NB: CONTRIBUTORS RETAIN ALL RIGHTS TO THEIR WORK.

CONTRIBUTORS:

Anne Morgan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Robyn Goodier ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Sue Clennell

GD Anderson,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,, Marc Marusic,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Janice M. Bostok

Frances Macaulay Forde, ,,Jackie Swift ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Yvette Merton

Jean Frances ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Ink Drinkers - Clennel & Lamperd

Denise K Mitchell,,,,,,,,,,,,Janet Jackson,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Maureen Sexton

Kathryn Hamann - book launch - ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,

Congratulations to the PixelPoets who feature in Les Murray's Best Australian Poems 2004.
I had hoped to take up an invitation to read my feminist poem,
A Steam Driven Computer, and others, at the launching and associated events in beautiful Melbourne, but my friendly arts persons decreed otherwise and denied my request for a subsidy.

We writers are quite inured to such set-backs, knowing, begorra, that as one door closes another is slammed in your face!

 

Solstice Nightwalk

 

Orion ascends a rooftop constellation

of elf and sleigh and reindeer

as I tread the leaf-curled edges

of this shortest dark,

wind-chimed in jasmine.

 

My wolf-dog travels in a baser plane,

ingesting urine scents on scribbled bark

and poled relics of swamp and bluegum,

stripped and wired and copper-chromed.

 

A screech of brushtail claws

the backboard of the night.

Hysteria beats fear in smaller hearts.

In an instant transpositioning

of fight

and light

and flight,

a furry shadow shoots the bitumen

and vanishes in a brake shriek.

Anne Morgan

 

 

 

Angel Mist

 

Before the aurora shocked your optic nerve

and liquefied your orange sunset,

before you bathed in angel mist

and handed down your covenants that would save

the world from evol, which is love's palindrome,

you opened doors to the mountain's otherworld

and we followed torchlight moons

on frosted branches,

to moss-sponged mounds

and snow-sunk cellars,

caught glow worms in their pearl blue snarings,

and from Sphynx Rock

welooked down on this riverwound,

and star reflected city.

 

You dispensed decaffeinated wisdom

from the cornucopia of your teapot

and were an oracle then,

even before your epiphany.

Today you're just yourself,

but much more so, though now you choose

to be a lunatic because, you swear,

they kill the prophets,

don't they?

Anne Morgan

 

 

The Stair Walkers

 

In the concrete shaft of liftshirking,

we are a fellowship behind doors,

soaring the horizontal trudge of duty

with Icarus wings

and heart-primed sparkings.

 

Footprints and spilt coffee

walk the walls below us

and fluff from long gone carpet

lolls around the stairs.

Anne Morgan

 

 

 

Your Dark

 

Your days should have been startling

as mountain pepper

or waratah-bright in a snow bloom,

your nights skies vibrant

with meteorites sparking

in lemonmint breezes,

yet those incessant winds

provoked your clouds,

inciting marestail wisps

to stampedes of thunder.

 

Was your spirit fused in some dark spiral,

the coda of distracted love that

flagellated towards your quickening?

Is this why you have no time to share

a blossom shower in a summering spring,

or the ferment of apple on autumn rain leaves?

Anne Morgan

 

Top


 

Second Stint (from friend to friend)

 

The flower is dying

and the thorns grow stronger;

too many whispers

have the edge.

 

The truth is dark and unforseen,

gullibility is taking its place-

time and time again.

 

The future seems a haze,

parallel lines are blocking the view.

Lies take precedence

and courage is weakening.

 

From here to there

a long journey joins the two.

So dark and lonely

without a companion.

I wait.

I am a friend.

But-

no trust:

no tomorrow.

Robyn Goodier

 

 

Burnt Bodies

 

An unrequited love

she held onto

in fear of loss;

in fear of missing the seduction

of the angel in his body.

 

Communication was often weak-

he spoke only of sensuality.

He couldn't share his life:

he couldn't confuse conflicting issues.

 

And yet he returned.

He always returned.

 

No matter what upheavals filled his days,

a rare visit

was the sweet interlude

she patiently waited for.

Talk was small-

touch burned their bodies.

 

And yet he never spared a moment

to ask how she coped...

