Creatrix 33 Poetry

June 2016

Selectors: Mike Greenacre & Matthew Jamieson

Contributors:

Kaye Brand

Sharing Myself With My Self

 

Geraldine Day

Signs

 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

Midnight Fear

 

Frances Faith

Love’s Kitchen

Untameable Creatrix

 

Derek Fenton

A Sign Of The Rhymes

 

Margaret Ferrell

Firenze

 

Rosalind Franklin

I Want To Paint

 

Sally Gaunt

The New Settlers

 

Kevin Gillam

Old Stones

The Sound Of Black

 

Fran Graham

Blue Tongue

 

Jackson

Mens Underpants

Sky-Filling

 

Ross Jackson

Herdsman Water

Naughty Nedlands

 

Nadia Kesic

Black Crystal Night

 

Julian O’Dea

Half-asleep

It Is Not A Vision

 

Colleen O’Grady

Battle of Britain

 

Virginia O’Keefe

Sense Of Place 2

 

Allan Padget

Creature of the Farther Skies

Small Bird Coming

 

Joyce Parkes

Eight Weeks

 

L.A. Smith

Kangaroo Paw

 

Rose van Son

First Flight

Hawkesbury Dreaming

 

Gail Willems

Big Red

Pelican

 

 

________________________________________

 

Sharing Myself With My Self

 

Century old jetty boards

Bolts of similar hue

Snow relenting meeting them

Here with me in Nova Scotia

 

Sauvignon Blanc from Chile

Ocean reaps in chowder

Lead light lamps patterning

Here with me in Nova Scotia

 

Scarfs hand spun protect

Challenging natures elements

Window panes storm sentinels

Here with me in Nova Scotia

 

Local folk songs enhancing

Calming reflexes that hail

My sharing myself with my self

Together here in Nova Scotia

 

Kaye Brand 

 

________________________________________

 

Signs

 

Witches fold secrets in the lank of their hair

sail eggshell boats

breathe burning poverty

into needle worn bones.

Fingers tattoo sign language

encourage ravens to leave the Tower.

A magpie sprinkles urine

around its feet, projects

a doomed future .

 

Geraldine Day

 

________________________________________

 

Midnight Fear

 

A sound like thunder

moving invisible chairs

brings back the dread

of childhood.

 

Nights under covers weaving

suspicions into dragons

and ogres brawling

 

as neighbourhood cats

wail from hell.

 

How the dark

closed close

to what can be held

what can be touched.

 

And each breath

slowly stepped to steady,

drove spikes to climb

beyond the urge to run.

 

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

 

________________________________________

 

Love’s Kitchen

 

In love’s kitchen

there are no Cook’s Rules

chalked up next to the carving knives.

You realize, when you step in,

that anything goes.

 

The spices are not arranged

in alphabetical order, and the sink

is full of the unwashed dishes

of recipes before.

 

But now, an aroma so sweet,

so warm it sautés your senses where you stand,

rises to welcome you.

You wish for nothing more

than to be strung up next to the garlic

while pots bubble in mad chorus around you.

 

A taste, soon to come,

is a promise your tongue already imagines

in its little tongue brain

in the little neurons of every

desperate, dripping tastebud.

 

Hanging in love’s kitchen,

teasing the cook, you wait

obediently

in case she asks you to pass the wooden spoon

or peel or prod or knead

something

or stir, or test

for saltiness.

 

All those ingredients

made such a mess going in

but somehow, in the end,

in the heat of the flames,

things come together.

 

Frances Faith

 

 

Untameable Creatrix

 

Silent love slinks feline in my breast

With Siam eyes inscrutable she waits

The hunter in the shadows of my heart

Mysterious companion, never friend

 

How in his presence pride is cast aside!

To purr and gambol kitten-like her wont

So prettily arranged within his sight

She’ll languish and abstain from blood pursuits

 

But in emotion’s jungle she belongs

And must escape into the velvet night:

There hidden lick the sweat from aching scars

 

The essence of her truth in primal songs

Wherein are woven secrets of her might

Alone she pours out to the moon and stars

 

Frances Faith

 

________________________________________

 

A Sign Of The Rhymes

 

I am one of the few who rhymes.

