Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette No 199, Novembeer 20

 Dancing, Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas, 1m x 1m



The sounds emitted by homo sapiens

Mostly require a source of happenings

Lips, tongue and glottis slide

And the mouth does open wide

To placate, splutter, rage or shout

In schoolyard play and football bout.

                In lovers’ whisperings close to ears

                When emitting hopes, joys and fears

                Lips, with tenderness,

                May silently press

By nights of dreaming,

Murmurs flow

As bubbles, streaming,

Dancing, lento.


Kathleen O’Donnell



Spider Relief


I once helped a spider,

You may ask, ‘Why ever?’

I’d found it in water,

Its legs stuck together!

                So to help with the issue

                I drained off the wet

                By using a tissue,

                But it wasn’t safe yet!

It lay there exhausted

With hardly a move,

I put then, the tissue,

In the sun to improve.

                I came back in ten

                To observe any change,

                The spider’s legs freer

                And waving a range…

A little while later,

I saw it was free

...of the moisture trap jail

That had involved me.

                I came back much later,

                The spider had gone,

                I felt such relief

                To have helped move it on.

Maybe one day,

If there are spiders in Heaven,

That spider will know

That I saved its bacon.


Kathryn Conlin



Knucklebones,  paper sculpture by Pam Thorne and Ruth Rees at The Wonders Of Wynyard



Two thousand years ago

or more:

Hey Marcus! Knucklebones!

Come and have a game,

and see if you’re a master!

and the boy with the leather pouch

squats in the dust.

He clears away the dirt and pebbles

strewn by a passing chariot

with the side of his hand.

When all is smooth

he empties the contents of his bag

upon the ground:

the contest starts.


The bones are smooth and polished;

many hours of play

with nimble fingers

and the palms and backs of hands

give a comforting, familiar feel,

and a grey-green patina

to knucklebones,

or gobs or dibs or jacks,


and chuckstones.


There’s a concentration

on the challenge;

dexterity’s what counts,

not strength.

Sometimes the youngest wins.


A child today could play

an ancient Roman

or a Greek,

a king’s daughter

or a peasant’s son,

and know the rules,

and win a wordless game.


Simplicity prevails.


Don’t let our children lose

the chance

to play the ancient,

universal games,

that have those lovely,

half-remembered names,

of knucklebones,

gobs or dibs

or jacks,

or hucklebones,

or chuckstones.




Mary Kille


                                                                          Published in Proving Flight


The Visitor From Far Away


Despite the lateness of the hour,

She went outside to watch the meteor shower.

The sky put on a really good show,

One of the meteors was flying really low.

Suddenly it came into clear view.

It was a flying saucer; she could hardly believe it was true.

It hovered above her back yard and then it crashed down hard.

She stood transfixed at the strange sight,

A round metallic object, glowing bright.

Suddenly there was a scraping sound,

Up popped the top and a space-suited

Figure jumped to the ground

The figure took off its helmet and looked around.

It was too dark to make out its face,

So she turned on the back light and did she get a fright.

She saw a green face with three

Black bug eyes. Then, much to her surprise,

It made a noise like a cricket!

She screamed and it screamed back!

She thought, ‘If it can scream, maybe it can talk’.

She said, ‘Welcome to planet Earth, can you talk?’

It replied, ‘Welcome to planet Earth, can you talk?’

She felt perplexed and wondered what to do next.

It produced something like an electronic device from its pocket.

She said out loud, with a tremor in her voice,

‘Oh, I hope that thing doesn’t shoot out death rays.’

It punched some buttons. She screamed,

                it screamed.

She wondered whether she should run away.

Then she heard it say, ‘Greetings, I have analysed your language

And implanted its fundamentals in my brain.’

She said, ‘I’m astonished, you are truly remarkable.’

Then it started to rain. ‘Would you like to come inside for a cup of tea?’ she asked bravely.

‘Yes, I would indeed. That’s so kind of you,’

the alien agreed most politely.


Cathy Weaver


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




In the cul-de-sac that is my mind,

Round and round,

This labyrinth where we hide

from humdrum and chaos,

We are the two of us,

Beyond reach of raging crowd,

Concealed in this haven,

Living green and vibrant song,

Connected in chatter-field of whispers,

Two souls in fragmented harmony,

Words are others calling, interruption,

Hush! We hear ourselves, in isolation,

In the cul-de-sac that is my mind,

Round and round.


