Creatrix 28 Poetry

March 2015

Selectors: Peter Jeffery AOM and Chris Palazzolo

Contributors:

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Strip Cleared and Bankable
The Cusp of Falling

Derek Fenton

Guzzling Through A Ghazal
Poetry Reading 

Margaret Ferrell

After the Flames

Kevin Gillam

is it?
the road

Mike Greenacre

Being Frank
Time Tunnel

Elanna Herbert

Stairway to the Moon Roebuck Bay

Jackson

The Emptied Bridge
The Secret Slip

Ross Jackson

Routed To Ikea
Wattles

Christopher Kennedy

Summer

Deeksha Koul

Living in Time
This This That Is

Andrew Levett

Recoil
Abject

Jan Napier

For Those Who Drift
The Man With The Dali Moustache

Tony O’Donnell

Invaders
The Lady Death!
Sometimes  A  Bird !

Joyce Parke

Any Other
While on the Ground

Neil J (Brillo) Pattinson

A fiNGER to the X Gen’z

Lynne Talmont

The Spaniard

Traudl Tan

Caravans of the Himalayas

Faye Teale Clavi

NAANI

Rose van Son

Vincent van Gogh Paints Eugene Boch, 1888

Joanna Wakefield

The Sculptor

Gail Willems

Pearl Rapture 

 

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Strip Cleared and Bankable

The crooked, chipped beak
which is man’s work
gnaws hill and mountain,
recourses rivers and recoils
its deposits to slag
on geometrically flat piles.

Chews to the bone
the seam of excitement
to deliver the delirious fever
of a bankable study.

How the numbers calculate
the worth over justice
ride rough over habitat
squander jewels in strip cleared.

The logic of roads and hardstand
sprout iron webs
and mechanical mammoths
that feed on the insatiable pursuit.
Drive tunnels deep into the flesh
and bring thunder pounding
to panic cockatoo and galah.

Turn the moon dim
against the floodlights
in relentless endeavour
as the fly-in fly-out rotate
to a crook of shifts
neither here nor there.

Spill their waste and dour looks
across the dismantled habitat
and belch vapours through
pristine desert views.

And as the ingots mount
the bank calculates its due
and labour invests in bigger, flashier
sucking the life from the hard won.
until the vein peters and markets
impose their economic reality.

Leave a wound that slowly scabs
reforms and eases back into country
as man’s beak seeks another
hill to gnaw.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

The Cusp of Falling

On a wave swelling, expansive
cold as butter curled and formed
roll after roll.

Consumed by the drift, the roar
and pound echoes drumming deep
against the shrill of gulls.

Held on the line between sea and sky
the fast trace shot forwards
in the momentary escape.

That moment beyond floating
racing stretched through infinity
where the focus is now.

Where the balanced shape dominates
and there is harmony in the shift
from crest to trough captured in every drop.

And in the silent world of one where everything
has no boundary, no definition of self that is singular
nor attributes less than empathy

it is the point encompassed in form between voids
that holds the culmination of humanity.
That point that extends beyond the touch of water

the feel of air to recognise the intensity in the rush
that elevates beyond the chore of living.
How, without the escape there is no life

and life is captured in a breath
between ocean
and sky.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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Guzzling Through A Ghazal

I don’t regret the time I have spent on
seeking a rhyme, or journeys I went on

in foraging for, a good metaphor
or s.a.e.s to spend my last cent on.

Striving all night to get my poems right
and the publishers doors I have leant on.

Loading  my muzzle with rhymes for a ghazal
and  guzzling all the forms I am bent on.

And yet I get so terribly upset
when a poem’s subject to rejection.

Though I’d not be in this tiff, only if,
I’d written like James, not Derek, Fenton.

Derek Fenton

Poetry Reading

There were so few people at the reading,
I shouted the bar to get them to stay.
My words poured out, my heart was bleeding.
There were so few people at the reading
and just as they started speeding,
I ran to the door to block the way-
There were so few people at the reading,
I shouted the bar but they didn’t stay!

Derek Fenton

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After the Flames

Silence in this place
my first thoughts a skeleton –
the forest, still in shock.

Roar of fire and squeals of fauna
follow me in the fog.  My vision blurs.
But wait.  The snow here came quietly –
an antidote and blessing to earth.

Am I seeing ‘through a glass darkly’?

The paradox here
assails me:  that I can find
beauty in the symmetry of starkness
waiting to meld into greenness.

