Creatrix 4 Poetry

March 2009

Selectors/Editors: Veronica Lake and Jeremy Balius

Contributors:

Flora Smith

London Saturday

Annie Otness

PIONEER COTTAGE RUINS, GERALDTON.

COUNTRY ROADS: PINJARRA

Jan Napier

Elders

Life Sentence

Yvette Merton

Outback

Agent Orange

Jenny de Garis

Earthskin

Owl Man

Pilgrims at Tidbinbilla

Peter Evans

MIRROR

David Barnes

Parkinson’s workshop

Kevin Gillam

a crooked eye

Laurel Lamperd

A WINTER’S TALE

Glen Phillips

BEFORE SENTENCING

SHANGHAI AND ALL THAT JAZZ

Geoff Stevens

PLASTIC HERO

Annamaria Weldon

What we have in common

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Burdened

Marilyn King

Dying – A Trilogy

Jennifer Langley-Kemp

THE RETURN

Liana Christensen

Inheritance Lore

Questions after lights out

Maureen Sexton

THE OLD CONVENT

Emma Rooksby

Sprawl

Port. February

Tony O’Donnell

OLYMPUS  REVISITED

VIEW FROM THE OIL RIG

Paul Harrison

Poppycock

Rose van Son

we leave in the rain

Elsie and her Sister

Meryl Manoy

ODE TO A WHALE  

An Inspirational Experience

Brian Langley

Picking Blackberries

Spending Their Inheritance

Paula Jones

Write me a happy ending

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London Saturday

Fast foreign speech I could not place:
two tiny Asian ladies in the lane,
painted parrots perched tip-toe,
peering at the play through metal mesh.
Why their high excitement?  Just soccer

on a Saturday of normal London grey.
Starting shriek of whistles: a Breughel cast
spills black-brown-white, gathered guernseys
echo striped umbrellas at the ice-cream stand.
A raucous chorus rises as spectators swell,
rap music drowns a carousel of players’ cries
and now my feet are talking to the ground,
senses caught by churning wheels of colour,
burning sound and all the wild sport of theatre.

Flora Smith

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PIONEER COTTAGE RUINS, GERALDTON.

Two roofless stonewalled
Rooms open windowed, doorless
A chimney
A wide plain of dry cropped land.
Secure enclosures
Walling out space
Too many new spaces
For mothers from a small cold land.

Children born in the wide land
Lived always with all space
And never knew a wall
And could not close the land in
And lived in the open heart of it.

In no man’s land
Deserted by ghosts and spirits
No birds sing in vacant skies.
Crumbled walls
Dessicated dreams
Dead grey stubble.

Annie Otness

COUNTRY ROADS: PINJARRA

The little puddles mirror the bright blue sky
she said the landscape is so pretty
when it’s so fresh and green.

A white tree skeleton rooted in the fluoro field
reaches to claw from poisoned paddocks
to the cerulean and birdless sky.

A gravestone of the vanished forest multitudes
inevitably soon will fall to earth
to rip the fragile fabric of the land.

Cows and sheep patiently devour the grass
producing methane whilst usefully
converting cellulose to protein.

Behind geometric white fences pampered horses saunter

resting from the drumming running of the race
and unknowing yet the knackers.

Along the roadside remnant corridors of bush
give haven to the scavengers that risk fatality
to snatch a morsel from the road.

Driving on highways through the countryside
she said it is so pretty at this time of year
forgetting once the land was beautiful.

