Swirl, Joe Lake alcrylic on canvas, 30/40

Tasmanian Europa Poets Gazette No 201 January 2021



Emily With Ducks, Paper sculpture by Pam Thorne and Ruth Rees

Emily With Ducks

(A timeless encounter, or a lesson in trust.)


Show gentleness and patience,

and take care with what you do,

make no sudden noise or movement,

as the ducklings come to you;

hold your hand out, firm and steady,

whisper soft, they’ll understand

that they can trust you freely,

soon they’re eating from your hand.

But there’s still another lesson:

you’ll find in truth you must

be even gentler, kinder,

to earn their mother’s trust.

Mary Kille                                           

(Published in Proving Flight)






Gaia, Judy Brumby-Lake, oil on canvas






Gaia, Gaia, the lady who gave birth to the Earth,

Was a woman, like many others

Who have suffered the loss of children.

Oh, Gaia, oh Gaia, seldom do we hear your name,

Yet we hear people frequently mentioning your son,

Your partner, Uranus, who brought carnage

And chaos upon your mind

By annihilating his children and yours.

How many men have given birth?


Judy Brumby-Lake




The Man In Japan And A Simple Plan


“Where have all the flowers gone?”

A sixty-five-year-old Japanese retiree

Was listening to the song,

Thinking of Hiroshima, Nagasaki,

Vietnam, Afghanistan.


Remembering and wondering -

what has gone wrong?

He asked, what is next?

He stated,  no more political ideologies,

These must cease.

Be not a capitalist or socialist.

Be a realist.

All I want is that my children may live in peace.

Nations to fight one and other no more - no war.

A straightforward simple plan.

Basically learnt, from a man in Japan.


Philip Harper December 2020




Summer Rain


Into my life like summer rain

Gently falling with no pain

But then, as day turned to night,

Forgot the magic and began to fight.

Before we knew it, autumn had been

We faced the biggest storm to be seen

Winter in all its wrath was here

Destroying everything we held dear

Spring, not something we would see

As we both turned to flee

Love comes and goes like the seasons

Within it ever so many reasons

Best to remember the summer rain

Then hold onto storms and all that pain.

Trudi Davidson


The Light


Fabulous, she said decisively,

I can never quite tire of that view

It’s the light, you see how it changes

Turns everyday into something quite new.

Can you see that far distant horizon?

Just look how it rises and falls,

It’s our height, you see, makes all the difference

One minute it’s so  far and so faint,

The next so bright, yet so tall.

We might, she said, one day even aspire


To something further down on the coast

But all the trouble that that would require

Is not time, or even the post.

And anyway my one and only desire

Is to be buried here, under that tree

Like life, it’s best seen from a distance,

Though I am not sure that you would agree.

See that light way out on the horizon?

Look how it changes hourly like clouds in a breeze

I will go on loving it all my remaining days

Until it grows too faint for me to see.


Jeremy Cleverley





There is a goldfinch in your tree,

Please come and see,

Mrs Math-e-son, a ‘dole-finch’ ’,

A child’s laughter and language is a treasure,

A little child looks above at the bird,

The bird looks below at the child on the ground

In the back garden with the sun rays

On the green trees, sits the golden bird with the magical voice,

For many, many, many days the king of the garden stayed,

The delightful bird sang a sweet melody

To let people know of its presence,

Children paint in their minds of their many finds,

No cage for this beautiful bird,

Just freedom,

Even after the bird flew again,

A radiant smile spread over the child’s face.


Yvonne Matheson


Reflection On These Times


Hello mind, let’s write a verse,

...something swift but in reverse.

In these times we need a smile,

We haven’t felt that...for a while.

Let’s use words that throw a calm

On waters like  a fragrant balm,

It comes about by standing still

Which emanates a soothing chill.


The tranquil peace of soundless water,

Silent, undisturbed transporter.

Gentle breeze of wind through chimes…

...Helps to make the constant rhymes.

Hushed, untroubled content easing,

In a peaceful mind, that’s pleasing.

Composed and over time, serene,

Now its master sets the scene.


Kathryn Conlin





Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

But if I may be so bold,

Why not wish for happiness right on

Until the year is old?


Let’s foster all our Christmas wishes

For peace and happiness, my friends

For goodwill, joy and love

Until this New Year ends!

Then, on and on!


Vi Woodhouse  




Dance, Joe Lake, acrylic on canvas, 20/30



Squandered in the half moon,

Pale of light,

Redemption of this sinner,

In darkest fold of night,

Idle thought had creased

this virgin page,

And soured the yearned-for hope

with advance of age,

Such was enormity

of creeping shadow cast,

That salvation, fleeting,

stuttered and fell upon the past,

’Twas false denial,

In truth a wilful sham,

And real intent,


as with the sacrificial lamb,

had been offered, eager,

on the altar of pretence,

Ever coned and silent,

And to suffer now and hence.