 

When she called-

he put her on hold.

When she pleaded-

he feigned other plans.

When she silently wept-

he just didn't notice.

And when she finally held out her hand-

he cut it off.

 

But when he came to the door

she smiled

and let him in....

Robyn Goodier

 

 

This Feeling

 

I want to wake to you each morning

with your heart right next to mine

and be swept away on a tide of love

and be trapped there for all time.

 

I want to feel your arms around me

and safe and warm and loved

and know that nothing can interfere

with this feeling that we have.

 

I want to see your eyes light up

whenever I'm around

and know that look is what I've missed

and which finally it seems I've found.

 

I want to laugh and cry with you

I want to share my beating heart,

I want to love you, touch you, hold you

and never be apart.

 

I want to hold your hand in mine

I want to kiss your smiling face

and I want to lose myself within

your passionate embrace.

 

I want to stand right there beside you

through darkness and in light,

I want to be the one you turn to

during the day or throughout the night.

 

I want to see you face to face

for I need to know if what I feel

is really just a fantasy

or- please God- please make it real.

 

So I hold my breath right now

and send you this wish from far away:

that all these feelings I own right now

may come true, one November day.

Robyn Goodier

 

 

Fragile Flower

 

So here I sit

thinking of you,

contemplating the wonder

you made to my life.

How you warmed my heart-

never had it sung so loudly!

That spring in my step,

never had it skipped along so lightly!

That feeling in my heart

how it burnt so brightly!

Wanting you, needing you, having you-

the flame consumed intensely!

I am what I am

and I gave it all to you.

This fragile flower

who had withered in pain so much this year

responded to your beautiful voice.

This fragile flower

who had seen more shade than sunlight

felt the sunshine of your heart.

This fragile flower

was in the palm

of your soft, beautiful hands.

Then one day

without thought or explanation;

without rhyme or any reason,

you closed your hand into a fist

and gently,

ever so gently,

crushed it.....

Robyn Goodier

Top


 

Nefertiti and Akhenaten

 

He said, "I've given you all Egypt

and you feed butter to cats,

emulators of your long neck."

She said, "Most lovers used me

as an escape,

but you play me like a lyre

making my bones quiver.

God-like, your fire

consumes my skin.

Our place in Heaven is assured.

Together we will ride through

lush green lands,

Lotus blossoms floating on the water."

Sue Clennell

 

 

 

Mummy Discovery

 

The ancient Pharaohs believed

their names must be said aloud

for them to reach eternity.

You are immortal Nefertiti

although your mummy

was deliberately damaged.

No words can now be spoken from your lips

to appease the gods, or rather,

the one god you worshipped.

The wilderness was your reward

for following your huspand

into the unknown.

Remember the sun shone on you both.

His hands touched your soul

for just the briefest of time-spans,

a minute in Egyptian years.

Don't weep for your boyish remains,

Ra sends his love.

Sue Clennell

 

 

Sue Clennell is co-author of "The Ink Drinkers: a selection of poetry and prose."

Top


.

 

Red

 

Jubilantly returning home

from a rare Montreal Expos baseball victory

past midnight

I thread through the Metro with my brothers

up along Rue de Maisoneuve

& cross the Decarie Expressway

& casually glance down at the spray of traffic

 

In a sudden helpless flash

I relive once again,,,,twenty years before

the caroming,,,,crumpling car

flattened by a concrete post-

A woman emerging

her head thick red

She is screaming/

shrieking uncontrollably

forty feet below-

her arms pumping in terror.

A body slumped in the

passenger seat. A few white

flakes tossing in the air

 

The next day at school

traumatised

unable to sleep

I remember scribbling/

piecing together

a Year 10 essay on Brave New World

 

written entirely in red ink

 

 

how to write & analyse a bad poem

 

1

take a happy middle class family

where children & parents love long

2

give them a large rambling house

full of expensive bay windows

3

get them to swallow the classics

from Dryden to Byron

4

ask the university professors amongst them

who teach conceptual poetry - to write one

5

later, get a large mammal, preferably an elephant or blue whale

,,,,,,to shit on it

GD Anderson

 

 

nothing will come of nothing

 

