Creatrix 26 Poetry

September 2014

Poetry Editors: Peter Jeffrey OAM & Sue Clennell

Working Publications Manager: Jan Napier

Contributors:

 Ros. Armstrong

Indigo

David Barnes

Minutes In A Life

Sue Clennell

Somewhere In Syria

Crossing The Gobi

 Gary Colombo De Piazzi

A Dead Crow And Me

Frances Faith

Reflecting

Somewhere Between Greenwood And The City

 Terry Farrell

The Great Hunger

Derek Fenton

Dervishes At Istanbul Station

 Margaret Ferrell

Flashback

Kevin Gillam

Blink Or Rhyme

Two Notes

Mike Greenacre

Rewriting You

‘Wind Hold’ Day

Kenneth Hudson

Alone

Cambodia

Ruari Jack Hughes

Breakaway

Hollow Heart

Jackson

Pinocchio

Valentine’s Day In This City

Ross Jackson

Leap From The Zoo

Chris Kennedy

Invading Indonesia

Meryl Manoy

Stream Of Life

Mardi May

Northbridge

Young And Old

 Jan Napier

Wind Is A Gypsy

The Moon

Wrath By Rote

Virginia O’ Keeffe

Bombed

Ron Okely

Cockatoos On The Night Sky

Allan Padgett

Balanggarra

 Joyce Parkes

After Ephesus

Linden And Leschnaultia

Tiers Of Address

 Tim Parkin

Difficult Love And Complicated Kisses*

Neil J (Brilo) Pattinson

Scared ‘N’ Get’n Scareder

Flora Smith

Nimbin

Laurie Smith

Lake Inle, Burma

Faye Teale – Clavi

Flying

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Indigo

Indigo washed with blue-black henna hands

wipes tears, hair brushed

she touches pale to powder cheeks.

Glimpsed through a flimsy wash

blue shadows soak trails.

Flat earth reaches Indigo’s horizon of no thing

feet feathers float in black-navy

soundless to beyond.

Planets, stars, align

luminesce skeins streak lightening

worlds drift.

Choose to stay or abscond

glint stars in your mouth

induce moon-dust to dress your threads.

Soar winged Indigo.

Ros Armstong

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minutes in a life

cream-coloured walls close in on sterile emptiness

a stainless-steel-sink and wool, forgotten.

the dishwasher’s mouth yawns open

wordlessness reaches out,

out to a watery sound and swirling.

the stepladder cries in the rain, forgotten.

trees, leaves, shed, stand naked

acceptance of winter’s burden

while the ceiling fan rotates,

rotates above the scallop-boats in Mornington.

silently the picture speaks

crystal glasses wait for the sweet taste

of medium-dry sherry

the decanter sits quiet, aloof, above it all.

it is unavoidable that they are drawn together

all that’s required is acceptance

tick-tock, tick-tock, the mantle clock

minutes in a life.

I grumble in the driving wet,

as I do my chores, put dishes away.

while inside, the armchair awaits my comfort,

the taste of medium-dry

inevitably, the armchair sighs in comfort.

David Barnes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Somewhere in Syria

On the news a man cries to his dead little girls, “Wake up, wake up!”

This is sideshow alley, hall

of mirrors, the gravitron

that pins you to the wall.

Yesterday eating ice creams

now wrapped up like cocoons

they sleep after the spider’s bite

sucked dry

returned to earth’s maw.

Sue Clennell

Crossing The Gobi

 

South rode Khan’s horses

snickering into the wind

to quell spirit voices sent

by the Jin of China.

At night camel dung fires burnt blue,

wild irises turned towards the moon,

and shamans chanted of treasure

to be plundered from foreign lands

as surely as jade hearts are cut

from the rock’s breast.

Ride, gallop, storm Khan,

south to Karakorum and beyond!

Sue Clennell

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Dead Crow and Me

From its worn out wings, I measure

the sun’s surrender under the flap of each span.

From its tattered tail feathers, I plot

every course, every direction of aimless

wandering traced on global currents.

From its ragged plumage, I cover

myself with the scent of summer days.

The hot, burnt days when shadows sizzle

on endless plains.

This creature, black glossed and intense

no longer caws warnings or delivers secrets.

Long gone cold and tricked wooden

with dull eyes on its journey to dust.

The closed nature of life.

Everything I am, everything I will be

is dust.

It is the deliberate calculation of what is done

that changes the character of the experience.

