Creatrix 30 Poetry

September 2015

Selectors: Peter Jeffrey OAM and Chris Arnold

Contributors:

Sue Clennell

When in Rome

Geraldine Day

Smooth

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Daybreak
Four Step Dance

Derek Fenton

Hey Man The White House Roof Has Collapsed

Sally Gaunt

Laughter
Sky And Sea

Kevin Gillam

Airfix hours

Mike Greenacre

Café Poet(ry) in Fremantle
From Bar to Spyglass

Ann Harrison

Adieu to Somewhere

Elanna Herbet

Cursive Lessons
Intertextuality: The Council Pool

Jackson

dream47
my-mother

Ross Jackson

In William Street
The Pink Chateau

Chris Kennedy

Forty-one Children

A. R. Levett

Harvester of Sorrow

G. McGough

Pharmakon

Dean Meredith

Panning For Gold
Shooters

Jan Napier

Ruby Sea Dragon
Stone Fruit Season

Julian O’Dea

café

Colleen O’Grady

Winter Rain

Virginia O’Keefe

Balmain Song

Ron Okely

SMS to Charlie
Spreading The Ashes

Allan Padgett

Coles is Closed And I Am Crying
Dogs Breathing Hard

Joyce Parkes

Sprinklersss

Tim Parkin

cones
prerejection

Laurie Smith

Water Boy

snake

Gail Willems

Nameless

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When in Rome

Go barefoot like Sophia Loren.
Your skirt hoisted and tucked in your waist,
shirt showing some belly to the sun,
which is squashed between piazze like
currants in spaghettini.
A carafe of wine and some pane
will be on a chequered tablecloth
as in a still life painting.
Red Lamborghinis circle.

Sue Clennell

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Smooth

Two frogs are dancing on my coffee table.
She’s split to the thigh in liquid gold
off the shoulder, lips thick with attitude.
He wears blue drainpipes, trilby set
back on his head, tailored cream
waistcoat and jacket.
One green hand suckered to his hip
the other pulls her in.
They belong in the forties
in a throaty jazz club
swinging to a rich, smooth saxophone.
Sinatra’s in the sound system
wrapped around them,
his voice naked.

Geraldine Day

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white dingo.JPG

Daybreak
______ a response to a print of the same title by Chris Latham

Sources of interest police this awkward silence.
This expectation before sunrise
held beneath the breath of moonlight
and the agitation of scorch.

A flat, impeccable land
that reaches to a smudged horizon.
A delineation between salt lake and sky
with its earth tone discoloration
stretched past perfection.

Everything held still
in the isostatic interruption.
Its pointed rising inverted in reflection.
Above and below in mimicry
as if once is not enough
to emphasise the depth of isolation.

The elongation to extend beyond mere vision.

This moment captured between intense
summer heat that beats everything flat
and the cold, dark night when the earth
allows a sigh, a brief excursion of life
in the slow lope of a dingo.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Four Step Dance

Step 1.
Finally come end to end from your
head slowing fuzz of troughs and highs
as the music beats and crashes.

This push and pull and you left standing
an island in the roil without rest
or rescue as the surge and sway
build to a storm.

Still you hold, catch a smile, a brief shift
to raise an arm, sway your hips
in the light trance.

Step 2.
Your eyes catch the light and briefly
you are held as a trace of a smile drifts
across your lips and you move
to the rhythm and beat.

Spill from the avenue of lost days
and endless nights that hold you prisoner.
A spontaneous jive married to the music
reeling in the release to twirl
and sway on nothing more than a song.

Step 3.
The world cannot be harnessed
and your dreams are the escape
when there is too much overload.

You find threads of you and cherish
each strand, catch the slip of an idea
to birth a close movement.

Build a veil to contain you.
Something snug where the barbs
and thorns cannot pierce and the world
is the glow of sunset.

Step 4.
A tackled retreat as the light goes out.
You become a no thing again
and self moves sideways as you collect
in a world on your own.

