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Poetry


Poetry and Images combined

Poetry

“Poetry is like bread. It should be shared by all, by scholars and
peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of
Humanity.” ~ Pablo Neruda

My poetry has been widely published internationally and nationally. I have also had success in national poetry competitions. I have been a regular guest reader at venues around Perth and Adelaide since 1995, and have organised many readings in WA.

Believing in the importance of poetry, I have been actively involved in trying to raise community awareness of the relevance of poetry in our lives today. Poets throughout history have also been at the forefront of political and social challenges and changes, and, I believe, need to be more active at this time.

I plan to use my writing, photography and art as a way of voicing my concerns, and hopefully helping to bring about awareness and change.

droving

      i am the dust   my spirit in the
crevices of the dry creek bed
      with a closed mouth bitter against
the harsh desert sun
i am the worn tracks mapped out
by bullocks centuries ago
their remains dust mingled with
mine on this long hard journey
      if you follow the map of my
face it will take you to a place
where only the harshest survive
where hard work and anger replace the
heart where the soft inside of a
mouth knows only silence     shrivels
up and dies   it is only
my eyes where you will see the life
once lived       did you notice
that one tear in the corner?     it
contains a faded memory
      if only i had not breathed in
the dust of this land to be
shackled to its eternal existence



she forgot about balloons

no frilly dresses, stilettos, delicate
nylons, no husband to weigh her
down, children to pull her back

in her face a universe travelled -
the moon to steer her, streams in her
veins, legs binding her to the earth

she sits on a low wooden fence,
accepts the bunch of balloons offered
to her by a small girl in a red hat

denim overalls and shiny, brown
boots, the girl’s face glows,
her mouth red with toffee apple

the woman bites into the crisp,
tangy fruit, and as juice flows down her
chin, she lets go of the swag by her side

drifts into the light with
a bunch of balloons


red

curving legs beneath
a red leather mini
skirt     red knee high boots
below fleshy thighs
what I can’t see
excites me as much
as what I can

the woman on stage
sweat down her face
singing ‘I found love
or should I say when
I stopped searching love
found me’     steel on steel
as slide guitar squeals

the mood is hot
and the smell of sweat
fills the room

I catch her gaze and
a flash of red painted
fingernails across the
room as she gives me
a little wave     my cue
to make my move     in
this room even the
brightest red is
easy on the eye

Silver Gum

Leaving the nursing home
a splinter of moon is
just visible above
the sunset.

The drive home
seems longer than usual.

As she pulls into the
driveway, she notices the
old gum tree swaying
through the stillness

and in the morning
steps out to see
the dog barking at
the swinging gate.

Mulberry Tree
(a feminist perspective)

a young girl hiding
on the garage roof
camouflaged by the
mulberry tree
     my purple code of
silence covering
my face my voice
peeking through leaves I
see the world from
my safe place    I long
to jump feel Earth again
under my feet
but I stay hidden
behind green and
purple that is
becoming my life

now a woman I
could leap from the
kitchen table into
words    purple and
green words    no leaves for
camouflage    the
world in front of me
and my purple
stained fingers can be
clearly seen

I look back to that
small distant mulberry
tree     and jump


WOMENS’ LIVES

We quilt ourselves a soft story
pad it with love
pad between our legs
            knit, purl, cast off
busy hands
stitch our hearts back in place
mend our split vaginas
this is my blood-dyed creation
warm gentle wash
dry in a safe place, out of direct sunlight
            knit, purl, cast off
this constant knitting together
keep the family close
patch our children through life
            knit, purl, cast off
we weave people in and out of our lives
cross-stitch a scene for ourselves
a tapestry of emotions
tailor our tears
            knit, purl, cast off
sew up, down hems
we’re hemmed in
spinning wheel inside our heads
            knit, purl, cast off
bring it all together
tie off the loose ends
            and cut.



Broken Branches

the wait of the world
drags heavy on
my body
in this hollow
shadows blind me
i barely breathe

i hitch a ride on
a pill    first stop
tears    i am a
baby rocking in a
cradle wind blows
bough breaks

balanced on a
limb revealing all
cutting down my
family tree    branches
quiver with my
vulnerability.
i talk talk talk

on the tree/top
of the world shooting
energy    can’t keep
still    i’m at the
peak    i can fly


More Like You …
(sestina)

When I look into the mirror
it is not myself I see.
I see only an image
of what I would like
to become, to be like you,
and it is then that my heart

skips a beat. For your heart
is more beautiful than any mirror
can show. And truly I love you
more than you can know or see
just by looking. My love is like
no film, photo or image.

