance, beyond duration
Our bodies, obvious manifestations, define only one finity
We live in memories, in prayers and imaginings, as part of others

When the cloud of coma lifted, and I found I was still standing
I joked that I was much more better, but that’s what you say
To escape what scares you, the fear of what is still to come

Ruari Jack Hughes

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Late February at Jackadder Lake

After ninety hot, dry days
oily brown lake
water level so low landing decks

lines of wilted Typha rushes–
dried tongues
poking out
of mosquito bogs.

We still come at dawn
to watch waterbirds
potter amidst
friable pitches of mud,

stilts skitter along sand spits
coots pick at weed
swamphen graze
yellow grass surrounds.

Brilliant people in fluoro shoes
jabbing gloves
at fat leather pads
held by personal trainers.

Hunched and panting
a kelpie looks on
until some spark
might set it off.

Though sweat evaporates
on the communal brow
and Time feels

a ghost of rain
may be stumbling
on a planet
somewhere else

Ross Jackson

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

The Muezzin

standing on a median strip, on the widest street, on the hottest day
in the flattest part of the Eastern suburbs
an even cover of pale blue smoke, drifting over his contented face

grit blows around with cellophane packaging and Styrofoam
and every five-metre span of that long, centre strip-
a tall palm tree with a fat base, growing out of hot, grey sand

he walks away, crosses the street, climbs aboard an ice-cream van
a story in itself, how he’d migrated from Iran to Canning Vale
a cousin’s business swapped for the muezzin’s savings

driving weekends, it was repeats of Greensleeves made him tired
from then on, by using his voice magnified by megaphone
a plea to the faithful, a call for salvation, a double choc freckle

or just a single cone-the hottest day, the widest street, in the flattest
part of the Eastern suburbs and he’s guessing that, with his van
parked where it is, little hope of any trade-but hey, no sweat, Man

Ross Jackson

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

as i lie dying
to die, how unkind,
to be, then to be no more.

as i lie dying,
i think: ‘what is this!?’,
i am being cast from life
and the living?

my talking head keeps talking,
but no one else knows or hears,
it talks just at me.
Me, myself, i, are gathered together
to face terror incognito
alone and in the absence of light.

this is not
what i imagined death to be,
although i had no particular drift
as to what may be or not
beyond my final
failed intake of breath.

life was so complicated,
so why not death?
Maybe there is no relief,
at the end of my life,
from my existential gripe?


i wait,
while time torments me.
i don’t know where i am
or what comes next.
i’m slipping, incrementally,
away from my sense of everything
i’ve known.

i wait,
as i must, it seems,
feigning death,
waiting for the voice
in my head to cease.

Peter Knight

Gary Cooper says:
“You’re not dying yet, son,
it’s only a flesh wound.”

It’s a flesh wound,
I should take it in my stride.
But the pain, the shock,
continues to hammer at my mind.
And may do for so long,
maybe until its final throb fades
beyond the living
with me.

It’s only a flesh wound
yet I feel it is cause
for a lifetime of regret.
The trauma of accelerating hot metal
penetrating my skin,
tearing into my flesh beneath,
is one that I can’t put
out of mind, forgive or forget.
[I should, if I only could.]

If my afflicted arm hadn’t remained frozen
[useless therapy],
I would seek out my assailant,
he who unleashed that missile
[with malice aforethought]
that inflames my thoughts of revenge.
I’m shocked and angered,
regretful that I wasn’t killed.


Now it’s no longer a fresh wound.
I am cursed with limited arm movement,
losing much that was most useful before
[thanks therapy.]
Uncomely scars are what I bear
about my body, consequences ricochet
in my mind.

Upon my imminent death,
medicos may gather and scowl,
revisiting my prognosis.
They concur that it was only a flesh wound.
“He lived this long thereafter,
his suffering will have been bearable,
no appreciable pain now.”

Peter Knight

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

niggling little things

it’s niggling little things
that can bring you down.
They hang about, seemingly
of not great import.
But they may get you
in the end
simply because they persist.
It seems like you and them
can co-exist to the end.
But beyond that point they
can stay the distance
while you don’t.