Phase out the need to be social
and drift end to end in your head.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

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Hey Man The White House Roof Has Collapsed
______
With apologies to Felicia Hemans’ Casabianca

The boy sat in the burning car
on the way to Beit Bridge.
“Tell me, Mom , is it very far?
Are there cokes in the fridge?”
“The country hasn’t collapsed yet,
but it won’t take too long.
Remember son, please don’t forget,
your former country’s song.”
She said it as she stroked the flag
stuck to the car’s dashboard,
“Rhodesia ran just like our Jag
and not a clapped out ford!”
It was thirty five years later
he saw that flag again
adorning a racist hater
and now he felt the pain.
His parents were now both long dead,
their views had died with them
and he felt a terrible dread
lingering in his phlegm.
He remembered what bore that flag-
a tea towel on a tray
(not the dashboard of a Jag)
in San Francisco Bay.

He had cast off his parent’s ways
since coming to live here.
His life was full of brighter days
without a hint of fear.
For the most part they’d been quite fair,
not asking him to take part,
but the noblest thing which perished there
was that young faithful heart!

Derek Fenton

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Laughter

I would like to make you laugh,

you old grizzly bear

with white hair

on your chest.

I would like to tickle

you under the arms

make you squirm, wriggle and giggle.

I would like to put the tip of my tongue in your mouth

until you beg me to stop,

trace your ribs with my finger

squeeze your butt,

hold you close,

make the most of or rolling and holding,

laughing at the absurdity

of never holding hands

but sharing the same recurring joke :

Let us both laugh together!

Sally Gaunt

  

Sky And Sea
______ In January 2013 a young girl made the grisly discovery of the severed head
______ of a man in a plastic bag washed up at Porpoise Bay Rottnest Island.

The sky

trying to explain itself to the sea

Hoping

that the sense was in the reasoning

or in faith;

That there was something more than tribal seahorses :

A headless man

Floats in seaweed.

 

Sally Gaunt

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Airfix hours

you arrive on time, usual, while
I’ve just finished slicing sunshine and

putting it into Tupperware, usual,
and the day, given it’s pre-dawn shape of

question mark, usual, but without point,
usual, sits in the shade of angst and

we tune you to me, usual, because one
of yours keeps slipping badly, usual,

and there’s a moon and ragdoll cat and
some late Haydn, and, towards the end, talk

of the sea, all quite usual, but then
the day unbends, what was closing and

inflecting straightens and opens, most
unusual, because, in the last of

our guidings towards harmonics, and just
how to put this, usual, it comes to

me that the idea of something, the
visual imagining, my being

ambushed by a memory from the
future, rather than those authentic

Airfix hours of box opening,
following instructions, gluing, being

and doing, this is where gravity
drags and drowns me, highly usual,

yes, and the point, the day’s point,
unusual, is how my next gnaws at now

Kevin Gillam

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Café Poet(ry) in Fremantle
______
for Jackson

We’re focussing on
non-linear poetry’ she
said – ‘poetry that
can’t walk in a straight
line
’ as we curl
metaphors to see around
corners and what to avoid.

I’m here early, as planned
at Hubble Yard, the breeze
finding me in this
inner room   crowded
now by participants
and the traffic of voice.

Leap or tiptoe out of
your poetic comfort zone

she had invited
commitment to stride forth
before the horse  where
introductions were
slim and barely
covered our girth.

From streams of consciousness
to dream sequences and
plates of chopped-up
words, we all stood
and threw in our lines
with hooks to snag the
rising hems of words.

As we rose to leave,
a word dropped away from
lap to the floor: ‘delight’
it said  and I smiled
my way to the door.

Mike Greenacre

From Bar to Spyglass
______
for Dick Alderson

I don’t often get this far
sip as many words
from another’s glass

but tonight I’m almost
halfway through
this jug of verse

before the first speaker
mounts the stage
to break the ice of words.