Margaret Ferrell 

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is it?

the incessant readying for rain?
….phonetics of a fecund tongue?
…………………………..all that letting?
……………………….leaves unmoved?
…………..the impending morrow?
……………………………………..secular?
…………….the sound of furniture?
…………………………………honorable?
nicer (never use nice) in heat?
………………………………..preferable?
…….the scent of a damp flannel?
……………………………………….sacred?
……………………………….the needles?
…………………………………………….me?

Kevin Gillam

the road

the road scars right, across the
palm of land, tumbling, dwindling,
a groove, a history, a way in,
worn and healed slick

the road, oil on linen, bitumen
on peat, with all its gradations
of shadow, bruise to smear to brush

the road, cloud above scuffed and
tugged by wind, rain sifting down,
the ‘haar’ they call it here,
cold breath of wet

the road, its dip and sway, blur
of scrub, the urge, glimpse of roof,
swerve, the early dark, the entrance

Kevin Gillam

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Being Frank 

One can only live so
long with a woman
is all he said,
eyes curling in corners
like a protective
grin, wishing
you well
away from him.

I think you were silly
asking her to go
I leaned closer drinking
this German beer,
I don’t think it was
his face
expressionless
and wary   she has
her beliefs
and I have mine.

Perhaps silly is the
wrong word
she just seemed
so nice   she
is his dark eyes
slid in quick
but I’m not in the
marriage market
or anything.

Feeling like I’d
crashed a party
I sat back
and watched him talk
his eyes alert
but as if
it didn’t matter
who was there.

He doesn’t need
anyone   an ex-girlfriend
said   that’s just Frank.

Mike Greenacre

Time Tunnel
_____
for Chris

Like a magnetic force
I was lured
to your alternative
lifestyle and
artistic workings.

As children we
shared time’s adventures
and wove life
patterns from our
crochet rug upbringing –
threads sequenced
in well-trained space.

How I envied you
with a younger
brother’s frustration –
never seeming as good,
confident or
direction sure.

As teenagers I
couldn’t understand
the way you
closed me off, as
if you had outgrown
our childhood yard.

Like a trapeze artist
you swung from
the academic tree,
locked yourself
away in files –
mathematics and science
your guardians,
your bars

and I leapt for shelter
as a frightened
voice seeking the
mateship of other lives
and vices that
didn’t compete with
academic lives.

The irony of grown-up
years finds me as
teacher – game-master
on the competitive
wheel

and you as actor
who contemplates and
traces life’s sinews,
manipulates
the threat of time.

Mike Greenacre

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Stairway to the Moon Roebuck Bay

_______________ tonight

_______________ it is the same moon I see now
sky moon sea merge end beat the day
with a night void of the sea’s
breath
of sand and weed stone
rock and curve

of the moon beach                  of your tide

_______________ it is the same moon up in the north
the night dark wine
the moon                     peach pregnant with
memories of dust dry
tinged red                                this is that thing

_______________ the stairway moon that
I buried each day
you were not here

Elanna Herbert

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The Emptied Bridge

This year I won’t stand under the railway bridge when the trains
are going across, she said, even though it thrills me so,
the adrenaline secret of the huge metal body
roaring above me. This year I won’t, won’t, she said, because
every time I do it, the thrill is a little smaller,
the thrumming struts and howling iron breath more familiar.

This year I will hang back, I will wait, I will let the train
rumble on without my small gasp and shiver below it.
It makes no difference to the train, she said, so this year I
will simply watch, then pass beneath the emptied bridge and go.

Jackson

 

The Secret Slip

This is the point from which I always leave
I lock my baggage into a box
to free me while I wait
The key is a number
A secret printed
on a slip of paper
My instrument won’t fit
I have to carry it

This is the point
Under the table my instrument
crouches in its sheath
The locos stand on the lines
bellowing their punk
A sound like yellow streaks
in smoky black
I loved you so much I wanted to unlock
the boxes in your head
and write your healing songs

It doesn’t happen like that
This is the point from which I always leave
I’ll turn my back on the lines
I’ll wrangle my instrument
unlocker my baggage
and put them
on a bus
I’ll sit beside a cellist from Chile
who produces trance and trip-hop
I’ll throw away
the secret slip

Jackson

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Routed To Ikea

Just past Hoyt’s hangar of Hollywood clang
and Botanica Liquor
an intersection of franchised foods
and whiplashed nerves.
I bridle at the tyranny of traffic lights.

