Europa Poets Gazette No 200, December 2020

 Burnie, Tasmania


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


The Artist


Before his easel, he stands,

Brush and palette in his hands,

Staring at the work taking shape.

He is wearing a black beret and a long black cape.

He dips his paint brush into the green

And adds some more details to his scene.

He cleans his brush and adds some azure blue.

He is painting a picture of the view

From the window of his holiday-cottage in Corfu.


Cathy Weaver




When covid’s darkness breaks on our shore

And sneaks into our bodies through the air

When no-one knows the future that’s in store

And no-one knows what’s good and what is fair


Then we can hide behind our masks to filter air

And keep apart and wash our hands with soap

And watch suspicious strangers who go bare

And so we struggle and attempt to cope.

To immunize our bodies and our minds.


This cruel pandemic’s pandemonium

Will feast on us as if we were its food

Then social contact turns to minimum

And we live lives within our sinking mood

    The poet sees a future that is bright,

    Where we are saved from this corona’s blight.


Joe Lake



Cirrus, Stratus


They float as lambswool

Within a blue abyss

At times turn by tors’

Wreathed in grey mists

Others stretch like elastic

From north to south

And gather to play

Aloft the river’s mouth

Some reign on high,

Shadow the Earth,

Then shatter and clatter

With devilish mirth

When, with moisture

Well replete,

Towers douse the land

Then blithely retreat

To hide amongst hills,

Sail over the sea,

Soar above deserts

Or vaporize completely.

Kathleen O’Donnell





Paper Sculpture by Pam Thorn and Ruth Rees




First, it is the eye, dilettante as a butterfly,

scanning the field,

assessing just that shape or form,

that colour;

the juxtaposition of perhaps bright blue and green,

pinks upon purple, aqua or vermilion,

yellow on flaming orange;

these arrest the gaze.

Interest grows intense.

All unknown to me,

my pupils grow

as black and deep

as secret pools

within a forest I have never seen,

and pleasure follows.

Then comes desire:

to capture, hold, encircle

and possess, for more than just a moment:

make it mine.

For this is what I saw.


Perhaps I share with friends that joy;

‘Hey, take a look at this!’

or privately,

the image turning in my mind,

I analyse, assess, discard unwanted parts,

and it becomes my vision.

But now the hand, perhaps the darker hand

of Tommeginer child beside a morning-cold,

dead fire,

tracing with blackened pointed stick,

her vision,

on a piece of bark, or rock.

Or in a classroom, where a teacher is inspired,

the guided hand upon the paper,

and the colour from the crayon or the brush,

reveal a talent.

That is my friend, and that his private vision.

Maybe I will show the world,

or just my friends:

this is what I saw.


Mary Kille

(from Proving Flight)




We look at history and see the pieces of decay,

Pieces that eventually ruined their way,

Leading to great losses of humanity,

Messages left from our yesterday.

Although we see the decay in our way,

We still think it won’t happen in our day.

We forget one simple thing, it’s true

This is what people in history thought, too.


Trudi Davidson

My Mother


Sparkling blue, her old eyes shine,

Few wrinkles for 99.6 years.

But there was beauty of truest joy,

Lines like a velvet rose petal.

Childhood memories past come and go,

Her lace shawl covers her tiny shoulders.

Mother Mona Lisa smiles,

Her eyes held mine, so much enfold,

Sitting beside her I am privileged,

My mother, my birth,

My life, all belong to her.

The genteel, sweetest voice says, ‘Yes, dear’,

She speaks of dreams, hopes and yesterdays,

Today, tomorrow, I see her peace,

Love and joy of life,

Her sparkling blue eyes are memory.


Yvonne Matheson


Stay Home


I fell in love then a pandemic came.

We moved in

And per the German premier’s advice,

We stayed home, to stop the spread.

You became sex-crazed

And then you hit me. I rang the cops

But they were only attending urgent calls,

So I fled to my shack at Hellyer Beach

But the coppers were waiting for me

They had hired a helicopter

To track me and deployed

Six night-shift sergeants

To wrestle me to the ground.

‘You’ll not send me back. He will kill me.’

‘Stay at home,’ they roared, ‘it saves lives.’


Loretta Gaul


The Stand-In Receptionist


For the want of being bored,

I am bored,

Not by choice but in desperation.

I was chosen to guard this box

of bells and blinking lights.


I watch the very secret life

Of bees and birds,

In bushes, beyond the automatic doors.


The snowy gum beyond the curtains,

The cars cruising, carelessly and carefully

In colours of chamois and crimson,

Chartreuse and cobalt,

Chocolate and cream.


Kathryn Conlin


By You


By you,

With leaden clouds in grief,

Weeping in flood,

Wailing echo on damp, still air,

Torrent of sorrow, uninhibited,

Tears in relentless deluge,

Waterfall explosion in tirade,

Gush in ache of regret,

The grey, uninterrupted.


By you,

Through the tempest.


By you,

When sun breaches night sky,

Climbs, eager, at distant horizon,

A yesterday bleached and forgotten,

To renew in uneven balance,

Shadows, askance, unwilling to

dance in virgin radiance,

Song in dulcet tone, unsure,

Dawn colours, muted, undulate, reluctant,

Hope, in trepidation, stutters ’neath bask blue.


By you,

The becalming.


By you,

In roaring disharmony of night and day,

Discordant cries in the pure still,

Rampant, consuming cacophony in

the loudest silence,

The spectrum of exuberant joy

and euphoric despair,

Mocking of death’s call in lonely black,

Shattered dreams in garish white,

All of and nothing of, savage extremes,

Beautiful image, touching, receding

in fragile momentum.


By you,

Tilted equilibrium.