And I wonder what image
you have of me in your heart.
Is your impression of me like
what I see in your mirror?
Is it an incomplete man you see
who longs to be more like you?

But I wonder what is it that you want.
Reality? Or is it an image
of you, you desire to see?
I think you have a good heart
or is it lies I see in your mirror?
Perhaps your heart is not like

I imagine it to be like.
Maybe the real woman you
are is not the one in the mirror.
Perhaps when I see your image
I am blinded by my good heart
and it is really me I see.

Now I’m beginning to see
that you and I are not alike.
I have the beautiful heart
and now I see that you
are merely a false image
of the woman in the mirror.

I want a mirror where I can see
my real image and nothing like
you. False woman, you broke my heart.



Days of Trees, Cheetahs and Mountains

In my maiden days
I laugh, sing
dance, play
dream my dreams
live my fantasies
climb trees
scale mountains
run like a cheetah.


In my mother days
I ache with pregnancy
scream in childbirth
feed with love
laugh, cry
plant trees
gaze longingly at mountains
fear cheetahs.

In my crone days
I tell stories
pass on wisdom
laugh, cry
love, live
marvel at cheetahs
hug trees
think like a mountain.



On Shadow's Edge

In masked light, at water’s edge
we remove our clothes, drop them gently in dirt
and you run for water’s cover.
Did you think I wouldn’t see
your half-moon breasts, up and down
or your wobbly buttocks in the half moonlight?
I wade out to you and we play, like children
splashing, diving.
We thrill at the moment
my hand paints your breast.
We swim to the shallows
hold hands, find a safe place to lie down.
You cry out to the stars, while I groan
into your neck and breathe in dirt.
Beside you now
I look up at the milky moon
see a shadow in her belly.
I look at you, see how your glow
illumines the earth around you.
I am a shadow.



6 O'Clock Ritual

My mother serves us
braised steak and onions
peppered peas, salted potatoes
gravy, thick and smooth
but they dont warm my words;
I am always the one to say the wrong thing'.
'He' stands over me
like a king wave before crashing
and I am too small to measure the distance.
His fist falls short
slams onto the table
sends peas into hiding
among leaves on the tablecloth.
'He' vomits his words over me,
"l'll knock your head fair through that bloody wall".
I know he can
but I dont shrink in the corner, like a coward,
I sit straight, unblinking.
I am his excuse tonight - again.
'He' slams the door and leaves us
to pick our path through guilt, sadness, self-loathing.
Mother gathers the tablecloth
takes it to the garden
shakes away all traces of anger,
resets the table and serves dessert.



Be Careful

So he said to me “Take care.”
And I said “You take care too.”
And I thought, what does it mean -
to take care
where am I taking care and why
and what is care.
If I take care and you take care
and everyone takes care
is care everywhere all at once
is it like God’s supposed to be
all around each one us, all at the same time
or only if we take it with us.
And if I do take care
then what’s care doing -
walking beside me
the footprints in the sand I discover later.
Will care carry me
when I can’t carry myself anymore.
And what is care -
is it an invisible force
does it have powers of its own
does it exist outside of me.
And if I don’t take it
will someone else
and if not, then where will it go.
Or is care something you do -
I care, do you care
does anyone care.
I think I’m too tired to take care
someone else should take it.
Take care of it, will you.



Fixed Souls

Chic to chic, waif-like dolls
are sticking needles in their soles.

With pin-pricks, wounds that can’t be seen
they’re shot and fixed in their deathly dream.
Android creatures cruise the nights
on catwalks dimmed with glittered lights.

Chic to chic, waif-like dolls
are sticking needles in their soles.

Their bellies filled with a lettuce leaf
watered down with quick relief.
So skinny they no longer bleed
claiming, fame is all they need.

Chic to chic, waif-like dolls
are sticking needles in their soles.

Those who one loved rounded hips
now drool over protruding ribs.
Feeding the hunger of wealthy passion
starving women are all the fashion.

Chic to chic, waif-like dolls
are sticking needles in their soles.


Written after reading about supermodels who inject heroin into the soles of their feet.



