Creatrix 11 Poetry

December 2010

 

Selectors/Editors: Sally Clarke, Anne Dyson, Peter Jeffery, Veronica Lake, Chris Palazollo and Flora Smith
Administration: Sally Clarke

Contributors:

Tatjana Debeljacki

The Time of Birth

Renee Pettitt-Schipp

Advance Australia
Butterfly

Derek Fenton

A Passport To Poetry
The Retiring Kind

Jacqui Merckenschlager

Remembering the Eiderdown

Max Merckenschlager

Before Batman And Sparrow

Tanya Jaw

Someone is sitting in the shade today

Kevin Gillam

proper hops
thin poems

Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

Belly Envy

J.R. McRae

Tracks
The European Wolf

Cuttlewoman

Nineteen years
The Burn

Coral Carter

the summer sky blues
I see an older woman

Christopher Konrad

Upon Peasant Poets
Death in Tiananmen Square

Geoff Stevens

Buried Alive
Golden Top

Ron Okely

Mary Ann on Walking

Cynthia Rowe

romantic notes

Jan Napier

Nostalgia Bombs

Paula Jones

Jasmine Tea

Laurel Lamperd

Child Rearing

Flora Smith

Remembering Piaf

Meryl Manoy

Printing Paranoia

Mardi May

Speech
In Shanghai

Elio Novello

Different Times

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Parody
The Worm Within

Tineke Van der Eecken

Like a person
Come right

Dean Meredith

The Wild-Wild West

Patricia Sully

All of life

Liana Joy Christensen

The Red Caterpillar Learns to Fly
Plaque

Shey Marque

the other Other games

Sue Clennell

Poppy Day

Janet Jackson

Art for fuck’s sake
poems at 64

Rose van Son

Ganymede carried off by the Eagle (1634-1693)

Allan Padgett

The Pineapple of Love
O Happy Night

Jonothon Twist

Poem 2:

Graeme Butler

Jake

Sally Clarke

Another Stolen First Line
web poetry

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The Time of Birth

 

I will conquer the fear of flying
I will jump with the parachute of kiss
While walking I’ll dance to the drum rhythm
Dream in the clothes of the penguin
Thumb through the book
Goodbye my sixteen years
with premises in the mind
that I will carry them
in my fifties
real and modest
and at least once a day
I will laugh out loud
Really enjoy
In intimately woven world
When the moon passes its seventh round
And Jupiter falls on Mars
Our world will be the leader
And love will be the path for the stars
That would be the time when
Aquarius is born
To my grandchildren, grand-grandchildren
I will tell stories about times
When people were people.

Tatjana Debeljacki

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Advance Australia

For a moment our money seemed to fail us,
zooming in on the Wall Street banker
despair distilled
the American flag grew quiet, hung
the nation shut its mouth
a nation almost questioned its
God Given Right
a nation almost
questioned.

On Golden Soil with Wealth for Toil
we paused
watching the nightly news
closing our purses tightly
staying in.
We almost asked
– a different way?
We almost asked
then
Stimulus Package, China’s strength
a mining boom or sheer good luck,
we recovered.
Relieved, we grabbed our credit cards and

the moment
was gone.

Renee Pettitt-Schipp

Butterfly

Thin winged
your flight suggests a world where
fairies hide in tangled roots
and dragons guard bright secrets.
But you share yours,
splaying sudden colour
at the edge of a flower,
then closing modestly
into
yourself.

At the headland I
sat under the shade of a
Banyan tree to
watch the finches
bath and play.
In the distance
slow coconuts crawled
up the beach.

And there you were
white winged in
layers of shadow,
your life
measured by the beat
of fragile wings,
yet
for reasons unseen,
intentionally setting a path against the breeze,
you dance in the dark
never meaning to make
the sea.

Renee Pettit-Schipp

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A Passport To Poetry

Now that I am finally retired
can I describe myself as a poet
on my arrival and departure forms,
or will my demeanour just show it?

Will a pensive look and a beret do it
or a pen always tucked behind my ear?
What about a notebook inscribed “Poesy”
or an eye with a hint of a tear?

