NB: CONTRIBUTORS RETAIN ALL RIGHTS TO THEIR WORK.
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!
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
a furry shadow shoots the bitumen
and vanishes in a brake shriek.
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,
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.
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?
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 am a friend.
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
and let him in....
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.
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
ever so gently,
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."
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 is co-author of "The Ink Drinkers: a selection of poetry and prose."
Jubilantly returning home
from a rare Montreal Expos baseball victory
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/
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
unable to sleep
I remember scribbling/
a Year 10 essay on Brave New World
written entirely in red ink
how to write & analyse a bad poem
take a happy middle class family
where children & parents love long
give them a large rambling house
full of expensive bay windows
get them to swallow the classics
from Dryden to Byron
ask the university professors amongst them
who teach conceptual poetry - to write one
later, get a large mammal, preferably an elephant or blue whale
,,,,,,to shit on it
nothing will come of nothing
On the South Coast Line
I am meditating again,
winter black beanie over eyes
mouthing the mantra-
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
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-
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
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?
Awakening in a strange bed
with a pillow over my head
I can clearly see the poem-
It stands about one metre tall
of polished huon pine
with three delicately sharpened
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
it is all a blur
& then poof!
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: email@example.com
Singing The Land
he sang the land
for years and years
was its people
and what they built
but not the land
in its essence
sung into being
needing this singing
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
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
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
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
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?
walls bounce memories
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
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
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
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
Janice M. Bostok
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
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
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
- 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?
She advanced on him
Stabbing her sharpened scarlet nail into his chest
If you can't be pleasant to me
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.
She stood straight
Tall on her new black spikes
Flexing her blood clotted talons.
She stood clear.
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
Fast and Clean.
I ever knew.
Viking Blond hair
Glacial blue eyes
China Doll face
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
No Armani suits, or Calvin Klein poses for him.
Did he regret that?
Miss his fifteen minutes, his chance to have his beauty
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.
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.
She tosses. She turns. Her face contorts in pain.
She cries out.
The thunder rumbles and cracks.
She is awake. Is she?
He's back. He's come again.
When will he leave me in peace?
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.
Some men remain to haunt you all your life, inviting comparisons, longings for the past, wishes for the future. Some stay.
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.
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.
-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 kiss in the air, on the head.
A wink across the room
-I need you
-I must talk to you.
But I do.
He moves so close. Too close to me.
His arms go around me
He swallows me up
Like a bear
My head sits on his chest.
He kisses my hair.
I love him.
His hands move to my face. He tilts it upwards.
I am drowning.
Pushes me away.
Despises me. Proclaims love for his wife.
I am alone.
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
He is not real.
He does not exist.
He is a god.
He is the devil.
He is temptation.
He is trouble.
He will fade
Leave my subconscious
Desert my dreams
Leave me alone
Of an ordinary man.
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.
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,
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.
men fishing from grassy bank
Gone city stress,,,,,frustration
raised impatient voices
when his halting English
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
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 lost two babies
perfectly formed and pretty.
But quite dead.
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
in her empty breasts
in the hard line
of her mouth
© Jean Frances
The pain tears and rips the words out of the pen,
as though by themselves, of themselves,
in powerful feelings self inflicted.
For to overly love is self abuse,
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,
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.)
invade my mind
to gentle journey,
soft river slosh
slapping the dock,
Denise K Mitchell 2004
Clarity of Thought
Is the objective,
Behind every word -
Or to be written,
Denise K Mitchell 2004
Aiming to isolate
a single thought.
can't be done
For try as I would,
Like a flowchart,
in the middle
of this riddle.
Like a family large,
with brother and sister thoughts,
and the originating parents,
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
the bush smells
sweet and wet
the coffee smells
the river smells
of mud and marron
the sky smells of stars
and the grass
smells of grass.
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.
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?
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".
Read more by Western Australian poet Janet Jackson at Proximity.
When The Last Tuart Dies
heartbeat of the land.
Focus on the breath of trees
creating a breeze of oxygen.
Feel your bark dry in the sun
branches reach for a helping hand
trunk stretches to sky
a last attempt at faith.
Your roots bind you to the core
as solid as Earth
you are strength, wisdom
Like all beauty
your life will be cut short
they are coming
to torture, murder.
say goodbye to those you love
sing your mourning
to the wind
we are all dying this day.
The Serpent Strikes Back
The writing may be on the wall
but white chalk on blackboard
is not permanent.
A prophecy unfulfilled.
the devil, Mr Neville
Sister Kate -
nice white family.
Science pours the solution
into a glass jar.
Specimen scrutinized, judged
attached Latin label (Morelia spilota imbricata)
on a formality.
The serpent slowly raises its head
uncurls its multi-layers
awake from hibernation
examining the examiners.
Inspired by 'The Darwin Room' by Christopher Pease at the WA Art Gallery.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> or email@example.com
The pain that impelled her to the clinic
was in fact a summons
to the Madhatter's Party without tea
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
there is no space to shed tears
for those lacking - dementia's eyes
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
A professional she can spot birds heavy with
aged young who aspire only - to be cuckoos
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