Peter Knight

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Flower Petal Cat

my Burmese princess,
snoozes belly up
in a patch of
late wintry sun.
Eyes closed,
claws sheathed,
paws relaxed,
her body vibrates,
like a small coffee pot.
She rumbles deep,
in blissful hedonism.

almond blossom
falls like soft rain;
a swirl of petals tinted,
teased and tossed by wind.
Each floret drifts lazy,
fluttering light to land,
stranded on silver fur.
A silken patchwork
that lies flimsy over
Cyn, my flower petal cat.

Veronica Lake

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


Dad and I are at the local pub for the
Seniors Special Roast of the Day.

I wear a dress and Estee Lauder;
he wears turpentine and there’s a

button left over at the top of his shirt,
a smudge of blue across his brow

that might be a piece of fallen sky.
Today I watched him paint at home.

With three whiskies to ‘steady’ him,
he layered rocks you could climb,

texture weathered by palette knife;
a Namatjira gum stark against the

rich ochre tones of a rugged gorge.
My father paints too with his feet,

treading the fallen dobs of colour
into a Pro Hart canvas on the floor.

Now he paints from photographs,
travels the landscape of his mind,

but I have seen him measure
the land against his thumb;

shrink the vast horizon
to fit his lounge room walls.

Mardi May

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Intrinsic Tranquillity 

Tranquillity of a mirrored pond
Calm-coolness of a morning mist

Serene stillness of a dreaming babe
Alighted butterfly’s breathing wings

The floating of free-falling petals
The perfume of a perfect rose

A suckling babe on mother’s breast
The silky softness of a well-loved pet

The meditative peace of prayer
and wafting harmony softly played

The silence of a clear-blue sky
The gentle pulse of a shore-bound sea

The stillness of snow-bound slopes
and melting icebergs in placid sea

A campfire’s glow on moonless night
deep caverns of coals incandescent red

Luminous sparks soft showers of light
the tempting taste of billy tea

The star-jewelled heavens and Southern Cross
Insist for me tranquillity

Glad McGough

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Bloodied Fruit

A young man’s penknife cleaves the peach
she lies still – watching clouds
bruised as her thighs – blot a faded

future – on the point of his knife he offers a slice – peace to
pursed lips – his contrite eyes cool to slate –
knifes her closed lips – another
stab – tastes blood – swallows loss.

Diana Messervy

Creatrix 53 – Poetry



When Grandpa dies his clock winds down. It’s taken from the wall and laid out on the table where every Sunday as a boy my husband ate his Grandma’s mutton roast. The ceramic face is cracked, brass weights oily rainbows of neglect. Her glass bears the gravity of years, thin as a matriarch’s skin. My husband’s fingers trace the legend in her dust, a story passed like

DNA, each father to his son. She’s a grandmother clock from the Old World, Boy, by steamship all the way, then from Sydney up the coast, a whale boat, open boat you know, the captain, wife, a new-born babe. The boy imagined both clock and baby, tightly swaddled, lying side by side like siblings for Mother to keep safe and dry. And last, the river trip from Moreton Bay. Did I tell you how they saved her from the flood of ‘93? He would see the captain, tall as Phantom, biceps bulging, hoist the clock above a roiling current; Atlas holding

up the world while Grandma’s upturned table rotated slowly in the foam, and ballooned cows bobbed past, stiff legs pointing to the sky. Each Sunday after lunch, Grandpa polished the clock’s fine boned body of mahogany, buffed and wound her weights. Once he sketched her workings, Look here Boy, this is what she hides behind her face.


On our watch the Captain’s clock puts to sea again. We prepare her for each voyage, oil and gloss her body, remove and polish weights. My husband swathes her in a sheet, lays her in a box, coffin shaped, custom made. Weights and pendulum thickly wrapped, are tucked in tight beside her like provisions for the afterlife. Her absence leaves a faint bruise, clock-shaped, on

our wall. Each time we settle in a far-off place, another wall waits for her to make a foreign space our home. For fifty years the captain’s clock has marked our family decades hour by hour in chimes. Her brass weights still anchor Sundays, unwind our week.

