Creatrix 32 Poetry

March 2016

Selectors: Peter Jeffrey and Sue Clennell
Submissions Manager: Jan Napier


Tash Adams

             Who Hours

            On The Morning Of The Judging


Kaye Brand

            The Matriarch Of Busker’s End


Gary Colombo De Piazzi


            The Gap (Albany)


Frances Faith



Derek Fenton

            I’m A Ruler

            The Mark Of Spencer


Margaret Ferrell

            The Land We Can Return To…


Ros Franklin

            I Want To Paint

            Mother in Law


Sally Gaunt


            The White and the Red Rose


Kevin Gillam

            Call It That



Mike Greenacre


            Scuff Marks


Ann Harrison



Ross Jackson

            The Biggest Boab In All Of King’s Park

            This Will Tend To Be…



Christopher Kennedy

            I Sent You A Poem


Nada Kesic

            They Fall


I.H.M. Lowe



Meryl Manoy



Dean Meredith

            Catching Moths

            Prey for Us


Jan Napier

            Cold Blood

            Wednesdays Are Green


Alison Obszanski



J K O’Dea



Tony O’Donnell

            Instant Addicts


Virginia O’Keeffe


            Missing You


Allan Padgett

            A Farewell Song

            A Feeling Most Hopeful, The Echo Of Something Read

            An Elephant Shot Me


Joyce Parkes

            Early Steps



Rose van Son

            Angus Henry Darcy





Who Hours


in the night

my child

calls me


lips pressed

to her forehead

tells me she has a fever


my throat is a gravel track

under a featherless wing

i cough clusters

swirl clumps of red earth


her night light

brightens the hallway

outside her room


i trudge into the shadow

knuckles and forehead

hit the wall

an erosion of hair and scales


after her medicine

i lay next to her

i am too big

for her princess bed


i try not to breathe germs on her

but she needs a cuddle


she snuggles

into the plump soft hide

i grew in the grey blur

when I lost sight of me

when I found us


a motherbeast

in the mirror


Tash Adams



On The Morning Of The Judging


take a vase of water

and secateurs

into the garden

she grew


select blooms that are whole


slightly open and vibrating

with scent and colour


make your apologies to the bees

for moving them

they will find another


cut all roses

to the same length

these are the vases provided

use them as your guide


retain two or three

side stems of leaves

to show the health

of the parent plant


from the corner of your eye

the opposite corner

to where the tears flow

you can see her stooped

trimming          caressing


take care to avoid specimens

with deficiencies or pests


place each rose

you cut


into the vase of water


drive them delicately

to the hall

holding them

between your thighs


the society

retains the right

to remove or refuse

any diseased or dangerous exhibits


Tash Adams




The Matriarch of Busker’s End


She is complex for those who do not know

She is too busy to heed surgeons advice

She is adventurously creative, not to be tamed

She is walking with nature spinning webs


Busker’s End, her garden, her English cottage home

Set in Southern Highlands, near Bowral’s Forrest cone


Here she is her own botanical director

Here she clips, pots soils and cajoles the seeds

Here the plants purr, bend to her instructions

Here nature sings, radiating at her request


Busker’s End, her inner sanctum, her knowing place

Where botanical heads poise, dancing  towards her face


Sculptures raise their limbs arching to the heavens

Fences curl to boundary her botanical gem

Artefacts from auctions embed their ancient reflections

Textures with colours  skipping rainbows of her making


Busker’s End, her rest, her joy, her place of home

Where mists swirl early morn and ancient trees groan


The hippy from bygone days, fossicking now in beret and clogs

The mother finding her purpose now cots are folded down

The soulmate who nurtures him through her ever healing garden

The friend, the angel, the gardener, the maker of calming magic


Busker’s End’s Matriarch marching her botanical soulful tune

Silently I  watch her dancing under Busker’s Ends full moon


 Kaye Brand






There is a companionable reassurance to shadows

on days when you walk alone.

Ape your rant when no one is close.


There are days when shadows merge with the world.