And you smile back
your reflection as
the bold face of Galileo

refuting Aristotle’s Laws,
ride the Copernican Theory
that leads your spyglass

further out, past the moon
and it’s myth-givings
towards the limits

of science and
mathematical formula
to what remains

beyond words

Mike Greenacre


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Adieu to somewhere

I will say to people
birds fly south in winter
there is no need to search
they will come back
but if they don’t
they have found
somewhere else
to stay
somewhere
more glorious than we can ever imagine
somewhere
worth the journey, the pain
somewhere
too beautiful.

Ann Harrison

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Cursive Lessons

__________________ I am
writing this on
the back of that letter.

I write naked in the space
of my past                   the
parchment stretched between
bones of my dreaming
the blank white space of it.

__________________ Her finger dipped into the dark
indigo-blue bottle
delicious bottle of ink like the first time
she held the nibbed pen and learnt
the lessons of cursive.

__________________ In those early years
she wrote clear and precise
she wrote the ink letters on his naked back
the blank white space of it.

The pen tip of her index finger
dragged across the skin’s horizon
curling the letters where required
pressing the nail down sharply
each letter ending with a dark point.
She tattooed the letters of her past into flesh
and sent the letters off.

She did not expect
a reply
or anticipate
the blank white space of it.

Elanna Herbert

Intertextuality:   The Council Pool
______
after John Tranter’s ‘Debbie & Co.’

so this paradise as written
remains under the democratic sun
of the council pool where
Debbie & Co watched with their
Nikon – waited and skylarked as

their futures unfurled too fast
around and between their legs

this is us – you and me
what remains lay the ghosts
of our pallid rebellion?
A teenage ciggie behind the kiosk
the back of the council pool

before training starts at four
bodies spear the diving pool
damp towels – chlorine fresh
skin tight as a drum
sun peeled bleached as
far back as bones can go

and I remember
the photographs – how unprepared
I was when we took them
for loss.

Without seeing it I know this
image – deep etched
incised by your fatal mistake

without remorse
it plunges me through this touchstone
Debbie’s council pool.

Elanna Herbert

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Dream 47

Let me tell you this.
You don’t know him.

You imagine him
in a place of dreams,
a place with not walls but a broad plain
on all sides of him,
a spread of sand,
thin grass,
dry shed skins
to warn off all who approach the line
he’s drawn around his balls.

You imagine him with balls,
a player.

Your voice is an etch,
your veins itch,
your song is the shriek of a wound,

but you don’t know him.

He’s not the place
of dreams,
the archway face,
the doorway body.
He’s not the dreamed hands
holding the dreamed map.
He’s not

the figure.

He’s the kinetic energy

of your pelvis, the mass
of your femur, the velocity
of your toes, the moment
of your sole printing
each next section

of ground.

There
and there
and there
and there.
He’s the dark walk,
the turning,
the going.

The not knowing.

Jackson

my mother 

my mother smells
like cat: tongue licking kitten;
like homespun: wool-grease, warmth;
like eggshell, like duckpond;
like ocean: iodine, fins;
like oils wet on canvas;
like tripe, like boiled cabbage;
like baked apples and ginger biscuits;
like slept-in Tweed by Lentheric;
like cold morning ash;
like yellowing paper;
like glass

Jackson

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In William Street

a shop which smells of seaweed
so far from the sea, yet moors you
to a jetty on the coast of Japan
an emporium of spices further along
puts your foot in the stirrups
makes me recall The Silk Road

Ross Jackson

The Pink Chateau

Gilt lions slope along the top of the pink walls of the estate.
In the central courtyard like uncorked champagne, a mosaic
Vesuvius erupts in water jets from a colossal bowl
and as sunset strikes down medieval streets, he watches her walk
in the clinging skirt to the borrowed Ferrari and at that
moment he knows he will do whatever it takes to get hold of
ten million euros, for what she must have is the pink chateau.

