CONTRIBUTORS:

The Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry 2001

Kevin Gillam

Helen Hagemann

Phil Ilton

Laurel Lamperd

Benjamin Raymond

Ann Davis

Rob Cummins

Walter Vivian

Dawn Bruce

Cyber Poems Some perfect poems, with a nod to Jean Cocteau.

Audrey McGilp Smith

Ryan Scott

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

 

to the blind

an earthy, briny mix,

warm insistent licking

 

gulls somewhere else,

breeze selling wet stories

 

whirr of crickets,

burp of frog

then

 

urgency of feather....

pelican? swan? wings

hung to dry

 

feet mould into sludge

and head fills, empties, fills

 

with river

to the blind

Kevin Gillam

 

 

a life

 

can you see a life in

reptilian skin,

a firm flung mouth?

 

a life that's embraced

the religion of doubt?

 

I can see a life

staring

drinking me in

Kevin Gillam

 

 

Catchment

 

river warps like old glass

and words don't move

 

words don't move here. from city rhythm

they shy

 

blue wrens skitter atop yellowing carpet

of unmoving words

 

breeze beneath verandah. no moving words.

tuart leaves silvering

 

no moving words -

butterfly unfolds like book

 

massage oil reminds that hands and

not words move here

 

ripples of frogs from ponds

of unmoving words

 

no moving words. only sky making/

unmaking itself

 

oil drum rusts alongside

words not moving

 

jetty half under. no moving words.

the river not going this way

 

or that.

Kevin Gillam

 

 

Extending Nietzsche

,

Are we the wimps of poetry?

Composing poetry instead of prose

content to pose the questions?

Poets in their lifetimes never eat

caviar or truffles,,,,,,,,,,,,, nor taste

the honeyed words approvingly

dripped from smiling lips

of those who know mechanically

the right of writing rites.

Lightweights in a mismatched

match with literary giants

who almost automatically

mix each mishmash of words

to combat the competition

and compete for one raised

hand ,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,one kind word.

Writers of a Lesser Genre

deaf to all defeat,,,,,,,,,beating

constantly against the doors

of recognition,,,,,,,,the closed minds

of technicality,,,,,,,,the inner cliques

in their introverted inbred webs

spinning masterpieces easily

preying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Goliathlike

on all the davids of the word.

Ann Davis ©

 

Grass Trees

This rocky knoll
is guarded by
random stands of
skirted warriors
green spears
piercing blue sky
and strong black feet
firmly braced
in broken granite scree

Walter Vivian

(THESE MAGNIFICENT, SLOW-GROWING ANCIENTS ARE ON A PIECE OF EXPENSIVE REAL ESTATE ONCE KNOWN AS BILLY GOAT FARM. THE ORIGINAL INSPIRATION FOR THE POEM IS SOMEWHERE IN THE FOOTHILLS, YEARS AND KILOMETRES AWAY.)

 

Country Of The Lost

 

If Thomas Timothee Vasse

of Dieppe

had not drowned in the surf

at Geographe Bay

in 1801

but lived

to welcome the Bussells

in 1837

could he have persuaded them

the Nyungar people

were not wandering nomads

but guardians of the land

who had kept the ancient laws

forty thousand years.

 

Now the forests are eaten

by wood chipping

the cleared land

turn the rivers to salt

where the Nyungar fished

and danced the corroboree

of the hunt

sang of the totem

kangaroo, goanna and emu

and the great serpent

which came from the north

carving life-giving waterways

out of the earth mother.

 

In thirty years

of living with the Nyungar

Thomas Timothee Vasse

might have learned

the relationship of the land

to the people

and the people

to the land

but the old truths are forgotten

and we, the inheritors

ignore their passing.

Laurel Lamperd

(Published Western Review - October 1997)

 

 

Heritage Trails

 

Like snail leavings

they spread across the country

twining along vanished railway lines

over vacant hearths

smothered in red pig face.

 

Researchers come to discover

past reminders of lost forebears

among the bridal creeper

broken china and rusty cans.

