Creatrix 31 Poetry

December 2015

Poetry Selectors: Peter Jeffery and Veronica Lake

Submissions Manager: Jan Napier

 

Contributors:

Kaye Brand

I Am Because

 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Latest New

Wildfire

 

Derek Fenton

No Mere Cat

 

Margaret Ferrell

Water Colour

 

Ros Franklin

Love Senses

 

Sally Gaunt

Grapefruit

Sea breeze

 

Kevin Gillam

Fiction For Others

The Groove Of You

 

Mike Greenacre

Before The Fall

Flight Of Love

 

Louise House

Sir Galahad Of The Broken Heart

 

Ruari Jack Hughes

Here I Am

 

Jackson

Disqualified

 

Ross Jackson

City Beach Observed

A Stranger In Queens Gardens

 

A R Levett

Blank Page

Enthral

 

I.H.M. Lowe

Fascinated By The Bruise

 

Meryl Manoy

Illusion

 

Glad McGough

Open Our Eyes

 

Jan Napier

Sunday

Telescoping

 

Kitty Niemann

“I Know The Place”

 

Julian O’Dea

Summer Returns

 

Ron Okely

Under His Own Fig Tree

 

Rose van Son

Sunset Mindil Beach

 

Gail Willems

Water

 

 

 

 

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I Am Because

 

I am

Because of my loneliness

A quiet sacred soul

 

I am

Because of my pain

An atlas of anatomy

 

I am

Because of my fragility

A sinus of butterfly wings

 

I am

Because of my grace

A tethered living gene

 

I am

Because of my joy

The soul of us

 

I am

Because of my love of you

The searcher of my soul

 

Kaye Brand

 

_____________________________________________

 

Latest New

 

This world hammered

into an afternoon walking

through a replica village

of trams and hand machines

that clank and spit

to the smell of ink and grease.

Brought back to gleam

for another day of man’s ingenuity

away from the mass produced

generic called news.

 

Back then

the manual setting of type

lent a human quality

to the staid form of words.

Each sheet counted to distribution

by young boys aching for more

than school.

 

Now the word comes courtesy

of Google and Yahoo

as the world slips into iphones

and androids with touch screen

up to the minute views

where everything fits

the palm of the hand

lacking the association

of ink and gears.

 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

 

 

 

 

Wildfire

 

This holiday of ordinary things in the shooting gallery

flung side to side evading the mistimed bullets of misfortune

on a day that sears beyond hot with a wind to strip out the last drop

as the grass cracks and ignites to race a raging cackle

and spread a black smudge in its wake.

 

The orange tease tricks its way up tree trunks

flicks its frenzied laugh through the tree tops

to erupt scrub and leaves bright and loud.

 

Mercury slugs higher than it should and men and women

in heavy fluoro jab rakes and hoses at the advancing edge

a heeler nipping the heels of a mob shifting, nudging

the mass ever so slight, pulling 12 hour shifts

under the whup whup of water bombers and news choppers.

 

How easily the treasures of man erupt in red and orange

to a  remnant of tangled steel and ash as 57 homes

and one life are chalked on the board,

 

In a land with fire as its heritage there is an arrogant disrespect

from men who build  without regard for the laws of fire

and stare incredulous when the news on television is in their yard.

When the misaimed gun fires in their face

with its burnt black residue.

 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

 

_____________________________________________

 

No Mere Cat

 

Spectators join us on a long par five;

a flock of guinea fowl and a meerkat,

back in the veld and glad to be alive.

Spectators applaud on a long par five

as spirits soar with every drive

lifted by African sounds and smells that

accompany us on the last par five,

all led by the cheerleader, the meerkat!

 

Derek Fenton

 

_____________________________________________

 

Water Colour

 

Rain conquers the dry,

pours life: sound returns to lake

to exile silence

with the language of wildlife

while colour blossoms

blues, ochres, pinks, browns, and white.

So many meldings

for eyes to take in at once –

like watercolour

though this transcends a painting

with its shifting hues

as nature conjures the flow

from air, sky, earth and water.

 

Margaret Ferrell

 

_____________________________________________

 

Love Senses

 

Your eyes take in my body

Lingering in lust

The blind beauty of love.

 

With our hands we caress

The sensitive areas

The delicate touch of love.

 

Our tongues intertwine

Savouring the longing

The sweet taste of love.

 

Delicate sensuous aromas

Drift through the air

Fragrant smell of love.

 

Thoughts of unspoken words

Drifting through our minds

The silent language of love.

 

Rosalind Franklin

 

_____________________________________________

 

Grapefruit

 

Delores Casales has grapefruit breasts,

Her buttocks those pale lemon fruit.