Ross Jackson

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Forty-one children

Forty-one children
have been taken into custody
near the opal mines
of Lightening Ridge.
It was news on a bad day,
you could see the ugly homes situated
in the desert scrub, the cries, the tears,
while not far away miners
amassed fortunes in opals.
Some to be stolen by mercenaries
with the guns, from which power comes.
Did they poison the dogs
like mercenaries do?
Did they say sorry, but you again
have been betrayed,
by one of your own, with a gun?
Did they say “Here, beautiful young one,
take this gift of an opal, to sell in the
underground vaults, where it will be held and never
seen, stored next to failed prime ministers
polished dreams?”

Christopher Kennedy

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Harvester of Sorrow
______
An Ode to James Hetfield 

As one of the four horsemen
he is a self-proclaimed master of puppets
his lyrics speak of creeping death
a blackened soul
alcohol his fuel.

On stage, his attitude is holier than thou
an aggressive don’t tread on me
seeking justice for all
his lifelong struggle within
of wolf and man.

In reality, he is a leper messiah
sad but true he is king nothing
living an unforgiven lifestyle
and tempting fans to ride the lightning
while he plays his devil’s dance.

A.R. Levett

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Pharmakon

This is no longer mine
To hide, secret, ignore.
The written word I’m told
The inner me explores . . .
And since the words are written
Do they forever make me whole?
Or, by confession-driven
Berates my very soul –
For someone else must
Bear my cross
So still I can’t be free
Unless my sin I must confess
To One who loves yet me.

G. McGough

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Panning for Gold

Another day
Down the mine
And up again
The hole grows
So too
The pile of dirt
The light varies
But is
Always there
Somewhere
I dig
Sift
Sweat
Hope
The specs hide
Sometimes
They show themselves
Glad
To be found

Dean Meredith

Shooters

Every bullet was made by a mind
And every bullet was shot by a heart
And every bullet was hit or miss
And every bullet was in or out
And every shell changed something
And every shell was cold and hot
And every shell was smooth and rough
And the hands that held them
And the hands that fired them
And the eyes that saw them
And the bodies that felt them
Were distant no matter how close
Were shameful no matter how clothed
Were sorry no matter how righteous
Were wanting no matter how complete

Dean Meredith

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Ruby Sea Dragon
______
Species discovered 2015.

Kindled in obscurity,
red sparks struck in jet and brine

twin so well with darkness,
that sun rays fail to catch vanes

alien to air soaring a starless
cosmos, as cold blooded and bright,

ruby sea dragons slay shrimp.
On star charts writ in pictograms,

Draco sets ablaze his stellar lair.
Terrestrial kin since vanquished,

serpents in lakes now mere legends
worm and wyvern burn on only

in folklore or so it seems,
but some secrets go deeper.

Jan Napier

Stone Fruit Season

It was stone fruit season then.
Evenings were delicious, cool and blue,
with the soft drunken flutterings of moths,
old willows stroking banks that cupped rusty
water, ponk and boink of frogs counterpoint
to the creak of grandpa ouching into his rocker.
Bones need oiling hey hey. 

Dusk and the mopoke croaked then skimmed
from fencepost to Marri, three paddocks away
a horse whinnied and was answered, and a red
moon rose over the roof. Grandma slammed
the screen door, scent of roast lamb clinging
like her shawl, became one more shadow in
the peach and cricket singing dark.

Jan Napier

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Café

Her porcelain skin,
her laughter like
a tinkling spoon,
her rich brown
tints and aroma …
keeping me awake
at night.

Julian O’Dea

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Winter Rain

The rain drifts in and around the hills;
on the flatland it finds its way beneath my coat,
at home it pours down over my window sills,
and I’m beginning to think I’ll need a boat!

Heavy black clouds wreath around the valleys
hiding the hill tops, even the city skyline,
don’t venture forth without your brollies;
leave early to get wherever you go on time.

Watch out for flooding, so map your course
to travel wet roads safely as still the rain poured;
careful to stay on road or washed off by force
by water that gouges the roads and claims scored.

But me, I revel in the teeming torrents,
enjoying the perfume, watching the hidden hills,
rewarded by the sudden appearance of forests
Grey and dull in the torrential spills.

