Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette No 182 June 2019
|New York, Joe Lake|
(A recollection of days,
when I was younger,
living in Devonport.)
Feeling the air,
when I was there,
down by Lillico Beach
a clone upon clone,
and the waves were within my reach.
They snatch at the shore
then quickly withdraw
their fingers of wave-washed weed.
Each pebble tight-packed,
bleached shells that have cracked,
are these the friends that I need?
Make You Feel Good
If you don’t feel good
I promise you will be understood
Stop bleeding in my arms
I want to cause no harm
I take you for a drive
Like what you always strive
Just close your eyes
I will tell you no lie
If we reach the end of our time
Please don’t die
If tears can be harvested
I will be more honest
If I say I love you
Would you turn and break it
Until I realise we can last forever?
So it’s not over until I die
Would you lie, say you want to die first?
So I am your ghost
But if I decide to leave
Would you still call us Adam and Eve?
The beginning of time
I just want to make you feel good
Until you are fully understood
Until the end of our likelihood
Just another turn until we are understood again.
Jamaica Blue - what does it mean to you?
A café to stop for a morning cup of coffee or tea?
Jamaica Blue - it means so much more to me.
An island where I worked awhile
Business manager of a sugar factory and rum distillery.
What should be a tranquil island in the Caribbean Sea
Has struggled throughout history.
In 1494, the indigenous Arawak Indians of old
Were extinguished with ease, through slaughter and disease,
By Columbus and the Spanish, in search of gold.
The British in turn conquered.
They cultivated sugar cane to sell.
Hand-cut and collected by slaves from Africa
Not doing so well.
Emancipation and independence finally came.
Since then, to their shame,
Local-born politicians have done little more
than their predecessors or forebears
To help the inhabitants of this island.
A devout Christian country with
One of the highest murder rates on Earth.
Drug cartels are not afraid to kill at will.
YET THERE IS HOPE
Tourists to visit - places, things to see and appreciate.
Sugar, bananas, pimento, blue mountain coffee, jerk pork,
Ackee, breadfruit, coconuts, rum.
Hummingbirds, frangipani, sorrel.
Calypso and reggae music -
”We don’t like cricket - we love it.”
Beats on the drum.
Silver sands, pristine beaches.
Buoyant sea water - warm and clear all year.
Golf courses with breathtaking views,
Cool-running and fast-running Usain Bolt.
Tourists come with much-needed money
These native smiles of people are looking
for peace and harmony.
Words on the coat-of-arms, “Out of many, one people”.
“Soon come,” as they say in Jamaica.
I hope so.
Jim had a reputation for being a good bloke.
He liked to drink but he didn’t smoke.
He was quick with a joke and
he spun a good yarn.
Jim lived in a converted barn
With his wife, who was called Vera.
Jim made a living as a shearer.
Vera worked at a brewery.
They had a dog that Jim called Bluey
who they took for walks in the scrub.
Every Friday night they ate at the pub.
Giant pumpkins, Jim liked to grow.
He won prizes for them at the local show.
Vera was known for the pansies she grew.
She won prizes for them, too.
On Saturday nights they would fire up the
Their friends and neighbours would come over
to feast on meat and drink homemade brew.
They had an eightball table
and Jim was skilled with a cue.
Of the games he played, the ones
he lost were few.
After 20 years together and no kids,
Jim and Vera lived a contented life,
finding enjoyment in all that they did.
Men And Power
Woman is invading men’s sphere
of power control.
Men in masses are grieving
for the power they once had.
No longer are they the sole providers;
No longer are they the only ones
to rule nations and companies
No longer the only ones to
initiate a night of passion
But one area that men won’t surrender
Is the power over the television’s remote control.