On the South Coast Line

I am meditating again,

winter black beanie over eyes

mouthing the mantra-

nothing,,,,,,,,,nothing,,,,,,,,,nothing

over & over again

nothing,,,,,No thing no Thinhg-

each time subtly changing

the sound or tone or stress of the words:

no- thing,,,,,no thing,,,,NO th-ing!

perhaps trying to ward off the boredom

perhaps to calm the weltering spring of inner thoughts,

the multiple impressions,,,,the garbled gossip of,,the hair dressers, clerks,

computer consultants,,,,,pensioners crowding m,,, in,,,,,perhaps as a test

of the bubbled froth,,,of consciousness willing it,,, to take some unimaginable shape-

Nothing. No..thing. Noooo..thinnnnn...gggg

On the edge of consciousness..

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,..of self

I now hear the innumerable whisperings of fellow passengers-

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,, the words are blurred, collective

with the occasional cough or boisterous laughter-

,,,,,,,,,it all seems just on the edge of sleep,,,,,,of nothingness;

I repeat to myself the selfless refrain:

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,, noooooooooooooooo-thing.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,NO THANG.,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Nuttin.

Inescapable as a stale fart-

a woman's complacent tone defoliates the air an American twang-

Deliverance? ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,perhaps George W Bush

country-

at first I don't want to know and cannot really follow her line of discussion

& then her voice,,,,becomes distinct- (me, black beanie over eyes),,,,,,others

in the train, hushed-,,,if awake, forceably listening in-

 

She says (almost shouting): You wouldn't believe the cleansing effects of urine. I wash my face in it every morning. I strongly recommend you drink it after every meal. It's cured my liver complaint. If you would like further information log into my website- urine.com..

 

I clasp my ears and try to turn off & chant:

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nothing noooothing nooothing will come of-

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nnnnnnnoooooooootttthhhhiiiiinnnnngg!!!!

GD Anderson

 

 

HSC Marking

 

beyond 6 PM

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,, a glaze of words

,,,,,,,,,like a thin film

,,,,,,,,,,, ,smudges the periphery

,,,, of vision

 

in auto-pilot marking

,,,,,,,awash with yellow,

,,,,,,,,,,, elastic bound bundles

,,,the blizzard of script pages

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,, sweep over

,,,,,,,,,,, ,me

 

the words ,,,,,,,random ,,,, scanned

,,,,,,,,,,in the blurred

,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,, blinking of an eye:

 

Omniscient narrator,,, bush life ,,, flashback ,,, anonymous

woman representative ,,, negative tone ,,, monotonous

landscape ,,, vulnerable ,,, the wood pile ,,, loneliness ,,, ladies

journal ,,, ironic humour ,,, involve the reader ,,, colloquial

language ,,, thunderstorm ,,, suspense ,,, Alligator ,,, thud, thud

onomatopoeia ,,, responder ,,, I won't go a drovin'mom

 

In the cool aberrant evening, a niggly cough behind me,

my SM whispers, What'd you give the sample?

 

12

 

Spot on!

GD Anderson

 

 

 

The Poem

 

Awakening in a strange bed

with a pillow over my head

I can clearly see the poem-

this poem:

 

It stands about one metre tall

of polished huon pine

with three delicately sharpened

candles

against a white backdrop

 

There is a sad, undefinable

presence about it. A black

spear of light illuminates

the rubber base

holding it all into place

 

Later, a bird-

not just an ordinary bird,

lands on one of the points-

it seems happy simply to be

on the poem

 

The poem starts to

levitate & slowly rotate

& in gradients

the speed increases

& soon

it is all a blur

& then poof!

 

the poem

 

is

 

 

gone

 

GD Anderson

 

I have published poems in dozens of literary journals and e-zines in Australia, United States, Canada and Britain in the last two years and edit the student literary journal Ephemeral.

