Creatrix 39 Poetry

December 2017

Selectors: Peter Jeffery OAM and Jan Napier

Submissions Manager: Wendy Beach

 

Contributors:

Wendy Beach

Two Big Sacs

Kaye Brand

Quietly In Edinburgh

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

On a Wedgetail Wing

The Final Gesture

Lynne DePeras

Bush Picnic

Geraldine Day

Claptrap Speak

Derek Fenton

She’ll Do As She Pleases

Margaret Ferrell

Postcard

David Finley

Media’s Release Of Caged ‘Form’

Sally Gaunt

Sleep — A Sonnet

Kevin Gillam

The Tides

Unpurling

Ita Goldberger-Amram

BushEsh*

Mike Greenacre

Necklace Of Words

Ross Jackson

Beside Albany Highway

Lake Monger Snaps

Mardi May

The Angry Sea

Julian O’Dea

Somewhere

Virginia O’Keeffe

Driving To Orford

Flinders Ranges

Allan Padgett

Marilyn

Chris Palazzolo

The Little Bedroom

Flora Smith

The View From Cooktown

Laurie Smith

When The Chips Are Down

Rose van Son

5th Avenue Night

Rita Tognini

Heartfelt Poem For A Niece’s 13th Birthday

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Two Big Sacs

Soft, fat tissue in two big sacs:
Nothing I ever wanted.
When they first budded, unwelcomed
my tomboy dreams were ruined
by the gawking attention from young men.

I couldn’t ride a horse,
or a scrambler, or do skip rope
for fun, without some teenage guy
Pointing them out.

And boy did they grow, along with
the size of my black sweaters,
hiding the new shapes – My intention?
To stay straight up and down forever.

It took a few years to realise that
it was a woman’s tits that would define her
to the male of the species. Will he date me?
Is he a legs guy or a boobs kind of guy?

If he likes boobs, will it be
of the fried egg or the watermelon variety?
Will he like small nipples or big?
And what about that beauty spot?

I worried a lot about my boobs
when I was young, and more so in my twenties
when breastmilk turned them into udders
that even maternal tent dresses couldn’t cover.

In my thirties, it was a love – hate relationship I suppose.
Sometimes I envied those small breasted women
B an AA Cups, the type Anthony told me,
quite brutally, were the only type of woman he’d date.

Sometimes I didn’t envy them,
like when Lana – possibly the most ravishing
woman I’d ever met – told me she was ugly
because she had no tits. What do you say?

We both wanted surgery – implants for her
reduction for me – Oh and they can slice off
my nipples to make them smaller, hack away that blemish,
and then stich those areolas back on again – pretty!

But I never had the time or money
Only a forty-year obsessive plan, that grew
as each year passed. Lift them an inch or four
while you’re there — banana tits please!

Well, it had to be less painful than DD cup bras
A man invented those things, gorging underwires and all.
Tight, tight bra cup – roll’em up
Stuff them in, a quick tug for cleavage.

But not too much cleavage,
not with your aging skin – you don’t want a long crease
down the centre—looking like an early autopsy!
Separate them. Push them to the sides. No one will notice…

No one will notice the way they bulge under my arm pits.
Just like I didn’t notice that men my age
really don’t care anymore, as long as
they get to play with them—And I didn’t notice that lump

my doctor pointed it out on an unrelated scan
and it has made me stop to think about this obsession
with my unwanted breasts. Love or hate? Perhaps,
I am more attached to those two big sacs than I thought.

Wendy Beach
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Quietly in Edinburgh

Is our heritage the stories we hear
The nuances we interpret
As we tread ancestral paths?

Do the genes from saliva scripts
Screened and matched to isolate us
Reveal the essence of who we are?

Is the rousing of the soul to music
A sense of belonging here
Part of this generational thread?

Are bagpipes echoing through centuries
Ingrained in this spiritual continuum
Bridging time and place?

Scotland land of thistles and unicorns
Mystical dramatic and authentic
Ebbing through my being as though
I lived here centuries ago.

Kaye Brand
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On a Wedgetail Wing

An introduction to fear
traced in the form of a shadow
as it sweeps across
the last summer grass.
The point where hunter
and hunted merge
in a flash and scramble
of talons and flesh.
Where time is stretched
to the snap with its trap intensity

There is no grief, nor jubilation.
Only the give and take
tacked to survival.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi

 

The Final Gesture

My mouth makes waves across this wilderness
and my feet paddle the parched air
in a pond without water.

There is ferocity to the glare from a cloudless sky
as the wind fans flames from an unseen furnace
to suck the wet from every living thing.