Now that I’ve had some poems published
does it finally give me the right
to proudly proclaim my profession
by putting it into black and white?

Perhaps I could get some business cards
describing me as a purveyor of verse
or even an artistic tattoo,
just a great poet’s name, tasteful and terse.

Better still I can go onto Facebook:
so everyone in cloud cuckoo land can see,
like all of the others who live there,
I can be whatever I want to be!

Derek Fenton

The Retiring Kind

What will you do in retirement,
is what so many people say.
Will your eyes still retain their glint

during the next thirty year stint?
How will you survive without pay?
What will you do in retirement?

But for whom is this question meant?
Is it for me, or for them, they pray?
Will your eyes still retain their glint?

Perhaps it’s disillusionment
which they suspect is on the way.
What will you do in retirement?

Without work where’s your fulfilment,
how will you occupy your day?
Will your eyes still retain their glint?

For me, poetry is enchantment,
a bright beacon to light up my way.
So I’ll be fine in retirement,
and my eyes will retain their glint!

Derek Fenton

Accepted by Quadrant.

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Remembering the Eiderdown

Duck down beneath its feathery folds,
warm and wonderfully light,
a cloud cave of dark comfort,
a haven from harsh adult laughter,
a place to lose ourselves in giggle and tickle
until, emerging exhausted,
we sink deep into duck down pillows.
Included in ‘Captured Moments’ 2010

Jacqui Merckenschlager

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Before Batman And Sparrow

Rollers and breakers,
the restless ebb and flow of city,
drifted through dreams in a Melbourne hostel.

Have others camped along the Coorong
used similar psychology,
heard thunder of hidden shores
as distant, drugging midnight traffic?

Before Batman and sparrow,
did robin and reed-warbler
grace Yarra’s untamed edge?
Did platypus slip down her tributaries
and flounder over her waterfall
toward a pristine bay?

Before crystal condominiums
grew along her bank of bridges,
that ferries limbo and
passing fingers lightly brush,
which limbs draped their shading strands?
Which heads ducked beneath them
in barks, before barques, before liners?

Were there river box and blue cranes
before docks and steel containers?

Before Batman and sparrow,
Indian taxi-drivers with GPS navigation,
grinkaries with Angle tongues
and citriodoras planted in median strips,
what trees were hollowed for nests
by beaks with sulphur crests
of lovers who dream
that this is normal?

Max Merckenschlager

Footnotes  1. John Batman is considered by many to be the founder of Melbourne  2. A grinkari (plural grinkaries): pronounced “krink-ree” is a white fella  3. Eucalyptus citriodora is the botanical name for lemon-scented gum

Highly Commended in Bundaberg Festival Of Arts Poetry Competition.  Included in ‘Captured Moments’. 2010.

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Someone is sitting in the shade today

because someone planted a tree a long time ago
__ Warren Buffett
I give you my face
Since I can’t see yours
Small and finely cut
Black and white

Unreachable to
Your hands
As others want

To gaze upon the thing
they do not love

My face – a mosaic
Leaving imprints on walls
As it moves
From bed to bed

Capturing gazes
mimicking smiles
Skipping from
Head to head
Casting possibilities
Until it returns
You send word

I lost my wife
Momentarily
Thanks to the
Pin-up girl
You were instead

Tanya Jaw

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proper hops

the Chinese checker board was crafted from
American pine and the balls made a kind of music
in their rubber floral bag and Nan let my

little sister do a hop when there wasn’t one and
the balls glistened like jaffas only none were
orange and my favourite was getting a four-hole

hop into the corner of the star and Nan had come
to babysit us and all the balls mixed up in the
middle of the game made me feel all tangled and

bursting and there was red and white and blue and
green and yellow and black and the paint on the star
was faded and gone more dusty brown than paint

and I was always green and Nan said it didn’t matter
about proper hops or who won but it did to me

Kevin Gillam

thin poems

thin poems
are like shoot-
ing stars,
arcing
across the
blackboard of
sky, like
French knitting,
emerging me-
thodically

from the
cotton reel
of thought, like
hope, forever
casting out,
unreeling,
unreeling

Kevin Gillam

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Belly Envy

Searching for infertility cures
Google returns a bonus search box:
The trick of the tiny belly.