Diana Messervy

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Another Poem About Sky To Fly In

You need ink, divinity, something holy:
robes might help. Gather a path for spark

to barrel, ignite. You definitely need sky:
there are so many poems about birds,

one more doesn’t hurt. Know flux
and flow, the places where birdsong

goes. Learn to assemble weather
through language, unexpected.

How starlight is ever present.
Now, look down. Remove

shoes. Find dirt
or grass: dance.

Beneath are approximately 1,174 words for grief.
Take your time to learn each one. Look closer.

Press nose to pattern. Bouquet of repetition,
show us how to say the same thing yet

different. Ant, grain, microbe: pin imagining
on to that which collapses into vision. Go smaller.

Atom. Atom. Atom. Know that echo is the world
responding to your inquiry. Listen until speck

flexes upward into mountain. Still. You are tectonic.
You are liminal. Every gap and crack is a doorway

through which to travel. Pack ink. You need ink.
Or else, write in dirt with finger’s tip. Give birds

another poem about sky to fly in.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

hear this stone

in your palm, heart line open
to sediment & song

rock has been here for so long
there’s nothing left to do but sing

a cobble composition of land
as pre-masonry, choral,

how a house can be built from earth
how a lover is smoothed by a river

as a kid, stones kept me company
between arc of blue & green, me

with pockets full of stones
running field, stile, bridge

giant footstep god
transport for pebble

stopping to drop tenderly
a rock

listening to it sing
gratitude for new place

to weather

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Cats and Boxes

Muezza, favoured cat
of the Prophet,
ended her tale thus
on the one thousand
and second night:
“O cats who came from
the Libyan Desert
and conquered Egypt
and the known
world with fur and claw,
heed then this tale
of the flying box
which like the carpet
is carried by djinn
directly to Mecca;
I enjoin you to try all boxes
and sit within.”

Julian O’Dea

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


The children go inside
vacate the playground
and leave the light
to play alone
glancing and beaming
as a truant wind scrapes
a dry leaf along the ground
like a small boy grazing
his knee.

Julian O’Dea

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

I’m Going To See a Man About a Dog 

He always said it heading for the Falcon
or the Customline or even at times the tractor,
when a far younger novice farmchild piped:
where ya going, Dad?

An always reply went sideways through a kid’s ears
like a robin’s arrow tipped with indifference,
but with only mellow intention, missed the apple –
I’m going to see a man about a dog –
& that was all we got,
no deeper stuff to satisfy an ok query.

It’s not as if he needed space nor time to buy a dog,
our dairy farm was spilling border collies,
& he was as well known for sharing squiggling litters
as we were for going nuts a’playing with & deeply loving
these wriggling newborn puppies fluffed with black & white
& sucking their Lassie or Suzie’s warm as milk all day & night
in a warm hay shed while a grinning Fred stood proudly watching.

At the time it felt quite right if somewhat hurting
to be kept offside a father’s private world,
but for him I’m guessing around six decades later,
it built a fence around his wants & needs
& just because we five each had 23 of his chromosomes
from his own private source of whipping sperm

as a luscious deeply attracting ovum
quietly shuffled waiting
& fused to create a one of us –
doesn’t mean to say
that each or any of us little stragglers
had to know his inner selves.

Allan Padgett

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

secrets shared without prejudice in a juicy tales coffee shop

has he ever told you
even if in secret whispers
down low & sotto voce
that his left tit hurts when he laughs
it happens every single time when
he is out in a backyard gardening turns so fast
to grab his shiny secateurs for trimming fern fronds
he’s so deep & focused when pivoting –
o the utter glory of borrowing a newmade meaning
gestated strictly for viral times –
anyway he spun he tripped he fell like a dying marri
(fell so hard he likely lost some rings)
hit the turf OUCH! gained some new scabrous identity
nearly bled out while flat on his back on a lonely
footpath waiting for a nurse to arrive
of course it is she the genius one he married
a hundred or so years ago so she quickly plugs
the gaps & stops all leakages other than his scalding tears
which are still blubbering away two days later as he tells
his poor old man story to a bright-eyed poetic queen
who listens & grins & hugs him again
as a clever young man who makes the very best of coffees
in a grown up town called perf
lends his welcome ear smiles & as he does
you can see & feel his vibrant brain composing
another of his too short list but growing
of marvellous teasing short as stories
& then the older him drives home
but then he feels empty
like a coke can drained of substance & purpose
must trip again someday soon he reckons