Michael Garrad November 2020




Strength through tears,

This rage of years,

And linger fears,

And grief that sears,

With platitudes, sneers,

In ascendancy, leers,

Dominant, cheers.


Loss cuts, spears,

As the black horse rears,

The sum of fears,

For the tumult nears.


In a raindrop, clears,

And the listener hears,

On straining ears,

Cascade of fearsome, torrent tears.


Michael Garrad November 2020


Whisper Sigh


This endless sky,

Where teardrops dry,

On thermals, high,

On whisper sigh,

Soothes sorrow cry,

On earth, to lie,

And with naked eye,

To soar, to fly,

To rejoice and die.


Michael Garrad December 2020



At Sea


We are all at sea


Declared the bumble bee

Grey clouds sweep by

No rain you see

Dust storms lay waste

Arid acres in place

And where are the trout

With their shiny splashed snouts

Deprived of fresh water

By devices upstream

Where some on this fair land

May live their dream?

Angry orange-red flares

Rage through the trees

Devouring all before them

Koalas and wild bees

Loved dwellings of the town folk

Hay barns and kine

And ravaging the fruits

On the purple grape vine

Brave brigades

Place their lives on the line

For mothers and brothers

And country’s mankind

With fury

Cruel pandemic surges on

The frail aged who may succumb

Until research and time

Ensure the demon’s decline.

Soft weeping rain

From grey clouds will fall

And grant healing-cool waters

Maybe, a balm for all.


Kathleen O’Donnell





The Cradle Mountain, rugged, blue and green;

The air up there is smooth and clear, and clean.

In winter, storms and sleet, and driving snow

Becomes the weary walker’s pain and woe.

The mountain wears its glossy coat of ice;

And then, the skating can be very nice.

You like to climb the hill and then to slide;

Or even catch a toboggan’s gliding ride.


And there, in spring, the grass turns brilliant green;

The most luscious sight you’ve ever seen.

The mountain flora blushes in the shade.

We’ll have a picnic on the sloping glade.


The Cradle rests there, on the mountain high.

Its monument cuts out against the sky.


Niko Roberts (9)




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. Hellyer told him of some of his surveying for the company.


Hellyer nodded as he sipped on his whiskey and continued, ‘Regardless of the hardships, I have always kept a positive attitude, maybe too much so. Edward told me that ‘All my geese were swans’, well, not all but I wish they were.’

Barnard opened the tent flap to look out towards the ocean. ‘The whaleboat is here. I must go.’

Hellyer calls after him, ‘Let my servant, Sandy, carry your luggage.’ But the lieutenant had gone. Hellyer stepped out of the tent and looked up into the sky and then towards the sea that was as smooth as glass. He called out to Sandy, who was stirring a stew cooking over the open fire on the beach. ‘The men should be back soon from their work in the bush,’ Hellyer said.

‘They’ll be here soon, sir, Mr Hellyer. I went up to see them. They’re building the huts for the provisions to be stored at Cascade Creek. We went there yesterday, with Fred, the dog, remember? And you chose the spot and left a marker where the huts are to be built.’

‘Just keep stirring that stew,’ Hellyer said. ‘They’ll be hungry when they get back. Make sure you feed the dogs, Paddy and Rattler, and don’t forget, Fred. And tell the men to sleep in the supply tent and no one is stealing any whiskey, especially not Harley or I’ll put him in iron.’

Sandy nodded eagerly. ‘I’ll watch them, Mr Hellyer. We’ll look after you.’

‘I’m going to lie down now, so make sure that there isn’t too much noise from the gang.’ Hellyer withdrew into the tent and closed the flap and sat down with his maps on a table, lit by a candle.’


The next morning was freezing cold. It was July and the middle of winter in Tasmania but as soon as the sun climbed into the sky, it warmed the air. Hellyer was served his tea and toast inside his tent while the gang of convicts readied themselves to walk back to Cascade Creek to finish building the little huts that were to store supply so that they wouldn’t have to walk all the way back to Emu Bay Beach each day while building the road. They would be sleeping beneath slabs of bark put on end and on logs to keep off the wet ground, room enough for two men with a fire blazing nearby. After the men left, Richard and Sandy, the servants, were splitting logs for the open fire as a large mouse ran out from inside one of the logs. Hellyer decided to sketch it.

(To be continued next month.)
































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