The Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette 
No 184 August 2019

Henry Hellyer, The Founder of Burnie. Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas, 30/40

Europa Poets choice from school entries
in the Burnie Eisteddfod 2019

Stolen Hues

Easily to be assumed trickster
Under the stretched, diamond smile
My smile is not original
It was inspired by many who came before me
And it will continue to inspire many who are yet to come
The way we talk,
Our repeated etiquette
And our stolen antics
Are far from trickery but rather an ideal
That we build onto ourselves
Through years of relentless practice
Over our absorbent, impressionable minds
We reach out and become eclectic chameleons
Taking the colours we hope to possess
To illustrate the blank canvas.
We take a colour from everyone
But avoid the colours we hate
Eventually we become vivid
               with a swirl of illuminous colours
Each played to our own tastes
But what is hiding under the stolen hues?
Are we plain?
Just like everyone else
Is there even anything at all?

Serena Jarmain
(Grade 10, Burnie High School)

The Waif

Browsing through the photos
Of my deceased nanna,
I find a tattered, faded image,
An image of a dishevelled child
With drooping shoulders
And downcast eyes,
Wearing tattered clothes.
The dangling doll in her left hand
Is almost a reflection of
Her broken soul.

If only I had known of
Your impoverished beginnings.
Oh nanna, oh nanna, you were so giving,
So articulate, so sophisticated.
How could you have kept
Your past from me as a waif?

I turn the photos over,
Message reads: Molly dressed up
As waif, Nelly, 1929.

Judy Brumby-Lake

Waif, Judy Brumby-Lake, oil

That’s My Man

It’s in the swagger of his walk
The sassy cool of his talk
The smile that takes me to heights
It’s in the jazz of his dance
The pride in his glance
The proof of his love in his eyes
That’s my man
It’s not that he does it
It’s the way that he does it
Like the way he dives into my soul
Then when comes the night
He wraps me up tight
And the demons cannot get a hold
And the demons cannot get a hold
That’s my man
It’s in the swagger of his walk
The sassy cool of his talk
The smile that takes me to highs
It's in the jazz of his dance
The pride in his glance
The proof of his love in his eyes
That’s my man

Catherine Burton

Down In The Dumps

I couldn’t sleep all night
Because I was in pain.
I did my exercises because
I’m going in to hospital soon.
The sun was coming out
But I didn’t feel any joy.
My son took me to Wynyard
And we had our drink
Sitting in the car watching the beautiful
Waves, then Ian said, ‘We’re going home.’
Arriving at home, I saw a large bunch
Of flowers and it was for me!
My name was on it. So I shed
A tear of happiness because somebody
Cared for me. The flowers are beautiful
And smell divine. Thank you,
Whoever sent the flowers.

Yvonne Matheson


I don’t like clowns.
I don’t suffer fools gladly.
Those motley clowns with painted smiles.
What are they hiding behind their hideous faces?
There to provide comic relief.
Yet I don’t find them funny.
So why would a person demean themselves
By acting the fool?

Robbie Taylor

Annie’s Story

Winter enters, blasting its way onto the stage - someone has left a side door open. It’s the last day of the play and Annie is in the audience, again. Outside, the wind whines and trees with bare boughs scroll the darkening sky. Inside the playhouse, artificial trees bend and sway in precarious motion on an artificial beach. The lead player cries out, and, with arms outstretched, begs for forgiveness - only to have his pleas go unanswered. The mood is intense. The accompanying music from the pit orchestra escalates - the drum booms, then quietens to a soft roll. There is a pause, then the two lovers rush headlong into each other’s arms. The red velvet curtain drops with a thud and the audience is momentarily silent, before thunderous applause breaks out. It’s the last act of the last performance of a riveting play.
From the foyer, Annie phones me to come to the theatre’s little cafe for coffee, as we have already arranged. When I arrive, she tells me all about the play. She says she wants to ask me, and another friend, for dinner that night. She wants to share the joy of seeing, for the last time, her favourite play. When we step outside, Annie’s  hair flies everywhere - grey wisps in the wind - and her coat flaps about her thin, aged frame. For a ninety-two-year-old though, she is in fine form and has great tenacity and vigour for life. She buys wine and a chicken from a store and we start to cross the road. Suddenly, without warning, she clasps her head - there is searing pain and she falls to the ground. At the same time, the bottle of wine shatters, its contents run in rivulets into the gutter, the chicken falls from its warm parcel and lies flattened, lifeless - as is Annie. I look down at her; for seconds I stand frozen, shocked, before I call for urgent help. But it's too late - she never recovers from her deadly stroke.
That day, the curtain has rung down on her favourite play and sadly, unexpectedly, on Annie’s life. My dear friend Annie; gone but not forgotten.