Your readers can contact me at my new e-mail address is: garp@exemail.com.au

GD Anderson

Top


 

Singing The Land

 

he sang the land

for years and years

forever changing

was its people

and what they built

but not the land

in its essence

sung into being

needing this singing

to continue

so to be nurtured

 

distilled into story

weaving whitefella dreaming

this he wove with soul

like those whose ground

we robbed and ravaged

still not feeling part of

 

we could heal this earth

in body and soul

if we unblocked the flow

for the blackfella

to restore their dreaming

and to find ours

 

this he started doing

long before we heard

reconciliation

he humped his swag of yarns

to where the black folk lived

to share a bond

of mateship with the land

as few of us have ever done

 

Slim's now gone to dust

yet much of him lives on

at one with a timeless land

Marc Marusic

 

 

Soundscape

 

this music reaches

beyond my mind

and my senses

interweaving with my being

to form a mindscape

transporting me to places

no bodily travel could

 

this newscape resonates with

long lost parts of me

and that of me that's yet to be

but shows itself in glimpses

- even before I was born

starting and ending not with

a where and a when

undefined by

stages of the life path

 

this music plays itself

along the grooves

of each one's own mindspace

yet weaves us into oneness

of new being

this onset soon retreats

but never leaves us

Marc Marusic

 

 

Summoning

 

shards of memory

shaped into newscapes

that paint themselves on my mind

as on the canvas, they do not fade

 

inner and outer

corresponding with a lost world

that yearns to open into me

is this why I'm called to paint?

Marc Marusic

 

 

Traces

 

walls bounce memories

soaked up

from folk before me

 

all who've made this a lived space

write much of their being

into this house

their traces interweave

with my long life here

 

this patchwork fits so snugly

that I'm unaware of it

- the threads unravel

and dance with the walls

that waltz me around

 

I'm never alone here

Marc Marusic

Top


A Creeping Coldness

 

the coldness you felt in the last months

of your life lingers into the new season

which should be the hottest on record

 

old peasants wrap their legs in rags

to keep in what warmth is generated

as swaddling hung on makeshift

clothes lines draws the sunlight into

faded colours

 

how the window ends the morning light

when shadows duck and weave as old

boxers still training for that final fight

lost as your mother's was in the breakdown

of Eastern European society

 

i have inherited your body's coldness

a shaking more like a rattling of river

pebbles in a water garden designed

to be perpetually in motion

Janice M. Bostok

 

 

Ashes Unscattered

 

i search the house for remnants

your smile giving a quick makeover

the rhythms and melodies we shared

pulsating against walls and ceilings

 

i step into a room and you appear

the green energy of trees the push

of blossom from the mother plant

the unexpected day lily today

a richer colour escapes through

windows of light

 

the moisture and decomposition

which renews all life awaits

the tenderness of your strong

peasant hands

Janice M. Bostok

 

 

Dream

 

wagtail the accepted bearer of good

tidings comes to me chattering of you

louder than an insistent child it stamps

its spindly legs and whips its tail

to the four compass points my thoughts

regroup i dream of your hand inside my

abdomen calming my grieving body

piece by piece like the squish of jelly

as you reach deeper and i wake

facing the window bearing morning light

Janice M. Bostok

 

Top


 

The Bar of Grief

 

Upturned bottles once lined with military order

on dusty, termite-rotten shelves. Fingerprints,

clear spaces of use, caught by the shafts of daylight

through pin-holes where nails have been.

 

A puddle of spilt pain, beneath an upturned bench.

Life, wasted in boozy stench lies forgotten,

punished for excess, while determined creatures

march with hunger towards rotten snacks.

Dirt's secret world survives in semi-darkness.

 

Corrugated walls, rusting-red and brown. Drips

where rain had been, left tracks as if guiding

to the next place. A dark, dank, mud-bed

suitable for long soft round things

to slither and slide through eyes now closed.

Still focused on nightmare dreams, gone before.

Frances Macaulay Forde

 

~ First published in Liberty Hill Review ~ 2001

Also 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's Journey' MMB Pub. 2003

 

 

Website Walking

 

When keyboard-bashing signs and space,

I seldom see a familiar

face. Though it's possible now to

meet, see, hear, your dream (but not touch)

 

drift mouse o'er icons; double click.

Life-secrets revealed through Window

layers. Welcome to my website!

Cerebral sex, flirting on-line,

 

erases the risk of truth. Be

anyone for everyone on

the safe World Wide Web of deceit.

Construct a distant mirage for

 

the lonely, scared, ugly, who

can't fit the ideal, to compete.

Click here; Click where? Comment. E-mail.