Grey winter days devoid of reference points

where every step is uncertain


in  the confusion of what is up and what is down.

Nights without a moon are like this.

It’s as if the world is swallowed in shadow


and we are left to grope the dark aspects of fear

and doubt

seeking shadows tamed


to the aspect of self, Picassoesque.

The long and short of you in a template

against the sun.


A mimicry almost recognizable

in the confident step where the sky smiles

a blue so intense and clouds scud a messy dance


while shadows scribble a chorus.


Gary Colombo De Piazzi



The Gap (Albany)


Collected on this surviving rock, the tempest

and the  eye rolled into a folded arc,

storm stretched and stitched, as clouds billow

in the roil and wash of great southern seas.


Footsteps pound the granite, trash the scrub and moss

to bare stone in runnels strayed to the contour

braced against the wind.


The lonely howl tracks through the sheared cracks.

Calls every death

every tear

for all the ships and all the men

that kissed sunken rocks.

Settled, still as the ocean floor.


And the moon traces the arc of the sea

sets its silver path on the corrugated view

to draw to the horizon with a kiss.


Gary Colombo De Piazzi






loving you makes me feel

like a vagabond..

didn’t i find you in a den of thieves?

and chase you down alleyways

followed by shady dealers?

didn’t we drink bootleg

whiskey and steal cookies

those masquerade nights

dancing in the small hours

by the dark of the new moon,

we told each other secrets..

or perhaps just exchanged

gambling chips.


those sideways glances

of our half-drunk tango

turned to smiles as we

evaded the dream police

every time.


i wander the streets

with homeless feet

and always find you around

the corner, (miraculously).

i bring my booty and you bring

yours ..with a gun

just in case.


shall we go on like

this hoping our streak

will stay gold? least that’s what

i thought i heard you ask.

You with your pockets

full of change and your heart

of no fixed address.


Frances Faith




I’m A Ruler


I’m the kid who works hard in class:

I don’t think I’m too cool for school.

I try my very best to pass.

I’m the kid who works hard in class

and I am made of stone not glass.

I know it’s us, not them, who’ll rule.

I’m the kid who works hard in class.

I sit on a throne not a stool!


Derek Fenton



The Mark Of Spencer


It was as if he was trying to shove

six fingers into a five finger glove

or walnuts into the beak of a dove.

There was nothing which he wasn’t above

in his mad quest to find a rhyme for love.


Derek Fenton




The Land We Can Return To . . .


At the table she is silent:

an old woman, less of her

than last year, size and

presence diminished.


Then music flows from a CD.

Embraceable You caresses –

something is shed – as she

finds her other self.


‘It’s Rod Stewart.’

She stands, begins to move

to a recognisable foxtrot,

rhythm perfect.

‘Tom and I used to dance

to this one.’


Smiles blossom.

Eyes light as she sways

to Rod’s rendition.  By the time

the final song seduces, she is

in the land we can return to

from time to time.


The ultimate:  A Nightingale

Sang In Berkeley Square –

back there, Tom with her

in London.


Margaret Ferrell




I Want To Paint


I want to paint

The thunder rumbling through the clouds

A rainbow dripping onto the arid red soil

The angry sea churning like a washing machine out of control

A screaming cyclone sucking up the earth

I want to paint Nature in all its anger


I want to paint

The timidness of a new born fawn

The freshness of the first rose of spring

The miracle of a Willie Wagtail hatching from a tiny egg

A donkey orchid as it opens its eyes

I want to paint the continuity of life


I want to paint

The warbling song of magpies echoing at dawn

A gentle breeze whispering on a summer night

The notes of a symphony Orchestra floating through silence

The deep throat whispers of a lover

I want to paint the beauty of sounds


Rosalind Franklin




Mother in Law


I offer you myself for who I am

Not what I fail to be.


I want to be able to comfort you


I can be your friend if you let me

By opening the door of your heart.


There is only one gift

I ask from you


I don’t ask for your love

One day I hope you will like me.