Blades of grass turn into themselves.
Fold neat creases coming together
to present a thin view of what was.

Leaves crumple tight and bleed colour.
Assume a beige reluctance to drop as windfall.
The final gesture in surrender.

There is no other movement.
No other depth other than stark shadows
tracing sundial figures across a reduction of hill and plain.

A land of demarcation
where black and white never merge to grey.
Where life and death share the same breath

and each step is measured against its consequence.
Where the uninitiated starve.
Where ants and sand feed on remains

and there is nothing more sharp
than a white bone in a red desert
drowning as the wind blows waves.

Gary Colombo De Piazzi
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Bush Picnic

 

From a world where life must fit in calendar squares,
where the will marches muscles
and even the heart is clock pressed,
once each year I take my daughters
to a place time stretched.

Easy prey at first to the orchards,
this rubbery box I call my body
and keep my weary muscles in,
released, grows reeling blossom drunk
as it grateful, rolls among the green.

In the car my daughters laugh,
they too bounce among hills,
till the five white fingers
of a young plum blossom bride appear,
strung upwards, out, against the sky –
planted for profit, sprayed, splayed, espaliered;
the touch of human will.

Only the bush is wild enough to calm one’s core.
Here, life respects all seeds. Need turns wheels,
tyres scrunch on gravel – childhood memory’s track –
blackboys swish against car doors.
Among flies and greasy picnic food,
the bush, careless of humans,
administers its care.

Signs of a wilful god lie everywhere.
Pierced with splinters of tiny green,
torn with slivers of fire charred stump,
the broken brown body of the earth
————– wild with wads of wattle tossed down everywhere,
—- running with red –
is riddled with birth.

In their turn each year
my young will take their young
away from their dying living place,
each generation going further out
as the civilising spreads,
to smell a wind still sweetened
by the savage greens and reds.

Lynne DePeras
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Claptrap Speak

Ragged days and muzzled nights
bitch the price you have to pay.
No-one but you can count the lies
liquorice coated candy stripes.
The laughing moon
the windfold clouds, the last sigh
patterned in jigsaw clowns.
There is no now, no tell of truth
the real of life, the wheel of
speak, the thin line laugh,
the yawn of spite, the fizz
of tears tossed into fire. The
baby steps, the gap filled mouth,
the slivered tongue, gouged
knotted cries, a monkey tree
a puzzled frown, a wicked
clutch at uncut time.

Geraldine Day
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She’ll Do As She Pleases

From the rooftop pool, Agung looks benign
while thousands of Balinese flee her slopes
bringing an end to immediate hopes-
yet they still offer prayers to the divine,
as tourists fuss over departure dates
and an abrupt end to their holiday,
but, then hasn’t it always been this way,
the privileged unconscious of others’ fates.

Agung is oblivious to them both
and will spew up when she’s ready to.
No-one can hurry her indigestion,
or even woo her, by plighting their troth.
She’ll vomit on them all, and when she’s through,
remain impervious to suggestion!

Derek Fenton
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Postcard

written long ago in France,

your uniform without a stain,
words a smudge of grey.
Those words spill over in a rush:

new friends, places, peoples  –
everything you are allowed to say,
nothing of location, or danger.
Between the lines a frisson

of fear, flutter of uncertainty.
I guess you are a dreamer-boy.
Did Kitchener point his finger
entreat you to follow

as you yearned for tales to tell?
As I notice the date of writing
the strings of the wind bring me
gunfire, explosions, horses shying

their eyes rolling.
Did good luck go with you, take
you home to go on living with
memories you didn’t want to keep?

The postcard denies me more.  I close
the album with a last look at your
smile:  pride caught on camera –

unknown soldier.

Margaret Ferrell
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Media’s release of caged ‘Form’.

In every media there lies caged,
‘Form’ awaiting escape and display.
A Pen, a Pencil or a piece of wood.
A tube of paint or a block of Clay.

Lying hidden from non-initiates.
Those that don’t feel unambiguously.
Just by those charged to release, or set free.
Those that care in their hearts. Driven to see.

Sometimes the media may shout out.
Making its point clear. Leaving no choice.
Other times, one’s mind begins a search
and it may take a while to comply with the voice.

There may be something hidden out of sight,
within a piece of old Timber, hiding a story.
Awaiting someone to hear its pleadings.
To help it escape and reveal its glory.

Or some ‘presence’ may materialise
In one’s mind without invitation.
A psychic connection. An imperative,
like a drug. An itch that must be scratched for ablation.

This compulsion is not Time constrained.
One may sit for minutes or for an age,
awaiting the unmistakable call.
The call to proceed. To open the cage.