 

Finding nothing

they might have stayed at home

or gone holidaying in Bali.

Only the mute slag heaps

can tell the tale of

blood and sweat

pain and sweet desire

and babies in the cemetery.

Laurel Lamperd

 

 

Sisters

 

We shared a room

two beds and a wardrobe

dressing table and bookcase.

She was younger than I.

 

She nearly died at two

with diphtheria.

They fumigated the house.

Our bedroom was papered up

for a week.

 

Her friends came

and played dolls on her bed

when I wanted to dream

with Anne of Green Gables.

 

Mum said.

They're not hurting you.

I want my own room, I said

which wasn't possible.

There was my brother.

 

My mother said.

There were four of us

in the same room.

 

Tough luck, I said

and slammed out of the house

down to Helen's

where there were four of them.

Helen was always babysitting

the youngest.

 

We slept together

when there were visitors

cousins Sophy and Amelia

in the other bed.

They're not friends either.

 

They say we look alike.

I can see her in me

see where the bloodlines

and genes mingle.

But I'm closer to Sophy than her.

 

Laurel Lamperd

Email &endash; llamperd@wn.com.au Website &endash; www.wn.com.au/llamperd

 

 

 

 

When Night Comes

Edith Cowan House

 

on the brown porch

she waits on the steepest slope

for joeys restless in their pouch

this is better than feng shui

to a house where leaves barely fall

sundown will bring peace

a xerox count

a stack of letters to post

night will bring avenues

of standard moons

magpies sending messages into tin

trees groaning in their aging

and in the dim light

windows will open on recumbent kangaroos

sentinels on grass

across the lake

twin fountains will cease like rain

 

she waits for night to lift its skirts

swishing past in important gowns

she suspects there is a presence here

ball dresses in eye-masks

pinched cheeks, fans feathering chins

gentlemen parched in dusty boots

uproarious laughter

 

no matter what comes

she will mingle and clap

at the sight of it all

 

******

 

I Came Knocking

at Tom Collins House

 

it's a year of houses

this one lives forever

inside walls turn the hourglass

language shifts like sand

words drift between the lines

 

I wait in quiet trees

listening for slippers shuffling

along passageways and doors

my instrument clicks nervously

your pen is kept at the head of the desk

moves only with a living hand

the inkwell is dry now, save for the odd stain

indelible in the light, searching a window's shoreline

I imagine a figurehead at the desk

stooped, gathering a wind's paper trail

 

while I wait

the air lifts

valleys are warm inside my glass castle

I find the tunnel to Alice's wonderland

the way a breeze rolls on my knees

imagine life like an ocean liner

seas breaking in and out

making you want the land

 

I'm here alone

where autumn gathers a permanence

on this leaf-littered ground

Joseph and Tom are long gone&emdash;

I turn the door handle, find it opens

gently in my hand

 

Helen Hagemann

© Copyright 2000

 

 

PEACES

 

Neptune's nocturnal raid wiped our footprints

hurled our refuse against the wall.

Now, icing sand, border to a jelly sea.

A gull glides a zephyr.

 

Wildscreen that night.

Ribs curl upwards.

Strands of flesh dangle.

The camera pans the flattened grass.

A lioness licks her jaw, eyes close.

Others bask their flanks in the sun.

 

Later, Hitler declares lebensraum.

Tanks explode walls.

British bombers have their turn.

The morning after the Dresden firestorm

smoke drifts from rubble.

The credits roll over the eternal flame.

Phil Ilton

 

 

Buttons

 

Each of my shirts

had buttons of different colours.

Your black slim-line dresses

had matching buttons,

masking their inner red.

 

My hugs triggered

your childhood intruder.

Your rejection

had my boy within

yearning for love.

 

I have wished

I could've sewn

all your buttons

to your dress,

for me to see.

 

There's no stitching now.

 

You're a different needle,

constant in my veins.

My past aphrodisiac,

now my withdrawal.