The only gift I ask is respect

And consideration of my age.


I don’t expect you to understand me

Because my mind is full of

The many years that I have lived.


Our experiences make us so different.


But we have one thing in common

The love of my son


We should value this more

Than anything we can offer each other.


Rosalind Franklin






Hear the cry of centuries!

The call to arms for Liberty!

Take up the gun now,

Let fall the sowers’ plough.


Rally cry of the dispossessed

to subvert lawful power, Authority

for shibboleths of Equality, Holy Jihad, Democracy;

Tumbrils for the Aristocracy.


Yet, the old smocked serf

turns away from banners and pamphlets

to the rabbit stew simmering at his feet

Choosing belly warmth to Revolution’s heat


While his sinew rippled son

stokes fires of frustration and despair

to melt the party line

in crucibles of black and grime.


Sally Gaunt



The White And The Red Rose


The white rose

symbol of innocence, peace


For forgetfulness comes not soon

to those for whom the velvet red

trumpeted hope and joy.


Love, respecting eternal circles

confines, then allows expansion outwards.



Admire the purity of the white

the passion of the red ;

the outside shell is hard but the

heart leaps, eternal, to the red rose.


Sally Gaunt




Call It That


the long dry

call it that

wind at you

webs through veins

salt and fret

scats of thought

the wrong sand

the rank dams

but cloud hints

then cloud smears

thumbs on sky

the drapes pulled

the page drawn

and fat rain

call it that

paints the stone

stuns the ants

and tugs you

pools you, stills

you, sings you

these fat drops

like hymns, like

home, like hope

so you stand

scrubbed and flung

and you stay

the hour flensed

and wet earth

knows you, kneads

you, breathes you

wet earth knots

you, owns you

yes, owns you

call it that


Kevin Gillam






In the black of night

I find you


lingering in some

worn memory


that throws a hook

to the moments of now


dragging thought un-

willingly   as a prisoner


of time’s journeys

towards the light of day.


Mike Greenacre



Scuff Marks


After I’d sent off my three

poems, packed together tightly

arm in arm, side stepping

like the three Amigos

doing the metaphorical dance


I ran to the bookcase

knowing ‘those’ two lines

flew like a bullet

from somewhere  and the

mind’s editor

wouldn’t let them sleep.


First thoughts were Templeman,

mentally following his words

up and down the Fremantle hill,

next Burke’s flight logs of

the Kimberley scattering

landscape images wide and deep.


As time began to chisel

the words on every poet’s lips,

I grabbed at Jenkins, McCauley

Lansdown, Caddy and Catlin

catching each by their first jackets

and flipping them helplessly

on their backs to see all.


It took me two years to

find out what I thought

wasn’t real, so now I’ve

quit this game of searching

in case my scuff marks

can be seen on every kerb.


Mike Greenacre






A tiny flower



The first to bloom,

no matter the season

even winter.


A tiny flower,



Ann Harrison




The Biggest Boab In All Of Kings Park


botanical freak show, brought south as tribute

you did not travel well

but you’ve outscored your neighbours


in the number of your visitors

verticordias colour in your bowl

of shadow                   busloads stand


in awe of the dimensions

of your pitted hide

“It’s like a giant sweet potato”


humble, silent prisoner                       above them in every way

when kept so long apart

from your relatives in Africa


can you really be as

indifferent to your jailers

as you appear to look?


Ross Jackson



This Will Tend To Be…


a night to remember


disappointments dribble         down the electronic pipeline

and I am fine


the unworthy display at the head of the line

and I am gracious


the cultivated say my values are suspect

and I do not reply


having gone to bed at nine

reconciled with my plainness


this has tended to be…


a night to remember


Ross Jackson




I Sent You A Poem.


It was an invitation wrapped in a gift;

a declaration to surrender my time.

Silly of me to forget what I really wanted

to say was, “I want a poetess.”


I want to write with you:

Frivolous quotes stuck on the fridge after

long nights of notes typed in-between sipping wine.