It relies on the unbridled confidence
that ‘Form’ has in one’s capability.
And One’s inability to avoid the call.
Trapped into compliance by one’s amity.

The wood must become as a lover.
Or searched for, as one would for a missing child.
Lived with and caressed until fully known.
Until understood to its core, undefiled.

The initial approach cannot be foreseen.
Just plan and refine. Design again and again.
Until it’s nature is completely exposed.
Each touch, issue and twist previewed, to the inane.

Or until the chisel takes over proceedings.
Driving a free and unprepared assault.
Where ‘Form’ has chosen to be free ‘now.’
From this point, one is obliged, consumed to a fault.

One’s heart pounds preparing for the first cut.
Get close then stop. Re-test that one’s plans stack up.
Briefly doubt one’s skills. What if? What if?
As high diving. One step and then there’s no backup.

Just one breath marks the point of no return.
The first cut releases a confidence drug.
Time blurs as you taste each subtraction.
A chip, a gouge, an incision, a detail dug.

Eye up for emergent personality.
Accuracy, Texture and smooth transitions,
Close one’s eyes. Caress and feel the intangible.
Search for ‘Form’s’ indefinable ambitions.

Sand, hone, and polish down to the required feel,
lovingly, again and again. No prize in speed.
Rework invisible defects. No short cuts.
Time is the least consideration to heed.

It’s only then that you’re freed. Told to desist!
And thence that the trapped ‘Form’ is released from its cage.
Presented with the life that it had looked for.
Freeing your mind for creation’s next page.

David Finley
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Sleep – A Sonnet

Sleep!  I crave oblivion in dreamless Sleep!
Not haunted by phantoms, shapes of souls I keep
deep buried in a past with shades of blame,
With bitter memories and vivid shame
for receipt of benefits and kindness come by
Whilst young and thoughtless without appreciation I,
Now full grown would I want to reconcile
With loving carers who on me did smile
But they long gone from Arcadia
I am the sadder and the lonelier;
Only, let me not see reproaches on old faces
in shadowy dreams, I seek Sleep’s sweet places.
When with Dawn my night candle gutters
I shall reunite with loved ones who mattered.

Sally Gaunt 
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The Tides

 

you would say that it was tidal,
all to do with the tides.
yes, you would say that
and I would look away, look West

we’re doing things in halves today,
you would say that,
a day in halves,
only was there ever a day that was whole?

have you finished writing about tomorrow?
you said that.
no I said, haven’t finished with the yesterdays
I’m driving now, driving and thinking,
away, and thriving.
I could say that, could say that

Kevin Gillam

Unpurling

 

There’ve been times when living backwards
hasn’t been easy.
It takes practice.

I’ve learnt not to read for plot,
to usurp waking and seek
the eddy, not gust,

to be Einstein thinking best thoughts
in a yacht on a breezeless day.
Indulgences like these

are a planned spontaneity.
Today I’m walking
backwards through water

talking with this guy
who’s doing it
for his lumbar.

There’s an unpurling, a release
of the horizon,
re-reeling to moment.

Are kings always two draughts? Are rituals
and the tide governed by
other gravities?

To embrace relativity
choose the last carriage on the train
and watch the station remain clear

while suburbs blur. I write left-handed,
touch my dyslexic self.
It’s my child eyes through

the rear window of the car
gliding the power lines,
endlessly switching, looping

Kevin Gillam
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BushEsh*

The Genie
Guarding that fire
Sends dulled minded arson messengers
Into my world:
In the bush
Eucalypt trees’ oil
Roaring rivers of the eternal flame
Devouring the masses
Who do
Not
March to their death
And will re-sprout with the rain.
In more cycles of summers he will release
Esh into them once again.

My offspring
Carrying my primeval fear born in the German Furnace
Set their home
By the
Sea.

Ita Goldberger-Amram   

*Esh – Hebrew for fire

I find the Esh sound onomatopoeic.
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Necklace Of Words

for Chris, on his return

He wasn’t going to come
and I knew it,
would say at the last minute
that it wasn’t for him

though he asked me to take him
to my favourite coffee shops
and hang-outs, as if
he didn’t want to trespass
but sort of ‘know’ where I live

and although he nodded
to my suggestion with agreeing
hands to come along to the
writing group, knew he’d withdraw
the verbal handshake
and retreat somewhere within.

But this time I decided to
outsmart the fox at his
own game, sending him a text
not too long before the
arranged pick-up time:

“I’ve got you a notebook
and a pen,” to which he
lowered his head just like
a fox and gave in.

The room was full with poets
and words that only friendship
could know as we entered
and although he fitted the bill,
suddenly vanished

into himself and I thought my
big ideas had done him in,
until he read his sonnet
which shone like a jewel
in a necklace of words.