 

And as you spend the night with him

where, what colour,

are your buttons?

Phil Ilton

 

 

Unwelcome Share

 

In the foreground

people digging;

a phalanx of surgeons

shovels their scalpels,

dune buggies their theatre trolleys,

plastic bags of infected sand,

their laundry linen.

 

In its illness

the surf frothed yellow.

 

Out to sea

the duplicitous horizon

concealed towers

sucking the seabed.

 

Black gold is a bonanza

on the share market.

Phil Ilton

 

Proud to be your Dad

To Mitchell

 

Your face is a changing chameleon

One moment it ís open and friendly

Then closed and stoney

You let people know only what you will

 

Your face can be stern and angry

Happy, bright and jolly.

It can hide the light within

Or flood all those around with your brightness

 

You absorb much

And reflect little

You take in all around you

But only let out what you wish

 

Your eyes are your weakness

And your strength

Through then you see all

And leak out your secrets within

 

You are strong and caring

Happy and witty

You think about all around

And consider their place

 

I am glad and proud

To have a place in your

Complex and intricate life

I am proud to be your Dad.

R o b C u m m i n s

 

Love Thy Neighbour

 

My friends,

Look at your hands.

They are coated with

The blood of your neigbour.

 

Anger, cold anger, insulates your heart.

 

Your eyes are glazed with envy,

Envy that should have

disintegrated over the years.

 

Listen. Your neighbor is singing.

You don't have to like the tune.

You don't have to sing along,

Just listen.

 

You need not sing with them,

But respect them when they speak.

You need not like them,

But speak no evil about them.

 

They are the same as you

And you must quickly learn this.

For everytime you murder one of them,

You are slowly killing yourself.

 

When the sun slowly sets upon your home

You may urgently need them.

They will be there for you

Because you would have been there for them.

Benjamin Raymond

 

 

I Don't Recall

 

 

You told me, 'Life's a bitch. Get used to it.'

But somehow I don't recall registering for life.

No one dared to ask me

Whether I'd like to be here or not.

 

No, somehow, I don't recall╔

 

I don't recall staring down at Earth,

Pointing and saying,

'That's where I'd like to be.

Bring on the tragedies,

Bring on the problems!.'

 

No, somehow, I don't recall╔

 

I don't recall going online

And submitting my information to planet earth

So they could call me back

If I fitted the job description.

 

No, somehow, I don't recall╔

Benjamin Raymond

 

 

 

 

Ancient Lament

 

If I could reach back

soften your hurt

be the person you wanted

it would delight you

,,,,,but not me.

 

If I could reach back

pull you into the present

share with what I have

it would content me

,,,,,but not you.

 

If I could plunge us

far into the future

all past would be dust

and it would free me

,,,,,from you.

Dawn Bruce

 

Libretto

 

We hung wind chimes

in a garden archway,

delighted in first tinkle

like a child's laughter

growing more boisterous

and tossing sound

through every gust of air

rising and falling

like birds revelling

in currents

of a windy day.

 

During the storms

they clashed

against the timber arch

that held them

at one small point.

Sound became noise,

anger

slashing grey air,

hurting

wounding.

 

Now air is still.

The wind chimes

have lost their gilt,

hang rusted, one bell missing

somewhere in the weeds

of our garden.

Dawn Bruce

 

Dream-child

 

in the shadow-secrets

he lies curled quiet

a whisper away

from truth

 

in the midnight stillness

he uncurls stretches

a ghost drifting upward

from the past

 

in the morning bleakness

he is banished by

the clatter of crockery

and every-dayness

Dawn Bruce

 

 

 

Perfect Cyber Poem 1

 

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Walter Vivian

 

Perfect Cyber Poem 2

 

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Walter Vivian

 

Perfect Cyber Poem 3

 

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Walter Vivian

 

 

Chat Room

 

i like 010101 your 010101

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im petite111111 with 11111

brown eyes 11111111111

and people say 11111111

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noon 11111111 tomorrow

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frantic 000 and 000000 lost

 

i like 010101 your 010101

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your 010101010 comments

are perceptive 0101010101

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Walter Vivian

 

I HAD A SWAG OF CYBER POEMS, WHICH I RECALL AS BEING SUPERIOR TO THESE, LOST WHEN I CHANGED COMPUTERS.

