2017 Creatrix Prize Winners

POETRY

Equal First

Mike Pedrana “The Town Pool”

Maggie Van Putten “Breakaway”

Highly Commended

Jackson “Dadda”

Jan Napier “Silkie”

Commended

Scott-Patrick Mitchell “Dick Pic”

Rita Tognini “Louche Sonnet”

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HAIKU

 First Prize

Jan Napier

at the outdoor cinema
so many stars

 

Second Prize

Gavin Austin

grave offering
her tiny palms cup
the dead finch

 

Highly Commended

Gabriele Cavallo

roof holes
letting
the morning in

Minh-Triêt Pham, Paris, France

end of holidays
the blue sea
in the rearview mirror

 

Commended

Gavin Austin. Sydney. Australia

visiting rights
the sky between two
branches

Marilyn Humbert

first day of school
the silence
in our street

 

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Equal First

 

The Town Pool

 

saturdays are built for children.

we would meet with our $2 smiles

and group under the shade of the gum trees at the town

pool.

animated with immaturity and coated in skinny legs and shove and push

hearts we bonded away from the grey corridors of a sheepish school.

the black kids are doing backflips and chasing each other

in frenzy,

ignoring the adults who a like cadavers or tourist white seals.

all except mr bauer,

who runs the pool without expression as we

give him our 5 cent piles for candy.

Behind the toilet block

we cup our parents cigarettes from him,

coughing into our towels from its disaster as the sentinel

flanked on the pavement

motions to hush the give away noise.

we become fools to the tiny breasts of classmates

who ignore us in their red carpet saunter.

ganged together like an orgy of gallant octopi ,

we army soldier our boyish

dare and

push each other into the

citadel of their snobbery,

the youth of our smudged ice-cream faces

walled from the insult of turned backs.

the country heat herds us into the

cool diamond depth of the town pool,

and we,

splash happy and teasing,

too lazy to urinate anywhere else.

sometimes the wind goosebumps the

flesh that stands at height above the water and

so we tread within it,

our shinny heads all apple bobbed

and sun blotched.

exhausted,

and confectionary spent,

we spread our meatless bodies onto the hot concrete

that burns an almost cruel heat.

heads rested on folded arms

and bellies red but lizard dry.

we all agree its time to

go home to our empty houses.

as we rise,

the wet shape of our bodies are left outlined

on the concrete.

slowly the outline of it

is drunken up by the radiant heat,

we stand in silence as we watch it disappear,

all fading away without control,

like the childhood

we never thought

we would lose.

 

Mike Pedrana

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Equal First

 

Breakaway Country

 

The land, like our lives, was between seasons, waiting

It became ours as if there was no other place or time.

 

The glittering edge of a glacier sliced the tundra.

An ancient frozen river, a dangerous playground.

You can cut yourself on ice.

You can disappear into a crevasse.

 

Strange things can happen on glaciers.

Strange things can happen in love.

 

At the toe of the glacier, trickles formed streams

Then braided into wide shallow rivers

where agates mixed in gravel, jewelled promise hidden.

Other rivers washed up bright specks of flash and glitter,

 

coin of the realm of dreams,

fooling some as love can fool.

 

Water dripped and ran, soaked down deep

diluting colours of earth and sky.

The sodden, marshy tundra sucked at boots

soaked our feet in water, always cold.

 

At night in front of the fire clothes steamed.

At night wrapped together bodies burned.

 

Came the first snow, warning of early winter,

the darkened land forced our gaze upward.

In the cold air stars were harsh, brilliant and immediate.

After midnight the aurora began as a false dawn

continued in arcs and waving translucent curtains of colour.

 

The land like love demanded hard choices

but we had made them long ago.

Waking, we joined separate southward migrations,

not knowing where the journey would end.

 

Here in summer country the sky is clear,

colours sharp-edged and dry.

Rich red dust puffs up with each step.

Stars with different names fill the night sky

and the Aurora Australis is as rare as a living stream.

 

Alone in the darkness with the hot wind blowing

I shiver, watch the horizon and think of you.

 

 Maggie Van Putten

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Highly Commended

 

Dadda

At Cottesloe Beach, 2015

 

Dadda! Dadda! a toddler screams

Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda!