Most seek their music in free verse.

It must be a sign of the times

being one of the few who rhymes,

who is still enchanted by chimes

not thinking he’s stuck in reverse.

I am one of the few who rhymes

not seeking music in free verse.

 

Derek Fenton

 

________________________________________

 

Firenze

 

A golden day:

air shimmers

in response to angels

flying out from

cupolas and cornices.

Sky cobalts to

folds of Tuscan hills

embracing the city.

 

Leaving the shade of trattoria

colour takes over:

burnt umber of Duomo,

gold of Ghiberti,

ochre of roofs; in

gallerie d’arte, and chiese

where you find artists’ choice

of ultramarine – costly lapis lazuli

for the Madonna’s robe.

 

At sunset golds turn to copper,

sky spectrums amber, ruby,

rose quartz, amethyst, yellow topaz.

 

Firenze:  not merely a city

but a casket of jewels.

 

Margaret Ferrell

 

________________________________________

 

I Want To Paint

 

I want to paint

The rumble of thunder through the clouds

A rainbow dipping onto the arid red soil

The churn of an angry sea

The scream of a 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

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 warble of magpies echoing at dawn

A whisper of a breeze on a summer night

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

 

________________________________________

 

The New Settlers

To the Pioneering Farmers of the South-West

 

They came on horseback or in traps ;

some walked the rutted tracks

sacks on their backs.

Though some limped from the scars of war

their hopes were high ;

drought of despair, of failure left behind.

this their lucky roll,

Men, women, children on a ghost march to their selection,

and blue smoke curled from the chimney of the slab hut.

I saw father broken by the forest, mother dried into a leather crone

by the unforgiving sun.

A sullen forest circled our doorstep

dark, threatening    tallest timber on earth ;

I remember the shudder as each giant crashed through the bush ;

the piteous stumps their own Passchendaele or Ypres,

the child bitten by a snake, wife lost in childbirth

help too far, too late.

Yes, this land was slow    slow, to meadow cheese and milk

a government far to the north    politicians’ hollow promises.

 

Sally Gaunt

 

________________________________________

 

Old Stones

 

you’ll go on ahead.

you’ll tie the laces on the

sky. you’ll brill the moon.

 

I’ll bring up the rear.

I’ll find old stones filled with pock-

ets. I’ll tear my thoughts.

 

Kevin Gillam

 

 

The Sound Of Black

 

I understand the meaning

of her silence but don’t have

a word for it so I scour

night sky for a term for the

sound of black between stars

and moon and meteorites and

planets and us and come up

with ‘evol’ and write it

down and then show it to her and

she says “is that the root of

evolve like before stuff

moves or morphs?” and I say

“no, it’s love backwards” and she

stares at me and says nothing

 

Kevin Gillam

 

________________________________________

 

Blue Tongue

 

Day brings shadow leaf to life

Sky filters in from the road

Water splash swells on the wind

Love slides belly low, warm love

Wind brushes scale-sheen like water

Road noise echoes to the sky

Life and lizard crawl, slow day.

 

Fran Graham.

 

________________________________________

 

Mens Underpants

 

Mens underpants! black, plain

Against them my     white lines

stand out

Mens underpants! solid-seamed,

heavy-hemmed, broad

in the crotch

So much space for my

generosity

 

Mens underpants! in the mirror

They cover the caesar scar trench

in my flesh

Mens underpants! dark, flat

Against them my     fair rondure

stands out

In them I     am so much more

of a woman

 

Jackson

 

 

Sky-Filling

 

I sit through

the doublebungers katherinewheels romancandles

the flags names arrays of light

the patterns attached to buildings and bridges

the sputterings and mutterings

the again and again and agains set to classic hits

 

waiting for

the seconds of silence

the fizzing upward rush

the half-breath pause

the one

sky-filling

perfect

plain

chrysanthemum

 