On her brow sits the vine of industry;

her home is clean and airy.

 

Like the wife of Proverbs

she rises early and toils for her family

Three daughters, a grandson, husband Juan from Barcelona:

They hold her in high esteem.

She is thrifty but not parsimonious

and gives freely.

In her crown of faith her generosity is a diadem.

She acknowledges all that her new

Home has given her.  She tills

its soil and plants trees.  The citrus trees are heavy

with grapefruit swelling with the juice of winter rains.

She is not easily fatigued.

She waits without fear for the blush of dawn.

 

Sally Gaunt

 

 

Sea Breeze

The house was built

The children grew up

The breeze blew in

As it had always done

Sally Gaunt

 

_____________________________________________

 

Fiction For Others

 

cirrus is its own language,

scrawled across blue canvas,

mapped, then remapping –

no true North here

 

and a shoreline needs no reminders,

tonight with its shush upon shush,

one island dolloped out there

 

while wind combs at frond and scree,

tugging and selling their stories,

fiction for others

 

Kevin Gillam

 

 

The Groove Of You

 

on the footpath you’re all ant,

much looking down,

cutting against the groove of you

 

and yes, you feel better empty,

like a line not working,

an ant, black-roping thought

 

in the house you grew up in,

propped, defying the gibbous,

cutting against the groove of you

 

a cloud breathes you in

and out into bark and path,

ant blind, antennae touching

 

‘let’s do it by room’ you say,

even your torso accepting,

half-cut, in that groove of you

 

but in this alluvial silence

it’s your walk, not mine,

all ant, blind, searching for sweetness,

cutting through the groove of you

 

Kevin Gillam

 

_____________________________________________

 

Before The Fall

for Tracy

 

Talking freely to her

as if words could

climb above

memory’s deep-seated

mountains

 

that lie between

the spontaneity

of lust and the steady

well-versed

executions of love

 

I left quickly

slamming the door

tightly on her words

so no light could

unhinge my resolve

 

before the armour

of conversation

beats me down

below this precipice

where I stand alone.

 

Mike Greenacre

 

 

Flight of Love

 

The long, low howling

rode the breeze through our

kitchen window, inviting

us as guests to morning

and evening song – doves

perched precariously

as tight-rope walkers on

a wooden verandah beam.

 

Almost within reach, she is

the expectant mother,

motor purring to the sky’s

vastness, eyeing us off

with disdain from her shallow

weathered nest, proclaiming

rights of tenure – having

staked out her territory first.

 

Our cats watched, suddenly

becoming frozen cameo

and sleek grey toys,

summing up their chances

as the doves are tuned

to a distant call … one

good leap perhaps, no

pole’s too steep and smooth,

teasing access, a Karma

twist placing them as

audience in desire’s game.

 

The weeks brought urgent

voices and bustling verve,

stressing sparce surrounds,

as the dutiful mother

becomes hunter, feeder,

protector nurturing

nature’s call, guiding their

spirits with skill and

discipline in preparation

for that one day.

 

The Saturday sleep-in

wasn’t planned, but on

hearing our children’s

plethora of ideas and games

drum up the hall, we lapsed

into time’s protection

as our cats ravaged the

baby doves’ unsteadiness,

hurling feathers as a

solemn vestige on the lawn.

 

As our children’s hearts

weep for what this day could

have been, the parents

return, following love’s

scent to their children’s

shallow graves below.

 

 

The long, low howling

rode the breeze through our

kitchen window, inviting

us as guests to morning

and evening song.

 

Mike Greenacre

 

_____________________________________________

 

Sir Galahad of the Broken Heart

 

He hides his broken heart.

It’s blue, like a gasping child.

It’s cracked and sore like his hands.

The cuts leak, trickling blood.

 

He put it in a box.

He locked it up.

He squashed it in, hurriedly.

He covered it with leaves.

He surrounded it with sharp sticks

and hid it in a dark, damp swamp.

 

No-one can hear it beat nor cry.

None can see nor find it.

Sir Galahad clunks around with a hole

where his heart was.

 

He knows where it lives.

The invisible cord, which he cannot break,

sends the singing of his heart.

Sometimes he hears.

 

Sometimes now he listens.

