Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette No. 197, September 2020




Henry Hellyer



The Insignificant Soldier


He was an insignificant soldier of no important rank,

He was only a son and a brother.

He was the grandson of some character sent to

Australia and was never allowed

To return to the mother land.


He only served some years in the

Rat-infested trenches

Of France and Belgium

His lungs were infused with mustard gas.


He was lucky to have

Spent time in German prisons,

Working in ‘mental chains’.


On his journey homewards

He, the insignificant soldier,

Was severely punished for a time-on-the-town,

Night-out without permission.


He returned to farm on a soldier-settlement

That had non-productive soil, doomed to fail.                                                    

During hard times his children were to sleep in a tent

And there was no government support nor handouts.

He only ever spoke of his trip abroad but to a few.


Some folk thought that he was a weird little

Bloke of few words.

He, like many other insignificant soldiers,

Went to his grave early.

His child and wife were spared the horrors of his trip.


It is only 100 years later when it is in vogue to honour

These Insignificant soldiers -

The distant dead have now their names in concrete.


Tribute to Arthur (Patty) Smith of the 12 battalion.


Judy Brumby-Lake




I wear all the shades of the battle game

You know the one with no real name

I laugh with the sun

As I cry with the moon

For we are all going home soon

Weary and worn

Some a little torn

Some still lost

And for those, we mourn

We all wore the shades in every way

The good, the bad, a little each day

Some rose high while others fell

Who was who, so had to tell

All I know is I wore all the shades

And for that I expect no accolades.


Trudi Davidson


Lost in Space, Joe Lake

The Old Times


At the end of a brilliant day,

A ruby sun sits low in a cloudless sky,

Casting a shimmering beam towards me

               across the water -

Like a golden sword that cuts

               the still turquoise sea in half.

I sit on the beach, mesmerised by this beauty

               and think -

Why is everything so transient?

I want this magnificence to last forever!

Youth, beauty, love, joy, excitement, wealth -

               life itself parades swiftly by,

And finally all we have left are memories -

Sharp images at first,

But with the passing years they flicker

               and fade in our minds,

Like old silent films,

Then, we are left with deep yearnings

To return to the past - the good times -

The old times.


June Maureen Hitchcock




The Cross-Country Run


My friend and I weren't into sport

Swimming, running or any other sort.

So when we had to go on a cross-country run,

We knew it wasn’t our idea of fun.

We made a diabolical plan

That we thought of as we ran.

The teacher had gone for afternoon tea

So we made good our opportunity!

We slowed down and let the other runners pass.

Then we hid in the bushes and the long grass.

When we saw the two winning runners returning

We sprinted to the finish line

Receiving our first ribbons felt so divine.

The ‘cheated’ winners were two boys

Who were protesting and making a lot of noise.

We were told we’d be going to a cross-country run

The following week in Ulverstone.

Mysteriously my friend came down with the flu

And I conveniently rolled my ankle too!

So the two boys took their rightful place.

All this connivance over a damn stupid race.


Robbie Taylor





Your Order No. 121


Had to laugh the other day…

...in a well-known burger place

I fronted to the counter there

To order face to face

               No one at the counter,

               But a lady drifted by,

               She called me over to a screen

               And asked what I would buy.

‘One large coffee...yes, full cream!

A breakfast burger, too.’

‘I guess you want a burger meal?’

She tapped more info too.

               She started ticking on the screen,

               It whizzed its info fast.

               She checked all boxes, up and down,

               I really was aghast!

‘Cash or card?’ she blankly stared,

I just said, ‘Cash today’

And then she sighed: ‘Just come with me.

We do it a different way!’

               We walked back to the counter then,

               (The place I’d rather be),

               We had to wait for those then there,

               Who’d queued up after me.

Their orders finally taken,

And I was next in queue.

I paid cash and sat straight down

To wait for what was due.

               There’s just no justice in this world

               As far as I can see!

               You have to do things twice as long

               In name of efficiency.


Kathryn Conlin




 Burnie Statues






On righteous ground,

Light, all around,

illuminates the soul

within, the whole,

Unseen, those crying,

Blind in the dying,

Cannot, beyond, believe,

But wail and grieve

in solace and embrace,

Each tear-stained face

reflects loss, denial,

And all the while

the light is there,

Exquisite in its rhythm,

Alive, this wondrous prism.

Some look and never see

soul’s flight, in instant, free!


Michael Garrad July 2020


Remains Of Yesterday


She didn’t get older today,

I did,

And clouds hung heavy

under palest sun,

Shedding their tears,

Beating in anger

on cold stale concrete,

Wailing in street silence,

Raw and unforgiving,

Others had arrived at tomorrow,

Moving with changing weather,

Laughing in desolation,

Sheltering in each other,

Hiding from grey misery,

The rain relentless,

The sun always pale.