Jackson

 

________________________________________

 

Herdsman Water

 

when sun is quenched in the lake

chill travels to a shore bound bystander

 

water rat hears typha rushes chafing

amidst the cruising moon’s silver stain

 

night heron is tuned to splash landings

barking frogs, shifting tiger snake

 

the nightly grammar of lake water

is listless rippling of insipid waves

 

magpie larks pipe on the lawns

full of morning, pre-empting dawn

 

Ross Jackson

 

 

Naughty Nedlands*

 

in this city of discretion, where an admission might offend,

I cannot suppress a desire to address

the understated happiness of Nedlands

Naughty Nedlands teasing behind

billowing willows, drapes of bougainvillaea,

the glint of a Lalique atomiser

and gardenia breezes up Melvista Avenue

 

emblematic roses at the Peace Memorial Park

apricot roses in vases dressing nursing home walls

foreign students in much partitioned flats off Broadway

routed to Bibik Chan’s Satay Garden

for exotic meals with ginger, coriander and curry plant

 

on the river foreshore, slower against The Doctor

than the tilting yachts, Reggie butts the pebbly legs

of his almost halt companion. Reggie the beagle

deaf, blind, yet snuffling on

Time elsewhere slick, but in Nedlands

a long playing solo, imperceptible

wilting, floral notes lingering, lingering

 

Ross Jackson

 

*Naughty Nedlands refers to a time when mixed bathing at a cosy river location was considered risqué.

 

________________________________________

 

Black Crystal Night

 

Last night I saw the stars.

No, really, I saw the stars.

A black night.

A black sky.

And they were there.

How many you ask?

More than there are numbers in all of creation.

Freckled sun drenched diamond flecks against the ink jet canvas

and through it all the Milky Way wend its way through crystal clusters.

 

Spectacular, so inadequate.

Glorious again inadequate.

How does one describe

“wonder”

something so truly magnificent

something…out of our comprehension.

(Though we do try).

I saw the stars.

There were no lights.

No city lights illuminating/fading this pitch sky.

Just a black lightless night

and as I lay there seeing yesterday unfolding

in every twinkle I knew I knew nothing.

 

But…somewhere

within a heartbeat flutter I did know.

I felt deep painful “awe” of something.

A yearning for something

somewhere

hidden

lost?

a fleeting glimpse.

 

Something stirred as the stars reached out

and touched…

me…

A primal touch

and the distance collapsed

and I floated there…

 

Nada Kesic

 

________________________________________

 

Half-asleep

 

Half-asleep I can just hear

the tiny sounds the cat makes

as she gently cleans herself

and I slowly cleanse my mind of

what the week has left on me.

 

Julian O’Dea

 

 

It Is Not A Vision

 

It is not a vision but

a double vision: seeing

for a time with celestial

eyes and terrestrial:

when the next world

is suddenly, startlingly

near in a tired, unguarded

moment and we glimpse

the destination, still far

off, but peeking through

the many hills to come.

 

Julian O’Dea

 

________________________________________

 

Battle of Britain

 

Mad scramble when the phone rings,

Pilots soon zoom into the air.

With roaring engines, mighty wings,

Leaving lethal death trails up there,

 

The tiny spitfires under pilots hand,

Fight for freedom, filling sky with flare.

Fighting accomplished, a pilot sings

Coming home on a wing and a prayer.

 

Daring-do pilot victory-rolls a craft,

Others belly landing after fight in the skies,

Bomb-cratered airfields they eyed, aghast,

While Trusting in God were Hamilton.s cries,

 

He prayed for radar to come after,

As tired pilots arrived home for tea.

200,000 dead, a quarter million aircraft,

Far too many shattered lives moaned he.

 

At the base the CO there waited,

Pencil-twiddling in his anxiety.

How many returned? With breath baited,

Was silent question in troubled piety?

 

He had to write letters, always letters

To the families waiting back home.

The COs job in a world in tatters,

Was his at that time, his alone.

