Creatrix 6 Poetry

September 2009

Selector/Editor: Peter Jeffery

Contributors:

Sally Clarke

falling
driving south

Liana Joy Christensen

Music of the Spheres
Miracles, All

Josephine Clarke

water
Over our heads

Jenny de Garis

Pilgrims at Tidbinbilla

Annamaria Weldon

Dolmens
Visiting the War Memorial

Rose Van Son

Arrival: Warsaw
Sound of Leaving

Ron Okely

The Turtles on Munda Beach

Derek Fenton

AIR-BRUSHING
RHODESIAN RECRIMINATIONS
PERTH POETRY CLUB

Jonothon Watts

This is not

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Fused
Long Standing

John Ryan

The Western Australian Herbarium

Anne Dyson

Lapis Lazuli

Martin DeSouza-Meally

The Real World

Maureen Sexton

red

Janet Jackson

Listening to Calla
Nice

Paul Harrison

for j
all at sea

Meryl Manoy

DREAMING

Geoff Stevens

Foiled by the Changing Pattern of your Emotions
Guide for Female Judges

Natasha L Adams

Brown snake
Pregnancy

John McMullan

Frolicking giant

Cyril Goodwin-Robinson

The Military Parade

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falling

you should write about a broken arm,
your quick step, his side step, deadly dance,
bodies tangled on the kitchen floor.
you could write about ether’s sweetness
given to round out pain, breathed in/out,
going under, understanding the seduction.
you might write philosophically about accident,
goblins, gremlins, gnomes, ‘things sent to try’;
‘learning from mistakes’; ‘could have been worse’;
your rushed tripping always inclined to slip,
childhood’s ever-grazed knees, twisted ankles|
stranding you in empty hayfields.
such vagaries, experience, vulnerability,
give rise to imagination, poems
glueing together our broken bones.

Sally Clarke

driving south 

first
rain

after
summer

dry
pigeon

shakes
feathers

close isobars, strong cold front,
last night’s weather forecast fulfilled,
we drive into a bleak landscape.
blue-green gums reach for grey sky,
outlines reflected in cloud shapes,
black on the road, a discarded tyre tread.
in drought-denuded fields, square-rumped cows
wait for feed, congregate around farm gates,
huddle near homesteads.
at petrol stations, overweight customers
fill four-wheel drives, gorge on comfort snacks,
the ice machine a warm day anachronism.
cars speed towards us, headlights on,
windscreen-wipers struggling against sudden squalls,
a passing log truck’s oily thrown spume.
opposite the church with a red steeple,
a country bakery, warmth, friendly faces,
hot tea, a sweet apple slice to cheer us on.
beneath suddenly-clearing skies,
a new-born calf, splayed legs uncertain,
flicks ears in unfamiliar space.
first green already flushing paddocks,
party balloons tied to a verandah
pluck colours from the faint rainbow.

Sally Clarke

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Music of the Spheres* 

this god of small things
is a landscape gardener
of the miniature
spare, particular, precise
the palette mutely invites
take the time to look twice
take the time to hear
the music of the spheres
ringing truly in the night
no commandments say
you must choose
to revere such exactitude
yet if you do, you may
glimpse this god of small things
smile quietly in the day

Liana Joy Christensen
_________ Poem exhibited and read in “Creative Connections” project August 2009

Miracles, All

Four score years and more
outdoors under the
dreaming southern skies
by firelight
with the one I love
In bed with the same
cat curled, book complete
asleep
Dancing
Alone, beyond the pale
In pain if I must,
but on my own ground
still
This is my living will

Liana Joy Christensen

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water

in the dry autumn
water, like silver,
sits in walls of shale and clay
hoarded in
studding the fields like medals
in mid-winter July
water, like silver,
hangs from every leaf and blade of grass
flashing praise
back at the reticent sun

Josephine Clarke

Over our heads, courtyard, Fremantle Arts Centre

Over our heads, hovering flies hum the air
we are trying to sing,  catching the sun,
reflecting it to us in hung apostrophes.
Plane trees sift light into fractured shards.
Sun creeps, bleaches our page, casts sharp shadow.
We are in, over our heads, not waving,
grasping at dust motes from leaves of old books
counting rhythms, pasting rhymes, scanning Roget
and sometimes,
________________ the tune
_______________________ drifts down and settles between the lines.