The intensity of each venture, each emotion

compounding into the concentration of each encounter

to build a significance that can be characterised

as me.

The combined essence of every moment

to define my contribution to the  conglomeration

that is humanity and in the passing moments

when it all contracts and the spark wanes

it is what is left that holds the memory

of who I was, of who I am.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reflecting

I caught myself leaning over

and looking in the rear-view mirror

at a woman. The day was full of

drivers going single minded to

places waiting but the traffic

paused a moment, for me

to adjust my glasses and look

at the woman behind the wheel.

I knew I should recognize her,

with that fringe done the same way

for the last forty years, but

strangeness gazed curiously back

at me in my driver’s seat.

How had she changed

so much? I remembered

smooth cheeks and full lips.

Eyes with more lashes than

crinkles. I will catch up with her

someday, and we’ll chat.

I saw her again next day

in the Woolworths window

looking out from between

summer shorts and umbrellas.

She paused while I brushed away

stray strands and she adjusted

her cardigan shoulder, which had slipped.

We nodded, and I thought

perhaps we shared

a brief moment of connection

before I was hurried on again

to all those

waiting places.

Frances Faith

Somewhere Between Greenwood and the City

 

I can hear

a horn sounding somewhere,

dog bark answering the city growl,

the world’s mutterings piling

into sheaves of noise,

the rustling of passing time,

waves of sound,

coin jingle,

bird twitter,

the scream of metal upon metal

as the train under me grapples with physics;

all merging into the whispered

crowded conversations

of hum and thud

beating alongside.

What are my words but more notes

pitching among the tide of vibrations?

Why should they add up

to anything?

Your carefully constructed sentences

become babble

and meaning runs

like the hare

before our hounding questions.

Over-priced opinions

boom loudest

next to worthless chatter

mistakenly elevated to sole speakers

over the surrounding crowd

when the wind roar

would tell more succinctly,

expertly,

the true state

of our position.

I would rather ask the lizard what to wear,

or the hovering gull,

take the advice of creaking boards

on building options,

whisper my questions

to snickering twigs dying in the blaze,

or the train rods heaving with

iron groans;

surely they speak with authority

about struggle

and sacrifice.

Drowning

in this sea of sound,

our heads bob like corks,

and I see your arms waving,

gesticulating vain signals,

hoping that my eyes

will help my mind to hear.

Frances Faith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Great Hunger

This hunger, which the wind cannot carry

nor the ocean’s  depths cool, nor the sun’s rays warm

still it blows upon us, through us, in us, numbing us, leaving us stiff, as if frozen

yet it burns in us, amongst us, to ashes reduces us

Leningrad, winter, 1941

For months now the German Wehrmacht has besieged our city.

We are defenseless, broken. Surrender is not offered us, yet still they bomb us. Worse is their wait for our desperate hunger and winter’s blue-white snow pack to slowly devour us.

We wrap the heads of our dead children and all our lost loved ones with brightly colored cloth and paper and with the little life left us place them in the street. A hundred thousand every month. From my window I see them, colorful spheres, glowing below the snows frozen translucent surface, like ocean beacons, signaling in the gloom to the body removers

Today, enjoying the warmth of a sunny Perth’s winters day,

I pick up my son from the milling crowds of fluro glowing at the airport

he’s a FIFO driller in the mines

he has not been well this shift, a feverish flu forcing him to bed

the relentless thump and shudder of the drill taking its toll

so the rig lay idle as he slept for 18hours straight

He tells me the big companies are laying off workers and halting projects

in protest over the mining profits tax. He is concerned about it all and what it might mean, he has just recently married. In the silence that follows

I pray that the great hunger is benevolent to him

And his children, and their children, all children

By the summer of 1943, cut off and with no food,

we are stones, around us

the buckled shells of the dead

slump in houses where they fall

like withering forgotten furniture

so many now that those of us, still clinging to life,

move about them, no longer seeing them,

still the great hunger is not appeased

it rages within and without, as we, like poor accountants

dutifully keep its books

Terry Farrell

Foot note: In August 1939 Stalin and Hitler signed a non-aggression pact. Yet, some ten months later, by the fall of France, Hitler had secretly finalised ‘Barbarosa’ the war of extermination of the Soviet Union. On Sunday June 22 1941 four million German & axis troops invaded Russia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dervishes at Istanbul Station

If you’re going to see Whirling Dervishes

make sure it’s at the Istanbul station.

