Creatrix 9 Poetry

June 2010

 

Selectors/Editors: Peter Jeffery and Sally Clarke

Administration: Sally Clarke

Contributors:

Jan Napier

Shotholed With Moonshine…

Janet Jackson

half
Alone before the plasma screen

Elio Novello

Picking Mulberries At the Dewings

Meryl Manoy

Rhythmic Dance

Glen Phillips

Tiresome

Rona J. Okely

A Budding Artist?

Laurel Lamperd

Ballad of the Sad Losers

Derek Fenton

A Sad Sonnet For Santa

Rose van Son

Friday Night
Sunday Afternoon

Mardi May

Cormorant
Heron

Jacqui Merkenschlager

In a Flash of Brilliance

Max and Jacqui Merkenschlager

Raindrops

Max Merkenschlager

Red Sea Bathing

Ron Okely

The Signing

Kevin Gillam

butterflies aren’t moths

Coral Carter

cheap
YOU

Joyce Parkes

Lepus and Rebus

Jenny de Garis

For weeks the trees whisper rain

Maureen Sexton

droving
lessons in floating

Josephine Clarke

The Stone
Breakfast Sitting. 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Signs
Interrupted
Gaia

Sue Clennell

Mock Turtle Soup

Liana Joy Christensen

Secular Sacrament

Alistair P D Bain

Anaesthesia
Affect

Colleen O’Grady

My Friend Willy

John Ryan

Under the Wattle Scrub, Coalseam Park 

Marilyn Dorothea King

‘Fragmented’ he said.
A Child’s Cry

Tatjana Debeljacki

GORD-A-DAN
Japan In April

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Shotholed With Moonshine…

Shotholed with moonshine
tatterdemalion thunderheads
squeeze silver to slate.
Gulls strafe the cringe of beach.
A breeeze smears fishguts and blood.
Dark sea hisses and shivers.
Shark reef slits meniscus    slips beneath.
And over all a starveling moon.
A witch’s moon   a hunter’s moon.
He takes first pressure upon the trigger.

Jan Napier

Previously published in The Mozzie

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half

On the first day    at the beach
I walk east
into a howling
Holding my black hat on my
Then I go back
On the second day
it rains
I work on my
On the third day
it’s calm
I walk east again
Flies diving in under my black
Trying to get under my sunglasses
Feet — only — in the sea
Hem of my black skirt getting
Black shirt a ride for
I walk east as far as
and I think
What if I just kept walking? How far
would I
Without my purse? Without water?
I left my purse in the
with my children
And the thought of if I
just didn’t
It is a thinkable
but not something I would
So I go back
and on the way I forget half
the words I
But what’s the point of living if you
don’t
somehow even if only
touching through wires

Janet Jackson

Alone before the plasma screen

He handed her a feather
a tall black feather
pulled from his tail, said
take this
home with you.
Was that all
he could spare? One feather?
His tail and wings were ragged. Maybe
he wandered around leaving a trail of feathers
in this place and that place,
the flicky ash of his
personality, his
potential.
Some kind of energy seemed stored
in the feather. How to
release it? Flutter? Tickle?
Giggle? Stare, wave? No-no-no.
Burn! Burn!
Alone before the plasma screen
she lit a small black candle,
held its destructing waxgas to the feather’s
tatty frond.
She closed her eyes,
savoured his acrid organic smoke,
received the small strokes of his heat,
curled shut around the burn
as a trail of flame fused the synthetic plush
of her family-room floor
and slowly consumed her just-constructed,
abstract-geometric, bravebright
blockout drapes.

Janet Jackson

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Picking Mulberries At the Dewings

Spread on lattice of gnarled lichen-stain branches
are green heart-shaped tooth-edged leaves,
set against clear bright blue sky background.

I am under the canopy
of the old mulberry tree
on the Dewing’s farm,
and pick berry
that has sweet ripened crimson flesh
that bleeds sanguine-red down my fingers, hands, arms,
licked up by my tongue,
stain onto my face.