They were older now,

I was older,

She was as it was.

These are yesterday’s remains.


Michael Garrad July 2020









On Hallowed Hill


In this savage place

there is a hallowed hill,

None may step upon it

save lost souls in renewal,

The leavers fresh from mortal remains,

Confused by this new oblivion,

Snatched in a passing breath,

Non-physical, unfamiliar,

Now without careless need,

Seeing through new blindness,

Unaware still the longest

journey has begun,

When the hovering is complete

in withering crescendo.


There is abundant silence in death’s chatter,

A magnificent isolation,

Where the keeper’s words

are softer than whispers,

Hostile pain and burdened thought

is trapped in the maelstrom of before,

No hunger for the senses that ruled in chaos,

No wants in this transience,

Un-being to the being of.


Michael Garrad August 2020


Another Day


























The sun is brilliantly coming into my room,

Stillness is very unusual,

Most times car and truck noise at lights,

I looked at the new-design Europa Gazette,

Very nice, bright and colourful.


On opening The Advocate,

Ned Kelly’s court papers found in Devonport,

Surprised he came from Glenrowan, Victoria,

Strange how his papers came to Tasmania,

There are collectors everywhere.


Yvonne Matheson


Henry Hellyer (a novel)

Previous: Hellyer’s party has landed its whale boat near the Emu River’s outlet in the NW of Tasmania, 1826, to begin building a road to open the way to the Hampshire hills thought by him to be suitable for  grazing sheep. Some of the convicts were misbehaving.


‘Harley, come back here but don’t point that rifle at me. It’s been given to you to protect us and to shoot the occasional kangaroo but the dogs seem to be better at this than you are.’

               ‘Ýes, Mr Hellyer, sir, we’re working hard for you, sir.’

               ‘Ánd don’t let me catch you stealing any more whiskey from the government store or - there goes your Ticket Of Leave.’

               ‘Yes, sir, but the others are worried, sir.’

               ‘What about?’

               ‘Four of us started the road into the hills and now we’ve heard that Lieutenant Barnard and Mr Curr want the road to go from Table Cape instead and they’re out there felling trees as big as houses.’

               ‘Ýou let me worry about that and furthermore,  what have you got there, Harley?’ Hellyer points to a sack at Harley’s feet.

               ‘That, Mr Hellyer, sir, is a native cat the dogs have killed. I brought it for you to look at.’ Harley hands over the sack. When he empties it, out falls a ripped-apart native cat.

               Hellyer nods. ‘That’s good. I will sketch it. I can’t use the pelt, there is too much damage but good. Well done, Harley and could you organise the whale boat to go back to Circular Head to get some more provisions? Before that, help the others with the tents. It looks like rain.’

               ‘Ýes, sir, we’ll have to take some provisions up into the hills first and some tents where the four men are working.’

               ‘Fine, Harley, and take your offsiders with you.’


(To be continued next month)


From Winnie The Pooh

By A.A. Milne 1926


The Piglet lived in a very grand house in the middle of a beech-tree and the beech-tree was in the middle of the forest and the Piglet lived in the middle of the house. Next to his house was a piece of broken board which had TRESSPASSERS W on it. When Christopher Robin asked the Piglet what it meant he said it was his grandfather’s name and had been in the family a long time. Christopher Robin said you couldn’t be called Trespassers W and Piglet said you could, because his grandfather was and it was short for Trespassers Will, which was short for Trespassers William. His grandfather had had two names in case he lost one - Trespassers after an uncle and William after Trespassers.

(On seeking the Heffalump):

By and by, Piglet woke up. As soon as he woke, he said to himself: Oh! Then he said bravely: Yes. And then, still more bravely: Quite so. But he didn’t feel very brave, for the word which was really jiggetting about in his brain was Heffalump.

What was a Heffalump like? Was it fierce?

Did it come when you whistled? And how did it come?

Was it fond of pigs at all?

If it was fond of pigs, did it make any difference what sort of pig?

Supposing it was fierce with pigs, would it make any difference if the pig had a grandfather called TRESPASSERS WILLIAM?


Say Not, The Struggle Naught Availeth

By Arthur Hugh Clough 1819-61


Say not: The struggle naught availeth,

The labour and the wounds are vain,

The enemy faints not nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain.


If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars,

It may be, in yon smoke concealed

Your comrades chase e’n now the fliers,

And, but for you, possess the field.


For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes, silent, flooding in, the main.


And not, by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light,

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright.




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