Josephine Clarke

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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
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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Dolmens

It is bright
beyond the pale
the past
looks different
from here
rocky layers
reduced
to archaeology.
You for instance
with your old
certainties
remote
as an island
where dolmens
grow
instead of trees
standing stones
framing
cold air.
Topple fear
and new landscapes appear.

Annamaria Weldon

Visiting the War Memorial 

In wordless conversation
across gradients and ages
the bruised horizon
looks West to Mount Eliza.
Above steep streets
above bright city walls
grieving avenues of lemon-scented trees
stand to attention.
Old roots rest in dry earth,
leaf-shadows polish plaques
bronze, dust and late afternoon
light repeat sepia endings.
All memorials are haunted country.
In Autumn’s park, cicadas go silent
as flawless sky tips over, emptied.
Empty and more empty, like the rooms
where you are not, no teaspoon chinks
and newspapers lie folded.
Out here, fingertips that ache for contact
trace place-names in cool marble. My lips
mouth spaces between syllables, taste ash.
Grief is the gap
where worlds don’t match.
Time is a stone-cutter, quarrying rocks.
Monuments are what we build
to limn the invisible, mark
thresholds we can’t cross.
This one scaffolds an idea.
that has no form except
the life you gave it
standing by the others
lying down with them.
On days of remembrance
outlines of your absence
frame light-flooded windows.

Annamaria Weldon

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Arrival: Warsaw 

When I arrived, she said, I could see myself
in every store windo
in the hollow neck or back
of every passer-by
in the turn of face  of those
peering out from trains
When I arrived
my hair was not so yellow
my skin not so pale
my eyes neither blurred nor dim
my ears could only hear
music of return
country of my mother
eyes that cannot see
Suddenly
everyone who touched an arm
or wore a smile
looked
like
Me

Rose van Son

Sound of Leaving

where dog breaks silence
children’s feet grind cobblestones
castle-edged walls draw moss
lines like hedges
an iron bar lifts
centuries of gate-ivy
hides path
tunnels shoulders
climbs steps to sunlit peaks
where cat follows trail
hardly used for near century
silence of your leaving
gates footsteps
mountain water tranquil
as spirit  crosses bridge
lingers spray
turns rapids into river stones
cleanses movement
your breath sharp as air
warms village
cloaks grotto
enshrines wheat
bundles for Caravaggio

Rose van Son

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The Turtles on Munda Beach 

It’s eerie out here at night in November
_______ at Munda beach|
The full moon lights a highway across the reef
A huge head emerges with a body to match
_______ silhouetted on the skyline
She’s come more than a hundred miles
_______ to this place each year
Effortlessly this graceful giant glides down the moonbeam
over the reef to the beach
When the ocean no longer bears her massive weight
_______ she begins her yearly marathon
Slowly now –  tedious ungainly steps
_______ Flip –flop heave
______________ Flip-flop heave
_____________________ Flip-flop heave
Nothing will stay her from her self appointed task.
High and dry on the beach safe from the tide
_______ she rests from her labour
_______ Are these tears streaming down her aged face
With her back flipper she scoops a hole big enough
_______ to hold a small child
Settling she lays her clutch of shell- less eggs
_______ Plop   plop   plop    plop    plop    plop
Her massive flipper pushes back the sand
_______ Then cleverly camouflages the spot.
She starts her long slow labouring return to the sea
Embraced at last by the welcoming arms of the ocean
she disappears up the moon beam as silently as she came
to places far away from Mundabullangana Station
Comes the wet the hatchlings will
_______ hurry scurry helter skelter to the sea
Only a few will escape the predatory sea gulls
But those who do will return one day to this place
_______ as strong as the mother who gave them life
________________ C’EST  LA  VIE !!
________________ SUCH IS LIFE  !!

Ron Okely

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AIR-BRUSHING

Like an archaeologist gently brushing
a precious artefact
she caresses an old photograph
from a crumbling envelope
and the face she has struggled to recall
snaps into clear focus.

She has settled for second best
knowing that this, her first love,
is out of reach.

It is not a matter of attractiveness
or suitability, for he has passed
on both counts.
She has been passably happy
and experienced more love
than most.