Any not-ready
small opaque pink berry
(dull cadmium red),
or any close to ready,
but not quite true mulberry hue,
are left alone,
but still cherished,
to ripen
under the summer sun
for picking on another day.

If only Adam and Eve
could have lived this way,
learnt about Life
beneath this Tree,
been able to pick berry
under its canopy…

Elio Novello

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Rhythmic Dance

Dancing blades in unison
to and fro as a metronome
perfect rhythmic timing
flying arms from left to right –
right to left gliding smoothly
synchronising perpetual motion
skating glassy surface.
Tempo quickens frenetically
duo doesn’t miss a beat.

Hypnotic
mesmerising
mustn’t focus on their dancing
mechanical precision
distracting from the task on hand.
Rain is drumming, beating, pounding,
visibility almost nil,
safer to pull over
wait until the storm has passed.

Meryl Manoy

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Tiresome
—————————-  Tiresome is as tiresome does’
old nursery motto

Not good to feel tiresome
to the rest of your race, for

tiresome is as tiresome does—
waiting for Bell’s mechanism

to trill; waiting for that dance
of the overgrown alarm clock

we call desk telephone. Or the old
wall phone hung in the farmhouse,

with cranking handle and long cord
from the handpiece to the stained box.

You shouted to be heard according
to the distance of the call. Or so

it seemed  with irascible grandpa
roaring, ‘What the blazes did you

say, man? Told you I need it now!’
But most of all we wait and wait

for the bell of the call of dread
in wartime or from hospitals

where meningitis, typhus or
torn flesh waylaid loved ones.

Then drove like maniacs to be
in time. And waited outside closed

wards, operating theatres to know
if the stone-faced matron or medico

would tell us what the phone declined.
As old Sam Butler opined, human

kind’s greatest sin maybe is illness,
or to suffer unsound wind or limb.

Yet nothing sets the phone lines tinkling
more than calamity’s fearful toll.

And so tiresome for us healthy ones
to dance to your jingle bells, prance

across the room while you have us
on a string. But those who suffer

that sickness we call love, you wait
too by a fevered phone for release

from your own ague, tiresome need
of the unrung heart, waiting to be freed.

Glen Phillips

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A Budding Artist?

Fair haired
bright eyed
two year old
Drawing on walls
Exasperated mother
Not on walls
On paper
Drawing on furniture
Not on furniture
On paper
Tries the gumboots
Brickie Dad
off to work
In decorated gum boots
Grandmother presents
Packet of stickers
Pad of paper
Child happily decorates
Walls
—————–Table legs
Bed linen
with stickers
  on   the   paper
Busy mother prepares for visit
—– of Nan and Gramps
Busy child prepares trail of stickers
—– from lounge to toilet
Exasperation and horror
Winning smile
Paper adorned with drawing and stickers
handed to departing Nan
Art work
Drawing and stickers on paper
————————
now on Nan’s frig.

 Rona J. Okely

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Ballad of the Sad Losers

When Margret Roadnight came to town
old Jimmy Cowman remembered

how he was going to be
the greatest jazz player in the world.
Play that sax, Jimmy
play them Blues.
He was Satchmo

When Margret Roadnight came to town
she sang a song of the fifties.
Little Nancy Dee remembered
dancing with Johnnie Jones
to the old seventy-eights
Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

When Margret Roadnight left town
she took her songs with her.
Old Jimmy Cowman sat upon his porch.
He didn’t see the crop that was failing.
Little Nancy Dee wept
remembering the night
Johnnie Jones waltzed out of her life
in the arms of her best friend.

When Margret Roadnight left town
she left her dreams behind.

Laurel Lamperd 

Previously published in “Redoubt”, Winner Jacolyte Books Competition and
“The Japanese Gardener”, download poetry and short story anthology. 