Annie Otness

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Elders

 

They are alien        slip in and out of now as easily as the Tardis
skims between dimensions       worship at altars of wolferin
worry with blood as thin as their enthusiasms gods of their own devising
mumble liturgies of ointment and locum       act out the ritual
haphazard of dress and kettle         are tugged down to a centre
stumbled with the snares of signatures and notwithstanding.
Elders sup minced maybes           fricassees of can’t
spoon the gruel of yesterdays musty and yellowed with urine
disordered glories that wriggle slippery as fish
unattracted by the lure of removable smiles or prompts of plaque
and knickknack             freefall into the reek of kitchens stale with leftovers
set to fester on sinks cropped by cockroach and ant
the all too hards muted by the morning talkback.
Spidery strands of obligation stretch families      brittle twig fingers
twisted as cruelty plead promises from unpleased lips compressed
and lemony with work    children    weekend friends     love loses elasticity
snaps under the strain of trial by budget shopping trips
outings sprinkled with rest stops and treats too sugary
eyes roll at tales told    retold   the ‘eh eh’ of ears not in.
Some nomads jolt back into the orbit of every day
see soft centred heirs now adamantine    sigh    steer for the void
and   deliberately or not    who knows   fail to enter return co ordinates.

Jan Napier

(Published Tamba Nov 2008)

Life Sentence

Born to be behind bars             and he looks the part
thin and scruffy with a constant blink.
Not that he’s bad        just unlucky.
Sometimes he screeches     see me     hear me
but nobody bothers     except to throw things
flinch his puny anger into silence.
Solitary       he mutters or sings to himself
flails futile wings       climbs the walls
tries to keep himself company through the grey hours.
His food      if they remember     is dry      unappetising
the water tastes coppery        causes diarrhoea
leaves him weak and worn for days.
When left outside in shadeless summer
a samaritan forces an end       watches
hot tongued as his torturers spray
his scorched and faded spirit back into being
scour the encrusted stink from the floor.
Afterwards they take turns to blow
cigarette smoke at him     laugh as he chokes
coughs        flings desperate feathers against their iron
almost hard enough to make a small heart explode.
Dumped in a laundry corner     he hunches    trembles
waits to escape into the tender dark.

Jan Napier

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Outback

A strong easterly measures around
The width of his head, he squats
Drawing back the stales of yesterdays
Cigarette,
Marking a map thick fingered and lost.
Dusty boots choke the once scrubbed leather
Walking an honest walk.
His face burns with each lick of sun
Driving sweat away with a grubby sleeve
He sighs a lonely sigh, watching the lizards
Arch forward snap tongued soaking in the heat.
At each cross road this man always gets stuck
Playing the outback as though a cowboy.

Yvette Merton

Agent Orange
(First published in Pulsar Poetry magazine UK )

Cough it up old man,
I feel sad…
Not because he’s reached the frailty of old age
Because he hated more than he loved,
Secrets hide behind creped skin.

When I peel the rind of an orange he cringes,
Reminding him of a war he won and lost.
Ripping skin from bones
Leaving them stripped and bare.

When my fingers press hard into the orange flesh
And the juice sprays, he flinches.
His shirt singes from the drop of cigarette ash,
Inhaling its smoke he wheezes heavily.

Cough it up old man,
The days grow cold from your denial.

Yvette Merton

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Earthskin

the hillside shines
ant armies are on the march
for marri nectar

the worms
are down with the roots, the cool
underlay of clay

year
by year
more
honky nuts spill seed, split granite
more
branches break sunslam & windhurl

flayed ground gapes less
grows earthskin tough as its own bones

the soil is remembering forest
re-asserting its seasons

Jenny de Garis

written in 2006 for PIAF’s One Book Soil Samples Exhibition

commended & published in Yellow Moon

Owl Man

Owl Man, we would-be catchers
of your moment come in hunger
– although we may not know it –
come to pay you homage
from the havens of our houses,
the safe closure of our vehicles,
for even they seem full of sound
and sometimes fury.  Our skulls
buzz, filled with traffic.

Your achieved quiet
towards yourself our fracas

patterning our scattered atoms
like a magnet, slowly, surely,
bringing us to share the coolness
of the leafy rustle
from the trees above us
answering the breeze.

So we are gathered closer
into the place of silence
from which each sound is born
– Creation stirs.

Jenny de Garis

– in response to Gemma Dodd’s sculpture, Owl Man (now at Taylor Studios, Swan Valley) published in Jenny’s 2007 book, Dance of Light.