Here, there are no distractions

like in a noisy restaurant

where you will only see an impression,

a crude copy of a fleeting moment,

like the few bars of a symphony.

You will miss the silent tribute

to the majesty of creation,

a complete absorption in the creator,

the mesmerising swirling of the capes,

and the ecstacy of the dervishes

whirling like planets through silent space.

You will miss what it means to be truly alive

to know that you will never die.

Derek Fenton

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Flashback

waking to ice pictures

on my bedroom window

listening through lace curtains

before falling asleep in Grandma’s box bed

paddling in waves tickling the sand

seeing imprints of feet large and small

shadows in a firelit room

hands capering to make wall creatures

collecting fallen hazelnuts

as I walk up the brae to school

Winter’s bare branches

swan ripples on the loch

the first snowdrops

pushing up through snow

watching children

lose themselves in books

gathering masses of daffodils

on a Spring day shimmering and cloudless

being brought out of sleep

as a blackbird’s music leads the dawn chorus

my soul singing as I walk through

an Autumn wood flamed in golds and reds

Margaret Ferrell 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blink Or Rhyme

 

but yes, grass is ‘neath us and

cloud high and yes, we’re here

in spooned light of heat and wind

but no, no gulls, gulls have up

and left, though, as I bleed, three

come in to view and yes, there

is a splash of child and those

old, a few balls loose, whiff of

cooked meat, cry from cut knee,

but no, out here it’s fret of

wind and salt, angst of what

white can’t say, bright kiss of now

but no, and yes, grass is

‘neath but not for blink or rhyme

Kevin Gillam

Two Notes

you have this memory, aged 7 perhaps,

in the sleepout and tucked in, your brother

a breath away across the lino,

and you have the scene before, counting

cowboys in the bricks, Dad on the piano

with the hymns for the week, and you have

the lighting, kitchen fluoro milky through the

crinkled glass window atop the sliding door,

but most of all you have the moment –

two notes, minor third, descending,

the mopoke’s call, random perhaps, or on the

minute? matters little, the wooden two notes

of mopoke, through the slivers of louvres,

clear as moon, as yesterday

Kevin Gillam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rewriting You

 

I wanted to tell them I’d been

away, caught another metre

and slipped between their lines:

Good, but as verse it’s hopeless –

it’s practically prose

 

Your poem was certainly evocative

but I wasn’t sure of what!

Comments that shape

and suspend literary culture – squeeze

perception through a tiny hole:

Too much statement

and not enough poetry

 

You must breathe the classics

before you call this voice your own

 

Makes me grieve for poets

absorbing encouragement from

the curl of paper and words alone

Mike Greenacre

‘Wind-hold’ Day

 

From our ski lodge window

full-breasted eucalypts erupt

from this whitened alpine

landscape, refusing to let life be

smothered by the coat of now.

It’s a ‘wind-hold’ day at
Falls Creek where the way-ward

wind has closed all lifts, skiers

and snowboarders (suddenly)

pedestrian as precipitation’s

gentle artist hand counter-

points the dark tones

of Snow Gums with the

bright melody of snow.

We sit in Café Max sharing

Tapas plates, chewing over the

‘What the’s and ‘What if’s …

as fog surrounds our conversation,

crowded on the outside glass

as eager ears wanting to help

shape the dalliance of plans.

‘This day cannot be wasted’ –

a resolution unsaid, but in each

mental frame, as we catch the

shuttle up to Windy Corner,

swill down large coffees

to charge our inner linings

and look hopefully up the

slope of Wombat’s Ramble.

As we battle the freezing wind

that shoots up your nose as

a precise radar – even as we

reverse like the Over-snow

vehicles and walk

backward up the slope –

we are pushed down

two steps to every one.

We pass a lone worker who

calls out ‘you’ve gone a third

of the way and there’s two

more to go!’ so we turn around

on a unaninmous decision

without words, allowing

gravity to seduce us

and lead us astray

down to the Harvey Wallbanger

Hour at the Falls Creek Hotel –

the guitarist thrashing back

the past just like a ‘white-out’

hits you head on: ‘Summertime’,

‘Hotel California’ and

‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’

blasting memories through.

We ended up at ‘Tom, Dick

and Harry’s Bar’ where tables

are packed with huddled voices

safe from the wild wind

that wouldn’t let go, now

dissecting their frozen day:

‘Well, there’s always champagne!’

Carey smiles across from the bar.