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A Sad Sonnet For Santa

Father Christmases are all up in arms,
because of their podgy or spindly legs!
The politically correct say it harms
children sitting on the legs of the dregs
of the employment queues, begging for gifts
and tugging at beards on a strangers knee.
It’s a thoroughly modern mum who lifts
her endangered child by setting it free
from potential paedophilic peril,
and wrapping it in a loving cocoon:
ensuring that it cannot go feral,
feeding it from a safety silver spoon.
So either put Santa in a glass case,
__ or in a PC with a virtual face!

Derek Fenton

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Friday Night

she dies
holding tight onto
black & white negatives
broken knuckles
like peeled onion skins
crying from the strain
of not wanting to let go

a child pounds against
thunder of a bruised breast
expecting immortality
wanting more than just
21 new years’ eves

demanding her right
to another birthday party

Rose van Son

Sunday Afternoon

His son nearly drowned
at the Blue Hole

with Tiffany in tow
swimming alongside

her mother frantic
to stop her
going too far
tried several strokes
to reach her
breast stroke
back stroke
his father pushing past in his best overarm

sequence paired
to win

brought them back
beached on the sand
like a whale

Rose van Son  

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Cormorant

On a rock, reflected
in a slow-flowing stream,
a cormorant dries feathers,
wings spread wide like
a flasher’s shocking coat.

Look! Look!
See me!
See me mirrored
twice in your mind.

Alert for unwary prey,
he turns this way and that,
blatant in the sunlight,
ready to snap shut his wings
and dive for cover.

Mardi May

 

 

Heron

A white-faced heron
paces the shallows

with ballerina grace
high-stepping and splashless

stands on a rock sentinel
still and grey as stone

waits for fingerling shadows
in the dappled, liquid light

patient as driftwood
bleaching in the sun

the dart of a beak
swift and arrow keen

a startle of drops
his snake-neck swallow

the surface seals itself
mirrors the bird’s bright eye.

Mardi May

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In a Flash of Brilliance

You’ve lived, like a wanderer butterfly.
Isn’t it enough?
Enough that you have lived so long, so well?
The future has always been uncertain,
something to fear or accept.
You have been bold ‘til now.
Isn’t it enough that you have lived?

You lived like a brilliant butterfly.
Emerging from its cramped chrysalis,
dazzled by the light, it pumps its wings
then drifts, a dainty delight,
to dance among the daffodils.

It lives like a carefree wanderer
and when the seasons change
it flings itself into the wind,
flying with the multitude
over mountain and marshland
to that deep, dark, wondrous
forest of passion and procreation.
Its journey complete,
it  flutters to the forest floor
amongst a carpet of fading colour.

Isn’t it enough – to have lived?
Enough to have flung yourself
into the chaos of life
and flashed your brilliance,
folded life within your embrace?
Why so fearful? The future,
where all have flown before you,
will fulfil its eternal promise
and accept you, like a wanderer butterfly,
fluttering to the forest floor.

Jacqui Merckenschlager

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Raindrops
lyric poem from our musical play ‘Beyond The Blues’:
1850’s Ballarat gold digger Wing Lee receives word that his beloved Su Lin Yen has been given as a concubine to a powerful warlord

 

Raindrops,
desolate cries,
tapping on the panes of my heart.
They’re only raindrops
from wintery eyes,
gathering in streams on my face,
making oceans of tears
that will keep us apart,
that have stolen our years.

And they’re only raindrops,
glistening jewels,
promising sunshine to come.
But tomorrow is here
and the rain never ends,
and I can’t see the point of a sun.

Raindrops,
drenching my dreams,
lapping at the doors of my heart.
They’re only raindrops,
destiny’s streams,
ripples over islands apart.
But the memories dear
and the moments of joy,
I shall hold to me here. 

And they’re only raindrops,
glistening jewels,
promising new life to come,
when tomorrow is here
and a rainbow returns,
and we share an eternity’s sun.