ONE OF COCTEAU'S CHARACTERS IN HIS SCREENPLAY, ORPHEUS, (ORFEU?) WAS HOOKED ON JOTTING DOWN NUMBERS HEARD OVER A CAR RADIO, AS PERFECT POETRY.

JUST FOR FUN!

 

Changing Moods

 

Currents of wind swirling rise over the plains, across the sky fly threads of ibis elongated

Beating wind through winter's cold - spirits of the storm.

Comes summer, heat has drawn the air with dryness in anticipation of explosion with

awesome power.

Laser lightning with brilliance flashes illuminating clumps of buloke trees

Heightening the feelings of awareness, exciting with promise.

Dense drops of rain pound with thunderous drum roll,

Assaulting senses with sound, lashing the country with furious intent.

Then sun breaks through, uplifting dulled spirits.

A magpie carols with joy pouring from the heart in careless rapture.

The night's velvet cloak folds over, enclosing the brilliance of day,

Obscuring the landscape, awakening loneliness echoed by a mopoke.

As stars in jeweled brilliance shine night brings restful peace

But across the land the surge of life beneath the surface lies

Excitingly unpredictable.

Audrey McGilp Smith

 

 

JAGUAR

 

"Jaguar, jaguar -

there in the wires,"

 

she says. It's the

way she sees,

 

such that metal

twisted

 

can be more

than curves and lines.

Ryan Scott

 

 

OBEJCT D'ART

 

Half moons of coffee rings

dunning a brown surface -

 

which clings to wood it's

meant resemble - which

 

peels. Saucers -emptied of food -

refilled with butts - at three points (one is

 

kicked over). The Best of

Glen Campbell. A crushed

 

can. A pen kicked

into view. Windows

 

filled with landing lights, deliveries,

faces mostly unknown, the shadows

 

of trees like

fringed skeletons assembled

 

around the final light

of convenience

 

and more windows

- and

 

his boots

polished everyday.

Ryan Scott

 

 

TIMETABLES AND PASSING

 

Sometimes buses and trains

and buses flow like the

perfect remark made in

the moment, the ramification not known

until the bus pulls away from your stop.

 

Sometimes an entire life can begin,

thirty minute sponsored fables

pass and relationships

end to the flop of heels on heel and the

click-click, click-click, of nails on teeth.

 

Careless words come less readily

when running for the bus, the hiss

of a reopened door, closing around you

pulling at the sides of your mouth, but jaws

fix around the wrong combination of sounds

 

while staring at the gap between

numbers, and wishing

for a bus to lighten

this corner and take this now

to a destination twenty minutes away.

Ryan Scott

 

 

WATERMELON MEDITATIONS

 

Picnics on Saturdays

hands chase flies

reds and yellows dissolve

the black lumps

no-one wants.

 

This is how

I'd like to think it was

when it came to eating

melons, as I peel

off the clear skin of food wrap

 

biting at the sweet mess

pink and burst

over my chin, swarming

with black seeds

those not swallowed down

 

with pencil ends and finger nails.

If only these odds and ends from

nerves could hold the seeds

until a vine could unfurl

perhaps from my belly hole

 

or straight through the gut, where

my friends and the

curious could come and eat.

"WaterMelon Man," they'd call me

and I'd think it a suitable name.

Ryan Scott

 

 

 

Woman!