Back at The Elk ski lodge

we open the sliding glass door

to the eager appetites of

magpies and carrawongs, as

the snow waits patiently below.

Mike Greenacre

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alone

One

small word

that falls

thru Life

like a titanic stone.

A sun-bleached bone on desert sand

where no life grows.

Waiting to be      discovered        collected

classified     or discarded

by some future archeologist

searching for clues to a distant past.

What does it tell them ?

Something once died here.

This they already know.

Kenneth Hudson

 

 

 

Cambodia

I read Cambodia is full of ghosts.

Actually “Spirits of the dead”.

Are these exactly the same ?

My  head is often filled

with spirits of the dead.

Sometimes               when I sleep at night

ghosts creep out

and I wake up                    in a prison bed

white coats telling me :

You’re not well again.

Perhaps I’m really Cambodian ?

I shouldn’t read such things

before I go to bed.

Under the blankets

the dead of night.

Kenneth Hudson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Breakaway

The rider races into the melee

Desperation striving to turn the mob

Futile endeavour in the face of blind desire

The rush to consensual calamity…

What do we do any better

Trying to hold on to our lovers

When they cruelly make their breakaway

Out on the plain, the air so still

Nothing moves, the scene etched in iron

Grass, trees, leaves, clouds

Engraved items in an indifferent landscape…

From an open sky a sudden squall

Changes all that, throws everything

Into haphazard disarray

I help him gather the salvageable stuff

From the ruins of capricious wind

Discarding the detritus

Good things gone to rubbish in a moment…

We haven’t lost everything, you seldom do

Yet what we have left is random

Not all that is needed

It’s hard to keep it all together

You expect things to follow a prescribed path

Confidently anticipate the next hour unfolding

More or less comfortably…

The world does continue to spin

Seasons come and go

The days are not so accommodating

Almost daily you hear the nostalgic claim

Back in the day, they say

Dragging up a tired remembrance

Something that was supposedly better…

Love’s like that, mad energy

Inventing rickety maybes and shaky somehows

Tomorrows that will be wonderful

Hot imagination stirs up wondrous mirages

Sets headlong flights to ethereal green oases

Fantasies lying behind the feverish screen

Distorted views along the track…

I keep seeing them

Impossible ghosts walking towards me

From the well of memory

Nothing stays the same, everything changes

Tired yet true cliché, providing no consolation

Because you want another version

A courageous breakaway straight towards hope…

In the end none of them left me

I was the one who walked away

Believing that would make it better

Ruari Jack Hughes

Hollow Heart

 

Easily sliding from day to day, one thing to another,

unaware of the shifts in the space between the hours;

there is a deftness in the way we move through our lives,

strangely confident when all the signs suggest caution.

Invisible to us because we don’t care to see, don’t care,

easily sliding from day to day, one thing to another

in a constant state of pretence that all is well, all meant,

despite the plan being awry almost from the beginning.

There is a deftness in the way we move through our lives

which must be a kind of defiance, a retort to the word

that said henceforth there would be limits, no longer

easily sliding from day to day, one thing to another,

enjoying the paradise made for us, fools too foolish

to be content, already arrogantly wanting everything.

There is a deftness in the way we move through our lives,

strutting lords of creation, clay feet walkers over the earth,

on and on through time and a story of infinite contradiction,

easily sliding from day to day, one thing to another.

There is a deftness in the way we move through our lives.

Ruari Jack Hughes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pinocchio

 

I can’t walk around without making a clatter

I can’t sit close to the fire

I can’t give my father a soft embrace

I can’t even want to

I can’t help being made of wood

I can’t stop my nose growing

I can’t work as a marionette: I have no strings

I can’t say what truth is

I can go a long way from the town

I can live in the belly of some gigantic fish

I can live without oxygen

I can sharpen my nose to pierce the fish and escape

I can use my special nose to dig the earth

I can maybe become a tree again

 

Jackson

Valentine’s Day In This City

 

(February 2013)

Valentine’s day in this city

has the worst weather, so hot, so

hot, so hot, so hot, the

airconditioner, growling, grinding, rattling

when the vanes turn north,

I can’t think, can’t

breathe, I can loudly cry, like

the mating call of a frog, nobody takes it

among all the motors roaring.

I kissed him on a train

in the dream I kissed him on a train rattling

down the middle of the freeway, racketing

over the Narrows Bridge, going south,

going to Mandurah going to Margaret River going

to Denmark going to the karri trees going

to Ocean Beach Boat Harbour Peaceful Bay going

to my old boy-watching window in the school library going

to Antarctica.