 

Colleen O’Grady

 

________________________________________

 

Sense Of Place 2

 

The Johnson Brothers black white floral plates from 1950,

an aluminium Swan teapot engraved with tarnished paisley

a teak table boardroom long holding Christmas on its legs

and the clock whose chimes, removed like tonsils surplus to requirements,

squat on the sideboard of heavy stained patina guarding the silver.

Within the room of several rooms — a kitchen dining sleeping

tv watching rose arranging fresh cake steaming —

age comes stealing;

takes us out with unwanted guile. Is sneaky sly and unremitting in her advances,

like a youthful wannabe lover who persists against all rebuffs tossed their way.

Biscuits on the floral plates your mother proffered,

chairs scraped back along the teak with chats to dad

and brothers laughing from behind the clock miming kisses

whilst you sat squirming in seething impotence

wishing the teapot spouted arsenic.

All tinsel now as age encroaches, mirrors your past,

reflects an aunt not you

when you check your chin and collar over the neck.

Where have you gone from your mother’s house in the middle years

only to return when it is too late to stop and say

we never did have that conversation.

I faltered, you turned away

he died and I am alone with you alone,

in the room of rooms where silence

sits heavy on the black and white plates and time cannot speak for

its tongue has been taken out too long ago to remember.

 

Virginia OKeeffe

 

________________________________________

 

Creature of the Farther Skies

 

Black hole, creature of the farther skies

holder of a thousand suns

consumer of constellations

purveyor of constant

crunch – swallow me in your gloom.

 

As you suck the mass

from negligent neighbours –

stars of lesser maw –

take my gravitas in your

mighty jaw and crush it.

 

Maker of light and life

out there somewhere,

wherever you are,

whatever your disposition,

shake and stir within

your pot these hopeful parts.

Fire them into radiant

life and filter softly

into my fretting universe.

 

Say of this day: I

am from the other

side, beyond another

moment. My life palpates

as it awaits your

sweet caress.

 

Allan Padgett

 

 

Small Bird Coming

 

I see you every evening

as dusk transfers to night

as the last of the day’s family battles within

a garrulous network of new holland honeyeaters,

striking in their black, white and yellow

stripy feathered costumes,

dip cautious toes in water bowl

and if rain is falling or sprinklers

rotating, dance a communal excited polka

in breathless air and arcing water, until dropping

exhausted, fall asleep on branch.

 

I see you flit in, cautious and eyeing every human

move, to your safe spot in the citrus –

it having sprouted from some remnant

rootstock left over from a long-forgotten transplant –

to the same branchlet, whereon

you perch and eye off your day’s successes:

succoured by various and diverse nectars,

occasionally ingesting any insect

silly enough to transect your gaze.

 

And then I go weak at the knees at

your solo warblings, so sweet,

such a life-filled tune

little bird, small honeyeater,

frail at first glance.  Your focus shifts from

left field to right, taking in all that

is there in your visible, tangible fields.

 

I wonder why it is always only you,

why you arrive on time,

adjusting for movements of our common sun

and being meticulous in your obeisance

to laws beyond capture.  I do not see you

through the long night, but I imagine

you sleeping as bats emerge upon

their patch of cool night air

and moths flutter by

and rats inspect ripening figs and once chosen,

nibble themselves to satiation and bliss.

 

I see you in the morning air with my dreaming

mind, shaking the ruffles of sleep

from your beautifully arranged feathers

and eyeing off in the new light of another day,

your feasting opportunities for yet another

day of bird-dom.  When I hear you singing

later in that day, I marvel at the full throated

melodious song your tiny lungs pump

into this glistening universe

of renovation, hope and deepening desire.

 

Allan Padgett

 

________________________________________

 

Eight Weeks

With thanks to L.E.A.H

 

Alongside 1499 other Public Servants one of my

friends lost her employment. With a mortgage

to honour, she disconnected electricity from

the grit. Going without a car afforded purchase of

a rainwater tank, a bicycle, a solar panel to charge

 

her mobile telephone, plants, nutrients for a

garden, and a hand held fan to cool her face

in summer. In winter five layers of clothes sit

between her and the cold. Her feet, sold — to two

pairs of socks and Ugh boots. For a warm wash

 

Leah boils water in a kettle on a gas stove.