Colleen O’Grady

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Balmain Song

There’s an old bloke in Balmain
spends winter days in his car
keeping warm, keeping warm.

He reads paperbacks from Opshops
drinks at the RSL
staying knitted, staying knitted.

But I wonder what he does
when the rain is lashing down
and the cold comes seeping in
across the floorboards.

Surrounded by the yuppies
with their 4 wheel drives and coffees
he’s hanging in there, hanging in there.

There’s an old bloke in Balmain
spends winter days in his car
keeping warm, keeping warm.

Virginia O’ Keefe

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SMS to Charlie

We arrived at the house midmorning
Seven year old Charlie wasn’t there
she had gone to school
with her older brother Mitch

After a fine morning tea
____ custard tart    “yummy”
her dad showed me
the book she had written

I was so impressed that
when we were home
I sent an SMS to Charlie

Dear Charlie
May I read your book
to  the Poetry Club
next  Saturday
just the words
I can’t do pictures on my computer

Reply to sender – three hours later
__ I was playing basket ball
__ Yes   Grandpa Ron
__ Love Charlie 

So here it is

Guess how much I love you
______ by Charlie Reid

Chapter one
______ Dad when you’re home
______ I love it so much
______ You won’t believe it
______ But when you’re away
______ I just feel so so so so sad
______ When we ring you
______ or you ring us
______ When I hear your voice
______ I feel so so happy. 

Chapter Two
______ Dad just between you and me
______ when you’re away
______ I have to pretend I love mum
______ Plus it is kind of annoying

Chapter three
______ No matter whether or not
______ You are being annoying
______ I will still love you in every way

The End
______ This book is all about
______ how much Charlie Reid loves her dad
______ Some of it is fiction
______ and some isn’t
__________________ Charlie

 Ron Okely

Spreading the Ashes

It’s more than ten years since he came to live in the forest
Registered sanctuary
for orphaned and injured wild life
Since his death
a hush has come over this small corner of the bush
Seems only appropriate
that his ashes should be spread
among the towering tuarts

A short walk from his back fence
we four and Jimmy
come upon a natural amphitheatre
A grove of these giants
reaching high before branches appear

A family of roos is grazing
Their ears prick up as they look and stare
Slowly loping away they still watch
This is our patch
He often sat here on this log
talking to the animals familiar with his presence.

A few shared memories
Some whispered words of love
A story about the forest for Jimmy

Slowly the ashes are poured in circles
around the giant tree with the red sash
then wider and wider to take in his log
reaching the other trees in the circle.

The stories are shared
The old tawny frog mouth owl with the broken wing
who would climb up the tree using his beak.
The young boobooks brought in after a storm
now living in the forest
One returned playing games with it’s carer’s Beanie
The magpies who show their ownership to the
third and fourth generation
and the blue wren chicks.

There were no trumpeters to laud his achievements
No State funeral to herald his going
But in this tiny corner of the forest
the bush will never seem quite the same again

 Ron Okely   

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Coles Is Closed and I Am Crying

She started shivering when she
knew I wouldn’t get to Coles in time to?

Coles is where the real day starts
and most days end
where life becomes most lived –
at least: for one brief moment

And death is postponed.  Well,
the little death of Wednesday’s orgasm

just gets me over sundown
and then, with dark night falling

and cuckoos calling –
she gets crestfallen
if the lights are out
and the carpark’s dark
coz the sun’s gone down

and the politicians
and bureaucrats flail
in between their own lies
and doors stay shut then

how, I fucking ask you:

is a man to stay sane
if he can’t buy a banana?!

Allan Padgett

Dogs Breathing Hard

you know what i like,
i like dogs breathing hard
down my neck, hot and
steamy
and somehow woofy,
and you know what i like,
i like steaming hot banana custard and i deliberately
let it, no, i actively encourage it, to run down my chin
so i disgrace myself
but then i lick it off the floor
and it takes me back, way back,
to when i used to like
dogs breathing hard
down my neck

did i tell you
that?