But I want a belly-full
a rounded, heaving, stretch-marked
globe of a belly,
life teaming underneath
a thinning skin.

Not a bonus box
to store my yearning in
whilst my stomach shrinks
to a wrinkled empty sac.

I want to puke every morning
and still grow.

And whilst I’m at it,
I want Google to get rid of Sylvia Plath
and her O so Barren Woman.

I want her madness to stop stealing my show.

Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

Accepted for Polari Journal, October 2010

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Tracks

The sand wavers near the water,
Pushed to the brink
Where tracks wash out.
Skin slides down the elements tracking the sun,
Cloth waves loose
Flirting with bodies beneath.

He’s different.
Up on the grass
He lets the wind cut through his shirt,
Long sleeves to hide the tracks
Where he’s been.

J.R.McRae

Published, illustrated, online www.scribd.com/jrpoulter

 

The European Wolf

Prowling round my perimeters
A great, grey predatory male
With scars on his flank,
A coarseness to his muzzle
And one skewed tooth.

I see him in the woods.
He stops –
Holding my eyes captive
Whilst he devours.
I have no defence against those eyes,
Hunted to the brink of extinction
Their flame dark and intense –
The forest fire consuming lesser fires
Cradled in man made girdles of rock.

I saw him mount his mate.
Her with the soft back pelt,
Feed her cubs to keep his blood alive,
Haunches quivering with his impact.
She milked his strength,
Snapped at him over her shoulder,
Fire flashing from the razor teeth
Bared from beneath her curled lip.

When I saw her, months later, with cubs,
He was gone,
Melded into the forest,
A grey grieving hung
Like perpetual winter in the air.
I still see him,
His seed frozen in time – star sown,
Scattered across an expanding universe
Seeking a womb’s continuance,
Finding the dead thighs of stars
Whose light, still travelling,
Glittered in the eyes of his mate.

I am now in a foreign, sweltering city,
Dreaming – to the distant whine
Of traffic and mosquitoes –
His cubs hunt their prey,
Savour fresh blood on their muzzles, range
In their forest, marking their territory and mine,
Keeping me bound by their ancestral laws,
A stranger prowling
The perimeters of their being.

I still see him
Clear nights when the sky is fierce with stars
I still feel the light of his eyes
Searching after death for the womb house of his kind.
I still see him …

J.R.McRae

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Nineteen years

How the heart knows its own business.

How it guides its feet through food, shelter,

Boredom, fear, bliss, tears, madness.
Just how crazed that pilot to come so far
From any place to land, or even safely crash.
Yet I know I do not need a diamond or pearls
When raindrops sparkle from the tips of every twig.
I know I do not need a dress when flowers ride
The darkest day in white and yellow and pink.
I do not need a veil when night will come
To shroud the day, even the day that was never found.
I know I do not need love
When I have not lain with you
These nineteen years.

cuttlewoman

The Burn

The burn must be timely,
At a sensible interval
Since the previous burn,
Taking into account the weather,
Especially the prevailing winds.
And pray for a little finishing rain
When things go belly-up.
The burn must be hot,
But not too hot, and fast.
Fire must be wielded selectively,
Or else some species
Will not recover from the burn.

Fires raged out of control
And too fierce,
Up and down the wild tracks
I had made of my life,
And cauterizing everything.
Stumping my love for
Everything, killing feeling
For years. Ash drenched
With too late tears made wasteland
Of years. What little grew,
Grew painful, twisting in darkness,
Waxing in the twilight of
Getting on with it, over it.

Fire can no longer reach
The estranged and tender canopy of
My love for you. The defences are
Too thick for kerosene, for acid,
For flames. Too harshly nurtured,
Too ancient for reason.