Mike Greenacre
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Beside Albany highway

BRUNO’S AUTO CITY waved at us today.
All the shiny pennants, every bit of plastic livery
and a windscreen winked these pleasantries:
—– PROMISES DELIVERED
—– SPECIAL EASY TERMS
—– WHERE YOU SAVE A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS.

My dog couldn’t read NO DEPOSIT, so
I had to shake a leg, get a wriggle on, for Bruno
CLENCHED FISTS
TIGHT SMILE
may have wished to strike
a deal.

Ross Jackson  

Lake Monger snaps

corellas strip blue sheds of Spring
moorhens’ beaks dabbed with orange
tap at edges of reeds

skateboards and trikes donate
to traffic noise
trees attract circuits of unleashed

dogs, whose noses collide
or sniff head on, a grim cyclist
on yet another way round

pursues a running man, who’s
maybe as stressed as the pines
trapped in car park cement

lenses from Japan touch snakeheads
of swans doing circuits for bread
old solos drowse in silence of

rolling lawns, memories of
bowls afternoons but falling short
of dairy herds from long ago

serious hunters once camped here
an even older story, one
beginning circuits now

Ross Jackson
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The Angry Sea

I could never trust the surf
———-  that moody shift of sea

my childhood fear
———– of a drowning wave

gurgle of invading water
———– my bubbling breath

the nightmare years
———– fleeing a wall of water

that curved above me like
———– my mother’s raging hand.

Mardi May
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somewhere

somewhere the night
embraces a rum and
cola sea and human
shadows on a beach

how easy to plant
an umbrella in sand
and make a cocktail
of life …

Julian O’Dea
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Driving to Orford

We had a wet morning of it, coming up to Orford
the rain hitting the windscreen
and the seaward sky threatening more.
Behind us gaps in the cloud
beckoned with blue of delphiniums
and white glazes on porcelain bowls.
But here, headlights bounced
out of the gloom of fog
from the ranges
which glowered above.
So green, black dark, their grey trees
like church candles stiffly standing
unlit in shadowy chancels.
A wild pear tree, bending at a dairy gate,
showered blossoms of white to light our way.

Virginia O’Keeffe

Flinders Ranges

Driving across from Morgan on the backroads we are on a plateau.
Old crusted sand dunes from eons ago splaying like tentacles
trying to return to the sea, to wash off their carapace of rock and soil
and smoothly, gratefully slide under the brine far from farmers’ harrows
tearing their skin, opening wounds that cannot heal; their only revenge.
The river links us, tea brown, silvered skim of water glinting like mica,
ruffling waves under the flat boards of a punt pulling shoreward
towards ancient walls.
But now
we are away to the north, to that soft painted landscape, pastel mauves,
gauzy greens and a haze over all as Gaea breathes, stretches her limbs,
lies on her side, toes to the coast and her head a tumble of defiles,
sandstone tresses, synclines and cuestas. Close to her knees
in his skiff on the mangrove creek under red cliffs, Flinders stared in awe
and delight and as was his gift, named her knee in honour of his botanist,
Today we’re on the German’s Trail. Wind blasted Parachilna where
the windmills sing and bang their tails; twist up the gorge, rock strewn,
goat splattered. I think I’ll rest my days in Blinman.

Virginia O’Keeffe
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Marilyn

We smuggled her into Perth from Melbourne,
51 years after her formal goodbye.
She died on the fifth of August 1962
but O, she lives on in the lives of others.
A gigantic ribbon-wrapped cardboard box
had journeyed to the backyard patio
where a fabulously decorated table of celebrating
mates sat expectant, eyes popping – all knowing
bar Birthday Girl what a shock lay inside
that midsummer box. A short time went by
with La Surprise likely half-expiring
waiting for the host to pop the lid
– when out she came, to a shock of joy
and the fuming notes of champagne bursting.
As she does given half a chance,
a well-known song burst forth – as Monroe
crooned all those decades ago to a handsome
rollicking JFK, so our Marilyn sang a melodious
rippling happy birthday to the Wonder Woman
turning 60. It was like we had all backtracked
to gentler days, sans the click and trick
of modern times. Marilyn,
the one you are on the silver screen,
you made that night as you reaffirmed
the power of song and dance –
and transformation. Now, dear friend:
it is your turn to sing and dance Marilyn
to yourself. Before it’s too late.