June Maureen Hitchcock

(Another sort of conversation,)

Is that a muffin falling on the floor?

Certainly is low down, that’s for sure.

Can you grab it, make it quick?

Yes, I’ll snatch it in a tick.

Not too fast -  no, that will do.

I’ll do it slow then, just for you.

No, hurry, hurry, it might get stale.

Then I’ll speed up, just inhale.

Oh, that better, what a treat.

Yes, still really good enough to eat!

Moist, my word, and very fresh.

Yes, one cooked muffin in the flesh!

Michael Garrad July 2019

Field Of Memories

Walking through a field of memories,
Each moment a bud that never dies,
That blossoms in everlasting season,
To prick the senses in continuum,
To dance beautifully when death has passed,
Exquisite and repetitive, and always,
Perfumes heady and very permanent,
Forever private in this personal resonance,
Beyond the headstone, voice calling in silence,
Heard by one and heard by none.

Michael Garrad July 2019  

Bass Strait In Greyscale

Way in the distance, where sky meets the sea
and luminous clouds rest low,
fifty shades of metal I see
enhanced by a gradient glow.

Occasional flashes of contrasting colour,
electrical, ozone and gold,
announcing a storm of distant pallor
before the tempest takes hold.

The gradual rise of centrifugal forces
pull at the deep grey-green,
whilst foam forms the manes of oceanic horses,
they vanish, exhausted, unseen.

Pearly and slate, the liquidy ash,
froths in the charcoal deep.
The horses escape the watery mash
and sink in the ocean for sleep…

Then finally the calm materialises
and sea accepts its gravity.
The ocean gives in and realises
its options, its vulnerability...

Kathryn Conlin

Kathryn Conlin, 2019


Sing soft to me the promises of spring
Sing soft as not to waken winter’s rage
Sing soft to tempt the wandering birds their wing
Sing soft and bring back summer’s gauge
Sing soft to be in harmony with all
Sing soft to lure the lovers to their nest
Sing soft and spy across the winter’s wall
Sing soft to urge for all that is the best
Sing soft to quieten an angry feud
Sing soft so that potential dreams may fly
Sing soft and so refrain from being rude
Sing soft that your ambitions reach the sky
Sing soft to dying creatures when they leave
Sing soft and let the leaves on trees explain
Sing soft that you may conquer painful grief
Sing soft and so unlearn yourself from blame
Sing soft so that the hungry won’t be scared
Sing soft if worlds blare out their hate
Sing soft and let your turning cheek be bared
Sing soft with persuasion’s open gate.
Sing louder now to tempt the birds to sing
Sing louder now to wake the soul from fear
Sing louder that the bells may ring
Sing louder now and know that life is dear.

Joe Lake

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

K Mart

I cannot bear new clothes
Like the ones from K Mart or Target
Threads pulled loose, unravelling
As would the Asian machinist’s mind
Toiling and boiling
Making clothes on a production line
For Western countries.
Who thirst for their freedom
As though it were an eternal reservoir
I will always go to an opportunity shop
And step into another woman's world
Wear her discarded designer clothes
Sometimes I don’t wash them for a while
So sweet is charity’s perfume
The most sought after garment,
Is one that is Australian made
Beautifully stitched and crafted
These I dare not wear
They are to be donated to a museum
So that future generations will gaze in wonder
Over craftsmanship superb
And mourn a culture lost
All at the price of cheap labour and cloth.

Loretta Gaul



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