The view through the upper windscreen
colourless, cloud streaked sky.
Slops of separated milk
curdle in an idling mind. Logos are
stacked on the horizon and recognising
the sign for The Reject Shop,
are we in Innaloo? Well,
not quite yet.

An overdue green light.
I drive by the fenced compound and where
Synergy has interned the Daleks, mouldering
water from a nearby drain humidifies
unmanageable grass.

That dribbling slime thick as blood
issuing from the sump by the roadside,
that piddle lost amongst the sod,
a debased suburb’s bleeding stump.

I press on for Stockholm,
a serious blonde
and a flat packed wooden desk.

Ross Jackson

Wattles

In suburban streets in Australia
a cavalcade of moderation
going by wattles and breathing in the grass
in the parks of this country healthy weeds
of toleration, plus roses of all shades
and whilst civility is spreading through
the undergrowth, broadcast from our ice-cream
vans is the promise, We’re doing alright
an anthem which is breezing through wattles.

Ross Jackson

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Summer

Summers’ blasting heat
Made me shed my skin.
A new me meet a
cool breeze
of a hot afternoon.
Awake, child – a new year will arise;
while in the dusk
I am aware that
old things are best left behind;
with new things to be embraced with care.
I wait for dawn.

Christopher Kennedy

 

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Living in Time

Not every start has an end
perhaps, what’s drifting as time passes
is not made for suspension, not meant
to be called, not meant to be anything
even with a start at all, something I cannot tell –
how I’ll be when I’m near that shadow –
whose? In the next room, voices
murmuring newness after the rain
as the sunset blazes to confess its longing,
revealing itself fully in that gaping minute,
finally sure of what it is.
Not grasping why in this instant I see myself
seeing this – there’ll be violets
perhaps, at my elbow and I woken from sleep
will come where I am having done what I remember
and outside will have the golden light
knowing and known as it always is.

Deeksha Koul

This This That Is 

So this is me at twenty-four,
not quite sure if I’m living proof of anything
which caused me or which I embraced
or which sits behind some bolted door

still waiting to be known.
By sunlight I’m absorbing Habermas
and scoffing packed lunches

______ external nature, society, internal nature, language

but lingering over my plums –
sweet ripeness, full lushness – something there –
where – those converging worlds, almost superposing,
ardour beating alive, buzzing without apology –

yes, no smokescreens to hide the zany, the smarmy,
beneath whose shadowing company I’d ask myself
less who are you, more how are you
and be not grasping, not glazed over

but irrevocably stark

some structures must be rationally reconstructed

even in revision.
Oh, but I have already journeyed like a nation,

have heard the gorgeous rustling of early evening
in open-air walks, golden apples dropping from boughs
marking regresses of this life’s kind,
wild forms entwined.

Deeksha Koul

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Recoil

A childhood echo
shrivels mucus membranes
every thing a possible threat.

Each word       gesture             deed
analysed          categorised
a snail poised to withdraw.

This shell endures
a necessary burden
to avoid another crushing.

Andrew Levett

Abject
_____
Inspired by the common phrase used in ‘Game of Thrones.’ 

People are dicks
slithering flukes
that latch onto hearts
ejaculate into souls
and burst cherries
before slinking away
leaving stillborn foetuses.

People are cunts
menstruating abysses
that entice with perfume
fake orgasms
and pilfer your seed
before castrating flaccid weeds
with concealed dentata.

People are arseholes
gaseous fissures
that dribble diarrhoea
smoosh spirits
and defecate inside cathedrals
before saturating your sacristy
with a lingering stench.

Andrew Levett

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For Those Who Drift

Red leaf on grey pavement,
message in eucalyptus to say after the fall,
a grace note,  an ellipse.

Swept away, lost between breath and not,
rooty boys who march into the cannon’s iron rain.
Amputees these lads, limbs cut to stumps,

missing attachments, they return budded too
with secret wounds, nothing to hold onto,
scry shadows at midday.

An undoing begun in something more fluid than
frog song, breaking down to humus.

New growth is nurtured until the hub of
seasons creaks, another bee sweet boy struts,
and a sunless day cups red leaves, uplifts lips.

Jan Napier

The Man With The Dali Moustache

The man with the Dali moustache
leans on the dark bar unfrosts

gin and lime with his fast fancy’s hand.
Denies the perfect logarithmic

curve of a rhinoceros horn on his
forehead, bullets full of purple, shot

glasses of Drambuie a dangle
from his tuxedo. Says he doesn’t

remember doing any of that stuff.
Says persistence of memory is not

his to own.