Question Mark

She crouches in the corner -
a question mark of silence -
darkness comforting her
prays there is no moonlight
to make her visible.
But still the darkness does not shield her
this little girl
alone.
No protection behind her mother’s skirt
nor her own hands covering her mouth
her frightened giggle.
“She’s very shy isn’t she?” they ask.
Why don’t they ask the right questions?
Is she alright? No, I am not.
She seems frightened? Yes, I am.
Does she need help? Yes, I do
please.
But too many times, the ones who
could have, should have
protected, helped her
did not.
Now, the woman
opens her hands with her writing
cradles her face as she cries
shields herself from the darkness
prays the moon will heal her.
And she crouches in the corner -
a question mark –



ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS

Radiant smiles
full of hope and love
I am given by one man to another.
Signing my dream
a sentence is sealed
my fate delivered.
I am a wedding gift wrapped in paper.
I wonder what surprises
are in store for me.

His fist, a rock
smashes my innocent, young face.
Now I wear another veil
- of shame and fear.
This wasn’t in the fine print.

He cuts me down to size
small, helpless.
His sharp tongue slices
my confidence, esteem.
It’s hard to find the pieces
down here.
So I stop looking.

Rock, paper, scissors
is not the game I remember
not child’s play.

The rock will crush
scissors will cut
paper will bury.

Mother, you never told me about this.



SOFT SCAR

My son’s pain overflows today
falls like a fountain into the pool of my arms.
I give him my words
to hold onto in the night
now she is no longer there.
He asks, do I think he is immature.
If he means is he bitter like unripened fruit,
the answer is no.
But if maturity means
to have already been dissected
by the knife of experience,
then yes, he is immature.
I look at the softness of his young heart
and cut another scar in mine.



There is no Connection

"Don't be so stupid
there is no connection
between butterflies
and typhoons,”
she exclaimed.
The child went quiet
and hung his head.
A great sadness
fell on the school
after that
and things were never the same.



TIPS FOR DESTRUCTION

The answer’s blowin’ in the wind -
and what’s the question -
how to gain world power,
how the military and corporations
silence the masses?
Give their children defects
that’ll keep them busy for a while.
Make sure the media distracts them -
give them reality TV
singing idols
that’ll fool them.
Feed them bullshit.

And make sure they never
find out the truth.
Don’t let them know
about the 2004 treaty between US and Australia.
Can you keep a secret
I don’t’ believe you can …

But if they do find out
you can always use the weapons
on them”.
Oh silly me, you do already
Beware the northerly wind my friend
it carries more than you know.

In Lancelin WA?
Sleepy fishing village of my youth
with its outdoor drive-in/cinema
and the best fishing close to Perth.
Who’d have thought - back then?

Shoalwater Bay, Queensland
There birds make up around half of
Australia’s species
and with the Great Barrier Reef
so close
imagine the damage you could do?
And how about the Northern Territory
don’t forget them.

Long-live uranium gas you say
yeah, about 4.5 billion years.
But don’t worry, you won’t be tried
for your crimes –
Senators made sure
you would be immune from that.
And Environmental Impact Studes?
No problems there -
no tests for you our friends.
With a 20 year agreement
You have free reign to decimate the land
infect/deform the people
and all with the blessing of the Australian
Government.

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
And the question hangs over us
like a nuclear bomb.

(“Blowin’ in the Wind” a documentary film by David Bradbury)



WHERE LAND MEETS SEA

Here at the edge
where land meets sea
my ocean mother
wraps around me.
Her flow, like mine
in tune with the moon
fragile shore like tender skin
open to the elements, sun-bleached
surviving in her timeless strength
sand-dune-curved limbs hold her steady.

But now I witness her slow demise.
4-wheeled monsters tear her apart, dig trenches
the deepest, premature wrinkles.
They pummel her body with wounds, bruises
that cannot heal
change her appearance forever.
How do we fight this new army of terrorists
in their 4-wheel tanks
too lazy to walk to their favourite fishing spot.
Or reckless larrikins showing off their new toys
sandblasting the surface of our earth
in their quad bikes, buggies, sandboards.

This fragile system where life cycles connect
where we began, where we will end.
This is the edge of our world
if we keep breaking away the edges
how long before there’s nothing left?



WHEN THE LAST TUART DIES

Thump, thump
of kangaroos
heartbeat of the land.
Focus on the breath of trees
creating a breeze of oxygen.

Deeper, deeper.
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
home, shade
life, alive.

Like all beauty
your life
will be cut short
they are coming
to torture, murder.

Grieve now
say goodbye to those you love
sing your mourning
to the wind
we are all dying this day.


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From Aussie Battlers, Michael Page, Robert Ingpen
- Rigby Publishers 1982
































































































































































































































































































Poetry and Images Combined

 


     
     
     
     
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