 

Dress drapes her figure with power

the hair knows better than to stray

the face - a blank masque

(make-up ,,,,,,brush coded)

 

Her partner ,,,,,,knows his place ,,,,,,how to keep it up

the children (one or two) are framed with gilt

kept small on the desk ,,,,,,the human touch

There's a nanny / childcare / aged P / whatever ...

outbreaks of domesticity dare not approach the shrine of work

 

She's tough ,,,,,,a video of ╬how-to1

each freeze-frame ,,,,,,defining professional

achieving the cliché it's one with bite

She ,,,,,,has power and thrust

nothing dares ,,,,,,get on ,,,,,,top of her

it's all so refined ,,,,,she never never emotes

mirroring without reverse ,,,,all that is demanded

 

And if we cannot be ,,,,this image - rating double X

we ,,,,,,are the betrayers

,,,,,, the lesser beings

we heard the plain song ,,,,,,were too small ,,,,,,to push

aside St. Peter ,,,,,, and rattle those gates of pearl

 

,,,,,, ,,,,,, May failure give us back

,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,,,,,, enough

,,,,,, ,,,,,, of ourselves

to turn besotted eyes ,,from the green-backed land

In the cast off spaces ,In the valley of dry bones where

the winds blow ,,maybe

,,,,,, ,,,,,, there is

,,,,,, a whisper

,,,,,, ,,,,,, of another heaven

 

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

Cat's Paw

 

"Traitor" you cry

running hands at me ,,,,as if you

had right to claim me ,,,as yours

 

From such unseemly displays

I roundly turn my back ...

Surely ,,,,I never knew such boors!

present company and their pats

not to mention - the superior food is

all my present world.

Go on! Get lost!

,,,,,, You're the one

out of place and time

 

Learning nothing! Understanding less!

I return ,,,,,you scold

delaying the filling of my bowl - and why

because I allow them bait ,,,,,,I need

never offer those ,,,,fallen long ago

 

Lifting my nose to the door I demand

exit ... shake at you ,,,, a most offended paw

 

Try to see things from a cat's point of view

Your household deities left

for whatever ,,,,,,you might dare put before us?

Well no cat was made

to accept second place and If I wish

for company, why? should I curl

nose under paw and snuggle

up with loneliness

 

(Of course it is different, if we

chose to absent ourselves on

feline business whose secrets must

remain closed to the human race)

 

We cats ,,,,,we like to spread our favours,

run several households at once ,,,,,,and if

we have the skill to negotiate a network

all sharing the delights of sleek, purring pussydom:

why complain? ,,,,,why should any?

be denied the pleasure we alone bring

 

Ask - do we love you less?

,,,,,, ,,,,because we make sure

that our lovers are more

,,,,,, ,,,,,than one?

 

When we deign to be with you, we

charm with every movement

dazzle with each line and curve

 

whether posed in watchful sleep or

artful games ,,,,,,and if so moved

we may chatter ,,,,,,graciously passing on

tidbits ,,,,,,from the latest feline gossip

before taking purr-productive pleasure

in the one

chosen

for that hour

branding him ,,,,or her

with a rubbing caress

 

Stilling time

we fill space ,,,,,,with warm waves of

feline love ,,,,,, and as your hands

are soothed by velvet fur ,,,,,,we make

our claim complete

 

So ,,,,,,when it comes ,,,,,,to a cat's greatest art,

we felines ,,,,,,expect you ,,,,,,to show appreciation

enjoy the joke ,,,,,at your expense

take delight ,,,,,,in how we arrange

our schedules to be

the one special cat ,,,,,,to many

 

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

 

Angel

 

you were born

I was your many-winged seraphim

 

you sank into my deep feathers

one by one my eyes began to open

 

you found ,,,,,,wings were soft

a softness ,,,,,,that scratched

 

your skin ,,,,,,that sucked you

down ,,,,,,clogging your mouth

 

forcing you ,,,,,,to push

out ,,,,,,desperate

 

for breath ,,,,,,un-

regurgitated

 

the time of your growing

the time when wings

 

thinned ,,,you trialed

strength ,,,,,,broke feathered bars

 

once pried apart ,,,,,,your eyes

could feed ,,,,on what lay beyond

 

 