 

Louise House

 

_____________________________________________

 

Here I Am

 

Too hot and too tired

I left the motel room, left him sleeping

Slipped quietly down the hall

Out into the street

Into the huge night

The more huge night sky

Where stars which died

Millions of years ago

Washed me in their beneficence

Light dripping down

Through the cracks in the dark

Until it was more

The dark demurely retreating

A gentle balance

 

No one else walked

In the desert that night

None else saw God’s finger

Stretching to touch

One particular speck in the universe

Where a lonely woman wandered

Without special purpose

In a landscape of light and dark

Her thoughts skeining

In fragile filaments

Nets of unformed hopes

Vaguely cast towards the man

I left in the motel room, left sleeping

And dreaming in a different world

 

Ruari Jack Hughes

 

_____________________________________________

 

Disqualified

 

I dreamed I was starting

in a running race

There were four 400-metre laps

Everyone else limbered up

When the gun went they took off

sending up divots from their spiked shoes

I stretched myself a bit and looked around

The finish line was only 50 metres from the starting blocks

Just there

Practically in front of me

so I walked forward until my belly touched the tape and said, Well?

But the man with the flag said

You’re disqualified

You didn’t run the four laps

What the hell were you thinking? Get out of here!

 

Jackson

 

_____________________________________________

 

City Beach Observed

 

There’s a motorcyclist in the quiet car park           arms folded, visor shut

working machines     their snaking joints

and bucket hands

recalibrate the beach below into what will one day be

a restaurant zone

 

near the groyne which shatters side on waves

a senior bellies up     wades into the grey

and flops

in that border strip of caul fat and egg whites

ten metres from the shore

 

either side of Rottnest          ships nose to tail

my eyes sail away

to the horizon with three large birds          until

the motorcyclist        taking her time

descends the path     in her towel sarong

 

Ross Jackson

 

 

A Stranger In Queens Gardens

 

An unmoving afternoon.

Pond water holds lawn’s greenness

in a film across its eye.

 

A palm branch floats in the reeds.

Coots and ducks come for a share

of my little lunch.

 

An unbroken afternoon.

This is my Sunday park bench-

will the world ever reach so far?

 

Ross Jackson

 

_____________________________________________

 

Blank Page

 

When no one else will listen
you are always there
a blank canvas
on which to scrawl.

In seven or eight millimetre
ruled varieties
you never judge or criticise
my passionate expulsions.

 

Whether inferno, earthquake, or downpour
you offer freeing revelations
disentangling me
from the desert’s thorny weeds.

When emotional understanding
eludes me
you inspire characters
who express it for me.

While you always listen
you never respond
a silent companion
reflecting my soul.

 

I.R. Levett

 

 

Enthral

 

Desires trampled

the heart enlists imagination

stitching

glances

smiles

coincidences

into gratifying melodramas.

 

Nostalgia

bleeds into obsession,

leeching lifeblood,

animating

Frankenstein’s monster.

 

A.R.  Levett.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Fascinated By The Bruise

 

I was fascinated by the bruise.

Indigo pure melting into azure haze

like a sky and freedom.

 

I was fascinated by the bruise.

Started to fall and lose myself

into the deep and darkening hue.

 

Had to shake myself awake

to go get help for you.

 

I.H.M Lowe

 

_____________________________________________

Illusion

 

Topmost branches fired

by long fingers of the setting sun

its hand’s muted colours

gently caress the hushed bush

lulled by the faint cries of homing birds.

Extended shadows steal across the understorey

merging green and grey

peace descends at close of day.

 

Only the constant drone of traffic

dispels our illusion.

We are in the heart of suburbia

this bushland its lungs –

breathe deeply.

 

Meryl Manoy

 

_____________________________________________

 

Open Our Eyes

 

Open our eyes and let us see

phenomena of this Gaia planet:

each petal of the sculpture rose

a lifecycle metaphor of all that breathes –

 

uniquely created by pollinated seed

to bud, to grow, to fully bloom

to flush in shades of inherent colour

perfume mirroring incense of being

 

slowly then to mortify

 

Expose our sensitivities that we may hear

the harmony of the universe

myriads of musicians on ground–– in flight:

explicit caution, but more enchant.

 

And then …

 

acknowledge ambience

the fresh sea air to stroke facade

the scallywag of the dawning dew

the touch of a devotee’s embrace

 

But then …

 

to savour, see the working bee

As water into wine transformed

nectar an allegory for sustenance

provided for earth’s living beings

 

Then, too …

 

pervading fragrance s portray

the unadulterated to consume

and warn of vulnerability

from environmental quixotic state.

 

Then, now …

 

How can a poet’s daunting task

paint word pictures on a page that’s blank

to appreciate the miracles of being

inhabitants on this unique earth?

 

Glad McGough

 

_____________________________________________

 

Sunday

 

Bishops dropsical with seasons thump pulpits,

thunder a martyr’s words, (these, stone and grey

and sacred as chill walls of churches spiked

with crucifix and icon, narrow windows

stained with agonies of saints), warn heretics

that He watches over all.

