Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette 192 April 2020
Starting this month (April) the Europa Poets Gazette will be available only online - for very obvious health reasons.
The hard copy version ceased as of March and will not be available again in that format for at least six months, the minimum time given before health restrictions may be lifted, in part. But, of course, no guarantees on that. It could well be that the gazette will remain as an online copy until some time in the new year.
The majority of our outlets are now closed or under very strict trading conditions and we do thank them all for their ongoing support. We did discuss initially not proceeding with the gazette until further notice. We decided, however, to publish with an internet version to ensure smooth continuity of the gazette. We have not missed one issue in the 16 years of publication.
We realise some of you might not have internet and so, hopefully, you will know someone who can help you if your month is not perfect without the gazette! Our poets are still writing and will keep putting down the creative word.
In the meantime, remember to stay safe and to undertake all the hygiene requirements at every opportunity, even to be obsessive about it! This way we can ensure the very best defence against corona virus.
Sound Of Shadows
The sound of shadows echoes in dapple sunlight,
Brushes every coloured petal,
Resonates on every yielding leaf,
Dances on every blade of cushion grass,
Living rhythm now and eternal,
Protecting, nurturing, cooling, hiding,
A refuge in the flickering.
Feel those sweet shadows under blue,
Hear them kiss every gentle, stout bough.
Solitude in sublime frenzy of silence.
Michael Garrad March 2020
In the sorrow land, we weep,
This place between,
The now and the beyond,
Where grief thrives on every regret,
That late time out of reach,
When eyes could touch jewel moment,
And a word belonged, not spoken,
Tears are death’s torment,
For nothing exists in the breathing, except us,
How we beg for ourselves, selfish,
To be the being of,
To snatch at the passing,
To hold captive against eternity,
To indulge when other soul cries freedom.
Michael Garrad February 2020
|Joe Lake, miniature on paper|
Comment by Joe Lake
Well, I’m sitting here typing our 192nd gazette, published every month for 16 years for a variety of poets, over 150 of them. A few months ago I published their names. The idea of the gazette was first raised at the Europa Café in Burnie, hence the name. I was at the time president of our local Fellowship Of Australian Writers’ branch together with Vi Woodhouse who followed me as president there. When we met at the café, there was a group who had just published a booklet with the help of Advocate sub-editor, Michael Garrad, when my wife, Judy, suggested the name Europa Poets Gazette. We made Dr Vi Woodhouse our first president. I collected the poems and put them into the format that you see today. Michael edits the gazette before we publish. Various members of parliament have done the printing for us. Soon we accepted paintings and drawings, as we still do. There was a loose committee that met monthly at the café where I collected the poems which were also sent to me by email. We soon nominated poet laureates, Vi being the first and then we all took a term. Michael collected a few advertisements, published for free. The gazette is also free. I began a blog which still appears now under Europa Poets with Google. We published three anthologies over the years and also held a number of concerts with poetry readings at the Burnie Library and the Burnie Regional Art Gallery. Initially, some of us read poetry in the street and at various shopping plazas. I have always shown interest in the arts by teaching acting, writing, meditation and other activities at the now defunct Adult Education building, where I also created, directed and wrote, in 1994, with the Burnie Little Theatre, the melodramatic farce, ‘Seduced’, starring the late Russell Jarvis as the villain, Natas, and Wayne Hayes as Regneva. Natas is Satan spelt backwards and Regneva is Avenger. I still have a dvd of it and laugh nearly all the way through even though I wrote it myself. I then wrote ‘Henry Hellyer’, the play. I also wrote the film script, ‘The Dorfer’, about Gustav Weindorfer.