Yes, you are the better writer;

more clever, quick-witted and sober

in outlook.


But I can’t help that.


I have a place of solitude

near Albury-Wodonga.


Or south of Nowra

Somewhere the bush can ring

with our singing/reading aloud.


I sent you a poem but forgot to add

that these were the heartfelt conditions.


Christopher Kennedy




They Fall


Tears well

I hold them





Let them




I allow them

I welcome the flood


Gushing pain

washed grey


Water off a duck’s back

Nothing gained


Tears well

I hold them…


And I break.


Nada Kesic







he said

and left it.

No she said

and hid it.


Yet missionary tears

Sought, redeemed it.



he said

and gave it.

Why she said

and took it.


L.H.M. Lowe






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




Catching Moths


Jealousy away for now

Relieved and disappointed

Words and numbers



Coincidence yells silently

Pain to be enjoyed

Satiation and her charms

Exotic Lepidoptera

Catch a glint

Focus say the voices

Where from and how?

Unimportant in the moment

Or not doubt falls

All manner of sweetness

Love the going

As though it’s gone


Dean Meredith



Prey for Us




How much

Will you give?


And how much

Is left

To take




Sounds of pain

And pleasure




Are made

And unmade





Dean Meredith




Cold  Blood


See flashing silver in sunlight

a fish lithe and slippery as love.


Lip tender with tearing, it fights

the line, spasms, almost tetanic.


Lofted to drown, barb rips free.

Falling back into blue womb


where breath is possible and  dark red

tendrils thin to smoky wisps.


Rocketing to sombre fathoms

it nudges in deep under rocks,


pulse a convulsion, blurts

egglings unready. Deck side,


rods dip and twitch epileptic,

tails flap, knives slash chunks from flanks,


while among the dying with their

zeroes for eyes, exhausted lager


cans clank and roll.


Jan Napier

previously published in THE MOZZIE



Wednesdays Are Green


She dresses in parrot and shriek, but sits

in the circle unspeaking, thinks opinions

are onions with peas, knows that Thailand

is that neckwear stall at the markets, clearly

recalls playing Mongolia, as a kid.

She was the old boot, always landed on Mayfair.


According to her, men are like old fishing nets:

bunches of nothing connected by testosterone

and ego. She paints smiley faces on old plant pots.

Foists them on friends, and anyone who admires

them, even if they don’t. Consults a psychic

about her health, but lives amidst spiders,


mould, and thrice dunked tea bags, drones a chant

to the full moon once a month, if she can find

the piece of paper, swears to Spiro at the deli

that dolphins are spyware invented by the CIA.

He rolls his eyes and brings her a free latte.

She enjoys gardening, but rips out scarlet


petunias, says they’re cheap and trashy,

remind her of prostitutes. Admits that herring

fillets and skeletons scare her silly.

All those bones! She insists that Wednesdays are

green and shouts at her GP that it’s not his pills

keeping her normal, but prune juice and the I Ching.


Jan Napier






The world is full of vacant days,

of misty eyes in a distant gaze,

of threads and needles, pots and pans,

of flattened feet and hen-pecked hands.


and the ants tickle my feet

and the wind brushes my hair

and the air is still hot

and the world is


Of scorching sun on pale skin,

of dampened eyes for earthen kin,

of flowing locks in twist and braid

that bind the tortured mind, afraid.


and the leaves rustle

and the flies buzz

and the birds cry

and the world is


Of a scampering, scuttling, rotten heart,

of tight breaths and missing parts,

of the lidless mind, ever-haunted,

of half of what I always wanted.


and the Earth turns

and the days pass

and the sun burns

and the world is


somehow, oh so, terribly, beautifully empty


Alison Obszanski






Patting each passing wave

adjusting her swimsuit

grinning at me to check

I am happy too.


Julian O’Dea




Instant Addicts


He was unaware

as I watched, fascinated;

one, two, three,

heaped teaspoonfuls

of Gold Blend

into his mug. I put

half a spoonful in mine!