Too toughened by tears and guilt.
Too shamed for shame.
I cannot burn again?
On the altar of my kindling,
Pyromania be Thy name.

cuttlewoman

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the summer sky blues

strikes me eye blue
arch over me blue
smother me blue
stun me blue
always blue
painstaikingly blue
perpetual blue
unrelenting blue
blue blue
blue blue blue
blue blue blue blue
yes mate it’s blue
blue again blue
without doubt blue
fuck me blue
don’t tell me it’s blue
i love a sunburnt country blue
head for the beach blue
run around after balls blue
sunbake until you are red blue
no cloud blue
air con hum blue
beer o’clock blue
swimming pool splash blue
all compass points blue
morning smoko blue
lunch barbie blue
knock off blue
long afternoon with blowflies blue
only crows in the sky at midday blue
snakes out and about blue
when will it end blue
this blue
never ending blue
wake me when it’s over blue

Coral Carter

I see an older woman

I see an older woman
on the other side
of Graeme Street
older like me
but
hobbles
hold me
stop me running
stop me grasping her
stop me hugging her
stop me inviting her
home for a cup of tea
a chat where
steam rises
spoons tink
sugar glints
instead
I tell the dog at number 27
don’t bark
just don’t bark

Coral Carter

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Upon Peasant Poets

Thinking about Hesiod
seasonal calendars, planting crops
good gods, bad men and muses: it’s not such a bad thing
is it to be a peasant poet?
keeps the establishment on their toes
brings out the country in the urb
crooked thinking along narrow roads.

Chopping wood (another worthy occupation)
in these days of PC may cost you your intellectual life
I still drink wine from Margaret River vineyards and
my cheese too springs from the rhetoric rural: O
how idyllic the drive along Caves Road
I’m thinking about Hesiod and the cycles of the gods
golden days and iron age and the fall of iniquitous man.

Christopher Konrad

Death in Tiananmen Square

If all I had was the sand beneath
the wind around this Esperance sea view
that would be enough to live out my entire karma

Of course that would be seen as ignorance and hubris
by those caught up in revolt and the suffering of man: they
would have to recall me, refit me and educate me into the right way of the world

Of course this would not do as our brothers and sisters
are strafed with misery and loss
I would have to read great tomes and I would have to atone
to learn anew all about the sins of omission

If only I could teach the way of salt misted through the air
of gulls swept by southern winds
if only, somehow, I could tell them that hunger is my lot too
then perhaps they would not feel so disastrously towards me

Maybe then their ire would not scorch my skin

Christopher Konrad

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Buried Alive

Trapped in the living world
so claustrophobic
the lift out of order
not going up for years.

We wrote our messages
on scraps of prayer
alternating hope
and desperation.

Then one day
we found the escalator worked
but had two buttons only
on its facia.

G. and B.
Ground, which we must leave
and Basement
where we were meant for

all along.

Geoff Stevens

Golden Top

Lost to the real world
you walk the night corn
moonlit heads nodding
with prediction
light from the window
drawing you towards
the dark farmhouse
with its scintillating charm
so you may prostrate yourself
on its raven-poached
doorstep of destruction
where suicide notes proliferate
and all delivery visits
have been cancelled
by prior arrangement

Geoff Stevens

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Mary Ann on Walking

I say to Mary Ann

‘My father never owned a motor car
He walked nearly everywhere he went
They awarded him an AOM
for walking every Sunday for fifty years
from Shenton Park Station to Hollywood Hospital
to visit sick veterans from the bush
With failing eyesight at ninety four
every lamp post was an adversary’

Today we sat in a seminar on Alzheimers
Keeping Alzheimers at bay

Healthy diet
Fruit and veg rich in poly phenols
Omega 3 essential fatty acids
from oily fish
Exercise
Thirty minutes walk a day
Cycling or swimming
A good night’s sleep
You’ll be fine

‘But I can’t walk,’ says Mary Ann
‘I’m lucky to make it to the letter box and back’

‘Ah ha

For you there are
Crosswords
Board Games and
Freecell’

She sends me an e-mail.
‘You know what I picked up on the net on walking?