Max and Jacqui Merckenschlager

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Red Sea Bathing

We camped beside the Red Sea our first term break.
Beyond the mosques and minarets of Taiz
compass-clad in speakers,
outside the fishing village of Al Hawhar
pugged and panting in the midday shimmer,
we strung our nylon fly,
intent on spending time with books and beaches,
dipping toes in Yemen’s edge,
combing shores, no chores.

Dumped beneath date palms
by plump-faced Ghazi, the mercenary bursar,
abandoned near hollow hull
of wood-wormed trawler
listing and lifeless as a long-beached whale,
we were two against the tide,
twin islands in a drowning sea
of Arab faces, sounds and places
strange to western senses.

Within tent embassy immune to Moslem world,
we curled, unfurled
and dealt with matters fictional and fact,
refilled our dried-out minds from books,
the wells and brooks of learning
and sub-artesian fantasies,
received informal visits from puzzled youth;
the truthwhy raise our lonely tent there?

He patiently taught us a few words of Arabic.
We tried, replied, but tongues denied
the subtle nuances of language.

He failed to understand our quest for solitude,
soured of crowds and voices loud;
the subtle nuances of freedom.

Midweek we were reading
seated in shade cast by the wooden wreck.
Struck with awe,
we saw a four-wheel-drive track past
and brake along the beach.

And from its cab He leapt.
she wept,
roughly pushed ahead
fully-clothed, into the Red Sea –
forced to kneel and slosh and wash;
waved on
until His will was done.

That scene was as incomprehensible to us
as, it seems,
our campsite was to them.

Max Merckenschlager

 

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The Signing

What all of us together at the same time?
Yes   So you can all hear the same
Thing and do your bit

Are you going to die soon?
No of course not
but what if we did
Got hit by a bus
or some such thing

What’s Enduring Power of Attorney
It means you might have to
Take care of our finances
When we can’t
That sounds OK
But not until we can’t do it ourselves

What’s Enduring Guardian
It means knowing how we feel
And what we’d want to happen
If we couldn’t tell you
You mean life and death and all that stuff?
Yes it’s pretty heaving isn’t it
But sooner you than some Government
‘bozo’ who’s never known us

OK    Show us the forms
But you’re not going to die yet are you?
What are we going to do with all your poems?
Ah  Shove them up your memory

Ron Okely

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butterflies aren’t moths

nearly black.
black rather than blue.
blue uncontrollably.
uncontrollably blue, yes, but redder too,
to mauve, though not purple,
nothing rhymes with purple
purple was the colour of
my 70’s childhood, that
and burnt orange
orange eyes on the wings of brown butterflies.
butterflies aren’t moths.
moths, soft desperation, knotting
streetlights with satin wings.
wing dust on my fingers, black, nearly

Kevin Gillam

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cheap

its been
daytime television
washing machine beep
underfoot stair creak
tiled floor cold
for me

but now
at four
friday arvo
knock off
street roars
hoons are out
claudia
& candice
tonights
attraction
at the inland city
hotel
two dollars
to drop
their tits out
cheap

Coral Carter

 

 

YOU

Do you want me to label each word? This one LOVER, I was giving to Janet or Anne or James, someone else and the one I can’t remember. Maybe to them all, I am not sure. OCEAN was a reference to ablution, absolution. MOON, I actually thought heavenly body as I wrote or do you need further explanation? But I wasn’t writing about YOU, someone I know intimately. There are many: YOU. YOU. YOU. PLUS YOU. Which one is YOU? Go ahead point yourself out.

Coral Carter

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Lepus and Rebus

Lepus paused ahead of pressure
____ by the gate of taunts and treasures
____ ____ when Rebus standing just behind her
____ ____ ____ sighed, be a darling Lepus and please

hurry since I must speed to be
____ on time and announce what is
____ ____ yours, what is mine, then traverse
____ ____ ____ that path to shine. So Lepus hopped

to halt for long-range learning
____ focusing on earnestness and irony
____ ____ with a yearning to discover the essence
____ ____ ____ of a rabbit’s and a hare’s existence, yet

noticing a car speeding past
____ with a lizard at the wheel of rarely
____ ____ tardy; on its way to a party, where
____ ____ ____ one devours crustaceans and caviar?

