gazette 177

Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette No 177, January 2019

Tyrol, Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas 30/40

From A Portrait

Her eyes half veiled
Below a hat that failed
To cloak the reflection
In the orb
Of the deep dry distance
In the red mud plain
A woman resigned
On behalf of mankind
Nurturing offspring
In conditions ungodly
Waiting, waiting,
Through the heat hazed
Days, for a man
And a horse
And searching, searching,
For ways to succour
Her kind.
Her garment flowing gently
Towards red, arid earth
Enveloping the dreams and passions
Of a heart that gives birth.

 Kathleen O’Donnell

Lost In Music

The melody is taking you back
to another time and place.
The beat is hypnotic; as you
dance, you feel like you are in a trance.
The music makes you feel like
a teenager again.
The present moment, you transcend.
Unconsciously you start to move
in ways you haven’t since your youth.
As you spin around, a long forgotten
feeling you have found
A feeling of freedom and
connection with the universe.
You are so greatly immersed
that when the music suddenly stops,
you just as suddenly lose your sense
of balance and onto the floor you drop!

 Cathy Weaver

Then And Now

When I was young and conducive to love,
I fantasised on winning the lottery
and travelling the seas
embraced by many charmers;

Now, not so young,
I fantasise about winning the lottery
and buying food
without the ‘reduced’ sticker.

When young,
I browsed the bookshops
to find a book to feed my mind.
Now I browse the shops
to find food to feed my man.

It is not until the storm
has passed that one
can survey the damage.

 Judy Brumby-Lake

Flowers, Detail, Judy Brumby-Lake, oil on canvas

A Tragic Life

Oh! What a tragic life Jim Mack had.
Yet the town folk thought that he was mad.
As a lad he had to protect his mother
From his axe-wielding brother.
Harry was angry and he paced about
“I will kill you both!” Jim heard him shout.
A disagreement over a piece of land
Led Harry to wield an axe,
“I want to fight you, Jim.”
But Jim did not want to fight him.
The axe became wedged in the backdoor.
“I’m gonna kill you!” Harry yelled once more.
Despite a severe injury to his head,
Jim managed to get his rifle from under his bed.
“Sergeant, my brother is dead.
I shot him,” Jim gently said.

 Robbie Taylor

 Landscape, Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas, 30/40


Hush - it is eventide at Penguin.
I hear the sound of the waves
Gently lapping upon the shore.
They have washed from many miles overseas
To end here.
               Hush - the sound of the birds
Nestling in the trees.
To spend the night with their loved ones.
Telling them how many miles they have flown
To return to their home.
               Hush - the whispering breeze
Silently echoes through the trees.
Falling leaves gently drop to the ground.
You do not hear them, for they make no sound.
               Hush - little baby Adelaide content in my arms.
Smiling sweetly, showing your charms.
You are eighteen days old.
I will gently rock you, shield you from the cold.
Warm, wrapped in the shawl,
               hand-knitted by your gran.
Do not weep, it is time to rest, sleep
And dream, the content dream
Of one so young and innocent.

Philip Harper

Agony Of Gulls

Hear the agony in screech of gulls,
The trial of anguish that never dulls,
Across ocean heave and raging sky,
The gulls, like us, all must die.

In silhouette, then to dot,
They vanish, now are not.

How that tumult
screamed and raged,
Again, again, as we have aged.

’Twas a second in roaring hell,
With memories in tortured yell,
Crying echo above angry waves,
Gulls flock in frenzy
over windswept graves,
They flee, once more, to dot,
On wing-beat, soul, eternal, unforgot.

Now is one upon blessed flight,
Seeks the haven, night and light,
There to rest in wash of rain,
To cleanse the bitterness of pain,
Save one, chained to Earth
with screeching gulls,
For this wheeling horde, in earnest, culls
every sliver hope, the naked shell,
In hunger, they are there, we as well.

Michael Garrad December 2018

To Love

To love utterly
is to die for,
To give the very
being of self,
To love as to breathe,
To ride butterfly wing,
To float with thistledown,
To dance on air,
To gasp at a look,
To never forget,
To be as one and
that one within the same,
Love that is
the utter word,
That defies death,
That denies the end.
There is no end;
Just two as the whole.

Michael Garrad December 2018

Mud In My Boots

Mud in my boots this long, lonely day,
’Neath canopy of rumble and angry grey,
I see birds in their swooping and agony screaming,
And wonder, beneath them, if I am dreaming,
I see it all clear, hear it, I’m sure,
Life in the ebb tide, that and much more,
Soaked by the rain, fragile and old,
This was the moment, done and foretold,
Wing-beats roar loud, steel eyes pen-e-trate,
Calling ever closer, no time left to wait,
Mud in my boots, this cold day of dread,
Shallow the grave, in passing to dead.

Michael Garrad December 2018

The Epitome
(A villanelle)

You are the epitome of our Earth,
Sprung and fed by its evolving death
That serves as guide and is a willing nurse
               And so created all that is now terse
As it exists and battles its duress.
You are the epitome of our Earth.
               And I have seen the stars at night give birth
As burning, churning embers glow to less
That serves as guide and as a willing nurse.
               Driving, spiralling and then is cursed
As arbitrary dance that seems a mess
Where all collide to make confusion worse.
               Yet stars are born and older stars are dearth
Among the universe’s game of chess
That serves as guide and is a willing nurse.
               The purpose of existence may be terse.
Lights that burn too bright may now burn less.
You are the epitome of our Earth
That serves as guide and is a willing nurse.

 Joe Lake

The River Styx, Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas, 30/40


There are times in our lives
When the indomitable human spirit weakens,
Leaving us disabled and fearful -
Or it dries up, like the arid desert sands,
Or cools like ardour,
As if frozen in mountain ice.
There are times when all hope seems to fade -
But until the soft, musty earth
Blankets our bones,
Or we are squeezed into urns,
(Or, on request,
Our dust scatters to the wind) -
Then - hope lives!

June Maureen Hitchcock


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