There was this guy who said:
When he turned sixty-five
my grandfather started walking five miles a day
He is now ninety-five and
we don’t know where he is’

Ron Okely

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romantic notes

i pump the passion
let him leave a toothbrush
at my place, i wear his t-shirt
makes him feel connected

i send him sweets for Valentine’s
he nibbles treats off my tummy

i channel energy into tennis
promise après-ski action
slip romantic notes into
his pocket, get sudsy in the
shower and, when summer
cold hits, show my devotion

i turn my pad into luxury
retreat but – but despite
all my effort he refuses

to pick up the phone
Cynthia Rowe
It Must Be Nice…
It must be nice
to have a son, she says,
a boy in your family

But I have a brother, I say
No, you come from a family of girls

But you’ve met my brother
He’s not a real brother

But he is a real brother, I say
Not exactly … he’s adopted

But he’s always been there, I say was there before I appeared

Still, it must be nice
to have a son, she says,
a boy born into your family

Cynthia Rowe

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Nostalgia Bombs

Hand him a cup of Jamaican Blue
flavoured by cinnamon and sleight of hand.
Offer the old man a slice of sponge
calypsoed with sunshine and Kingston cream.
Now see forgotten yesterdays
explode upon Pop’s face.

Jan Napier

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Jasmine Tea

Flowers lull
ripe as snow berries
on the patterned fence.

In a blue kitchen
the white teapot
plumps dry blossoms.

The small china cup
warms my hand
becomes heavy.

Spring cleans the palate
at the window
jasmine blooms.
Paula Jones
The Big Bang
It fossilises me
the loud nature of it
raw and gaping truth
as told by white coats
and bubbling glass tubes.

We all began in fury
in the heat and anger
of a million nuclear bombs
which explains a lot about
this world, don’t you think.

I’d like to imagine it more
like the blowing of a balloon
the rhythm of giving air
and growing the earth and sea
in long, measured breaths.

And the longer we exist
the bigger we become in space
suspended and glowing blue
amongst the spilled stars,
lighter than air itself.

It is inevitable in time
like rubber stretched
to ultimate capacity
that when the curve is full
it will take the fast escape.

Paula Jones

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Child Rearing

The baby awoke
all snuffy and puffy-eyed
rattling the bars of the cot
pleading to get into bed
with me.

Finally we slept.

At five-thirty
the toddler awoke
ready to begin the day.

Creeping out of bed
afraid of waking the baby
grabbing a dressing gown
and fur-lined boots
I tiptoe into the toddler’s room
holding my finger to my lips
for silence.

The toddler laughed
and called my name.
Mummy.

A putting on of jumpers
and socks and slippers
on plump little feet
I carry her against my breast
her little body

like a warm sausage

We stood on the verandah
and watched the sun
a glow in the east
signalling
it was about to rise
over the edge of our world.

Laurel Lamperd

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Remembering Piaf

She stood on the table my friend said.
This tiny woman stood on the table
and started singing, just like that.
Just like that with no musicians.
It was magic my friend said magic.
A whole café suddenly silent.
Even the noise from the kitchen
the kitchen noises of pots and pans
subsided and stopped.
The chef stopped shouting
at the kitchen hands.
Waiters stood silently by the door.
Hairs rose on the back of my neck she said.
Her hand went to her neck
and she rubbed it
rubbed it abstractedly remembering Piaf
how she stood on the table
and started singing.

Flora Smith

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Printing Paranoia

My printer has a mind of its own
it chooses its own format.
I type a page of my new poem –
expect a copy like that.

But no! the length of line is changed
the header is bizarre
the horizontal rearranged
to perpendicular!

Perhaps this could be rectified
by changing margin settings
or “align left “ to “ justify”-
it’s really most upsetting.

Let’s have another go at this
I click on print icon –
but no! the bugger still insists-
I see we’ve got a fight on.

Maybe the manual can help
maybe the trouble-shooter
but no! this idiosyncrasy
is unique to my computer.

Enjambments worked out very well

the typed page looks just fine.
Press “print” again – bloody hell –
it’s mangled up the lines!

To add insult to injury
it makes my name convertible
I ‘m fed up and frustrated
to find I’m printed vertical.