Enter my world and 'know' me there!

Frances Macaulay Forde

Published: Guardian Newspapers, UK 2003,

Also 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's Journey' MMB Pub. 2003

My poem 'The Boffin' recently won 3rd Prize in the Poetry section of the NSW Writers Centre 'Inner City Life Competition 2004'. Read the poem at http://www.nswwriterscentre.org.au

 

 

Top


Games

 

So

- she turned on him,

spun round on her spiked stiletto,

hiss-ssing, almost ss-spitting, facing him down;

Who cares about your blue eyes

your hairy chest

and Cuban heels?

Who cares?

 

She advanced on him

Stabbing her sharpened scarlet nail into his chest

If you can't be pleasant to me

Smile hello

hold a simple conversation

nod casually in the tea room

pass on the stairs

If you can't do that

If all you want to do is play stupid games

- ,,,,,,, wink and

- ,,,,,,, sigh and

- ,,,,,,, touch and

- ,,,,,,, beckon and

- ,,,,,,, insinuate and

- ,,,,,,, imply and

- ,,,,,,, then NOTHING

All the boring time -

Then I'm not in love with you.

Not any more.

No.

 

She stood straight

Tall on her new black spikes

Flexing her blood clotted talons.

She stood clear.

 

From him.

 

Get fucked

Take your ageing arrogant arse

Out of my life.

Go play games with someone else.

 

She shut the door

In silence she left him,

a small tap tapping on the hard office floor as she slipped away

From him

 

Fast and Clean.

Jackie Swift

 

 

Jack Lowe

 

Jack Lowe

was

The

most

beautiful

boy

I ever knew.

 

Viking Blond hair

Glacial blue eyes

China Doll face

Honey skin

Long athletic limbs.

 

A few years ago now

The story went around

that he was asked, on a train in the middle of Europe,

to model for German Vogue.

 

He smiled, of course; amused, bemused

Then declined.

No Armani suits, or Calvin Klein poses for him.

 

Did he regret that?

Miss his fifteen minutes, his chance to have his beauty

Immortalized Forever.

Does he look in the mirror now and see

Grey hair, fleshy jowls and sagging belly, a lengthening of that perfect nose?

Does it matter to him?

 

I bet it doesn't.

My not-quite-forgotten Summer-time Sandy Bay Beach-beauty.

Too beautiful for us then

Too beautiful for the rest of the world now.

Jackie Swift

 

 

Nightmare

 

It is night.

It is black.

No stars. A glimpse of moon.

Thunderclouds roll across the sky.

It is hot. There is no air-conditioner.

The fan chugs away.

Slow. Slow. Slow.

 

Look.

In there.

Look.

 

Someone sleeps.

She tosses. She turns. Her face contorts in pain.

She murmurs.

She cries out.

The thunder rumbles and cracks.

Loud. Loud.

She is awake. Is she?

Come closer.

Listen.

Listen now.

 

Oh God.

Oh no.

He's back. He's come again.

 

When will he leave me in peace?

Never

Never

Never

Never.

 

Watch him. Look at him.

My darling, my torture, the best, yet the worst.

 

Look. Here he comes. In progression. In all his guises. One by one.

Like the Witches' vision from Macbeth.

Look and see which seeds will grow. Which will wither. Die.

What will I forget about him? All. All in time. All.

Yet nothing.

Some men remain to haunt you all your life, inviting comparisons, longings for the past, wishes for the future. Some stay.

Here.

Here he is now. Coming at me.

Swirling out of the mists of my mind, down from the thunder clouds to rain on me. Threaten me with his smile, his favour, his love and then withdrawing it all. Like being in the eye of the storm - gusts of wind and rain and trouble swirling all around me threatening to stop me, drown me, bruise me beyond all endurance but I am strong, I drag him back to me, make him stay with me, trapped by my desire, caught by my passion, my love, my need for him.

 

Shh. Here he is now.

Shh. If I'm truly quiet, really quiet, he might not see me.

Might leave my dreams alone. Let me sleep in peace.

Shhh

Shhh

 

Too late!

I am caught.

 

He loves me.

He loves me not.

He'll leave his wife.

He'll stay with her.

He ignores me now. Keeps away. Stays distanced.