I know my wings are no longer seemly

that you must go

 

that you will return

begging them for the shelter

 

they cannot give

In the shadow of what was

 

you will lie down

weeping

 

until all ,,,,is spent

then ,,,,you will be gone

 

and my eyes will wear out

one by one as I wait

 

for another return

for what I do not have

 

when the angel of death comes

the kiss shall be blind

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

Allergy Alphabet

 

asthma add asthma add allergies add ...

blood testing

crying to the power of cortisone to the power ...

diagnostic deafness determines good diagnostic practice

E. coli gone feral

failed Aged Ps

grouchy guts love gastroscopies

hospitals one after another showing us their doors

immunoglobulins dying to be injected

jazzy jelly beans an anaphylactic shock guaranteed with every second one

kinky kidneys

leaking blood

mid-stream urine (on a two-year-old???)

nap time (just kidding)

opportunity socks for that Nobel ovation

patient waiting

questionnaire twenty pages plus qualifies as quality ...

respiratory function ,,,,,,(nil???)

stethoscope chilled (on the rocks)

this may cause a little discomfort

umbrella platitudes

ventolin vice

warp time on special at your local casualty

X-rays

yawns (not permitted)

Zambia sounds good

 

allergies

asthma

attitude

breathless

breathing

belligerence

confused

cantankerous

catastrophe

d___

 

 

 

,,,,,,,,,,,,,, AMA OFFICIAL WARNING

allergies in children are caused by

a neurosis (a dementia?) flaunted by

a certain type of middle-class middle-aged female

attention seeking due to hands full of time

albeit known as - "a mother"

avoid this hazard at

all costs (see code d)

- an AMA official warning...

 

Kathryn Hamann

 

 

About This Business of Take Up Your Cross ...

 

Look Lord

I hate to point this out

but in your famed quote ,,,,,,cross

was singular ,,,,,,I've still

got at least eight ,,,,,,large-size

not to mention ,,,,,,all those

little crosses ,,,,,,slowly swelling

 

and then ,,,,,,there's the bits

with the odd piece ,,,,,,still to come together

 

You ought to be aware ,,,all

I got was the standard issue ,,,,,two hands / two shoulders

AND WE ALL KNOW WHO'S RESPONSIBLE

So I'm not doing a lot of following at present

you'll just have to nail me to each one in turn

or do I have to do that as well?

 

No Lord ,,,,,,It doesn't work

while I'm doing my ten minute stint on one

the others are crying ,,,,,,"What about me?"

"me first" ,,"me" ,,,,"me"

bloody me raised

to the power of infinity

 

Lord! ,,,,,, This is not

the time to do your ,,,,,,Now

you see me ,,,,,,Now you don't

I haven't got one hand left to clap

 

Kathryn Hamann

( First published in Arc of Promise by Kathryn Hamann)


Fringe Arts Collective Inc. Presents:

The Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry 2001

 

The Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry is seeking

submissions for 2001. The award, inaugurated in 1999, promotes the

development of young, new and emerging Australian poets. Entry is

free and open to anyone who has published not more than one book of

poetry (excluding self-publication). First prize: $3000, second

prize: $750, third prize: $250. Submissions close 6pm, Friday 31

August 2001. Judges are poets Gig Ryan, Peter Boyle and Philip

Neilsen. Winners will be announced during the Subverse: 2001

Queensland Poetry Festival, October 4-7 2001. Entry Forms can be

downloaded from the Fringe Arts Collective Inc. website:

<http://www.fringearts.asn.au/>www.fringearts.asn.au or by sending

an SSAE to:

 

The Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry

PO BOX 5787

West End QLD 4101

 

Further enquires please ph: (07) 3891 5118 fax: (07) 3391 0447 or

e-mail: <mailto:subverse@powerup.com.au>subverse@powerup.com.au

(ENTRANTS ARE ADVISED TO CHECK OUT LAST YEARS WINNERS ON THE WEBSITE. THEY WERE RICH IN PLATH-ETUDES BUT THE CHAPS SEEM TO BE JUDGING THIS YEAR SO THERE COULD BE SOME CHANGE!

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