Joyce Parkes

 

 

The Cup
With thanks to Bo Ju’i

If what also matters is how
____ one creature treats another,
________ then how non-homo sapien
_____________ animals are regarded remains,

regretfully, a rein in the hands
____ of a jockey who abuses his horse
________ in the saddle of should rather
_____________ than applaud a canter for an

era without blinkers and
____ boots. Do horses, running in
________ in Cups, covertly covet their ride
_____________ as their corium screams under the

whip in their stride while every
____ breath they take through their
________ pummelled hides is taken for a win
_____________ or a place to profit a bettor’s base?

Joyce Parkes 

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For weeks the trees whisper rain

For weeks the trees whisper rain
echo my rainstick – seeds inside a dry cactus
calling against intransigent sky.
Leaves dry as the seeds
are twisted by drought on their twigs,
right-angled to sun.

Ground the brown river hollowed
scrunches under our feet,
breathes clouds of warm dust.
The river has slugged along
low in its bed, stayed
in depressions remembering flood.

Seven moons have arced over our valley
since one last jigged in the falls,
their beaming white on bleached grasses,
stiff brackens spiking their light.

We have heard the silence of frogs,
watched our dam water dwindle and thicken,
gone fishing under the shower
herding skerricks of liquid from basins
to buckets, taking our catch to the garden
(which plants to save from the scorch?)

Beaks agape, rosellas have sagged,
the birdbath so near     yet so far
The finches have wallowed, reluctant
to leave . . .We knew how they felt,
that still has its feet in ice.

Now something the summer distilled
– yellow of Sun, mauve glow of the Moon –
powers out of baked earth
in delicate crocus buds.

At last there are mares’ tails at sunset
over the gully like comets,
tails fiery with water.   This night
our white bedroom curtain is lifted
like a great wing quivered in lightning.
The stars are dimming, have vanished

And the tin roof clamours with molecules
tumbled and drumming.
We run out and hold up our arms –
feel the cool bounce on our skin;

We laugh with the chant
of the gathering flow from the gutters
singing in downpipes, the happy splash
of its hitting low in our tank.

It was never like this in the city
where the rains are swallowed by drains,
where mentioning cloud forecasters look sour,
and the dams are unseen in the hills.

So, driving the road that twists with the river,
let’s not curse, in the wet
the hopping of frogs to be dodged,
nor resent, summer nights, the need to beware
of the roos on their way for a drink:  We are
learning Earth’s contrasts by heart.

Jenny de Garis  

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droving

___ i am the dust   my spirit in the
crevices of the dry creek bed
with a closed mouth bitter against
the harsh desert sun
i am the worn tracks mapped out
by bullocks centuries ago
their remains dust mingled with
mine on this long hard journey
if you follow the map of my
face it will take you to a place
where only the harshest survive
where hard work and anger replace the
heart where the soft inside of a
mouth knows only silence     shrivels
up and dies   it is only
my eyes where you will see the life
once lived       did you notice
that one tear in the corner?     it
contains a faded memory
if only i had not breathed in
the dust of this land to be
shackled to its eternal existence

Maureen Sexton

lessons in floating

she walks in water, glides like
a miracle    breaks away from her
portable chair and steps
into aqua cloud
she gives me no words yet
tells me more than i could ever
learn from philosophers  preachers or
poets    her bent body stands
proud    tight joints loose and
free in the warm flow
__________ she walks in water and i
imagine i am flying
__________ it is her miracle  i
am only learning

Maureen Sexton

Previously published in Beating Time in A Gothic Space Friendly Street Poets 23 and No River is Safe Poets Union Inc Anthology) 

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The Stone

The stone is back: we were made for each other.
The stone has a surface smooth as dough but
The stone is calcified, set, cast. Immoveable.
The stone will be added to my collection.
The stone will put the night sky into my pocket.
The stone will help me find the river.
The stone has no memory but it never forgets.
The stone lingers, like lichen, in the shadowed side.
The stone is a comfort for an empty hand.