Pilgrims at Tidbinbilla

there are icings on the high rocks
the wind comes to us over them
ducks in the sanctuary dam huddle
the wind turns back their feathers

we hunch in the hide meant for birdwatch
cower back from the wind-letting window
eat cold sandwiches    sleet knifes in
the wind turns back our feathers

we emerge to white light
shining from the high rocks
undersides of leaves glimmer
the wind turns back their feathers

follow the winter path of the geese
climb to the edge of Black Flat Dam
wind     turns back the rippling flow
turns back paperbark feathers

something comes from below
breaks darker than the wind
more intricate     bill of a not-duck
eye of a not-bird      lift

Jenny de Garis

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MIRROR

Have you…  left your mark, preceding those to come?
So that you..know you have had your day in the sun.
Have you…  a family that you have begun?

So that you.know your DNA will stay eternally young.
Have you…  an abundance of money, indicating your personal sum?
So that you..can help your family have an easier run.
Have you…  an egalitarian conscience, rather than seeing life just as fun?
So that you..can help others less fortunate than some.
Have you…  smelt the roses when everything seems glum?
So that you..can appreciate small mercies when they come.
Indeed our epitaphs are written,
long before our journey has even begun.
So maybe we should respect life and learn to live as one?

Peter Evans

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Parkinson’s workshop

fingers tremble
slowly moving through pages,
yet with certainty the pen moves through
imposed restrictions, shifting language in precision,
words come; go by the way, discarded,
painting the colours of expression.
Seasons flow through him
pass, return; stimulating mind, implants;
hands retrieve the balancing case, colored pills
ingested, a semblance of respite from unwanted burdens.
i have learned much about parkinson’s disease
from hesitant poetic hands.
i listen to his criticisms
as he lacerates my words, moving black pigment
on crisp white pages.
we didn’t ask for this
his disease, my infirmity,
though we know the broken road, word-for-word.
and he would be first to say,
short stanzas, potent in meaning
need no biography, no explanation.

revised: debarnes

Dedicated to: Dennis Greene

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a crooked eye

as I wash me in
you
the clock fibs,
night folds while
you hover, watch
me in you

the light antique
now,
lemoned at the
edges
as I wash me in
you

moths are
drunken deckhands,
jigging, stopping
only as
you hover, watch
me in you

if you were to run
fingers
but no, no maps,
too soon
as I wash me in
you

two notes from
mopoke drip,
break the
meniscus of
thought
while you hover,
watch me in you

and the moon
casts a crooked eye
over the imagined
as I wash me in
you,
as you hover,
watch me in you

Kevin Gillam

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A WINTER’S TALE

They met in the rain
outside the coffee shop.
He had come from visiting
his wife and newborn son
and she was on her way
to collect her daughter
from ballet lessons.

He took her arm
and led her
into the coffee shop.

They were together in Paris.
He had an offer
of a top job in London.
She had to return
to this antipodean city
where her mother was dying.

He saw her to the airport.
She promised to return
but her mother
took a long time dying.

He held her hand
and caressed the rings
another man had placed there.

Silently she cried.
He kissed her cold fingers
with lips wet from the rain.

With one last anguished look
she rushed into the rain.

At his feet was the cup
she knocked from the table
broken in two.

Picking up the chit
he went to the check out.
They added
the price of the cup
to his bill.

He picked up the change
and went into the rain.

Laurel Lamperd

Laurel Lamperd – The Battle of Boodicuttup Creek Novel for 8 – 11 year olds Available from www.amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com. http://laurel6346.tripod.com

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BEFORE SENTENCING
(On approaching a 73rd birthday)

Zhongshan Wharf was where victims
of the infamous massacre of Nanjing
were heaped in piles by prisoners
waiting for their own turn. Where
officers of Hirohito’s ‘sons
of heaven’, arms still trembling
with the ache of severed heads,
their fine buckled swords sticky
with Chinese blood, paused to reflect
their labours. Futile resistance scorched.
I think I know something of the blade’s
swish at my bare neck. Waiting
the blow that will be my release.
Before sentencing I had some hope
of being spared. But now I see
in your eye pity, perhaps, but also
the resignation every executioner must
know. It is said that if you are guilty
expect the sentence to be carried out.
Yet I somehow escaped to tell all this.