Allan Padgett

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


Wyndham: the poorest child
in the state’s attic. No poky barred window
above him; a steamed-up smoke-dirt sky
so hot it’s as suffocating as a low
ceiling he stuffs himself under on a bunk.
His eyes may behold infinite space; a gulf
for fishing, a floodplain for an ancient parliament;
but in landforms reduced to the most cursory contours,
they can never be deceived; the department
demons sent his aunts and uncles beyond
that plain. Go to hell and prosper, the demons said.

When the cousins returned, their eyes didn’t blink
and their mouths never spoke; but at night
he heard voices whisper ‘Oombulgurri’
from the top bunk.

Chris Palazzolo

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

On Seeing Beagle Gulf

My first glimpse of a sea
since our migration didn’t comfort me
with cold oblivion; it was blue
as it shouldn’t be, too smooth, too gassy,
and projecting my swimming
child phantasm of a life that may never
have been was impossible.

That has always, always been
my flashing other being,
the anti-me that’s me on the anti-shore.
He drowned. I woke.
Each one cancelled the other
and yet each one happened,
and the drowning water, black and sheer,
I’m always in it now
even as I mark the fortieth year
of the life I was hauled onto a beach to live.

Silly isn’t it. That northern sea
with its wavelets obscured by steam,
looked like an abstraction, a schema
of a sea, paradoxically hard,
as if the water had frozen at 35° celsius
to form an oblique pane
at the vanishing point of my middle age.
Maybe it was just my aging eyes
cataracted with jade, but I looked
from that foreshore and thought
of Vonnegut worms tickling the sky;
I knew I would never meet me
in that too smooth too blue sea.

Chris Palazzolo

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


outside,  my brother hovers.         leans aside
an open doorway, his smile falters            a rasping voice
a hacking cough           dioxin’s orange shadow
burns        weed and nicotine host incursions

slatted light filters my father         his hands weave
rugs of rags, torn, discarded strips           exhaled smoke
fades into nowhere          his terrier snuffles
he waits           in hijacked lungs, cytotoxins mass

nudging embers, grandfather sits             shivers
imbibes his late-night fire           wrestles winter
arthritic fingers tremble           ash falls
milk white cataracts              hide battlefields
igniting still —

Yvonne G Patterson

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

The Dove Cote and Shiraz

do you remember that night
your lips tasting the juices of lust
smiling at me
as I stirred
besotted by the image
I’d travelled to caress
a Barossa restaurant
with white doves cooing
from their ceiling cote
sheer muslin drapes hanging
pooled on the floor
merging with the whiteness
of your dress
soon to be lifted
in a narrow lane
that meandered through shiraz vines

an illicit love
by possibilities of discovery
all whiteness
stripped away now
only you and your softness remaining
with no other thought
we kiss
amongst shiraz vines

Barry Sanbrook

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


One small tent
on the bike path
beneath the overpass

near the Lord Street crossing

word spreads
small domed tents

spawn onto the pavement
sores that can’t heal
loss of hope and dignity

a food van sets up
permanent spot
legal aid steps in

needles and life’s litter
hard core street people
write their story

on the bike path

Norma Schwind

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Childhood Treasures
7 little memories from my childhood treasure-trove.

1. Mamma, sometimes, made rotis shaped like everyday objects for
my brother and I – trees, flowers, butterflies, stars and even the moon.
And, I wondered if someone had suspended a giant roti in the sky
for the moon. I noticed how it grew smaller, maybe, as the birds and
the mice nibbled on it secretly under the cover of night.

2. I remember how we collected and treasured the almost-perfect
smooth stones for the game of hopscotch (or stapu) we played.
And, how I’d keep mine safe under my pillow, especially if it
had helped me win – taking me swimmingly through the “end of the
world”, just beyond the last square and then back again.