 

Already branded sinners, congregations

sit, lead soldiers, barely dare to shuffle feet,

find the Lord may only be adored by souls

open to the golden trinity of collection,

tithe, and confession.

 

Discover salvation will only be offered

to knees purple with ache, shy throats

that swallow an eternity of hellfire along

with stale wafers and raw wine, and those

whose stomachs do not rumble for roast lamb

throughout Sunday service.

 

At home, good Christians unbutton, and ignore

gardens ample with the humility of beans,

the scarlet crunch of radish, eye next door’s

melons, say down with drink, as ring tops clink,

tune to the racing channel and give thanks

to God for earthly pleasures.

 

Jan Napier

 

 

Telescoping

 

Stars through glass

a jump

sudden the moon

so close

no space between.

 

Observe

her surface, ranges blunted

to nubs, craters and  grey dust seas,

Mare Nectaris, Mare Imbrium,

irony of romance in latin tags

strange as boot  prints marring

tranquillity.

 

Step back     reset perspective.

Track an ambit that gives the lie

to distance, rhythmic attraction

ensuring that even when blue,

this mystery in pale

 

makes nothing

of the spinning dark.

 

Jan Napier

 

_____________________________________________

 

“I Know the Place”

 

I’ve been there before – I know the place

Yet I had no eyes no ears no face

Infinity Eternity

A man made fantasy

“That’s heaven,” – I’m standing in it!

Now – I can hear

Now – I can think

Now – I can see

Now – I wake – from a sleep

And time – is strapped to my wrist

I’ve been there before – I know the place

No time no eyes no ears no face

Eliminate sound

Eliminate sight

Eliminate Time

I won’t know day or night

* * *

The ending of my days draw near – I have no fear

To loosing flesh of bones – hair in flames

Not with the sun shining on it – but flames burning, it crackles snaps.

* * *

I like my hair, I fuss over it, roll wash colour curl

I was a girl – now I’m an aged lady

I’ve been there before I know the place

No time no eyes no ears no face

I won’t be sitting in a golden sun set, Laced, with a brocade of Pink clouds.

In a Man Made – “Happy, Hear After”

* * *

No waves, will find – my ashes

No wind, will call my name

I go back, in peace, from where I came.

I’ve been there before – I know the place

No time no eyes no ears no face

* * *

 

Kitty Niemann

 

_____________________________________________

 

Summer Returns

 

“Remember me?”

asks Summer,

letting down her hair

from her

golden bonnet.

 

“How could you forget

how you sweated

in my scented

embrace?”

 

“Forget Winter!

That cold bitch never

loved you.”

 

Julian O’Dea

 

_____________________________________________

 

Under His Own Fig Tree

 

Summer time

Figs are in season

My tree is loaded

Best pick them

They don’t last long on the tree

Leave the birds to get the high ones

Messy things figs

But oh so delicious

 

I hear a call

My beloved

from the bathroom

 

I’m in the shower

I’d like my fig

Could you bring it to me

It’s on the bench

 

There she is

Shower cap on head

Bare foot up to her neck

Shower streaming

 

A fig in the shower !

 

It ‘s O.K.

It’ll wash all the sticky off my face

I just felt like it right now

 

I shut the door  –  slowly

 

She emerges some time later

Well that’s the nicest fig

I’ve eaten this year

 

And the time will come   the prophet said

when every man will sit under

his own vine and his own fig tree

 

But not just yet old man

Not just yet

 

 Ron Okely     

 

_____________________________________________

 

Sunset Mindil Beach

 

Here on this heat-soaked beach

you are one of many faces looking

forward                      sky bloodied red

as if the end would not come

soon enough

 

the ocean bares its feet

feeds its soul measures steps

waits               sand-swept wind

giving sun all the space it needs

to splinter      cloud from sky

 

giving children          time

to run the beach

the volley ballers       time

to flush their game

to firm sand               below their feet

 

the ball flies high

nets its way to the other side

 

the sun unperturbed

gentle in its run

knows what side it’s on

 

drops a goal

behind                        the dying sky.

 

Rose van Son

 

_____________________________________________

 

Water

 

a shield to throw off light

a void to absorb light

a passive nothingness

it bends magnifies

distorts  tricks the eye

 

reflected in the convex surface of a drop

a face bulges at the brow

 

a pool  dark   blankfaced

scum skimming a bowl   a puddle

or an inkiness of a hundred feet

 

Gail Willems

_____________________________________________

 

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