Michael Garrad October 2020


Each Other


I slipped from myself,


She stepped into me,


Life, death, the whole,


It was the leaving,


Looking in and looking out,


Breath for no breath,


We were each other,



Michael Garrad June 2020


Round And Round


Atop this verdant hill, in splendid grace,

she gazes at bounteous vistas wide,

And beyond - the remains of pain,

What was, who are, in tedium, on other side,

She has stepped the path, veiled, translucent,

Subliminal - breath and non-breath,

And welcomed, in joyous exultation, softly,

This silent and embracing call of death.


Michael Garrad October 2020




Like Diogenes, who was so unimpressed by wealth and power

That he refused to bow down to

                Alexander The Great

When he visited Corinth, I too am true to myself!

Why can’t people see who I really am,

Appreciate me for the woman I am.

Respect my values - like those of the noted

                Greek philosopher?

Not that I aim to live in a tub, as he

                was reported to do!

Throughout life, I’ve been misjudged, misunderstood

                and patronised -

It’s so frustrating! I’m comfortable with myself

                and I believe in myself -

So why can’t others believe in me too?

I’m on my soapbox now and yet

                I shouldn’t have to be!

The burning question is -  when someone

                is treated badly,

Can that person forgive and forget? Is it possible?

Perhaps we can forgive but does anyone

                really forget?

After all, when unkind words are uttered

                or a wrongful deed done,

Surely the memory of that never completely leaves -

It’s as if a record player’s needle is stuck,

                round and round it goes -

Or as if a movie camera constantly

                rolls in our minds.

Shooting the same old scene.


June Maureen Hitchcock


Joe Lake

Henry Hellyer (a novel) by Joe Lake

Previously: Hellyer, the VDL surveyor, with some convicts, had begun to build the road to Hampshire into the bush, from Emu Bay, against the will of the company. Lieutenant Barnard, who is ex-navy and also a surveyor, has come to take everyone back to Table Cape.

                Hellyer holds out his hand to the lieutenant, who has been in the navy and is now intending to settle in the NW of Tasmania.             

                ‘Lieutenant, good of you to come, let’s have a cup of tea.’

                Barnard shakes his head. ‘Whiskey, please.’

                Hellyer opens the flap to a large tent that holds the supplies. ‘Come in, there’s a table and some chairs. Sit down, please, I’ll get the bottle.’

                Barnard takes off his sword, leans it against one of the crates and settles down at the table. ‘You know why I’m here, don’t you, Henry?’

                ‘Yes, but it won’t make any difference.’

                ‘You have stubborn ways,’ Barnard said.

                ‘Yes. Here is your whiskey. The convicts have been stealing some and I have threatened them with the withholding of their tickets of leave.’

                ‘You must be firmer, put them in their place, Barnard said.

                ‘I try to make it easier for them too get their tickets of leave to make them responsible citizens,’ Hellyer said.

                ‘Maybe,’ Barnard said.

                There follows a pause where they sip their whiskey.

                ‘Henry, my servant tells me that there is a plot brewing against the VDL company.’

                ‘What do you mean?’

                ‘He tells me that one of the convicts threatened to shoot me if I don’t leave you alone.’

                ‘Nonsense. They’re like children, playing games,’ Hellyer said.

                ‘Then what have you got this rifle for?’ Barnard asked.

                ‘There may be hyenas in the bush or the

rogue-escaped convict may show up,’ Hellyer said.

‘There are none up here, nor are there blacks,’ Barnard replied.

                ‘Maybe. So… are you going to support me with the road into the hills from here or shall there be continuing argument and confrontation?’

                ‘Mr Curr told me to persuade you not to force  you to change your mind, Henry,’ Barnard said.


(to be continued next month)



Convicts In Tummies


In modern times it has become the fashion

To brag about a once hidden secret

That you had found the elusive convict in your tree.

It wasn’t many years ago, though,

That to make such a statement

Would have been a social disaster

For you would have been an outcast and decadent.

Your blood and genes were considered

                to be contaminated.

The irony that in the 1820s,

When survival was fierce,

Some people weren’t so concerned

With convicts in their tree

But with convicts in their tummy,

Oh, yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy.


Judy Brumby-Lake


My entry for Minds Do Matter -

QVMAG exhibition, Launceston, 2020


My Dad. Homework By Candlelight

My dad would say to me
‘You are lucky. You can do your homework
By electric light. I had to do mine by candlelight.’
I say to my grandchild,
‘You are lucky. You can do your homework
With technology. I had to do mine manually.’

There is a fine balance between the past,
Present and future.
We live in the present, look forward to the future, whatever that holds.
But we cannot ignore the past, the suffering, the tragedies, the discoveries.
Without the balance of all three, we cannot evolve.

Robbie Taylor                    

















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