Meryl Manoy

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Speech

In the silence of mind
thought,
a tongue-less bell,
vibrates with memory;

a tremor of intention,
the shaking hand whose
pen taps like a dancer
across an empty stage;

the stuttering tongue that
trips over conversation,
limbering up for the
synaptic leap

from thought to voice;
this one-way trip
a hazardous crossing
with no return.

Mardi May

In Shanghai

the cityscape
is a tangram puzzle

tangram of a bird
in full flight

tangram of a snake
rippling across the land

a planed and angled
jigsaw of living

its skyline soaring
into distant futures

these tottering towers
building blocks

of a child who
knows no limitation.

Mardi May

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Different Times

Imagine Wall Street’s disdain,
if St Francis of Assisi
lead his simple life
in our time and domain.
The ‘Lilies of the Field’ was once OK,
but the Stock Market’s today’s main ‘Field of Play’.
“Forget about living in a community, my son.
You now live in an economy, ad nauseam.”

Elio Novello

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Parody

The moon is
not an
eye you cannot see nor an
oval to scream while children
play tomorrow

chasing balls that

ne-
-ver return elusive as
dreams.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

The Worm Within

Rainbows at noon, pyjamas reeking
from last night’s turmoil and the
world settles as if cleansed.
With dimmed eyes he refuses to see
caught by demons in the mind
rainbows don’t visit his world.

Manacled to yesterdays blurted
to surprise those around him.
Everybody stops to stare, smile
the knowing smile and go on
as he settles back into himself.

Age birthed the worm devouring
today, feeding on instances until
all that remains is yesterdays.
But this too the worm will claim
as it feeds back on itself
stealing who he is, who he was.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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Like a person

You made me feel like a person again.
With hands to read
legs to stroke
breasts to hold,
and eyes to be seen.

Someone with feelings,
and words to give meaning.
A brain to understand,
and to be understood.

You made me feel like a person again.
Not the one who brings the children to school
pays part of the mortgage
cooks,
and keeps the dishes clean.

Unimportant, you say?
Understand, you say?
Love, you say?

You don’t realize
you leave me
more needy
more wanting

more dependent
more alone.

So I take it back:
all of what’s mine;
the eyes, the legs, the hands, the breasts.
I’ll think with my brain
before I give again.

Tineke Van der Eecken

Come right

He sits clenched
his muscle hard
brain frozen
to one thought.

It’ll blow over:
she’ll come right.

She wrestles and stirs
sick of him
sick of the two of them sliding down.
Sick of not finding resolve
of staring at their open wound.

Of nothing changed
since then.

That one time:
his eyes were alive
his feelings expressed
emotions shared.
For someone.

For someone else.

It’ll blow over,
she had thought.
He’ll come right.

Now years have passed

And here they are:
Eyes with no light
All of that unspoken,
Unshared.

Tineke Van der Eecken

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The Wild-Wild West

Every day’s a gold rush
And you can’t trust no-one
Coz they’re all double-negatives
And hanging’s a spectator sport
And writing’s for tombstones
And real men down whiskey
And everyone’s your friend
And its drinks all round

The gunslinger’s in the belltower
And women hike up their skirts
And wear boots over fishnets
But it’s not like the movies
Where the sheriffs aren’t crooked
And the villains all don black
And everyone’s your friend
And its drinks all round

It’s a dry argument in a dustbowl
And you can’t take a bath
Coz the town’s got no water
So you wash once a month
With a jug and a basin
And the bedbugs don’t mind
And everyone’s your friend
And its drinks all round

The preacher’s daughter’s no virgin
Lucky your horse knows the way
Coz you’re a wreck in a desert
And the flowers are all cactus
And your hat’s full of holes
From all those near misses
And everyone’s your friend
And its drinks all round

Yeah everyone’s your friend
And its drinks all round
Dean Meredith
So Write
Just write
And it will be
Just right
Not for critics
Afraid to live
Not for publishers
Write for you and
Hearts that think
And pure pages
Thirsty for ink
Share with us
Help us feel
Help us see
Just write
And let it be
Just right