3. Growing up in the quaint and quiet town of Solan, up in the
mountains had its charm. I remember plucking wild berries, trotting down

meandering lanes with only a backpack, chasing sparkling spring-water streams. And, when fancy struck calling out “Khul ja sim sim”* hoping against hope that one of the rockfaces indeed hid behind it, a secret cavern filled with gold!

4. I remember trying pop rocks for the very first time. The myriad sensations
like colourful fireworks, sizzling electricity and bursting stars in my mouth.
Such a contrast to the sweet, supple and tangy candy fruit-drops that were
always my favourite. Or, bars of ‘Kismi’ chocolate that tasted of cardamom,
that the friendly neighbourhood grocer displayed in his big glass jar.

5. How we attentively and carefully folded paper to make the perfect
chatterbox or paku-paku that could tell you your fortune. We trusted it to.
From a favourite colour to a number or a yes or no answer to a secret
question – it could tell it all. And, we even had a song we sang along
as we opened and closed its papery mouth on our small fingers.

6. That first jittery, unsure ride of the bicycle with dad treading alongside.
Trusting dad more than the supporting wheels. My tiny cycle with a basket –
that I filled with wildflowers from my outings. And, the single most-treasured
memory (from years later) of a peacock streaking across overhead, dazzling
me as I hurtled downhill – totally in control even at breakneck speed.

7. And, finally the much-anticipated annual train ride into the country
during school-holiday time. The colourful and distinct stations we passed,
the wares and toys we bought. And, after two days of travel with
the train chugging along, the welcome lights on the midnight station – Belgaum
where my grandparents and new adventures waited eagerly for us.

* “Open sesame” – in Hindi



Creatrix 53 – Poetry


.. what is a poem .. .. ..

i hear you s – i – i – i – i – g h .. ..
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..

to tell a truth
or .. ..

half a lie

Geoff Spencer

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

3 strands

the ageing strainer
posts .. .. ..
not in the ‘field of reeds’
not with support
for long neglected, yielding lithe limbs,

.. .. with tensioned twisted barbs
for three strands .. .. taut .. ..
wired to invective’s savage song
that cuts no slack
hands, throat, calloused with blinded minds
that shred the bark with anger and disrespect
from long – supporting skin

devoid of understanding
abandoned as a long – sacrificed womb
where gestation of impregnated seeds
took heavy toll

the trial of time may ease the tension

twisted barbs


Geoff Spencer

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

In my old home

daylight shines
as limestone reflects
the first rays of the sun
like glossy leaves reflect moonlight

the driveway snakes through tall trees
the way birds carve paths through air
rooms intersect in sunlight–
windows gaze at the Bush

I sit outside in air cleansed by rain
legs dangling over a lichen-draped wall
hovea vines creep into gardens
bees meander over a pergola
kangaroos graze on overgrown weeds

as night falls creatures tread
with reverence over this earth
beneath the stars

where my dog lies in peace
among the scented flowers

where I left my heart

in my old home

Amanda Spooner

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

In the terminal

I meet a farmer who runs cattle south of Cairns
he, his young wife and their five-year old son
his older son has a property in the Gulf Country
their land is parched    cattle hungry
there’s no feed                  drought
the state of Queensland sells water to the
highest bidder – not farmers

rain arrives        falls on sun-hardened earth
deep dried mud of petrified sadness
and keeps falling

neighbours lose 30,000 head         his older son
musters what livestock he can to high ground
she says the cattle knew they were being saved

he shows me photos of their land
12km from the nearest river bank
water streams through their paddocks

like snakes on steroids
eroding soil     removing seed
disturbing the balance

she says mental health is the thing
townspeople don’t understand
they have no connection to the land

gentle growing rains come but no food grows
people in towns still expect
bread meat and milk on the table

she says even though we had some hay
the cattle didn’t want to eat it.
It was as if they had given up.

