BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Poetry magazine. Volume 3, issue 16

Vol. 3 No. 16 July 31, 2015
Urb x
A Gneiss
MAUREEN CLIFFORD, aka The Scribbly Bark
Poet, and as the editor for The Australia Times Poetry
Magazine. I am really looking forward to sharing
with you some Poetry from talented Australian and
overseas poets. Some write Australian Bush Poetry,
some Haiku and others write free verse. Rhymed
or unrhymed, you will nd it here.
Born in Margate UK this ‘Pommie’ came to
Australia over 50 years ago. By choice I am
Australian and proud of it, and bless every day. I
currently live in Ipswich in Queensland in a home
a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Bremer River
where I have managed to avoid being ooded
out albeit in 2011 by the skin of my teeth.
Bush Poetry is my passion, along with animals
and since retiring and moving back to the smoke
there has been more time to concentrate on them.
I have written poetry for many years and recently
ventured out into writing prose and yarns. When
boredom strikes, which is not often, doing photo
restorations takes centre stage. This is a lot easier
on the body than home and furniture restorations
or wrangling sheep, but plays havoc with the
eyesight. Everything in life has a price.
I am Australian 09
The Tawny Frogmouth 12
The Baker - Mr Brackenby 14
Snowdrops 18
Beach Burial 20
On the night train 28
Love has no boundaries 30
Poppies 32
South of my Days 34
The Broomstick Train 42
Incorrigible Dreamer 48
Urban Fox 50
The Sergeant was retiring 52
The Memorial 54
Ragged Rendezvous 56
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 58
Experience 60
Erratum 64
A Gneiss Romance 66
Remember Me 68
Secrets 70
The Stranger 72
Information Page 38
Steampunk 40
He said – She said 22
Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds
C J Dennis
Kenneth Adolph Slessor
Al McCartin
Henry Lawson
Maureen Clifford
Bob Pacey
Leon Gellert
Judith Wright
Oliver Wendall Holmes
Alicja Kuberska
Ida Jones
Clive Sanders
David Troman
George Gordon Byron
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Barnaby Wilde
Courtesy of Dianne Simmonds
Autumn colour paints the trees beside the
Cudgegong River at Mudgee NSW
We offer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to
COMMUNICATE, or an OPINION to state, we are your voice!
Want to
jOIN a like-minded community in a great project
elcome to the latest edition of TAT
Poetry and thank you to everyone
who sent Birthday congratulations to me
for our previous edition which celebrated
2 years of on-line poetry.
I recently met up with David Abouav –
the founder of the TAT group – when he
visited Brisbane. He very kindly shouted
me lunch in my home town of Ipswich
and we went on to have a meeting with
the Media Manager of our local council to
discuss producing a new magazine that
will be pertinent to this area – We already
have a ‘Melbourne’ Magazine and David is
keen to promote similar magazines for other
regional areas of Australia, a great way to
be able to showcase our country, its many
talented people and the many beautiful
areas, eateries, attractions that are unique to
each area. I will be delighted to see one for
Ipswich hit the ground running.
I urge all who wish to submit work to
the magazine to check out our updated
Maureen Clifford
G’day from the Editor
Contributions page – it has had some
alterations which will be helpful when
putting the magazine together. Previously
people were adding work into magazines
that were completed and ready to go –
this was extremely annoying as it meant
me having to constantly reshuffle work
around and retyping the Index and some
work got lost in the process. It also meant
that work that was unsuitable could have
slipped through the cracks (we are a
family friendly mag) and if the mag was
themed then work unrelated to the theme
was also popping up in there which was
not at all what I wanted. The new system
should eliminate that issue as it will act as
a catchment from which I can select what
to use and when to use it. However if poets
just want to email their work to me I am
more than happy with that.
So I do hope you enjoy this issue – there is
some good work contained within its pages.
Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds
is a published author of history, poetry, children’s
stories and poems, and recipes, both online, in published
books and in newspapers. She is also published in a
number of anthologies and has won a number of poetry
awards. Diane has a BA in literature and composition;
she is a retired journalist, a writer, a licensed Anglican
Lay minister, a Marriage Celebrant, and best of all, a
grandmother. She lives on a small property just out of
Mudgee, NSW. Diane has created a history website for the
Mudgee community, www.mudgeehistory.com.au and
publishes some of her poems on this site. She also writes a
weekly online newsletter for young families in her church
and an historical newsletter, online and printed for the
local Eurunderee School once attended by Henry Lawson.
She is presently writing an autobiographic novel.
©Diane Simmonds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I search my soul, my mind and conscientiousness
to know where I belong,
explore my love, my life and loyalties,
find out my hearts true song.
My spirit wanders through the desert lands,
seeking refreshing streams
and somewhere near and somewhere long ago,
my 'self' is made in dreams.
Beside a billabong at night,
a stranger walks
about who might,
be you or I,
a kindred quest,
do we belong
as clan, or guest?
by Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds (c) dzsimmonds@bigpond.com
I a
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I am white woman, young and beautiful,
my babe has skin dark brown,
my mate's exotic, mix of everywhere,
no more a remnant of the crown.
Exiled, banished, because of poverty,
scandal, politics, and sin
I've died and risen, sought asylum
revived my spirit, fresh ideals to win.
Upon my soul
lands' spirit's born.
Within my heart
earth's early morn
awakes my youth,
and claims my years,
it holds my joy,
soothes all my tears.
I'm born of dust of beaches, deserts,
Australian through and through,
with respect to our unique Dreamtime
creations' God in me and you.
I have no love or quest for other lands
for here I now belong
My soul was born on craggy mountaintops
It sings a desert song.