Then he looked at me, said

“Get a bit of a charge, eh!”

And grinned.


That familiar aroma,

flavour, slight lift

in alertness, slight lowering

of tension, were mine.

I was unaware of his benefits,

and he did not tell.


But I knew his life

had been a battle,

and a joy! So many drugs;

but such a man was he

who helped others,

many others, for their sake.

Trimmed hedges,

pruned trees, fixed

rooves, painted

walls, cleaned

pools, changed

tyres, and engines;

landscaped with his

green thumbs, and

they called him

an “Earth Angel”!


Almost ten years ago

someone “lost”

a wheelbarrow; he

stopped to help and,

in an instant, died

on the freeway

soon after dawn.


The Coroner said his blood

had shown traces of

several substances, some

organs prematurely aged.

Years younger than I

he was addicted to Life

while I, still here with

my half a teaspoonful

of instant, am also

clearly addicted

to Living!


Tony O’Donnell






Lantanas have rough sandpaper leaves,

when green is crushed between the fingers

a scent so sharp of childhood rises—

beaches, oysters, pipi shells,   lingers.

It was sewn in sachets in the cupboards

with pelargoniums perfuming freely.


Now I am six on my grandma’s driveway

squinting far out to a glarey sea.


Breakfast eggs cooked over gas fires

off down the surf for morning swims

home for lunch and resented resting

then back again with sun reddened skin

thongs went flapping, beach towels dragging

paddlepops sticky, melting white streams

sand in hair and delicious tiredness

we dawdled up home to redolent dreams.


Virginia O’Keeffe



Missing You


There’s a storm coming up she says querulously

black clouds coming in from the east, but it’s fine here.

We talk each Sunday over the thousands of miles

of life and years that separate us. How are you all?

I haven’t had to water the petunias this week.

Of such minutiae are conversations made and savoured.

I was so desperate this week I turned on the radio.

Should I go to the library meeting she wonders,

more to impart information of an excursion

than to seek permission from a distant daughter.

Did you know if a tree is poisoned it has no roots?

I saw him down by the fence line with a can,

I’m not saying he did it but it died,

the intent is left hanging for me to decipher.

The tadpoles are turning into frogs I tell her,

I can see their back legs dangling under their tails.

Yes, the size of twenty cent pieces, globular and gray

No I don’t know where the tail goes,

maybe it’s absorbed

to provides nutrients for growth,

much like this phone call.


Virginia O’Keeffe




A Farewell Song


If I should die before the

night is out,

lay Lou Reed and eucalyptus


upon my box, tease me with


excite me with crimson shiraz and blue curdling


bring along some fungus,

play Moonlight Sonata,



Let me listen to the clatter of

a tram, in winter, in rain, on

Collins Street.


Show me holograms, in colour, of

my beautiful wife, and children, and



Let me fang into a silken broccoli


wash it down with cool green riesling.


Let me sing songs of love, let me


one song, one strong, unforgettable, ecstatic



to him.


Send a lone piper, tall and slim,

have him play Amazing Grace,

kilt aswirl.


Send the sweet charcoal scent of

a flame toasted potato to



Share a freshly roasted coffee,

Blue Mountain,


share that with me, take me

in hand –



take me into your heart.


Listen to trains in the valley, say

goodnight, and thank you, to

all the green and gold parrots, and the

whistling, inquiring, sharply-eyebrowed

willy wagtails.


Say and feel all this, and more.


Stay long, sing, drink and dance,

whirl your way around the

floor with Marianne Faithful –

sway with me,

stick to me, limpet like, sing:


As Tears Go By.


Ask her if she remembers me.


And then, once you have exhausted

the republic of goodbye repertoire,

just sit back, with a nice

friend – or two –


and raise a glass, and drink a toast, and



Remember: because, by now –

that is all that is,



Allan Padgett



A Feeling Most Hopeful, the Echo of Something Read *


Eyes meet and sparkle through

glass outside 6A.