Jan Napier 

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Invaders

“The founding fathers with their guns and bibles . . .”
from “New Zealand” by James K Baxter 

They came with “guns and bibles”
To civilise, they said
Then either preached us half to death
______ Or shot us as we fled.

They came with rum and baubles
To set us free, they said
Then either raped us as we slept
______ Or chained us head to head.

They came with nouns and verbals
To educate, they said
Then taught us all we need to know
______ Is how to make a bed.

They came with puns and fables
To pat a tousled head
Then as they trucked away our kids
______ Said they would be well-fed.

They came with gowns and doublés*
To cover up, they said
Then as they stripped us of our land
______ Told us to thank their God!

Tony O’Donnell

*Coined from “doublet” – a kind of tunic!

 

The Lady Death!

From the corner of my eye
The Lady Death I did espy
I turned to look with some surprise
And stared into her lovely eyes
’Ere she was gone.

Again she came another day
Watching in the same calm way
Returning stare with dawning smile
“No hurry!” in her stance and style
Then she was gone.

In the corner of my room
The Lady Death in deeper gloom
Waits closer now with message clear
“Put things in order now, my dear!
Soon you’ll be gone!”

Tony O’Donnell

 

Sometimes  A  Bird !

__________ On an orderly day
on your orderly way
__________ something is seen
or something is heard
_______________ sometimes the grass
_______________ in orderly green
__________ sometimes a flower
_______________ sometimes a bird!

__________ On an ordinary day
doing ordinary things
__________ you, an ordinary girl,
will, without knowing why,
_______________ suddenly look up
__________ and that patch of blue
_______________ or the cloud passing by
__________ will remind you that I
_______________ am around.

The sound of the sea
or the branch of a tree
__________ will remind you of me.
_______________ Sometimes a flower
_______________ sometimes a bird
____________________ that no longer sings
but you’ll know who it is
__________ by the lift of my wings!

Tony O’Donnell

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Any Other

On the third of February two, zero, one, five,
an announcement surfaced that a person,
someone’s child, someone’s best beloved,
someone’s parent perhaps, was put in a cage
and burnt alive somewhere in your and

my world where some are fragile, some meek,
some passionate, some measured and some
ferocious. If homo sapiens can be better or
worse than any other animal in our universe,
how to make for Eden, when to swerve?

Joyce Parkes

While on the Ground
_____
With thanks to S. J. and in memory of R. J.

Eleven days before his 84th birthday
Robert died at home in his sleep and
not in pain on the almost longest day
of the year two zero, one, two. Meet
other painters and sculptors
 

in that studio in the sky, as he would
surmise, depict perhaps that artists
especially, labour, sigh, over abstracts
of why one was born — having Robert
the artist consider sketching the story

of one of his friends who wanted to die,
moved forward instead after Susie,
Bob’s sister-in-law, suggested:
While you are waiting to die, why not
do something for someone else?
 

While on the ground paintings and
sculptures wrought by Junips continue
to thrive in living rooms, board roams
and other places up high, they may well
dare skies to help the homeless.

Joyce Parkes

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A fiNGER to the X Gen’z

_____ Old Man, A thing of Beauty                                         He’s A Pillar
_____ of Community                                       Untouchable or
_____ Working Class or                      Witless & Workless in a

Work Obsessed Society
Navy Cotton Wife-Beater through                     Collar & Cuff’z
of Any Color & Hue                    Scent of Cologne – or Not –
stink of                                      Prickly Pear or Pole Cat
Bundled New’z Print & Linseed Oil (Neat’s-foot)

_____ He’z Pheromones will be Palatable to                           Mature of
_____ the Opposite, at                                                           70’ty the New 50’ty
_____ He should be Free to
_____ Declare when                                                  His Ready to Declare or
_____ Declare to be Free when
_____ His Ready to be Free, NOt
_____ Oppressed by Bureaucrat, the                            In-
_____ Humane At the Desk
Battling Body Mass to Weight Ratio (Index?)             & Sex &
Love & Lust, Intimacy & Desire,                       His Mostly Juzt A
______________________________   Lonely Old Man
_____ He Has A Conscience Heart, Soul Empathetic           He is
of Purity – NoN Monetary, Generosity

Neil J (Brillo) Pattinson

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The Spaniard

Here’s a thing to make you weep,
wail and weep and cry again
the past, that mystery of damaged phrases lifted from dreams
the place where we lose ourselves in spindles of despair
tripping through muddy sand grasping fragments of broken shells.