I hate this city

with its violent February

weather, its once-a-year humid

Valentines, its noise-cancelling

Skype-fuckers, its rattling grinding

vanes.

I hate this city where I cannot kiss him.

 

Jackson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leap From The Zoo

Stray vervets tear up a tree

fling torrential gibber for a

child’s kite wandering above the

cyclone fence and listen to the

kite’s seductive, cutting whispers

remonstrate, fever the air amongst

the leaves. Each neighbour bristles

black pearl eyes covet that

flourishing swishy pigtail.

Standing below I spy a

limber arm, spin the lid

of the sky, casting a line

to relatives down on

Angelo Street.

Ross Jackson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Invading Indonesia

It’s precedent – you know,

We do unto others and all that jazz.

Of course Indonesia is so corrupt that

anything, and I mean ‘anything’, is available.

But like it would have to be some sort of

reformation on the Muslims.

That would have repercussions.

I mean giving meaning to a

“I’ve been to Bali too” T-shirt

doesn’t mean that you have to invade the place.

Ten minutes ago our Prime Idiot was praising the place

What the fuck? Now

they’re sending jets to the boarder.

And we send armed and belligerent ships to theirs.

Ok. Diplomacy sucks at the moment,

but an invasion? Forget it.

Wittgenstein and Tattoos

If you study something

you have a problem with it.

I have no problem with philosophy

yet wonder what Wittgenstein

would have made of tattoos?

If you have one you are violent –

if only to you.

Angry that the world

not reflecting your art,

you, perhaps, reflect art back at it.

Chris Kennedy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stream Of Life

My eyes plumb the cool clear depths

of silent pools along the stream

revealing rounded polished stones.

This soothing steady flow evokes

a peaceful contemplation.

Floating leaves and bark from trees,

brightly coloured dragonflies

follow the meandering stream –

eddies now appear,

here some froth,

there some bubbles.

Its flow quickens in descent

approaching nearby waterfall

where spiders’ tenuous silken threads

glisten in the misty spray –

placidness returns.

The course of this winding stream

mirrors life’s journey

alternately rough and smooth

turbulence and tranquillity.

Our final destination, one

with the vast sea of infinity.

Meryl Manoy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Northbridge

The sense of a shadow

falling across my path

a footstep too quick

too close

a breathing heard

too warm

stains on the footpath

that might be blood

c r a c k s

in the surface.

Walking at lunchtime

one sees these things.

This edgy town

seedy in daylight

bright as a knife

in the neon night.

Mardi May

Young & Old

The young poet

discovers his hands

are spilling with jewels;

gems uncut, unset –

job for a craftsman.

He rushes to apply

with no work experience.

The old poet

walks through words

as if thru autumn leaves,

hears their rustling chatter

papery at his feet,

feels still the kick of joy.

A slow savouring

on the walk to winter.

Mardi May

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wind Is A Gypsy

Wind is a gypsy

clouds shapechangers

stars hotspots

and love a charm.

The sea’s blue rhythm

hymns spirits unsung.

So quaff your mead

and rock your children

all else is goosy tales

penned by the spurned and lonely.

Jan Napier

The Moon

reflective

Who could love a face like this?

Pale features pocked and riven

as La Vielle Heaulmiere

exert a strange attraction

upon minds that roam beyond the known

navigate mauve seas of misfiring neurons

by means of star maps never marked on vellum.

And we    mostly made of water

are unable to resist that unsubtle tug

blood wish within response enough.

Dark side denied   neutral   aloof

she rises above earthly concerns

cross hairs the sniper’s heart

hides pot hole from doctor’s horse.

Cold    unworldly

this spinster reflects

nightly upon passion’s raw bite

considers odes composed by bards

the myopia of romance which leads lovers

to sigh her silver    serene    a goddess.

Wonders      is it the mercy of distance

or just a passing phase?

Jan Napier

Wrath By Rote

Their very own Viet Nam my brother says.

Mum snipes. Dad shouts.

Firefights where those closest retreat scorched.

Wounds that show bone and drip pus forever.

Canker of unkindness grown green and thick

between them.

Each day bayoneted on spite.

“He started it.”

“She nags and nags.”

Love a fizzle. Sand on campfire cinders.

Gutshot he falls.

Bloody monsoon bursts

from bowels stopped

by fear of letting go.