 

Dadda is chiselled, hard-bodied, striding up the beach

in rash top, mid-thigh shorts, expensive, tight

Under his right arm like a rugby ball

he carts a little girl

held horizontal, facing the ground

wriggling and kicking against his grip

screaming what she thinks is his name

 

By the shower he dumps her

She lands on her feet with a visible thud

He pulls her dress off over her head

yanks down her pink suit

with its frill around the hips

Having gotten her naked

he turns on the cold shower

shoves her under

She flinches, clings to his legs

He brushes water over her

with flat swipes of his palm

 

All this time she is screaming

All this time he says nothing

and his face does not move

 

A group of tourists stare

Even some of the locals look

 

He turns off the water

pulls a white and brown striped towel

off his shoulder

 

At last he will wrap and embrace her

I tell myself

 

He wrestles the towel around her

twists it into a knot

hoists her under his arm again

 

Jackson

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Highly Commended

 

Silkie

 

My husband loves me, snugs me close as a clove hitch,

loops and folds around me, makes fast, and I,

brassy as cringles on clipper ships, wink and flash

 

under hot blue eyes. We writhe lithe as eels,

almost ophidian, porpoise to surface

breath spicy with salt and musk, crash and sink

 

into slumber’s lull. But when northerlies ruffle

shot silk, and aquamarine slides violet

into slate, my silkie self insists on the slink

 

of wild water stroking skin, so on nights

nacreous and impossible to peel, I wriggle,

untangle, kiss a bristly chin, plunge to grottoes

 

adrift with jellyfish like clear moons, match tales

with kin, let the sea keep me. On thundery dawns

I wade breakers trailing weed like torn black lace,

 

half turn to murmur farewells, wince as knives flash

voltage into soles rasped pink, step my penance,

the bargain struck, the knot tied.

 

Jan Napier

*Cringle: a brass eyelet on the edge of a sail.

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Commended

 

Dick Pic

 

he sends me a dick pic

& i’m all is that it….

 

some things are small

but even in the right

hands the tiny can be

-come a mighty weapon

 

but when there is more

fuzz than flesh you have

to wonder if some men

have ever heard of the

word clippers

 

he sends me a dick pic

& i’m like oh dear god

 

if this man were a

neanderthal then this

would be his club

: deformed isn’t even

a word you could use

to describe it

 

& like fools i bet they

both drool when he

talks about tools or the

footy or cars or the

presumed space such a

man perceives to be the

other’s place

 

he send me a dick pic

& all i can do : shake

my head

 

it leans to the left

, pointing, as if to

say I’M WITH

STUPID & my

mind races with

the physics you

must employ to

muster such a

kink in your toy

 

i imagine him going to a

tailor with his pants &

asking if they can let

out the seam on the

left leg

 

he sends me a dick pic

& words escape me

 

but just as i begin to

salivate he does what

most men who are hung

tend to do : he becomes

a misogynistic pig

 

words like stretch & choke

spill freely from this bloke

as he objectifies me as some

-thing to rape : fuck that mate

 

his intentions are as

clear as my disgust

at his rampant lust

 

he sends me a dick pic

& it’s a picture of him

waving

 

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

________________________________________________________

 

Commended

 

Louche Sonnet

 

For Julie

 

This is a sonnet without stays,

one of unlaced corsets, crumpled, half-discarded

underskirts, black stockings in disarray

on floors.  Of half-sipped absinthe in glasses

near the bed.  This is a sonnet

that recalls the wild bohemian days

of fin de siècle Paris, when Renoir and Monet

danced Seine-side with muses young and gay,

and Degas spied, sketched and painted

his little dancing girls (he couldn’t do that now

and keep his genius and career untainted);

or in top hat, frock coat, necktie and sans Frau

frequented ballet and Bois  with friend Lautrec,

promenaded courtesans and horses, did what the heck.

 

Rita Tognini

 

  1. Bois de Boulogne – large public park in Paris, which was a popular meeting and promenading place for people of all classes in the late 19th century and contains Paris’ main horse race track, the Hippodrome de Longchamp.

 

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