Close on two decades apart and now

a firm handshake, a pulling

together hug, dragging baggage

smiling almost tripping up the steps.


The scent of freshly-painted fence

and a quizzical dingo face held

by four legs on the floor, to greet.


A slow warm welcome probing start

…- where to fit these 19 years of

pieces, and keep the glow alight?


Love takes many shapes and one

is where like minds and bodies

meet, where mates mingle

intoxicating stories as dad, husband,

lover, worker, man.


Wine and chatter mesh, a generous

warm coalescing.  Together again.


A sapphire band of sea

rimmed by fretting golden dunes –

between us purrs 30,000 feet of expectant air.


It is nearly home.


A great, enduring, inspiring love waits there.


Allan Padgett

*Andrew O’Hagan, Be Near Me.



An Elephant Shot Me


I’ve had a week of rotten

sleeps, there ain’t enough

tse tse flies in

town, there ain’t enough love goin’ round


I need a fuckin’ tse tse fly

big as an elephant to

shoot his sleeping potion

straight into my brain, I

need that big trunk

full of molten

barbiturate in me, I’ve

grown a rage for instant

sleep that might last a

week, that catch-up on

long lost nights tossing

from side-to-side

wondering where you are –


and who you’re with, and is his face so close to yours

his lips have lampreyed to

your hot pink swollen luscious lips

and is he now suckling milk from you as

our baby cries in restless hunger.


Is it swollen breasts and heaving chests as

you whisper sweet nothings in his incautious ear as

the raven of sleeplessness assaults my reason

or is it simply three am again

and I, my night on fire, just

need a decent shut-down sleep, sippin’ on a drunken


tuckin’ me into a bed of hay

pull the quilted dream over me

kiss me deep and

moo me goodnight.


Are you alright, are you

really screaming or is it

just a latte dreaming,

did the elephant shoot

you into a temporary

narcosis, or are you

tripping on a greenfields psychosis –

is that you drifting with the river into

sleep, or is it me?


The night is strangely dark

and the river’s edge is nudging me

it is time to let go, for a while, to let

that antimatter soak up the

fairytale, let the roaches and the

centipedes and the fruitbats out,

let thought fly out and

sleep flood in –


all the bubbling along

psychobabble leaking into the enveloping blackness


as the shutters of my resistance fall

softly down, a curiously cautious

smile displaces my strident

frown, an insipid gloom of candle

lit nothingness hits me –


smack between the brows


and I, I am dragged to

welcome tensed-up loss of

reason and chained down thought and

into deep and acid-laced and

desperately needed inky fuckin’

month long welcome sleep.


Allan Padgett




Early Steps

(13 June 1975, 12.20 a.m.)


No more, much more, forever more, no more

Forever More

The past passed away

The present accelerates

Tomorrow is part of today.


Joyce Parkes




(For Jody, Ben and Barbara and their loved ones)


Each stage

a step for players,

she wrote to May and

June from afar, each fort

a pounding heart she said to

herself at last, each field a stretch

for stayers she told April and August

as they marched protesting over carbon e-

missions – saying that never giving up using

coal-fired power stations escalates global warming.

While transfers to clean technology were supported by

footsore and cast, she moved to write in favour of solar, wind

and thermal power, enabling January to meet sojourners, ploughers.


Joyce Parkes




Angus Henry Darcy

 (d. 29.3.1910, Bend Cemetery, Wyndham, 1886 – 1922)


Under weeping gum in iron cot

Angus Henry Darcy, almost 16, sadly missed

sleeps at the far end of this desolate place


What brings you here?

What leaves you cusped in adulthood?

What say your mother when you left?


Now the town its own museum

the Meatworks closed

the footpath pioneer free


such changes made

the phone that rings is not for you.


And when the waters rise

when mudflats fill

& water sinks no more

kapok flowers overlook


your tide and you hold steady

keep your place

at this far end

a cloudless sky


a weeping gum throws shade

blankets you in crib

the sky you left becomes

your wandering gaze.


Rose van Son