Allan Padgett

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Sprinklersss
______
Homelessness Week: 03Agust – 09 August 2015

Temperatures in Perth darted around zero on 08 July
2015 when at night jet sprinklers were sprung on some
of the ones among us experiencing homelessness —

who were trying to sleep around King Street in Perth,
a city named the City of Light. By John Glen. Imagine
how sombre the state of the homeless: one meal a day,

no socks on their feet, beat, bodies wrapped in neglect
and one blanket, the cold and wet pumping pain to their
head and bones in winter, the sun sending splinters of

heat to their face and arms in summer. Are the embers
of concern dwindling to an even slower burn in buildings
housing heat, and taps, commandeered by the salaried?

Joyce Parkes

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I’m Running Out Of Cones

I’m running out of cones
The guinea-pigs are squeaking with hunger
They also need new newspaper and attention
The bedroom is a war-zone, festering and corrupt
The sheets are dirty and full of holes
The floor drowns in empty cigarette butts
Dirty coffee cups everywhere
I’m running out of cones
My imaginary girlfriend has a boyfriend
I’m going to die alone
I’ve lost my mobile phone
I’m running out of cones
There are plates all over the floor
There are lunatics at the door
I am tired and I am sore
I can’t take it any more
I think you know the score
I’m running out of cones
I have itchy balls
Desperation crawls up walls
Madness lurks within the halls
My brain feels full of eels
You don’t care how I feel
I’m running out of cones

Tim Parkin

Pre-Rejection Jitter-Bug Blues 

Because you’re gorgeous
And I’m decrepit and fat
Because you’re a wonderful woman
And I’m a corrupt middle-aged man
Because you’re an indelible arrow in my heart
And I’m a drug-ravaged mop-haired cliché
Because you know all the cool new bands
And I’m stuck in the nineties
Because you’re nubile and radiant
And I’m corpulent and a bit of downer
Because you’re a heavenly angel
And I’m a horrible toad
And I’m not sure if I’ll turn into a prince
Even if you kiss me
Because you’re rapidly transmogrifying into a goddess from my unconscious mind
A sacred projection of my deepest anima
So high above and so lovely
But this is not healthy
You want a man, not a worshipper
So I postpone and procrastinate
About telling you
How much you mean to me
And just try to be friends
But not in a passive-aggressive ‘Nice-Guy’ way
Because I know the answer to the song of my heart
Will be no

Tim Parkin

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Water Boy

I’m dipping hard sud-less water from the bottom of the bath
‘til the scum line  retreats to a grimy ring around the plug.
I’ve saved three four gallon tins of gritty water from our tub
to share with the motley pot plants
my mother calls her garden.
Tomorrow, I’ll take my cart to the nearby mill
refill my drums with that sandy saline water
and drag twelve gallons home once more.

Laurie Smith

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Snake

like the rasp of sandpaper
the sound you create
as your dark coloured body
slides over sunbaked flag stones

shining eyes observe me calmly
small head elegantly poised
swaying gently from side to side
as if in contemplation

forked tongue flickers
like candle light in the wind,
I am regarded with infinite dignity
as I stand mesmerised

timeless, beautiful snake, your
long slender body simple,
uncomplicated, uncluttered
by feathers, legs, wings, fur or feet

you’re only eyes and movement
captivating and fascinating
hardly a shadow to detract from
the eloquence of your motion

you weave effortlessly
without a trace of haste
shaping the sand behind you
in swirls of soft caresses

you gained your reputation
because simplicity of form
hides any indication
of the power you possess

seemingly harmless grace
conveys no threat at all, yet
in one single lightening strike
you can dispatch us to another world

Traudl Tan

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Nameless

Coldness strikes the skin with a sharp musical note
dances the bones
the handwriting of pain etches the face
angular and graceless
__________________ he seems assembled from a pile of dry sticks

Dead leaves scurry in packs down streets
that hang between day and darkness
buildings lean back
black central stalled night reflects nothing
hugging his overcoat closer
his shoulder props a window  ready to move
come morning

Gail Willems
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