She puts on her reading glasses
and in the background
notices for the first time
the balancing rocks
of her homeland.

Her childhood reaches out
and wipes a tear from her cheek.
She looks out of her window
at her second home, smiles,
and accepts where she is.

Derek Fenton
_______
Published in Quadrant.

RHODESIAN RECRIMINATIONS
A Sestina

She left when she was only five
too young to be responsible,
too young to feel any guilt.
The smell of a wooden cooking fire
and the black woman who brought
her up carrying her on her back

lingering, and taking her back
to Zimbabwe before she was five.
It was her white parents who brought
her here, being responsible
for the ethical traits which fire
her feelings of shame and guilt.

Her sensitivity to guilt,
inability to look back
without a conscience on fire
to times when she was only five
To when she felt responsible
for all the injustices brought

to her beautiful homeland, brought
before she could know the guilt,
before she felt responsible.
Now she wants to take it all back
to way ,way before she was five
to stamp out the raging fire:

way, way before the guns would fire
and young men in coffins be brought
home , after nineteen sixty five.
Before duty had turned to guilt
way, way before the looking back
knowing who was responsible….

knowing who was responsible
for starting the raging fire.
If only she could take it back
and her birthplace be brought
to a sanity without guilt;
without Mugabe’s gang of five!

Put out the fire, be rid of the guilt,
be responsible for good times brought
back, to way before she was five.

Derek Fenton

PERTH POETRY CLUB

They transport me to other places
these poems I hear on Saturdays:
they show me other faces .
they transport me to other places.
I wish I could remove the traces
of all my original ways
as they transport me to other places;
these poems I hear on Saturdays

Derek Fenton

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This is not 

the total opposite
of what you want-
world running on Paris time
where objects are empty
until you touch them-
I can say: they look like this
and that: you shouldn’t have to finish this
while asking what a prefix is
somewhere between the fifth and sixth
glass of purple
impression
Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan
quoted over chicken-
disassociated, in table light
tear apart an artist then;
against all I can defy
in my friend;
in the end:
It’s been a pleasant build-up…

Jonothon Watts

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Fused

Heart flows free
tranquillity soaked,
gaze glides to her
brown eyes
smiling.
Captured, enslaved
no escape,
shackled to her
explorative look.
Whirlpool of
innocence
of strength
born of youth
softens my heart.
Escape futile,
why would I
flee?
A shift
a blink
and a cloud
waves past.
The mask
vanishes,
a sadness
from her
soul
pours
in rivers
gossamer.
Pain
lies
flippant loves
float on
waves of
ache.
Age
no longer
a barrier. In
that moment
connected.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Long Standing

Water wheel sits idle
sunning
in the  midday sun,
dreaming
of days long gone.
Days of haste and
turmoil,
of work and
tedium.
But always a
sense of
achievement
of worthiness
at each days’ end.
Now the pond rests,
memories reflect
in waters calm.
The old fence
stands, its rails
askew, not quite
right.
Trees crowd over,
offer friendly
comfort.
There is a silence
a stillness
in the air.
People hurry by
rarely noticing
the old mill
or
the old man
glancing forlornly
as he shuffles past.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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The Western Australian Herbarium

ambulating between the high-stacked
shelves of pressed botanic specimens
here it is! the entirety of the plant world
at last condensed into tightly filed two-d
schemata.
here, the drool of Gardner’s jealous
lordship, Drummond’s imprecise fingers
producing sloppy dispatches, Molloy’s love
letters to Mangles in England across swollen,
sullen seas.
out of place, like a survivor wandering
a mortuary, unaware of the etiquette,
of the dead: living things must be
microwaved to destroy microbes &
contaminants, then microscopically
searched for pistils, stamens, leaf margins
to approximate relationships
plants stacked between sheets of
yesterday’s news, poised for the careful
pry of elucidation
wattles, kangaroo paws, stylidium
sacrificial lambs here to the incessant
need for imprints, day pours through panes
and reminded of Whitman’s line from
‘When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer’
I drift out into the limitless
breathable air again, particles
of light suffusing pores again
the interior angst of being alive
cleared in an open sky caesura

John Ryan

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Lapis Lazuli 

Lapis lazuli glint beneath pearl pale lids.
Soft smile hovers on tentative grin, teaching
timorous courage.  “You can come in,
can’t catch anything”.
“Such a good patient” they said, “so quiet,
considerate, so easy, (too easy)
always giving”. (Giving way,
walking to the stretcher saving other limbs;
would have climbed up had the legs held)
till, rude in health, they stoop, only
to hit  (in the hauling on, wheeling off)
a stalwart tub of sad blooms,
sentinel on the ample porch.
Your fragile lids fly wake wide
leaving me forever
fixed in lapis lazuli.