Amanda Spooner

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


The two Italian old ladies
Who live down the street …

They are Freedom
Disguised in human bodies

No professional commitments
Their only appointments are medical
And they don’t care about being punctual

They laugh at the doctor
They believe the best medicine
Is an Aperitivo before each meal

No men nor date neither!
They wear comfortable ugly dresses

And only dye their hair
To thumb their nose to their old age

They sit on the veranda and no-one
Knows what they chat about for hours
In the dialect of their childhood

They speak their mind,

Give unsolicited advice to young mothers
And do not care when people roll their eyes

We all envy this freedom yet
None of us sit on the veranda
The way these old women do

Karine Suares

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Cross cultural diagnosis

medical diagnosis, even a possibly positive prognosis
remains a mystery to someone
who cannot comprehend what the doctor meant
when the patient’s culture contains a restraint
on asking what’s already been explained

Kimberley Aboriginal English
was never intended to include
city talk’ and medical terminology
as part of its lexicology

so the patient politely makes a request
“a written diagnosis may be best
on a simple sheet of paper?”
in the hope this whitefella message stick
will finally do the trick

yet even that does not make sense
unable to pronounce
the paper’s complicated alien sounds
that are supposed to speak to him
his chances already less than slim

the patient’s trouble is now double
afraid of what his illness might be
which he can neither understand nor see,
with standard communication lines now failed
his recovery is seriously curtailed

to help interpret the situation patients from the bush may need
a script for serious mediation – only then could they afford
to have their health restored

Traudl Tan

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Woonjoo – wet season in Kalumburu

low-low the clouds run
ominous grey and inky black
massive sky horses race high
close in from every direction
push away clear blue skies
to where the summer horizon
settles into the Timor Sea

sea-green waves rush into the bay
prance and dance
laugh white frilly provocations
mock the wet-feet mountains
their heads shrouded in mist
now distant – detached – dreamy
utterly inaccessible

low-low the clouds swirl
the Kimberley bush
green-jungle-green now
its breath sweet and seductive
hanging heavy in the humidity
deep drum rolls of thunder
close in right around

Traudl Tan

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

New foundations

The slab’s gone down
concrete footings
wire mesh
pipes sticking out

About to pour cat
biscuits on yoghurt –

is it all upwards from here?

Tineke Van der Eecken

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

The missing cat

I walk around in the rooms of my memory –
there’s my mother
teaching me to write
on that red sofa.

My brother plays Superman
and the cat bathes in the sun beside the window
licking her fur.

I walk around in the chapters of my book –
does the room smell like this season’s rain?
Is the furniture in place? Where does this door lead?
What time is it?
Where has the cat gone?

I search each page,
follow the cat around.
I walk the memories
that shape my book
to find
how the rooms connect.

Tineke Van der Eecken

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

After 47 Years My Kids Teach Me How to Swim Freestyle
with apologies to Sharon Olds 1

You’ve got the hands wrong, Mum, says the oldest. Like this. He turns his palm and slides it up past his face at right angles to the water. Then bow-and-arrow arms. The youngest cracks up laughing. You look like you’re drowning! Maybe I am. Drowning. In forty-seven years of fear. Uncle Bala surfaces—that half-drunk swimming instructor standing poolside, Singapore. Aiya! Just blow out and turn your face to the side, girl. But I can’t. Won’t. It’s all too hard and I am a kitten hauled out, yowling, from the pool, a spitting ball of defiance and shame. My mother takes me home. Can’t do the crawl. What kind of Australian are you? Pretend-kind. Half-kind. All the blond Aussie kids at the pool, swimming like they were born to rule: tumble-turning into the glorious certainty of belonging to dams and beaches, to backyard pools, to a whole southern continent waiting to receive them like softly-shined trophies in the winner’s cabinet.