My song. Your song.
Ha! The past
The two of us banging our heads together like shipwrecked seals;
strangers  grappling with what’s gone before and what’s to come
recognising from the first
how much trouble we were in;
though weeks or was it months before, when I first heard your voice across the piazza
heard the mocking hola I knew was meant for me
what did I know then, when I first met those blackened eyes
knowing at once this hola was mine
to do with as I wished.
Hola, my only Spanish word, a word  I answered in return
flinging  my arms to the Roman sky in mocking mimicry of your dance
Hola, I cried again to be sure I was heard.

Hola I whisper when I drop in for a visit, as though the past might offer me a seat at the table with a hot cup of tea.
I’d live there if I could, make something different of it this time,
Oh the way it could have been
if I’d been resolute enough
if I’d learned your language and you had learned mine.

Lynne Talmont

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Caravans of the Himalayas

in the ancient hamlets
among wild and rugged mountains
of the snow capped Himalayas
at the break of dawn
each day is born
to an orchestra of yak and donkey bells

cobbled together overnight
in the open village square
harnessed, packed and loaded
early in the morning
their bells jingle as each bag
is stacked onto their patient backs

obediently they stand in rows
long eared, slender legged donkeys,
woolly haired and shaggy yaks, wide horned
all with large and tranquil eyes,
dark like shining mountain lakes
resigned to the day’s long, arduous trek

on trails steep and narrow,
where the air is thin and crisp
and willowy suspension bridges
span the deep ravines
filled with raging, rushing torrents
from the Annapurna glacier’s melting ice

they walk til in the sinking sun
mountain snows turn pink and apricot
and gently dusk descends,
the caravan arrives
with a clatter and a tinkling
on the cobbled streets of Tatopani

where the snow peaks gaze benignly
on the busy thoroughfare
and when the cargo is unloaded
the village is the place to rest
for weary man and beasts of burden,
as tomorrow is another mountain day

Traudl Tan

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NAANI

Music Unchained

Music
lyrical thoughts penned
words combined, epic verses flow
in harmony, notes tuned, songs composed

Shadows Cast

Shade
depth of colour found
between light and dark to
cast shadows from sun upon ground

Lost Memory

Memories stitched as one
little bits and pieces of life
becomes patch work quilt
mind ravaged by years

Faye Teale Clavi

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Vincent van Gogh Paints Eugene Boch, 1888

In Arles you meet a painter friend –
painted him in ochre blends
his jacket pinned, his nose pronounced
his face brush-stroked to his chin

In Arles, we too, meet friends
wave to them from the balcony
to street below,  join them as they drink
that well-loved brew, a favourite blend.

From here the night sky canvassed
those other stars you paint recalled
the sky circled midnight blue
a portrait of Eugene tuned.

A halo smooth on his fine hair
you paint a radiance of which you’re prized
your colours warmed by star and sky
join parallels against a starry sky.

Two dimensional gold and green
draw ochre in that Yellow House
Eugene’s collar turned, his tie pin-striped
a candle-flame to light his face.

So we sit my friends and I
imagining your every word
and on our laps a melancholy glaze
to light those starry nights again.

Rose van Son

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The Sculptor

I identified with the imagery as if it were my own,
Coming from green hills far away.
Drizzled pavements that shine, and spring scented May trees
Heavy on the bough that weighs lovingly in my heart.
From whence did this embroidery of ancient macquettes,
Horses, rhytons and inquisitive beasts
Attach themselves giving me a tone
of melancholy longing.

The animals drink and gently move their tails,
Their eyes watch, as they stand
Sturdy on my sketchpad,
Waiting to emerge back to earth and clay,
Masters of their style
Luminous in their form,
A pleasure on my bench
Delightful in their eagerness to please.

Joanna Wakefield

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Pearl Rapture 

Ama / sea woman / elevates a long breath / carries up tomorrow
from alien depths

at altars’ rapture divers shelled in suits
ensnared by a pinctada angel /  tangle in a net
nitrogen bubbles blood / curls in shifting shades of a jade wave

frangipanis taste the air / shards of sadness circle
a breeze etches alien names / soundless names
laid in dust / red pea gravel underfoot
bound white wings / precise rows

a cathedral of stone / space / shadows
clutched to the bone / I step through the lens
someone somewhere
knows the names

Gail Willems

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