Josephine Clarke

Breakfast Sitting. 

edging the freeway
metal lace of lightpoles
where pelicans sit
like mythical gods
deconstructing the river
hurrying to the office
ants carrying yesterday’s worries
to breakfast radio foreplay
we look up and wonder
how they seem made for each other –
the lightpoles and the birds

Josephine Clarke

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Signs

Galloping wind rolls across paddocks
scatters dust, bucking debris to flutter and fall.
Undulating land sighs and settles in repose.
Venus reclines to sleep another day.

Hands weathered by seasons, calloused
from shaping, from moulding the land
scoops dry soil and sifts it free through fingers.
Red gold grit cascades eagerness
shrugs dust puffs that billow to nothing.
Parched by cloudless sky, emptiness fills his soul.

Generations tilled this soil, won from virgin scrub
with blood and sweat. Men, women, children
without distinction building dreams on golden harvests.
Common-unity built on isolation, cemented by purpose
bonded in friendship. Life and death as regular
as the seasons.

Dust blows like dreams pounded by reality.
How much can shoulders bear, how long
can hands hold on? How painful to stem|
the tears, the spectre of suicide.
Generations stand behind him,
generations yet to come, wait.

The decision is his. To stay, or leave?
He looks to the horizon searching
for rain. He looks to heaven
hoping for a sign.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Interrupted  

Bare feet stomp a rhythm amidst the dust
that rises and collapses to the  didgeridoo.
Clay smeared faces peer from the darkness
flash bright in firelight and withdraw.
Advance and retreat to the primal beat.

Blank faced dancers with trance eyes shift
in mimicry, stalk and jump recounting stories
reliving journeys of creation, of lore.
In dust and dark, bodies merge into the night
rekindle in firelight. Waves of men move
forward stomp, collapse, retreat
beneath  night’s magician cape.
Silence fills the interlude.

Women on the fringe tap song sticks
draw another wave of dancers
to mesmerize piccaninnies
waiting their turn, their
passage to adulthood.

Generation after generation
cycles flowed without change.
From father to son, mother
to daughter; a respect for the land
for each other ceremoniously passed.
In the wave of a white hand
it all vanished.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Gaia

Ache rises from within, drawn from the depths of being
primordial urges resurrect to meander supplicant body.
In rhythmic sinuosity, wave after wave washes
in maelstrom luminescence, strikes as thunder

collapsing paradigms, shattering the known.
Stripped of conditioning, vulnerable as newborn
a sense of ease, of release gently caresses heart
soothes mind as thoughts retire somnambulistic.

Each step awakens joy, reveals minutest detail
refreshes every sense to nature’s opus.
Leaves in delicate flow of form beckon welcome
usher paths long forgotten as manufactured

world strips away. An infusion of scents
raises to the clouds to float wispy softness
in graceful flight of freedom. Lofty eyes
encompass all, penetrate the impenetrable.

All is revealed, nothing beyond grasp, beyond
comprehension. Light flows brilliant, radiates
to strike, collapse, meld and infuse everything
and everyone to everything and everyone.

Separation collapses with the mind
drifts to the tiniest speck of self
awed by the brilliance, by
the potency of Gaia.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi 

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Mock Turtle Soup

Nobody loves the poor mock turtles
trapped in a willow plate pattern
mould of blue
on an island of their own devising,
where they weep into the water
while birds purr like cats.
They should smile like the men
in sideshow alley,
whose heads turn from side to side
to catch the balls life throws them.
Ask the mouse and dodo,
nobody likes to swim in a sea of tears.

