Creatrix 32 Poetry

March 2016

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

Contributors:

Tash Adams

Who Hours
On The Morning Of The Judging

Kaye Brand

The Matriarch Of Busker’s End

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Shadows
The Gap (Albany) 

Frances Faith

Vagabondage     

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

Lenin
The White and the Red Rose

Kevin Gillam

Call It That

Mike Greenacre

Regret
Scuff Marks

Ann Harrison

Everlasting

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

Trust

Meryl Manoy

Illusion

Dean Meredith

Catching Moths
Prey for Us

Jan Napier

Cold Blood
Wednesdays Are Green

Alison Obszanski

Empty

Julian O’Dea

Honeymoon

Tony O’Donnell

Instant Addicts

Virginia O’Keeffe

Lantanas
Missing You

Allan Padgett

A Farewell Song
A Feeling Most Hopeful, The Echo Of Something Read
An Elephant Shot Me

Joyce Parkes

Early Steps
March

Rose van Son

Angus Henry Darcy

 

 

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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
unblemished
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
immediately
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

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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

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Shadows

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

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Vagabondage

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?
..at 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

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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

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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

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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

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Lenin

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
deceives.
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

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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

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Regret

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

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Everlasting

A tiny flower
spectacular
brave.
The first to bloom,
no matter the season
even winter.

A tiny flower,
Everlasting.

Ann Harrison

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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

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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

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They Fall

Tears well
I hold them

Why

Why
Let them
Fall

Relief
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

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Trust

If,
he said
and left it.
No she said
and hid it.

Yet missionary tears
Sought, redeemed it.

Please
he said
and gave it.
Why she said
and took it.

I.H.M. Lowe

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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

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Catching Moths

Jealousy away for now
Relieved and disappointed
Words and numbers
Meaningful
Meaningless
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

Victim
Philanthropist
How much

Will you give?
And how much
Is left
To take
Someone
Devours
Someone
Sounds of pain
And pleasure
Abound
Naturally
Judgements
Are made
And unmade
Someone
Devours
Someone

Dean Meredith

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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

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Empty

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

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Honeymoon

Patting each passing wave
adjusting her swimsuit
grinning at me to check
I am happy too.

Julian O’Dea

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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

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Lantanas

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

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A Farewell Song

If I should die before the
________ night is out,
lay Lou Reed and eucalyptus
________________________ leaves
upon my box, tease me with
________________________ Toblerone,
excite me with crimson shiraz and blue curdling
cheese,
bring along some fungus,
play Moonlight Sonata,
________________________ loud.

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
________________ dogs.

Let me fang into a silken broccoli
________________ risotto,
________ wash it down with cool green riesling.

Let me sing songs of love, let me
________________ sound
________ one song, one strong, unforgettable, ecstatic
________________ fugue:

________________________ 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
________________ me.

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.

Remember: because, by now –
________________ that is all that is,
________________________ left.

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
milo
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

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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

March
________
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

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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

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