Glen Phillips

SHANGHAI AND ALL THAT JAZZ

On tour. It’s Shanghai tonight, they say.
The little band of travellers, tourists
from Au Da Li Ya step heavily down
from their luxury bus in Nanjing Lu
and receive brass keys to colonially
spacious rooms in what they now call
Peace Hotel, the Bund a few steps
away. Here many a famed westerner’s
form reclined thankfully on laundered
sheets in Sassoon’s halcyon days, when
Coward wrote ‘Private Lives’ and Shaw
or Chaplin savoured an admiring glance.

But after supper our tour leaders declared
we’d be entertained in the famed Jazz Bar
by legend’s long playing old jazz band
still thumping ‘Lazy River’ and ‘Ye Shanghai’.
So we tapped a toe with a glass of Qingdao beer
in hand. Found anything but peace til 2am.
After all, it was ‘Crippled Sassoon’ who
made sure the Bank of China remained
twelve centimetres lower than the Peace Hotel.

Glen Phillips

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PLASTIC HERO

you were Superman once
but your credit card has turned to kryptonite
and you no longer have the power
of unlimited spending
lie paralysed now in your one-room apartment
scanning the free newspaper through horn-rims
looking for employment

Lois meanwhile
having been made redundant from Woolworth’s
is out looking for another caped crusader
with a weakness for maidens in distress

Geoff Stevens

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What we have in common

Born in grandfather’s house
in the quiet after the bombs
only eucalypt shade
falling
on sandstone walls of his farm
I knew valleys that aqueducts straddled
ochre crumbling
above Punic tombs
sounds of a lost Aramean tongue
guttering candle-like among ruins.

Born far from your grandmother’s country
you, first fruit of transplanted vines
belong where eucalypt shade
falls on granite, saltwinds
plough drought-furrowed sky

but I sense what we have in common –
that when elements sing
you listen as
we both let them shape us
familiar
becoming the song.
for Ariane, first grandchild

Annamaria Weldon

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Burdened

Flames cackle crack.
Drawn to me wild eyes
flow and trace
erratic steps.
Snakelike poised
strike the night.

Orange tongues
demonically devour
funeral pyre.
Broken husks
of trees
piled haphazard.

Separate I stare.
Mesmerized thoughts scream
pounding self-doubt.
Fear echoes
shell of my mind.

Separate I feel.

Crave belonging
as flamelight
flutters my face
in life’s dark.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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Dying – A Trilogy

I
As the mobile spins, so does my life.
I am so young, only twenty-three days old, too young to die.
Locked in this hospital room, I’ve never seen the sky.
Never seen a bird fly by.
Only paintings on the wall, a distant image of an artist’s recall.
I am young.
My album of life is empty, save of these last twenty days and three.
It is waiting expectantly for entries.
For memories of photographs, and words, of music and songs to be heard.
An empty life.
I am young now.
Too young to die and I know I don’t have long to live, to touch, to smell, to give.
I know my days are closing and I have only one plea.
Please God, let me love eternally.

II
As the sun sets in a blaze of glory, so is the setting of my life.
I am young.
Only sixteen, almost.
Some say too young to die, to pass from this life eternally.
Maybe my album of life isn’t meant to be full of memories.
Maybe it’s only meant to be filled partly,
with photographs and words, with music and songs I’ve heard.
With pain and confusion. Abuse.
A short life of torrid emotions.
Too young to die but too aged to live.
My childhood behind me, my future beckons constantly, seductively,
’n I know I’m dying, “Checkin’ out” as they say.
Oh yeh, I’ve heard the oldies accuse that “Suicide is a coward’s way.”
but it takes courage to do it, I say;
’n God, if you are real, you must know how I feel,
’n God I’ve just one plea, can ya tell me if, after I’m dead, will I still be so lonely?