In the chair where your life began and ended,
In the prison of your bedroom
where the curtain came down, unseen,
Where the walls closed in and ceiling suffocated,
When the final sound was front door closing,
When goodbye drifted into late afternoon,
It was the chair in one last living moment,
One unconscious glance through
the window of your private, isolated, world,
Life’s-edge children at play, cheeky and eager,
And innocent and unaware,
You succumbing, oblivious of the end game, close;
All gone now, gorged and frozen, as in camera’s eye,
He had gone, haze of tomorrow beckoned, without guilt,
Weight of cold silence was witness to your lonely passing,
Michael Garrad May 2019
False winds vent soft fury on dying rocks,
Hollow waves drown upon the crest,
Thin voices vanish, flotsam in undertow,
Brushed kiss pirouettes in brazen calm,
Waters flourish in rebellion,
Agony of hope to the deep,
Slurry blinds and buries.
Winds never raged, false in ferocity,
Waves multiplied, fell silent,
Lost fragments eschewed in despairing frenzy,
Chaos in bleak harmony,
Drowning in becalmed still,
Dying rocks as monuments to harsh fragility,
Turgid sea cleanses the never happening.
Michael Garrad May 2019
Ring phone, ring
Run to the phone.
No noise on the phone.
Go to bed.
The phone rings at two in the morning.
Must be important.
Someone wants to ring and wake me!
Please ring when you have something to say.
My phone is important.
Please don’t ring when you have nothing to say.
Dregs of a life, of humanity,
The leftovers, the remnants,
This is all that remains,
Choices in spent tea leaves,
In what is eaten and rejected,
What is expelled,
This is it, what is worse
and what is not possible,
The dream, alluring, unattainable,
The better of almost nothing,
Delight that shouts in captive imagination,
Echoes in day’s jaws,
Bitter truth that smothers hope,
Cannot touch the other image,
Shrouded in mist of revolving memory,
It is and is not,
All this in eternal vacuum,
To be grateful for the crumbs.
Michael Garrad April 2019
With full of joy and golden horns of luck,
I view the world with smiles and happiness
And meditate my feelings as would Puck
And touch my wife with tender, sweet caress.
Contented then, I wish eternal peace,
Exalting those who cry themselves to sleep
And hope that jealousy and hate would cease
And all our worries fall into a heap
Yet in those tirades I may hide myself
In sadness, to hear lonely people cry,
Unlike the rich and famous who themselves
Chastise with sneers all those who’ve gone awry.
Where all the sad and lonely reach for stars
And so forego the need for hateful wars.
My portrait shows how old my life has been.
The clock moves on reluctantly with pain.
My book of life is all that I have seen,
Where all these empty pages hide their gain.
That sagging face holds up with creamy shine
And tells morticians where to find my soul.
Only those atomic clocks can hear the chime
Where quantum’s riddle ends within a hole.
Go, leave, and let me be just as this other is
There, within entanglement’s existence,
Where old regrets are lost in its abyss
To give me knowledge that is just pretence.
These dark black holes may suck and then they spit
As only love can save you from the pit.
A scene called -
Juliette waited on the veranda of her home, swinging her legs over the edge of the high canvas hammock that squeaked as she rocked back and forth, almost keeping rhythm with the romantic record spinning on the turntable beside her. Inside, she had set the table for two, with a little bowl of roses from her garden in the centre of her best lace tablecloth and two glasses waiting to be filled from a bottle cooking in an ice bucket. Her filmy dress floated gently about her in the breeze the rocking created and the cold night air stung her cheeks and brought the faintest pink to her pale skin. Her breath was expelled in little white puffs and her breathing quickened as she imagined she heard footsteps crunching on the gravel path leading to her home. But there were no footsteps - how could there be when she lived so far from the nearest town and miles away from her nearest neighbour? An owl in a nearby tree hooted and she winced as she thought perhaps he could see the joke and was letting her know. She knew her Romeo would not be coming to visit her with flowers and chocolates or with a sparkling ring in a black velvet box. He didn’t exist - and never had.
Eventually, she pulled herself off the hammock, went inside, poured a glass of wine and ate her supper alone. She had played out this scene for over 30 years and in some strange way it gave her comfort - just the dreaming and hoping of it all. As she slowly sipped her wine she sighed and said aloud - ”Well, I guess it’s Saturday night and old movies again.”
June Maureen Hitchcock