I have won a number of encouragement awards for my paintings and Judy and I were having an exhibition at Artscape, Wynyard, with readings by the poets. This has been cancelled because of the corona virus.
|Burnie City Council Chambers|
The Passing Parade - a short story
The old man sat slumped in his favourite chair, his body crumpled and frail, his face pale and drawn. His head had fallen to one side and to anyone seeing him he appeared dead - or in a deep sleep. But he was only dozing. In his reverie, a parade of his past, like a moving picture in black and white, rolled into his mind, bringing a flush to his cheeks and a faint smile to his lips. He was a young boy in England again, laughing and playing with his brothers in a field behind their home. Then he was in his mother’s kitchen and he tasted and smelt her cooking, which brought forth a tiny dribble that slipped from the corner of his lips. Next he was older, standing in a church with his bride pledging their love to last forever - and it did, for as long as she lived. In the following scene, he was standing at her graveside weeping for the only girl he had ever loved - but there the moving picture ended abruptly and sadly. The old man awoke with a start and stumbled to a mirror and sure enough he saw himself standing beside his dear wife, when they were both barely twenty years old. He reached out to touch her but she was gone and the cold of the mirror shocked him. In despair, he eased himself back into his chair, shut his eyes and prayed with all his heart that the passing parade would soon come by his way again.
June Maureen Hitchcock
An Old-fashioned Gentleman
Nearly every day he caught fish in the lake;
Homemade bread he liked to bake;
Apple trees, strawberries and raspberries he grew.
He enjoyed making his own home brew.
He had a vegetable patch.
The roof of his house was made of thatch.
He didn’t have a dryer; he hung his clothes on the line
Whenever he could take advantage of the sunshine.
When he went into town, he rode his push bike.
He liked bird watching and often went for a hike.
It was hard work but he would chop logs for his fire.
His lifestyle was one, many of his friends admired.
Four horses came a thundering down the snowdrift face,
their eyes were wild with freedom and their manes tossed into space.
With nostrils flared and snorting, their sweat enthusiastic.
They pulled up just in front of me, the scene just oozed its magic.
Their muscles moved with memory, they tensed and then relaxed,
prepared to charge through snow again and take it to the max.
The dark bay on the outside was acting like a shadow,
he rounded up the team of four and kept the sacred hallow.
Enya was a chestnut
Snowy, a light grey
Buster, dark like walnut
And Shadow, carbon-bay.
Abruptly...with no signal, their heads were lifted high…
They sensed another calling and their legs raised up to fly.
Within an air of seconds, they turned towards their right…
Their hooves displaced the silent snow…
...and soon were out of sight.
War (To Thomas Alexander Twining)
Dedicated to Great Uncle Alec: 1895 -1916
War, where battles are won and lost,
Victory sought whatever the cost.
Millions of people have lost their lives.
While others fight just to survive.
Armies just following orders,
Fighting over religion or sovereign borders.
You cannot change the world by killing.
Yet some people think that war is thrilling.
Surely peace can be achieved by
Knowledge, understanding and tact.
For war is futile as a matter of fact.
War should not be glorified
But to remember those who have died.
Try Or Quit
I am a tryer, not a quitter.
When I write poetry, I think of Henry Ford.
He never gave up and neither will I.
Life has many ups and downs - but never give up.
Some will love your poetry - others will not.
What a terrible world if we all liked the same things.
Send your poems overseas.
Someone is bound to enjoy your thoughts on paper.
Do not say you are a failure
Or that you are not a tryer.
Never be a quitter.
Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
People come, people go -
How many people do we really know?
The flowers in the wild hide softly, shy.
I choose my steps so tentatively, kind
In gardens, here, created by the sky
With reproductive feelings on their mind.
Some butterflies surround themselves with dance
As tea trees hide their blush from coming rain
And gentle breezes give the bees their chance
To dance about as aerobatic, fain.
I love the quiet waiting for a song
Or listen to the trees that shake their leaves
Then comes commotion with a chirping throng
As birds dispute for space with twirling
The fresh new growth may tempt the bandicoot
That puts me in kind and a pensive mood.
Let us agree that we are mates for life
Although our souls have not combined
There are those minor faults that lead to strife
With this diversion I am not refined.
In our two existences there is one
Though when you sulk this is a double fault
Which though it changes all when it is done
Yet it destroys us all when it is sold
I may not tell you what you want to know
Lest my excremental flaws may win the game
Not you who could forgive and find Gestalt
Unless you are too humble all the same.
But please let’s not, for I am so in love
As you are mine, I watch you from above.