Sue Clennell.
_____________ First published in
The World According To Goldfish. USA. 

 

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Secular Sacrament

Thin porcelain
Chunky white china
Battered enamel
Any vessel graced
by tea taken in your company
is made holy

Liana Joy Christensen

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Anaesthesia

I

early morning to the hospital
the Terrace visible, looking hosed

clear view right down to the bridge and river
the gradient, the undulations, the curves

hedged by city architecture, new shadowing old
the first cars, first workers, early light

II

the hospital is not quiet like the streets
hospitals are never deeply quiet

unless you can shut the door of your own room
like the room I had once

in the hospital where I met my uncle’s wife
skin of burnt olive, chicken thin and pea-breasted

assuredness made sexuality her own possession
as if she held the patent

III

I take the sports bag, she the handbag
both readied the night before

the written things easy, slowly acceding to instruction
fear and anaesthesia, heavier, between us

into the world of scrubbed abbreviations
secret words, private letters, created mystery

acronyms are for the moderns
medicine understands some ancient vulnerabilities

the ways a body rips and tears and leaks
the signature of blood and organism

IV

her skin is always white, anaemia-thin
today  it needs no explanation

later I learn about d&c, biopsy and iud
how the anaesthetist changed the plan

I already know how anaesthesia now defines us
the freeway weighted with traffic and panic on the homeward run

Alistair P D Bain
_____________
Commended in 2009 Julie Lewis Literary Awards

 

 

Affect

in the evening i make my toilet,
ready for the morning and its other
rituals. waiting for the heat to penetrate
the water, fetching soap, towel, shaving
gel and razor, i’m thinking of  how  chefetz,
writing of dolores, sez,

All this unitary aggregate identity
is dependent on a capacity to know
feeling. If we are unable to know feeling,
unable to be affected, unable to
affect others, then we are
isolated from our
self and from the
other
.

who is this other?
_____________ i wander to the lounge, shaven, my
dry skin taut. the movie’s about pirate radio, anchored off
the british coast, making rock and roll literal, script
tight, humour slicing, characters devastatingly flawed.
these ones are affect on a drip. we come to them,
dissociated, seeking our own kind. in later scenes the
ship is sinking; the dj spins procul harem, whiter shade of
pale
, a good song for that moment’s pathos … leaving
for the coast…
 though I never liked the organ.  dolores and
I, checking for our knowledge of feeling, begin to tick the boxes

Alistair P D Bain

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My Friend Willy

My friend Willy is a lovable chap,|
He has a warble full of glee.
He sits on the chopping block out the back
Eating pieces of meat for tea.

His tail will dart, back and forth,
As he gives his cheeky whistle.
Like his family down south to way up north,
He cheerfully sings his epistle.

Teasing the dog by riding on its back,
He manages to pass the day,
Or dive-bombing the cat to make him scat,
He chases him far away!

Cheeky Willy sits on the clothesline,
Enjoying a ride in the sun.
Warbling to me his song so fine,
You see – he thinks I’m his Mum!

Colleen O’Grady

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Under the Wattle Scrub, Coalseam Park
For Frank Cook

When I want to whisper to those long gone,
I go to the fields of everlastings
And hold still watching the taut yellow dawn.

A friend who has drowned, my father indrawn
Both becalmed like tallships at half-masting,
When I want to whisper to those long gone.

All the ones who have been too early drawn
By cancerous rot or the blue clasping,
I hold still watching the taut yellow dawn.

Frank, here you are with your tall sapphire brawn
Wide as the flowered hills and unlapsing
When I want to whisper to those long gone.

Under the wattle scrub, shimmering lawn
With the lissome Irwin River grasping,
I hold still watching the taut yellow dawn.

The arid lands east, the kwongan heath on
To the Indian Ocean’s rare lapping;
When I want to whisper to those long gone,
I hold still watching the taut yellow dawn.