Dean Meredith

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All of life

I cannot live your tidy half-life; the saccharine deceit
of cleanliness and godliness and goodliness
that smothers authenticity
and causes those who don’t, or can’t, pretend
to feel inadequate
I’ve never been able to erect the polite palisade of veneers and facades
that keeps you safely in the tepid shallows
of life and love and neighbourliness
and gives you credence in one another’s eyes
so I have always gone too far beyond the pale;
waded in beyond my depth
sinking ever lower beneath the heavy weight of censure
until at last in the deepest depth of my despair
I found a desperate deliverance from mediocrity:
a voice with which I can proclaim I’m proud to be a misfit;
a fringe-dweller, a citizen of the periphery;
an imposter in the demi-death you call life
lost among the niceties; voiceless, improper, exposed
I don’t belong on your self-constructed pedestals
of smug conceit; amidst the smooth concealment of the
petty jealousies, fickle affiliations and profound betrayals
that undermine the foundations of your precarious platforms

I have been half-dead so long
I hunger for all of life; ugly, bitter, unpredictable;
lyrical, luminous, laced with fears, caressed by joys
too hot, too cold; exposed to all the elements
I shall howl, lupine, to the full moon
and whisper to her slender, sickle sister
I’ll scream, I’ll weep, I’ll roar and gnash my teeth
and wring my hands and forfeit sleep
and laugh aloud till tears do fall
and sing, and sing my caterwaul
I’ll plumb the depths and scale the heights
of woe and joy and secular delights

Vive la difference!
Vive la liberté!
I have found my voice
I am free to be me.

Patricia Sully

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The Red Caterpillar Learns to Fly

The Buddhists say
‘As it is’
So why wait for
metamorphosis?

The red caterpillar minus
a leg or two simply
took to the yellow sky
and flew

Liana Joy Christensen

Plaque

Dentures are no fun
nonetheless
I don’t give a toss about
dental floss
Brain plaque’s the thing
that scares me
If some medical giant
invents neuro-floss
in the service of humanity’s
mental hygiene
I will be the first
to erect a post-mortem plaque
in brass

Liana Joy Christensen

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the other Other games

echoes of inappropriate laughter
from a gourmet dinner party
hosted in downtown Ethiopia
bounce around the streets of Delhi
turned high caste playground
where the urchins dwell
not quite untouchable
amid the garden spring clean
verge pick-up in remembrance
of the royal marriage arranged
to appease the wicked step-mother
game-face on
bearing her ample dowry

an allegiance of ants collecting crumbs
and having outgrown the old
begin a postmodern colony
now that there is no Other
and in our new found unity
close our eyes for the blind tasting
finger tips almost touching
misread the flavours etched
in Commonwealth Braille
chips still on the block
pining for gold
worshipping the gun

Shey Marque

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Poppy Day

Drafted into killing yards
herded through mud, boots
slosh, squelch, and stick,
rooted to the land.
France, with her name precariously
safety pinned to her pocket,
watches their progress.
Only the young trees fall.

Sue Clennell

Published previously by Speedpoets

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Art for fuck’s sake

I get a beer and lean on the bar
I can smell the pheromones
He’s been sweating into that t-shirt all afternoon
I want to touch
but he doesn’t even smile
I think he’d be intense in bed
A really good hard fuck
But he’s so serious
He doesn’t flirt
And I don’t know where to start

We’re too scared to say what we want to say
to the person we want to say it to
because what if they don’t like it
They might laugh at us
or never speak to us again
and we’d feel foolish
and that would (it seems) be worse
than our unrequited desire

So we write it instead
Publish it
Perform it
Trying timidly to deliver our message
in the ridiculous hope that our target
who we suspect likes us too
although maybe that’s just a mirage
will be emboldened
to touch us
somewhere more intimate than
the shoulder
Somewhere like the waist
That’s always nice
Or ask us to dance
or buy us a drink
or invite us to a movie or
just you know back to their place to uh look at their books

Janet Jackson

poems at 64

so men find
a lover
men who write poems of joy
have found
a lover
men who at 64 write poems of exaltation
at the wonder of the universe
have found
a lover

whereas

women who at 64 write poems of quiet splendour
have found
themselves
have rejected
male company
in favour of
books
have rejected
the soft-skinned, hard-cored cock
in favour of their own
familiar
fingers

Janet Jackson

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Ganymede carried off by the Eagle (1634-1693)

in his red red dress
thongs on his feet
laced to the knee
plumes tie his hair
purple ripe plums
fill his head

Ganymede embraces the eagle
neck-to-neck
flies wings on horseback
reins in the moon
the sea
a distant purple
below them

Rose van Son

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The Pineapple of Love

I carve off the rough and prickled
edges

of your tortured soul.