III
As the candle flame flickers, so does my flame of life.
I am old now,
fourscore years and three.
Too old to die, to pass from this life eternally;
Maybe if I had died young, I could have done so easily.
With only limited memories,
a child on an adventure into an unknown future,
but I am old.
My album of life is crammed
with photographs and words, with music and songs I’ve heard.
A full life, rich with emotions.
I am old now,
Too old to die and I know I can’t take things with me,
I’ve heard that constantly but I have just one just one plea.
Please God, now that I have to die,
please let me take and keep my memories, please.

Marilyn King

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THE RETURN

She has not been back for thirty years
never wanted
never dared to awaken pain

Now this invitation
She knows they’re still the same
hold the same bigotries
same boundaries
heard snatches over the years
All this time she’s been invisible
stayed outside away
Maybe she should walk past
maybe linger a little at the gate
look through a window
She cannot risk detection
But an invitation?
She weighs it in her hand
A slither of light under the door
She knocks steps into it

Jennifer Langley-Kemp

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Inheritance Lore

Guard the treasure jealously
and suffer
not the loss of the smallest part
of the hoard that’s held to be

identity

or be bold and know
it is not gold but bones
well chewed and old

Leave it all
and join the flawed
under the ordinary sun

Remember
we have known ourselves
all along to be each
a treasure beyond price:

the jewels of our scales
the golden fire of our breath

Liana Christensen

Questions after lights out

Did you?
———– No.
Why not?
———– I could not.
How could you?

Liana Christensen

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THE OLD CONVENT

New Norcia

 

I wear my atheism
in this spatial room
where dark wood creeps

in knots around my
wrists ties me to
blood red chairs. Stripped

of intellect I write
words. Duty bound like
those women before me

I feel welts on
my back turn to
see where I’ve come

from see Christ on
a cross. The salt
in my wounds dries.

Maureen Sexton

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Sprawl

I’d like to go
farther out,
but trains start to curl
at the edges, exurban reproach
dressing them down.
Busses take forever,
they never arrive
or strike out early
down cul-de-sacs,
waiting for everyman
to walk his dog
past the stop
for a morning po.

The suburban medium
is catching,
throwing off
jingles I can’t shake,
exquisite, replete
with ironic reference
like the beach
but nobody has time,
nobody can reach
the hook, gain purchase.

Here doors are barred,
flyscreens ornate, otiose,
air conditioning units
grown powerful expel
all heat, all knowing
farther out.
I’d like to go.

Emma Rooksby

Port. February.

Yellow night of industrious cranes
and no frogs. Hot yellow night,
spotlights wide on the sky.
A good time for forgetting,
for dreaming a new life
to beggar the old out the door.
Too damp to sleep, a fine time
for falling into the deep,
only recognisable
when you’re well under,
turning onto your side.
Self-knowledge swims there too,
slippery, not yet scaled
and when you reach out,
it’s your own hand you find.

Emma Rooksby

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OLYMPUS  REVISITED

———– “Ye Gods!” he said, “What happened here?
The last time I visited ….”
“Ah! my brother,” I replied,  “that was in OUR time
when your anvil, Hephaestus, was percussion
for Apollo’s lyre, your golden filigree had glint
so bright, Helios himself did squint.
Men sought my wisdom, feared the Furies and the Fates,
cared about OUR survey on the Mount and uncle
Hades watchful eyes below.

———– “Came the ‘One True God’.
Abandoned they unpopular decrees and
so relinquished all, knowing part-application fails
and Law is never compromise.
Conium Maculatum by Socrates so
(We left, you may remember, when ambrosia reverted to
electuary and mead to gall declined.)
Envisage those children, restoring Chaos to their
through wreaths of Nicotiana Tabacum with the Bella
Donna …. until that jealous unforgiving Fate
Atropa, with swift, sharp blades inflicts eternal anodyne.

———–  “And when that god expired, Hindoos Cannabis
Sativa maze lured neglected, unisexual youth down the
main-line to the minotaur Papaver Somniform where
Theseus Iscariot, vendor of nostrums, Empiric quack
and one, so fair, ope’d Pandora’s box again,
unloosing radiant Hope.  Suddenly,
fashionable was fissionable, Whitman’s interiors had
their (imploded) interiors: fission with fusion flared
incandescent ball in vorticose, cooled and
contracted out of orbit into an anti-ecliptic
…. decline.”