Pinked up after transfusion.

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“Dunno. Didn’t think you’d care.”

“You stupid man.”

Awkward macrame of fingers.

a hitch in breath     armistice.

Together they huff on grey embers.

Feel the first warmth.

Jan Napier

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bombed

Some footballer pumps himself

full of something he can’t pronounce but that’s ok

cos he gets paid anyway

more than you or I for being able

to run a bit faster and belt a curve

of leather sewn in a sweat shop

by a kid of nine who earns even less, no overtime.

Radio’s full of it, do I give a toss

but it’s so overwhelming we Must

be bewitched by this unmitigated media self indulgent crap.

Sport chucked it in years ago.

It’s about TV rights and big casheroonies now;

who gets their suit6s styled and look at

their sunnies, his car, his robotic girlfriend

with legs like Barbie and no brain to boot.

Once upon a winter I barracked for a team

but they faded like fog onto

creased footie cards. Hard men whose

hard vice was booze at the pub and a punchup

in the ruck.  You have to wonder was it

worth it, stamping freezing feet behind the

rails, night closing in at 4 o’clock

and your mum wondering where you are

and your dad, twitching his hands on his belt

while you wait, hoping for a word or a

fleck of mud as they come off up the race.

Gods of muscle, wool, skin like boars,

boots that cracked open the ground they

trampled on.  Gone.

Forever gone in the salary caps and

quarter million dollar rookie contracts.

The town ovals dry over.

Dog trainers whistle on them now.

How apt.

Virginia O’ Keeffe

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cockatoos On The Night Sky

It’s Graduation Night

at the Uni

Ceremony is in the “Bush Court”

We are invited guests

Darkness dawdles its way in

Cockatoos dart through the trees

silhouetted against the night sky

in an endless display

of precision flying

Graduands row after row

Carefully ordered

so that the name announced

is the person beneath the Mortar Board

The Academic Community

file in to take their place

on the platform

A brilliant display of coloured gowns,

sashes and head wear depicting

academic achievements

Chancellor  welcomes all

Graduands     visiting academics

proud mums and dads

families and friends

Cockatoos swoop in for a better look

Looks like there’s something going on

down there

Vice Chancellor presents the Charge

The privileges your Degree might

give you should be balanced

by the recognition that many

have contributed to make it possible

Valedictory Address

Mortar board askew

Face alight with a smile

G’day

How can I highlight four years in ten minutes

Well   I’ve loved every minute of it

Making new mates

Sharing our learning

Exposed to challenges to our thinking

Plenty of fun times

Skinny dipping in the Uni Pond

But don’t forget those who

have gone without

to make it all possible

High above it all

the cockatoos are still

exploring  swooping and swerving

as if they were part of all the action

If they could talk

would they speak in the school

of Environmental Science

and tell how their world seems

to be closing around them.

Fear not dark voyagers of the night

these are the men and women of tomorrow

who surely have learned

that their survival

is intrinsically bound up with yours.

Ron Okely

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Balanggarra

 

Driving fast on the Gibb River Road

dust beating up from tortured corrugations

cockies tumbling and screeching –

flashing hard and white toward paradise.

Panoramas to die for,

ancient layers sedimented in waves

against a burning dusk –

deep culture locked within,

multiple aeons of geology and early

human –

especially that.

People lived here for tens of millennia

knitted to earth sky water wind

sustaining life and care and culture –

singing lines of connection and meaning.

And we came to these fatal shores just the other day

with western science on our side,

the might of empire in our pens,

savagery at our fingertips –

and a plenitude of toxic diseases

to die for.

We thought that in describing

the layers of sandstone sedimenting

in a primaeval turbulence

and then decomposing

under aeons of drenching downpours, leaving

humped and banded structures that ache with beauty –

we alone deciphered meaning.

But above and beyond that,

the deep layers of Balanggarra living

that make sense of time

and a mockery of text –

with a bustard lurking head high

in the grasses beyond the verge –

shape all this beyond our understanding, except:

the old men,

and the old women, they

know, and they tell me –

why it is as it is.