Anne Dyson

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The Real World

The sky was blue
a hard blue
a hard bluemetal blue,
the wind was hard
hard as nails
as sharp as nails
like the talons of a merciless vulture
clawing at the corpse
before it had breathed its last
perched at the door of fledgling hood.
spreading her wings
not to fly
but to cool that searing fire
that finally brought peace to the vanquished.
this is the real world.

Martin DeSouza-Meally

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red

curving legs beneath
a red leather mini
skirt     red knee high boots
below fleshy thighs
what I can’t see
excites me as much
as what I can
the woman on stage
sweat down her face
singing     while steel on
steel     slide guitar squeals
the mood is hot
and the smell of sweat
fills the room
I catch her gaze and
a flash of red painted
fingernails across the
room as she gives me
a little wave     my cue
to make my move     in
this room even the
brightest red is
easy on the eye

Maureen Sexton

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Listening to Calla

I want to write
like this guitar
with its shimmering folds,
lime juice
explosions of cut-off flowers…
Devil-may-care has the best songs.
I want lines your lips can dance to
and lines to lay you flat.
Lines to make you want,
to take you out,
to satisfy you.
To touch you. Just to touch you.

Janet Jackson

Nice

Dana lies on the leather sofa.
Louis sits on the woollen rug.
In their mahogany frames his painted birds
twitter above the aquarium.
In its black metal border her Rothko print
broods beside the airconditioner.
They put a DVD in the player and watch
on the widescreen TV
a movie about Jim Morrison.
Louis’s eyes drift shut.
Jim, channelled by an actor, trance-dances onscreen.
Dana stares at Louis:
tonsure, stubble, frown-lines,
hints of age-spots.
Jim Morrison in his leather pants
shatters some American night with his trail of words.
Louis wakes up, sleeps, wakes up, sleeps, wakes up.
The credits roll in a Ray Manzarek John Densmore haze.
Louis and Dana sit for a moment.
She’s in a moody Jim Morrison silence. He’s
not. She thinks,
I’m gonna leave you.
I could say it now.
It would be so easy.
But it’s not a good time
to rearrange the furniture.
They go to bed, she careful not to touch
because she doesn’t want to fuck. She says
– So you’re coming to my show.
– Yup.
– What would you like me to sing?
– I dunno.
– Which of my songs do you like?
– Uh… I can’t think of anything particular right now…
there’s nothing I don’t like…
I like the ones you do with the keyboard.
– Just as well — you hear them
every day.
– And the ones about Paris — they’re very nice.
– I need to sleep now.
– OK.
– What’s your favourite band?
– I dunno.
– What’s your favourite food?
– Yoghurt. That mango one.
– That’s too sweet for me now. Funny how your tastes change
with time.

Janet Jackson

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for j 

35 yrs of orgasm
self induced
shared given taken
but only yours remains
that exquisite
glossolalia
that way you had
that song reaching heaven once
a hundred times
drawn from your soul
god known
between your utter breasts & thighs
i sigh to remember your going

Paul Harrison

all at sea

the fly agaric dreams
fire up again
residuals of a towering Babel
and Marx has gone to dust
Mary still immaculate
Ishtar lost at dusk
a huge silicon tit
to nurse our every angst
and yet
that little severed head
still haunts
her disembodied fate
a question screamed
frozen
silent
all things
and even in sleep
God makes us look again
as another little child
hugs me tight and asks
daddy, are there sharks out there
and i, suddenly afraid, reply
yes, but far, far away
hoping that somehow, someday
we might all return
to you
no more words
or thoughts
or bombs
or fear,
the sharks
that little orphaned head
the golden arch
the Capitalist breast
the living dead
the little boys and girls
even me and you
no longer drowning,
or afraid
and of course
a rose is a rose
impossible to overlook
or fathom
like an infinite ocean
or that little girl’s
face
planted
in the rubbled dust
forever

Paul Harrison

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DREAMING
A Villanelle

Are we living in a dream?
Some would say a nightmare.
re things really as they seem?
If our imagination’s keen
the mind is wandering elsewhere –
are we living in a dream?
Pushing boundaries to extreme
recklessly, devil-may-care,
are things really as they seem?
The space within our mind is deemed
too deep to fathom – would we dare –
to find we’re living in a dream?
Ponder this – shine a beam
of light from who knows where.
Is this life a living dream?
Are things really as they seem?