———– The others smiled at his shock as if to say –
What can you expect but ignorance …. and alienation
when you hammer yourself so?  All endeavour without revel
y’know!  When did he last have an orgy? –
“Come!” he said, “Let us across the void to my
warm forge …. away from this …. stark sepulchre.
By Zeus, it’s cold and ….
…. as dead as the moon!”

Tony O’Donnell

VIEW FROM THE OIL RIG

On the rig from our platform high
A view revealed of sea and sky
That changes oft from dawn to dusk.

Enraptured is the way I feel
I float on air though stand on steel
Sunrise glow and sunset’s colours
Chase away our journey’s dolours
This trip high-point provides a lift
That for my soul’s a special gift.
Sunrise has its own horizon
Such beauty takes the breath away
Flushing pink in turning golden
Gives promise for the coming day;
While each change in sunset’s clouds
Brings exclamations from our crowd:
Blocks of glittering gold we see
Turning orange at the edges;
Nearer to the sun’s declining
Shades of grey with silver lining,
Then like granite tipped with crimson.
Reflected light from that vast sea,
Which once, for us, seemed all to be,
Now like jewels on the water
Rubies, diamonds, precious opal
Out-sparkle hoards of royalty
Reaching out to touch our platform
Also gives us a sunny glow
Tinged with scarlet and with pink
How could our spirits ever sink!

And then there is the unique sight
Reflected from the sea each night
The shimmering sparkle of the moon
Is to my heart a special boon.

Awakened by these scenes of beauty
Which I had missed for many a day,
Obscured by worry and by duty,
Help me now to shed my pain
And come back to myself again.

Tony O’Donnell

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Poppycock

where was the silence
this remembrance day
another 3 tour suicide
checking outta VA
another stop gap loss
yea Johnny’s got a gun. okay ?
and all the poppies frayed from smack
killing kids at home
like any good old cluster bomb
did anyone even listen hear
old Harry Stack
wheeled out and rugged and grey
last of ancient memory
whisper of a ruptured hell
he once beheld
but never could forsake
did the guns even fall
silent for a moment
ever
anywhere
in old Baghdad city
where again this
deadly quiet
got remarked quite
prosaically
with another monstrous car bomb
beheading
the smiling news reader into
lipstick vapour
and who severing her jugular
into the sports spot
omitted to mention the men
who spat
Sir, No Sir
into a machine gun and who
objecting
to all false memories,
all your rotten flags and lies and guns
still chattering
ninety dumbed down years
and on
shed a world of tears
and went quietly mad
weeping
in their gasmasks

Paul Harrison

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we leave in the rain
graffiti crosses the bridge
washing omo white
curtains balconies

Rose van Son

Elsie and her Sister

somewhere
in St. Bernard’s
Krakow
i see Elsie & her sister come
round a marble pillar
that dress of no-iron
cotton
floral
past her knees

last time i saw Elsie
was in the fruit and veg section
of Coles
she asked if Harry’s wife
had given birth
that new wife of his
he suddenly found himself with
in a strange city
wonder what she is doing here

Rose van Son 

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ODE TO A WHALE  

Majestic leviathan of the deep
whose range spans seven seas,
your tonnes of weight you move with ease
when from the depths you leap.
We whale-watchers are so ecstatic
some metres in the air you reach
of water as air rushes out.

Sometimes you wave your pectoral fin
of an enormous weight,
which slapping down with force creates
a sound that then begins
to travel distances unknown
beneath the ocean waves.
Your varied song through many octaves
of subtle cadence and tone –
the sonorous pattern of your song
could be at most a half hour long.

You migrate from the cold seas’ feeding
along the coasts and shores,
and driven on by natural laws
to warmer climes for breeding.
You “spy hop”- do you look around
to verify your  bearing?
or let your pod know how you’re faring?
or is that done by sound?
There’s much to learn in natural history
of cetaceans that is a mystery.

