Creatrix 33 Poetry

June 2016

Selectors: Mike Greenacre and 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


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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 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
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

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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

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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?

2.
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

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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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