Tomorrow he'll smile. Seek me out. Hold me.

Arrange a meeting

Which he'll miss.

 

-Sorry.

-Couldn't be helped.

-You know how these things are.

 

But he wants me.

Needs to be near me.

He finds a way to touch me.

A pat.

A hug.

A kiss in the air, on the head.

A wink across the room

-Stay behind

-I need you

-Stay late

-I must talk to you.

 

I can't.

It's impossible.

 

But I do.

 

He moves so close. Too close to me.

His arms go around me

He swallows me up

Like a bear

Caught.

My head sits on his chest.

He kisses my hair.

I love him.

His hands move to my face. He tilts it upwards.

We kiss.

We kiss.

We kiss.

Kiss

Kiss

Kiss

 

Too long!

I am drowning.

 

He breaks.

Pushes me away.

Despises me. Proclaims love for his wife.

 

I am alone.

Left.

Quite still. Quiet. Bereft.

 

No. He's still here.

But blurred. Blurring. I cannot see him clearly.

 

He is not my lover

Not my friend

Not my husband

He is no man known to me.

He is all men known to me.

He is a monster

A liar

A dissembler

A cheat

A magician

A sorcerer

 

He is not real.

He does not exist.

He is a god.

He is the devil.

He is temptation.

He is trouble.

 

Soon

One day

He will fade

Leave my subconscious

Desert my dreams

Leave me alone

In peace

To

Resume

The shape

Of an ordinary man.

Jackie Swift

 

 

 

Top


 

Crossing Paths

 

Dusting off the cobwebs

brushing ample curves

slow strokes licking pavements

quietly retained bristles envious

of those tiny cracks smiling

vaguely in hard cement,

 

scuffed feet treading such

infinite paths without direction

tasting morsels of relentless

rain...soaking under the skin,

 

reflections slipping between

toes...marbled blur anticipating

another passer by relishing

the kiss of winters cool breath.

Yvette Merton

 

 

 

Another sleepless night

 

Awake with the sleepwalkers

Insomniacs world of half dreams

congregation of illuminators

colours wisp across semi closed lids.

 

Mingled echoes stir the slumber

quilting under warm blankets,

listless yawns,

turning this way, turning that way

kicking legs running marathons

in the still, of night.

 

Snores of the rested and deep dreamers

growling lions inhaling their next meal

salivating mouths open, eyes shut tight.

Oh to be one of them,

playing safe in their cave

catching eight gracious hours

of sweet sleeping bliss.

 

Hypnotic images surrender

me to the converted,

precious minutes of composure

flecks of warm orange

coat my thoughts,

floating light limbed

closer to slumber with each sigh.

Yvette Merton

Top


Marin

 

Stillness,,,,,shading trees

men fishing from grassy bank

contemplative,,,,,silent

,,,,,,

Gone city stress,,,,,frustration

raised impatient voices

when his halting English

is misunderstood

when his comprehension

is too slow.

Gone the rejection

of his offered self

 

Sloughing off these scenes

fishing is a time for daydreaming

remembering Romanian summers

with the lazy current

swimming with his brother

eye-to-eye with fish

in another river

 

He grins

recalling tossing in the cat

once only ,,,,, his mother said

to rid it of fleas

but the boys would

toss it in again for fun

© Jean Frances

 

 

 

 

My Father's Fiddle

 

My father keeps it

in a felt-lined case,

resin, for the bows,

wrapped in a scrap of chamois,

stored with the tuning fork.

Two bows in the lid.

 

It once hung behind the door

of his grandfather's room.

In that old man's huge hands

the cat-gut's febrile voice

ignited inner fires.

 

My father rough butcher's fingers

deft and strong when boning meat

now gentle as a lover

caressing the polished timber

measuring perfect fifths

with sensuous strokes.

© Jean Frances

 

 

 

Alice's Girls

 

Alice lost two babies

both still-born

perfectly formed and pretty.

But quite dead.

 

But sometimes

she would pretend

her sister's daughters

were of her womb

and hold them

with fierce passion

 

and the little girls

sensing her need

would press against her

feeling warmth

in her empty breasts

seeing softness

in the hard line

of her mouth

© Jean Frances

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Ink Drinkers

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Self Inflicted

 

The pain tears and rips the words out of the pen,

written,

as though by themselves, of themselves,

in powerful feelings self inflicted.