Allan Padgett
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The Little Bedroom

The little bedroom is where we shed
our clothes, giggle and fuck
until our skins stick to the sheets,
bicker about politics and poetry,
then doze in a blissful
mid-afternoon reality lapse;
but if you roll on your back
to phone-scroll
your New Zealand holiday snaps,
does it matter that I see what
only your husband should see,
or that the solitary things I seem
so content with no longer
sustain me, or that I’m pathetic
enough to project myself
into those cameos
you’re cheapening by showing
to the usurper I’ve become?
I live for these moments with you.
I’m strung out for your call
and stupidly happy when you knock
on my door. But when you’re dressed
again, spit-licked your hair flat
and home in time for tea,
do you think of me at all
in the little bedroom,
yours only, and adorably lonely?

Chris Palazzolo
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The view from Cooktown

She loved the lookout on the steep hill
where sundown’s wind came in gusts  –
blustering, falling back, lusting on again  –
insisting it was the one who held sway here
and she a mere passer-by.

She came for the sea and the serpentine bend
in the river they’d named after his ship,
came for the gold that strobed down like fingers
of a giant god from gashes in cloud-bank
pointing out what must be read here,

what he must learn. He’d long been her hero,
the Yorkshire farm-boy who’d taken the world
further than it had ever gone before
so she came like him to the hill
where he came to question wind and water,
searching for a break in the line of surf
which would show him safe passage for a ship,
safe passage home.

On the hilltop, the wind would joust
with her blouse, try to fling her sideways,
while she gloried in this movement,
felt herself to be moving somehow
yet still grounded, still herself.

She would be leaving soon and knew
she too had walked to the top of a hill
and would not be coming down
quite the same.

Flora Smith
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When the chips are down

The family arrived with takeaway food
Fish and chips, tightly wrapped, crisp and gold.
To watch the sun sink into the sea
while children play tag with the surf with glee.

But gulls in platoons organized and smart
made plans to relieve us of our food a la carte.
At the first whiff of vinegar they lost their manner
reduced in an instant to rabble and clamour.

Huddling on our crowded blanket
we tried to protect our greasy banquet.
A phalanx of birds advanced as one
but one flung chip and they’re all undone.

From our rug I observe their drills
advance wing to wing with lance-like bills.
Win a chip from us and then exit
then the hard bit, trying to keep it!

For some a threat’s enough to loosen a grip
bully, with neck arched low and it’s goodbye chip.
For others it’s down to a tug of war
to ensure  a chip goes down their craw.

Even when a gull thinks he’s on a winner
and risen above the mayhem with his dinner.
Its an airborne attack, chip snatched mid air
a sneaky tactic most unfair.

And while we’re absorbed by a frontal attack
a lone insurgent sneaks in from the back.
Unseen he’s got in close, almost grabbed his cut
only to be scared off by the family mut.

Now all of these strategems require some brawn
but on one smart gull an idea did dawn.
Rather than compete with muscle and force
he planned a unique and fruitful course.

On the fringe of the melee away from the rest
he’s on one red leg feigning no interest.
“Look! He’s lost a leg to a hungry mullet”
let’s make sure we get chips down his gullet.

My sympathy won I threw him some tucker
then it’s back on two legs – what a sucker.
Just like us the mob holds sway
but there’s always a smart one that that invents a new way.

Laurie Smith
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5th Avenue Night

on the day Dan Weiner took his famous
picture:  New Year’s Eve, Times Square
you blowing loud, your trumpet in my ears–
I was two.  Those around you             scatter
yet your eyes   determined blue
set on something straight ahead

Times Square years later …
we stood with strangers on 5th Avenue
holding hands in blinding rain
waiting for the throng
————  for lights to let us through

knew the rhythm of red and green
flashing lights as we blinked
bodies iridescent rain  / /  flashing on
flashing off.  As if we could turn off
a love affair?              Behind us–
a city bursting at the seams

then you came             image loud
your trumpet                sounding night –
faces smeared              eyes powder blue

that black and white New Year’s Eve
calling us                     the song you sang
——————————– in my ears

Rose van Son
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Heartfelt Poem for a Niece’s 13th Birthday

‘The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of…’  Pascal

You were born with a broken heart.
By your incubator our hearts stood still,
hoping doctors’ hands and minds
would lift up your heart and let you sing.

By your incubator our hearts stood still,
as the pulses of your heart flowed and ebbed
to lift up your heart and let you sing.
Happily, you took heart and prevailed.

The pulses of your heart ebbed and flowed.
You grew, waiting for your heart’s concurrence.
And when made new and whole, your heart
beat with a passion firm and strong.

You grew with your heart’s concurrence
and your heart having learned its reasons,
beat with a passion firm and strong
to make you girl and woman
——————————————       after your own heart.

 

Rita Tognini
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