Creatrix 28 Poetry

March 2015

Selectors: Peter Jeffery AOM & Chris Palazzolo


List of 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


The Emptied Bridge

The Secret Slip

Ross Jackson

Routed To Ikea


Christopher Kennedy


Deeksha Koul

Living in Time

This This That Is

Andrew Levett



Jan Napier

For Those Who Drift

The Man With The Dali Moustache

Tony O’Donnell


The Lady Death!

Sometimes  A  Bird !

Joyce Parkes

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


Rose van Son

Vincent van Gogh Paints Eugene Boch, 1888

Joanna Wakefield

The Sculptor

Gail Willems

Pearl Rapture 




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


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


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 


is it?


the incessant readying for rain?

….phonetics of a fecund tongue?

…………………………..all that letting?

……………………….leaves unmoved?

…………..the impending morrow?


…………….the sound of furniture?


nicer (never use nice) in heat?


…….the scent of a damp flannel?


……………………………….the needles?


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


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


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


and you as actor

who contemplates and

traces life’s sinews,


the threat of time.

Mike Greenacre



Stairway to the Moon Roebuck Bay



it is the same moon I see now

sky moon sea merge end beat the day

with a night void of the sea’s


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


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.



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




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


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




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




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



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


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



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






“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


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



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


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



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



Music Unchained


lyrical thoughts penned

words combined, epic verses flow

in harmony, notes tuned, songs composed

Shadows Cast


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



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



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



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