For to overly love is self abuse,

cruelty,

formed from addiction, to warmth,

safety, beauty or acceptance.

Clutching the pain, wringing every word,

whipping it to frenzied insanity, never wanting or allowing a release.

Re-inflicting, re-abusing, and a pitiful wallowing.

Letting pain leave, the compassing factor,

which path, which choices, made alone, in frightful freedom.

Blooming from pain flowers the writer,

though never as vivid,

nor skilfully crafty without the sensations they claim.

Reliving past hurts, to stimulate,

cause function long past time,

the skills of an actor macramé into wrenching rhyme.

Floating above the lowly writer - an air of souls, gone before,

having trodden similar steps over love crushed ground,

and having dipped for their ink into the well of sadness ,

only to be sunk by the weight of unceasing pain into oblivion or worse,

into fame.

Denise K Mitchell 2004

(This poem has been published twice already in England. It has not yet been published in Australia other than on my website.)

 

 

The Galley

 

Haunting Visions

invade my mind

to gentle journey,

conducted by

aural symphony

soft river slosh

slapping the dock,

harmonized

with gull

cacophony.

Enchanted

by subtle

wafts -

vapours

that call

oral juices

forth.

Together

they form

the permanent

etching

of the

feel

of

the

place.

Denise K Mitchell 2004

 

 

 

Clarity of Thought

 

Manipulation -

Is the objective,

Behind every word -

Ever written,

Or to be written,

Ever.

Denise K Mitchell 2004

 

 

 

Isolating Thought

 

Aiming to isolate

a single thought.

merely one

can't be done

For try as I would,

every thought,

held baggage,

vast luggage.

Like a flowchart,

a thought

in the middle

of this riddle.

Like a family large,

with brother and sister thoughts,

and the originating parents,

also offspring,-

What do they bring?

For once birthed,

their influence pertinent,

no click of time,

destroys the line,

that made a thought,

a singular element,

and thought so linked,

is singularly extinct.

 

As idea it forms,

and my heart warms.

For distinct idea I can see,

regardless of thoughts that made it be.

Denise K Mitchell 2004

 

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Camping

 

the bush smells

sweet and wet

the coffee smells

perfect

the river smells

of mud and marron

the sky smells of stars

and the grass

smells of grass.

Janet Jackson

 

 

Lawn

 

It softly touches the bricks

at its edge,

a gentle but definite border.

The bricks say

You can't come past here!

This is our flower bed!

The lawn says

OK, I won't

but let me look.

The bricks let it look.

Janet Jackson

 

 

I will be silent

 

When it's over

I will be silent.

You will try to celebrate,

to go out with a bang,

but I will be silent.

There is no joy in death.

 

I will cry my tears silently.

There will be no-one to hold me -

no-one that matters, when you are gone.

There will be arms around me, flesh arms,

and I'll take some comfort from that

but there will be no-one to hold me.

 

I'm crying now, thinking of it,

and Bob Marley is singing

"No Woman No Cry", making it worse.

Because look what happened to him.

What happened to his special ones?

Who holds them now?

His spirit?

 

Will your spirit come to hold me

when it's over?

Will I still be able to sing?

 

If it is not time to cry - not yet -

then why these tears?

What is your spirit saying?

 

Saying "I will be silent".

Janet Jackson

 

Read more by Western Australian poet Janet Jackson at Proximity.

http:www.arach.net.au/~huxtable/janet/proximity

 

 

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When The Last Tuart Dies

 

Thump, thump

of kangaroos

heartbeat of the land.

Focus on the breath of trees

creating a breeze of oxygen.

 

Thump, thump.

Deeper, deeper.

Feel your bark dry in the sun

branches reach for a helping hand

trunk stretches to sky

a last attempt at faith.

 

Thump, thump.

Your roots bind you to the core

as solid as Earth

you are strength, wisdom

home, shade

life, alive.

 

Thump, thump.

Like all beauty

your life will be cut short

they are coming

to torture, murder.

 

Thump, thump.