Allan Padgett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Ephesus

Hepta heard

Heraclitus weep

in the square

and whisper

in the tent,

the flap closed

against the elements

where an estimated

9500 people

in Western

Australia

sleep

in a doorway,

on the pavement

or in a park,

in a car

or under clouds

and the stars,

some without a swag.

or on pavements

our homeless

sit and sleep

Joyce Parkes

Linden and Leschenaultia

Though unable to hear her,

the mirror sees her stare

records her glare, prompting

Linden to resolve or parry

glances of  j’accuse, disdain,

critique, acclaim and query,

learning to acknowledge

argument known to lean

on certainty, labouring

to lift discussion and

consider hibernating

shades of contiguity,

congruity, concinnity,

seen to leave for a party

given by Leschenaultia.

Furthering détente,

amends — parenting

descant, dissent?

Joyce Parkes

Tiers of Address

T T T T T T T T T T T
T                            T
T                    T
T               T
T         T
T   T
T
T
T
T
T
T
T
T T T T T

            Joyce Parkes              

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Difficult Love And Complicated Kisses*

difficult love and complicated kisses;

My love burns electronically elusive and hard to get to know.

the unrequited essence of consummate loneliness is closer than

compassion

a confusing tangle of words between us and no-one can find an end to untie

them all.

why can things be simple, an unvarnished love without the

painful

peccadilloes of primping prima donnas.

Difficult love and complicated kisses:

Bent out of shape in a spiralling emotional pretzel,

Wanting to be together but failing again and again iteratively,

Stretching out further in search of unity,

Missing the subtle signals of secret love in gesture and speech.

Difficult love and complicated kisses:

Aching with baffling passion for an unknowable consummation,

It‘s near to impossible when love consists entirely of

hesitation

so fleeting the flirting that hints at an ending,

I may just give up and settle for befriending.

Tim Parkin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scared ‘ N’ Get’n Scareder!

Who’z Believing there’z a Significant amount of Worry to be Gleaned from Current ……    ..      ….Trend’z of Encouraging All to be Embracing More Assertive natures
thus alleviating previous trend’z of BULLYiNG of the Marginalized & the Introvert

….   …WHAT’z an alternate Philosophy on self-Actualizing Assertion I hear you ask

Be caught in a Wrong place Right time, in a Line of Fire, Between a Rock & A Hard Place scenario?                           Whilst thus most likely Having one’z Head beaten to a Pulped Throbbing, Pulsing Hematoma mess, one’z Torso & extremity’z Punctured & Pockmarked with Bludgeoning’z from Fist’z & Toe &               alleged light Handed restraint Techniques

All of course Whilst STILL Blaming it All on Society’z Global Village of Peaceful Ideology

&

Mother Nature SHALL Be Sad

{*:-)

Neil J (BRiLO) Pattinson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nimbin

An older woman

with a wicker basket works the street,

her customers the lounging packs of youths

and older men who seem unhealthy

gaunt and grey.

Jim, Juni and Nimbin: pole stars of our youth

when it did seem possible     we could keep goats

and hens      make candles      barter

wipe away the world of 9 to 5.

There are still communes in the hills

but in Nimbin rainbow flags

and painted shopsfronts are faded now

tie-dyed clothing of the locals tired and torn.

We came to Nimbin:

watched hens scratching in the rubbish

under bushes at the kerbside      as we sat

drinking coffee

in just another dusty country town.

Flora Smith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lake Inle, Burma

Young Burmese woman with a sprig

of dark blue Hyacinth in her hair

washing at a window on a cantilevered sink.

Eyes down, intent on cleaning dishes or

perhaps to dwell on pink lotus flowers

floating below her feet.

A chiaroscuro portrait framed in rustic teak.

Not a wasted pixel and each one in its place

captured in an instant by a single camera click.

An image reminiscent of that Dutch master

so meticulous with perspective

when painting women engaged in  kitchen tasks.

So different, so similar, look closely,

I think you will agree

the difference is but chromatic

for the camera has captured blocks of primary colour

dramatic against a jet backdrop

while Vermeer’s eye saw splintered northern light

with just a hint of pale pastels.

Laurie Smith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Flying

The fuel was pungent

as I waited for the

plane to take off

curling my nostrils

in displeasure

waiting seemed forever

as the engines

reeved its turbo motors

causing the plane

to vibrate

my body shook

against the seat

as one was belted in

fierce roar as it taxied

along the runway

finds its upward thrust

an assault

like rolling thunder

in the distant sky

in the air it cruises

with a continual hum

chatter of cabin crew

often disturbs ones silence

as curry wafts into isles

the cuisine stimulates my

hunger pangs

I stir to the occasion

I select my meal

with wine, savour

every morsel

then relax

until touch down

Faye Teale-Clavi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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