Where will they put me – struggling to pull it together? Head down, windmill arms, flutter kick, tip face … my Chinese father never learned to swim. His mother kept him from the Kuching River for fear that crocodiles would take her only son. I know the regret of the body: it is my father pacing beside the pool, muttering excuses: Too late for me to learn. Your mother will have to save you if you drown. It is me, swimming breast-stroke for years, with my head above water. What does it take to break through the barriers of the mind? The walls that say Keep Out, Whites Only, Don’t Bother, Not Worth Trying? It takes imagination hooking itself into cracks, wrapping its tendrils around tiny outcrops, probing for soft-spots: cave paintings depicting swimmers, for example. Or ancient Egypt’s front-crawl hieroglyph. Or two Ojibwe men who brought freestyle to the dubious British. 2

It takes a gift: this backyard pool we never dreamed we’d have. This day with time. These children who want to show me how. It takes the body in a posture of submission, prepared to hit the stage with 尬泳[ga yong]. Awkward swimming. Clumsy arms and stuttering kicks. I crawl like a baby making her first journey on hands and knees across the pool. You did it, Mum! Who will I be now that I can swim freestyle? My mind leaps: a fish flipping over a weir, shattering the surface of the dam with the silver twist and flick of elation. The water opens its arms like a God who does not play favourites, who loves all his children the same.


1 “After 37 Years My Mother Apologizes for My Childhood”

Miriam Wei Wei Lo

Creatrix 53 – Poetry


The bushes huddle cowering
and inject their roots in sympathy with the rock
that glares at the abandonment of soil.
Sea-eagles scour the plain, can’t find
a tall tree to nest their solitude.
We slide our car
into a green hypnotic emptiness
and only tickle the bitumen tattoo
of a road promising infinity.
With a flourish of wind
wattles argue with golden flowers;
A limestone outcrop foretells
the Pinnacles nearby,
while distant in haze
under sea-born clouds appear
white like faces in shock the smooth-skinned dunes.

At the Pinnacles themselves we hunt
shadows slicing into yellow sand.
Nothing is too unusual here, where pillars
collaborate in hunchback conversation
next to frozen elegance of stone.
Dwarfish mysteries of rock pepper
the swell of hills with their intimate despair
for water or plant;
Our feet hardly leave a signature
on the ground’s ancient ripples.

Homeward, and the sun in its descent
drowns in a hell of smothering cloud.
I see you asleep beside me,
the glory of your eyes is veiled.
Your smile is lost
in the long road unrolling like a dragon’s tongue.
Night shutters down in stars:
I hope for the future, catch
at my eye’s edge a farmhouse light.

Colin Young

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

Into the Dome

Crowds push against a teetering
metal barrier.
Yelling mixes with sweat
and grimaces. Arms
lock into centipedal
formation, prod at police.

Face-masks shield
cold chanting faces.
From wooden poles
flags wield their stars.

Fingers grapple
white brickwork
as bodies haul themselves
to the high terrace
outside the Capitol.

In the vestibule a man
lances and splinters
a thick window
into the heart of the building
where waiting voices shudder.

Under the marbled dome
a hand lifts a noose
and the echoing scrum
demands a sacrifice.
Tall and solemn portraits
stare out from walls.

A woman carries
a placard that reads:
“Don’t Step On Us”.
Torsos lunge forward
as she falls,
and a chaos of moving feet
pound her to death.

In a politician’s office
a bearded man lounges,
feet on the polished desk.

His Confederate flag
scrapes a lone table.

A pool of blood
from a policeman
disfigures the floor.
With a fire extinguisher
they have bashed in his face.

After the mob has left,
senators and congressmen
stagger from their bolt-holes,
slump into their seats,
their breath racing
in skin-shivering alarm.

As the crowd disperses
up the illustrious avenue
a bald eagle circles,
its arrow eyes aghast.

Colin Young

Creatrix 53 – Poetry

RIP Lawrence Ferlinghetti

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti
stepped into the storm
he slipped off his weapons
and frisked himself for ideas.
Owls and buzzards whooped
to hear his poetry
and the shards of ancestry
from so many songsters wove
their crystalline gardens into lyrics.

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti
sprang up to the cliff edge
a gang of butterflies poached
his lumbering animals
and pinned them to the sky
for everyone to admire.
Empathy slung itself from his eyes
as he trumpeted his silence
and ruminated on his Muses.

When Lawrence Ferlinghetti
fell into the sway of music
he pitched his battle on the plain,
and defeated the ordinary.
Where is he now? He laughs
in a Shangrila sculpted
out of fragrant conch-shells,
and builds his nest in the mist
that lures us to the future.

Colin Young