Grieve now

say goodbye to those you love

sing your mourning

to the wind

we are all dying this day.

 

Thump

Maureen Sexton

 

 

The Serpent Strikes Back

 

The writing may be on the wall

but white chalk on blackboard

is not permanent.

A prophecy unfulfilled.

Our Father

the devil, Mr Neville

Mother Superior

Sister Kate -

nice white family.

Children stolen

halved, quartered

categorized, classified.

 

Science pours the solution

into a glass jar.

Specimen scrutinized, judged

attached Latin label (Morelia spilota imbricata)

preserved, exhibited

on a formality.

 

The serpent slowly raises its head

uncurls its multi-layers

awake from hibernation

examining the examiners.

Maureen Sexton

 

Inspired by 'The Darwin Room' by Christopher Pease at the WA Art Gallery.


(poems below)

Poetica Christ Press

invites you to a Poetry Soiree

at St Dunstan's Anglican Church

163 Wattle Valley Road

Camberwell

Victoria 3124

 

on Sunday 20 February

1.30pm for 1.45 pm

 

a Reading by the Wordsmiths

will be followed by a short open section

and afternoon tea

 

Then at (approx) 3pm

 

Bud Tingwell

 

will launch

 

An Embrace of Morning

by Kathryn Hamann

In An Embrace of Morning, Kathryn Hamann uses well-written phrases

and a sure touch to balance a picture of earthly clumsiness and limitation

with an unseen but clear presence, a non-intrusive comforter.

Joyce Lee

Book Price $12.50

RSVP either Jean Press <pcp@vicnet.net.au>

or hamann_k@optusnet.com.au

 

Wonderland

(for Liza)

 

The pain that impelled her to the clinic

was in fact a summons

to the Madhatter's Party without tea

or doctoring

Shrove Tuesday - any day

avoiding the necessity of Lent and abstinence

from cake and ... cup of tea? Each night pancakes

and Anglican children scamper round

and round her house

And though she

never gave permission - of that I am sure

those naughty children will not

stay outside but come to dance

upon her bed

Her Walter's refrain: Nothing's

there Old Fruit holds no conviction - for

on every surface - handkerchiefs

both emerald and green

The Cheshire cat (smile

and all) forgets

how to vanish

Her Kindergarten mistress wrote:

... our Miss Betty makes it clear she does

not suffer fools

She laughed at fairies then

and the ones who play around her now

bring mirth and smiles and all

good things but one

There is no rest and when

others tread without due care and clutter

the air with words; the dancers shy

away and peep from cushions out

of blinds or swim unseen

among the flowers However

on every surface - handkerchiefs

green squares the breadth

of a toenail

Fuss and fret Family

and friends - fuss and fret -

way back there

while she is off

following the white rabbit

who has thrown away time

In her search

for where she is going though no one

ever tells where that

might be

there is no space to shed tears

for those lacking - dementia's eyes

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

 

The Rosa Flores Facility

(... recognised for the quality of its care)

 

Like middle-aged birds whose plumage has lost

its gloss - they gather in the foyer decorated with

photos of those able to wear age with a smile

 

The clock shows past the hour but no

complaint comes from this ill assorted flock

of twelve females and the one eighty plus

male cheated because he has proved long lasting

 

Each set of eyes underscored

is identical in its pleading Cute at eight

but the addition of years makes

it neither seemly nor affective

 

A woman enters asking "Here for the tour?"

As she checks names against her list each

darts a sideways look at the other competitors

for this territory open for the rush

 

"You are in luck This one

was almost cancelled

Certainly it will be the last

for some considerable time

Day room first then if possible -

one of the rooms with two beds ...

 

In absolute obedience they follow; listen

to what has been said many times; facial features

arranged to depict avid interest Murmurs of

approval and surprise placed to perfection - thanks

to much practise If silence falls an intelligent

question slips in conveying the right

quantity of anxious love

 

Back to where they started from

 

Three forms to fill out

but I must tell you -

there's very little chanceî

 

They stand clutching folders to their breasts as she stabs in

0 times 4 plus # the code for leaving

 

"Perhaps you had better

hope for a heart to give

out"

 

A professional she can spot birds heavy with

aged young who aspire only - to be cuckoos

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

 

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