The surface, emerging
wet and glistening, leaks pungent
sweet juices and hints of desire, of love.
I reach out desperate
for words of comfort and
for arms of desire and
for wet lips of need.

The golden jubilee, new swollen
fruit, sweet, and gushing
nectar, singing a poet’s call
for vigour and rigour,
sap erupting –

upon my lips
sugars of sunshine lit by
life, hope and sticky farewells

stain my biting teeth, jaws and mind,
savouring sparkling flesh as
_ I gaze upon each passing
__ day –

and wonder as I wander, if
life and love
_ could ever
__ bleed so sweet.

Allan Padgett

O Happy Night

The house you’re living in …………

doesn’t make you happy.

The dog next door barks at
the rat eating your swollen seedy
pomegranates and tears your
fretful dialogue with the vapid
night to pieces and that …………

doesn’t make you happy.

A raft of IEDs rips a few more
hundred bodies to pieces.

Another suburb of settlers brings
another round of strife
and diplomatic solutions that
smell of bandaids and dettol
and that ………..

doesn’t make you happy.

The night eats your sleep as
the dog licks your neck

and his eyes sob into yours
so you smile and hug your sorrow.

And that ………… makes you happy.

Allan Padgett

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Poem 2:

when the Tessa went down,
her buoys went missing so subtley,
that it looked like suicide, and nobody mourned;
any delusion of love in that crackling
glance to her deck, was a house of cards,
shattered as she crashed through a sea of comparison-
sky blue, and clouds cut of the chill steep wind
slightly chopping into crests, like curt statements
salt-eyed with a moons wisdom, mountains below
and rivers above, to serenade torn facades
finally facing the rumbling silence of words
from the sun- addressing a greedy whim,
as the people made quick disgust their form,
they jumped, recalled: the Tessa was warned
more than once, and a fleet
of such we flaunted

Jonothon Twist

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Jake

(1)

Brown dog rolling in surf
to the horizon went
and barking madly on the
beach of our lives
brought glimpses of it back
with him
announced in his happy
surf splashing antics
running and swimming
memory deep.

(2)

Brown dog in the driveway
came to meet us wagging
barking his welcome song
opening our pathway
echoing homely dreams and happiness
as round and round dancing

in canine contentedness
he sang to us
the chorus of our lives.

Graeme Butler

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Another Stolen First Line
_____ from Dancing in Odessa
__________________________  by Ilya Kaminsky

We lived North of the future…
were born there
into summer twilight evenings;
cold winter nights, frost and snow
underlay our present,
hard-to-ignore cuckoo call,
hazy bluebell woods, deciduous trees,
gold autumn Cotswold stone,
that way of thinking…

yet we have lived here
more years than there,
accept another language,
red earth, drought-ridden summers,
bask in sea/beach clarity,
hard-to-ignore antipodean flora/fauna,
gum trees you can see the sky through,
red callistemon, parakeet, kookaburra…

we will not go back.

Sally Clarke

web poetry

I am the text gatherer,
poets entrust me with
deepest thought
heartfelt emotion
life observation.

Netted, I haul them in
provide temporary shelter
untangle formatted lines—
demanding capitals
bold, large
long, short,
modest, minute,
calling colourful attention,
some already exposed
seeking more sunlight.

I tidy,
realign,
apply uniformity
accommodate
centred,
right-justified
tabulation,
try to understand
where they are coming from
laugh, cry, sigh
fall in and out of love.

Come the deadline,
they must be weighed,
measured up.

I kiss and release
into the wider world.

Sally Clarke

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