The Baleen whale hunted by man
is an endangered class.
Whale-watchers love to see you pass
and want your hunting banned.
For tourists it’s a great attraction
to spot a mother and calf
while on the surface they laze and bask,
watching their interaction.
Long may we see such maternal scenes
rather than slaughter on our screens.

Meryl Manoy

An Inspirational Experience

My first introduction to people with cerebral palsy
Has left an indelible impression
Of wonderment that those I met could display
Such joy of life and not depression.
Indeed it was a privilege to meet them
To witness such determination
When mundane actions we all take for granted
Must constantly cause such frustration.

By spending time amongst these special people
I’ve come to see what courage means –
Not mighty victories in the world arena
The constant wrestling with one’s contorted body,
The strength of will to persevere,
To force one’s tongue and lips to articulate
Sounds which are meaningful to hear.

We whose lot is not to battle such adversity
Express humility and admiration
For all those beautiful souls trapped in bodies,
Being cared for with such dedication.
The carers are no doubt a special breed;
The love they give is also returned
Commensurately, measure for measure,
For being respected and not spurned.

At Sporting Wheelies National Boccia Championships
The competition was fierce and keen;
Each State striving to be winners
Supporters, volunteers and carers
Showed to their charges such devotion.
They all were gripped in competitive fever,
The atmosphere charged with emotion.

The dinner presentation of awards
Was the highlight of the games.
Place-getters in the various divisions
Called to accept their medals by name.
And what a great reception all received
Acknowledging their skill and fortitude;
And on the faces of the recipients
Wide smiles of joy and gratitude.

The rhythmic music drew the dinner guests –
Wheelchairs and carers filled the floor
To twirl and whirl in joy and great abandon,
Who could wish for anything more!
The few hours spent with these remarkable folk
Has certainly broadened my education;
But furthermore, my spirit has been lifted,
For there’s no doubt they are an INSPIRATION!

Meryl Manoy 

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Picking Blackberries

 

We kids went picking blackberries; ‘round Easter time it was;
We didn’t take too many home: the reason was because
As soon as we had picked some, we just had to have a taste;
We found they were delicious, so with lots and lots of haste
We picked till there were no more left, and ate near every one
And after just an hour or so, our picking time was done:
Was just a handful we took home, and they were sour and green
And told our Mums the honest truth – there’s none there to be seen.

Brian Langley

Spending Their Inheritance

 

The grandkids don’t come visiting,  too many things to do.
I’ve not seen some for several years, so I’ve made plans anew.
I’ll spend all their inheritance, I’m going on a trip,
I’ll fly off to the South of France, then jump aboard a ship
And sail to Greece and Turkey and the Adriatic Sea;
There’ll be no money left for them – I’ll spend it all on me.
This attitude that I’ve now got – inherited for sure;
From grandkids: those who don’t come round, to visit any more.

Brian Langley 

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Write me a happy ending

write me a happy ending
write me a mouthless lovesong
write me with your fine fingertips
feathertouch / butterflylight
write me the longest list of quiet possibilities
stacked upon each other like haphazard blocks
write me I love you’s in the dirt with a stick
on the sand with your tippy-toes
where the waves will rearrange the grains
write me a circle; the inside full and round
crammed with white unspeakables
brimming with blank
write me a new page; a new book in a foreign tongue
the unopened pages unread by me
so that I might imagine and yet never fully know
write me in invisible ink on the back of a napkin
waiting in a roadhouse with dishwater coffee cups
write me a hundred million question marks
but only one question asked
write me smiley faces from misused punctuation =)
write me long empty lines full of unfathomable silence
write me with your left hand so that it is vulnerable
write me in the mirror so that in the reflection
it resembles grinning gobbledygook
write me on the frosted glass of your shower screen
write with the faint smile lines of your small eyes
and the deep laugh lines of your thick mouth
write until your pen is empty of its’ blood ink
and your fingers already know the way home
write me it all a thousand times over
and when you think you are all done
burn it all and begin again

Paula Jones

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