John Ryan

 

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‘Fragmented’ he said.

The word resounded in my head: ‘Fragmented’
Frag-mented.
It sounds like ‘Frag-mental’
Fragmented. Fragile.
Fragmented. It fits right; inside my head.
That’s what I’ve been feeling like.
Fragmented. Shattered into pieces.
Fragmented. But still functioning pieces.
Me—Marilyn—one person
capable of doing many things successfully.
Of functioning effortlessly.
Now I feel desolated.
A part of me is devastated but I still function.
Fragmented.
Perfect word to describe this horrible emotional situation.
Diagnosis – PTSD.

Marilyn Dorothea King 

A Child’s Cry

Why, Mummy, why, does the moon stay up in the sky?
How, Mummy, how come it doesn’t fall down now?
Where, Mummy, where did the moon come?
What, Mummy, what is the moon made from?
When, Mummy, when did the moonlight come?

Why, Mummy, why is the grass so green?
How, Mummy, how come it looks so clean?
Where, Mummy, where does the grass come?
What, Mummy, what is grass made from?
When Mummy, when did the first grass come?

Why, Mummy, why do some trees grow tall?
How, Mummy, how come some are small?
Where, Mummy, where are the leaves made?
What, Mummy, what makes trees give shade?
When, Mummy, when will the trees flowers fade?

Why, Mummy, why must you and Daddy fight?
How, Mummy, how come nothing is right?
Where, Mummy, where can I run to so I can hide?
What, Mummy, what is this pain deep inside?
When, Mummy, when did your love die?

Was it something I did or said?
If so, please tell me why, how, where, what or when
and if you do, Mummy, if you do,
I’ll promise never, ever to do it again.

Marilyn Dorothea King 

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GORD-A-DAN

THE ROOTS ARE CLAIRVOYANT, GRASPING
UNTOUCHABLE WISDOM THAT IS THE WAY IT STARTS,
THE SIGN OF THE TIMES IS DECEIVING. IT IS THE TIME TO
SEE THE DROWNED. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU
ARE READING? YOU ARE BRINGING AS SMALL AMOUNTS
AS YOU LIKE TO. YOUR IMAGE IS STILL GROWING AND
CRYING. COMING CLOSER AND GOING AWAY, STRONG
WEAKNESS. THE WORLD THAT IS SPREADING BUT DOES
NOT BELONG TO ANYONE, GIVE SOMETHING FROM THE
THREAD OF WILL. TRY LOOKING WITH DIFFERENT
EYES TO THE LIGHT. EVIL IS DANGEROUS,
CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS, MOVE OUT OF THAT EVIL, IT MAKES
THE CENTURY LONGER. ‘GORD-A-DAN’ THE
TEAR RIVERS ARE NOW MURMURING, THE DOG IS
WAILING, YOU ARE GONE. BREAK LOOSE I BEG YOU!
AND SILENTLY, THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR, COME TO
ATTEND THE FEAST OF PRESERVED EMOTIONS,
DAYDREAMS, THE HAPPY MOMENTS! DECENT GIFT,
HUNGRY CRAVING IN THE BUNK OF FEATHERS, SILK AS
PURE AS THE SNOW, WITH THE FORCE OF SILENCE.
FLOWERS OF THE DANDELIONS LET’S DANCE FROM AFAR
WITH OUR LOOKS, WITH OUR BODIES, LET’S TOUCH
WITH PALMS ONLY.

            Tatjana Debeljacki

Japan In April

Truly stunning, sometimes careless,
I crave silently and far away!
Naked, filled up with perfection,
I am attending enjoyment!!!
Where there is trust there is always glee.
He never painted my passion,
Dreams from the colour to the word,
Without suspense and shivers.
The moment of light strikes me.
Pressing Japanese air onto my face.
April is slowly spilling its colours,
Above duplicate shadows dancing away.

            Tatjana Debeljacki

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