And beside you,

In a hail of sensations,

Tremulous blink of eye as colours fade,

Sweet nectar of dissipating perfume,

Softest breath of pure, cooling breeze,

Sound of laughter, honest, ebbing,

Multiple of delicate tastes in division.


Beside you,

At renewal,

When all else that is matter

matters not,

When every earthly need

is shed in a murmur,

Without cognitive response,

The consummate being of.


By you,

To eternity.


Michael Garrad November 2020






Everything seems so much shorter in winter

Days are diminished, light is reduced,

a low cloud base

Impenetrably thick

Even your temper appears to shrink

and without care

Your tongue, without control,

can cut right through to the quick.


While a hard rain lashes your window pane

With summer’s languid length only a faint memory

Winter’s dark pale lemon dawn of uncertainty

Reminds us of far worse things to come.


Far out in the congealing grey channel

As the light lowers over the black restless sea

A storm-drifted bird is trying to make landfall

That bird could be you, or even more certainly, me.


Jeremy Cleverley


A Winter’s Day in 1986


I remember my city that winter’s day so long ago -

It rained and rained - and rained!

Streetlights illuminated wet asphalt - like shining rivers of iron.

Winter boughs splintered the darkening sky

Gutters spilt over,

Empty, discarded cans rattled across the streets

Playing their own hollow, distorted, music,

Buildings, grey, normally soul-less edifices, stood weeping.

People, robotic in their haste to escape, pushed and shoved -

Paper rubbish tumbled on the pavements,

Then was whipped in the air by a fierce wind - like mock kites,

Cars were snaking, weaving, overtaking, sounding their horns

In a scramble to return to warm, safe havens -

And my mood matched this miserable winter’s day,

For along with the city - I was mourning.


June Maureen Hitchcock

Henry Hellyer (a novel)

Previously: Hellyer, the VDL surveyor, with some convicts, had begun to build the road to Surrey Hills 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.

Lieutenant Barnard sits opposite Hellyer inside the latter’s official tent near the beach of Emu Bay, sipping from his glass of whiskey. ‘And how do you think you’ll be managing this road, or track to Surrey Hills? This, in part, is so thick that one can only crawl through it, as you know.’

Hellyer nods as he ponders the glass in his hand. ‘We have no tents nor bedding. We’ll have to build shelters from bark and sleep on ferns but eventually supplies will arrive by boat.’

Barnard takes a swig of whiskey then says, ‘We’ll have to get the bullock wagons up to Surrey Hills. This will be difficult cutting the huge trees to make way.’

‘We’ve cut through the bush before,’ says Hellyer.

For a while, Barnard looks at him thoughtfully, ‘It would have been easier from Table Cape.’

Hellyer shakes his head. ‘Too much swamp for the bullock wagons.’

Barnard raised his shoulders and screwed up his face. ‘At least let us think about it.’

Heller nodded. ‘We’ve been having difficulty exploring. On the way back from one exploration, we only had flour left and could mix it with water. Further, we had already boiled our sugar bags. This was earlier this year and then we found the Arthur River again. Then we found a mountain of slate and I engraved the fact that the slate belongs to the government and was not to be stolen. Then we went along a rocky ridge, which was narrow at the top, and usually a large tree occupied the top of it and we had to crawl along. To one side was a rocky ravine hundreds of feet deep. There was a river and it fell 20 feet, and it made an astonishing noise. We went higher up. There were lofty forest tiers which were perfectly level on the top then followed an impenetrable espalier of scrub that a dog could not get through. It had rained all day and the water streamed from our finger ends. We were obliged to go on or starve. When we got back, we found that two of the three horses had died and the third one died in my arms.’

(To be continued next month.)

(to be continued next month)



Dear Tongue

(Written 40 years ago when Kim was 7.)


I am sorry about yesterday when I was taking a bite of my sausage roll and I bit you. I hope it didn’t hurt because if it did I apologise for it. I hope I am not bringing trouble to ask this question. I want to know how come you open my mouth and talking about me and getting me into trouble! I don’t want any excuses. I want to know how come you get me in trouble.

Yours truly,



Reproduced by Robbie Taylor

Christmas Cheer


Sprawled on a threadbare carpet

in front of a TV set,

A small fragile child is mesmerized by 

the scene before her:

A mother, dressed in silk, is descending an

Endless staircase towards a Christmas tree,

Partially camouflaged by numerous cloaks

Of Coloured tinsels and blinking lights

that illuminate

The heap of parcels under it.

Not far away, a small plump child is dragging a large doll along the floor.

Through the window, outside can be seen a

Naked tree as snow gently falls.

At the sound of her mother’s voice,

The fragile child turns back to her own reality Where on Christmas Day, she hears the sounds of buzzing aerobatic flies

over silver cans that have splashed amber fluid onto the floor

And where the aromas of cigarette butts

Compete with the fragrance of eucalyptus trees outside the window.

The fragile child’s mother,

Dressed in housewife-uniform and

A sloppy No-Name tracksuit,

complemented by fake fur slippers,

Walks melancholically towards the child

and mumbles,

‘Here’s a parcel from me to you

from the Salvos.’

With eyes un-engaging, the fragile child

Quivers, ‘Thanks’, and then turns her head back to the world of fantasy, back to the world that she hopes will become her reality -

A Christmas Day of glitter and cheers.


Judy Brumby-Lake


Joe Lake’s Opinion


Michael and myself would like to thank our faithful readers who have stuck with us this long. We have been trying to publish anyone who supplied a poem. Further, we will continue to do so in the future. I set up the gazette and collect the poems and then Michael edits. Michael is also the main distributor of the gazette and deserves a special thank you from us all.

Wish us a happy 200th edition and remain faithful!


Michael Garrad and Joe Lake


























Popular Posts