Meryl Manoy

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Foiled by the Changing Pattern of your Emotions

You have torn up the script
that we wrote together
on love-shiny paper
but facets of it
still glisten
when I shake the telescope
of our three-sided relationship
and yet they have changed kaleidoscopically
with each shake of your head in my direction
though the images still tease me
even excite me
with the scintillating Technicolor
of their reflective suggestibility
as I pour the glue of need and necessity
into the microscope
of self-analysis
and come out sticky with tinsel memories
and all-glittery with self-delusion

Geoff Stevens

Guide for Female Judges

Led by the nose
they will come gently
keeping in step
Look to see if their teeth are good
their hair brushed
their harnesses polished
and most of all
whether their balls hang
equally
Assess how they’d be
at the gallop

Geoff Stevens

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Brown snake

_______ slithering
_________ across sands
_________    Flickers
_________ Shimmers
_______Where
____are you
going
against the tide
___Shhhhhhhh
_______softly now
_____Listen
____to the
___heart’s
_____whisper

Natasha L Adams

Pregnancy

Pickled onions, olives, mandatory prunes
Stretch marks, constipation, firm body in ruins
Morning sickness, swelling and varicose veins
Discomfort, indigestion and fake labour pains
Disturbed sleep, sore feet and trips to the toilet
I won’t tell you all, I don’t want to spoil it
Hormones, swollen breasts and bizarre dreams
But for me, what pregnancy means
Is a chance for all my hopes to come true
And to realise what my parents went through
As a kid I said, “I’ll do better”
But now I’ll follow their advice to the letter.
For they did the best, that they could
And now I will too, as any parent would.

Natasha L Adams

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Frolicking giant

It glides with ease through the deep
commanding respect
Surprise harpoon unleashed
Travesty, agony, death.

John McMullan

 
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The Military Parade

I saw the soldiers marching between the buildings tall,
I sensed their air of sadness, though I didn’t know what for.
I saw the medals glistening and sparkling in the sun,
I sensed as they went marching by, their air of noble pride.
And I looked at myself,
A six year old war orphan boy,
And I asked, why?
I saw the banners wavr’ing as the bearers held against the wind,
I sensed their air of pure resolve not to let their comrades down.
I saw the gold and silver shimmer in the mild November sun,
I sensed their unrelenting hate of their past formidbl’e foe,
And I looked at myself,
A seven year old war orphan boy,
And I asked, why?
I saw the big guns being towed behind green painted trucks,
I sensed the big explosions at their projectiles journeys end.
I saw the big tanks in formation their muzzles high in the sun,
I sensed the people’s awful fear as the tracks smashed into homes,
And I looked at myself,
An eight year old war orphan boy,
And I asked, why?
I saw all the military bands playing the music of the marches,
I sensed the unsung bravery of the compassionate stretcher bearers.
I saw the drums and heard the trumpets heralding battle honours,
I sensed the pain of horrid wounds, the suffering and the trauma,
And I looked at myself,
A nine year old war orphan boy,
And I asked, why?
I saw the people on the street and in windows waving flags.
I sensed the self embarrassment, of ex-soldiers missing limbs.
I sensed the underlying futility and the sadness of it all,
And I looked at myself,
A ten year old war orphan boy,
And I asked, why?
I see the people waving flags, as I march b’tween buildings tall,
I sense their pride as they honour, their military men and women.
I see the medals on my breast, glistening in the mild mid April sun,
And I sense the people’s patriotism as we go marching by,
And I look at myself,
A sixty year old war orphan retired soldier boy,
And sadly, I need no longer ask, why?

Cyril Robinson-Goodwin

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