She bicycles or walks, gaining muscle for the

impetus to write. So that everyone could have

a bed and a pillow under a roof tonight. Leah is

  1. 63. Newstart will withhold her income for eight

 

weeks if an employed Public Servant deems the

unemployed one has failed to look for work

effectively. Without an income for eight weeks

Leah cannot stay in her home — renting costing

more than her mortgage. There is no gap between

 

Newstart and the pavement, she wrote. No longer

a fauteuile to look forward to, no more ceilings

to look at, no more lunches sitting at a table placed

alongside a window, curtains to slide open and

close, vegetables to grow, walls with paintings

 

attached to enjoy, reaching for a book on her

book shelves, moments of revelry to know.

Eventually Leah found work for a wage, selling

art union tickets. It keeps a roof over my head,

and Cheers, she said.

 

Joyce Parkes

 

________________________________________

 

Kangaroo Paw

 

Neck craned, crest erect

once a gregarious cockatoo.

Now exiled from sky, rooted in earth.

 

What natural law did you transgress?

Had you a voice you would wail

wil-yaaark…

wil-yaaark.

 

A lament for your lost gift

of sailing high into a marri

to crack those hard nuts

to savour their seeds.

 

L.A. Smith

 

The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia and the endangered Baudin’s White-tailed Black Cockatoo specializes in eating the seeds of the marri tree

 

________________________________________

 

First Flight

 

She rocks backwards

pushing forward to the sky

as well as she can

 

perhaps her first ever move

into trans-aerobic flight

 

he pushes with one hand

she is small after all

not yet seen her first year

her legs plump

her feet bare

she hangs on

with two hands

 

her name is Hope–

she is Faith in her father’s arms

 

she tries again

to control the ship she is on

but the waves too high, the

wind in the hair she has not

yet grown, arrests her scalp.

 

He pushes back–

one hand on her cradle

the other takes the call

 

she is mobile on hers

 

–she pushes forward

her endeavours to understand

 

Rose van Son

 

 

Hawkesbury Dreaming

 

1.

As the wind picks up

fish rise from the river’s surface

Will you remember the day hung in humidity?

 

Our backs arresting veranda posts

the shape of the tide as it ebbs

boats carefully moored.

 

Will you remember the gulls?

Pelicans fringed in fish?

 

Will you remember the nights–

the mornings silver on glass?

 

A squall mimics parrots

a dinghy takes up the slack.

 

We talk of lost centuries

Sardinia’s coastline in books–

imagine a life there.

 

The dinghy quickens its speed–

disappears behind curling banana fronds.

 

The river laps              unfurls

buoys float to the surface.

 

Italy’s dreaming borders our breath.

 

3.

A kookaburra’s laugh ripples the shore line

the boat on the bank listless

from years of not sailing.

 

Its mast locked in the leaves

of the peppermint tree.

 

Rose van Son

 

________________________________________

 

Big Red

 

Uncurls    braces

a stair notched spine

rough fur more red than brown

knotted in places forming a crown

surrounds a spade shaped face

all mouth and yellow eyed gaze.

 

Hunched into his bones,

feet looking down

nine tails limp

a statue of cool,

Big Red lurches to his feet

adjusts his tights.

 

Every muscle a suppressed yowl

he swaggers  staggers

makes a leap.

 

For a moment

Leopard God.

 

Gail Willems

 

 

Pelican

 

a string puppet charting space

in ocean spanning flight

dip and weft of wing

as sunlight slips the western sky

graceful galleon on ocean air

deaf angel in a celestial game

in your beat and strum of wings you rig the sky

fill the void    feed quiet hunger

show the world that here for a moment is harmony

 

Gail Willems

________________________________________

 

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