From dust I came,
to dust degenerate -
maybe red ochre,
white sand, black loam.
In unity
with earth and heaven,
in truth I call
Australia home.
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Clarence Michael James
Stanislaus Dennis best known to most
Australians as C J Dennis and for his humorous poems
including Doreen and The Sentimental Bloke, was the
most prosperous poet in Australian history.
Growing up his family referred to him as Clarrie but at
age 19 when he started submitting his poetry to different
newspapers and periodicals he used his own name and
in The Bulletin he wrote as ‘Den’ and that name stuck.
He left school at 17 when his Mother died and became a
junior clerk for a stock and station agency but got fired
for reading during working hours. He went on to become
a junior law-clerk and it was then he started submitting
his work to the Evening Journal, the Laura Standard, the
Register and the Bulletin.
Dennis had a flair for journalism and turned to the
Melbourne Herald in May 1922 when he found that he
could no longer live on income from his works. Dennis
had suffered from asthma for several years and died in a
private hospital in Melbourne on 22 June 1938 of cardio-
respiratory failure. His grave at Box Hill bears an extract
from The Singing Garden:
Now is the healing, quiet hour that fills
this gay, green world with peace and grateful rest.
The Singing Garden was his last book published in 1935. It
contained beautiful poems and essays about the birds that
Den was so familiar with that frequented the area around
his home ‘Afden’ situated north of Melbourne in the town of
Toolangi – an area nestled in the foothills within a forest.
Copies of the book are very hard to find as it appears it
was never reprinted.
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I FLY by night; a furtive ghoul,
To harry small bush folk;
And men who know the boobook owl
Mistake me for that dish-faced fowl
With his hunting cry, "Mopoke."
But when you hear my grunting call
You know it's not like that at all.
I prey until the dawn shows dim;
Then seek some gnarled old tree
And feign to be a broken limb.
Holding my pose with patience grim
For all the world to see,
Yet never guess this ragged bark
Is frogmouth, waiting for the dark.
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
Tail to the trunk and beak held high,
I slowly turn my head
To follow you as you pass by,
Peeping from out a hooded eye
Till your departing tread
Proves mimicry is not in vain;
And then I go to sleep again.
The curve of my bewhiskered beak
Holds death when darkness comes;
And terror spreads among the meek
Of bushland when my meat I seek
Amid the sleeping gums,
A call, a scurry, squeals of fright:
'Tis frogmouth, hunting in the night.
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Our baker, Mr Brackenby, toiler in the night,
was a lean, tall, glum man whose face was very white;
a brooding man 'twas said of him, and mannerisms odd;
for a grunt of recognition and a rather surly nod
were all he granted any who came strolling by his shop
in the cool of summer even, when a man might wish to stop
for a bit of neighbour’s gossip. But our baker chose to mope
like one who nursed grave illness or deep grief beyond all hope.
C J Dennis 1876 - 1938
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His chirping little "missus" had the old town's sympathy;
for she loved to hold a customer and let her tongue run free
on stray bits of tittle-tattle; and we said, "Poor thing,
with a dumb man for a husband, well, she has to have her fling."
For silent Mr Brackenby, he never seemed to speak
to wife or child or anyone from week to dreary week.
There he sat upon his doorstop, and he stared and stared ahead
like a being sore afflicted. But he baked good bread.
Yet once a year, on Show Day, some urge removed his gag,
and gloomy Mr Brackenby went out upon a "jag."
He visited the taverns from the morn till deepest night
getting gradually garrulous and gradually "tight."
He laughed, he sang, he spent, he talked to any who would hear:
A merry man for just one day and night in all the year.
He sang of "Champagne Charlie" and "Where Did You Get That Hat?"
"Belle Mahone," "Tarpaulin Jacket," and a score of songs like that.
Thro' the night he roared and revelled till the daylight broke the spell;
then our baker, Mr Brackenby, crept back into his shell.
Stale the bread we got that morning; but, for twelve months after that,
in the loaves that came at dawning folk found nought to grumble at.
For he shunned the noisy taverns in the cool of summer eves,
and he squatted on his doorstep in the pose of one who grieves,
with his hand cupped in his white palm, he just stared and stared ahead
like a man remorse had ravaged. But he baked good bread.
Herald, 17 June 1935
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Check out the
issue of Gourmet,
where we chat
with talented Head
Chef from ARTUSI
Italian Restaurant:
Kenneth Adolph Slessor was born in
Orange NSW in 1901 with the surname Schloesser which
he changed to the anglicized version in 1914. He grew up
in Sydney and began writing at an early age. He wrote a
dramatic monologue at age 16 - It appeared in the Sydney
Bulletin, the popular medium for poetry in that era.
He held in the course of his professional life, positions
with The Sun, Punch, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald
and was also the President of the Sydney Journalist’s Club.
Slessor was an official war correspondent between 1940
-44 in Crete. Syria, North Africa, Greece and Papua and
New Guinea.
Recognition for Slessor didn’t really eventuate until after
his death in 1971.
Snowdrops in the 1920s was the euphemism for cocaine
– some claim his poem was based on the ‘working girls’
of Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine who reigned over the
Darlinghurst and Surrey Hills areas of Sydney in that era.
Kate Leigh the Queen of Crime was also known as the The
Snow Queen.
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The Snowdrop Girl in fields of snowdrops walks,
Whiter than foam, deeper than waters flowing,
Flakes of wild milk gone blowing,
Snowing on cloudy stalks.
The Snowdrop Girl goes picking flowers of snow,
Blossoms of darkness bubbling into dreams,
In a strange country, by the shadowy streams
Where the cruel petals of the Coke-tree grow.
From the smoke and the fume of the backyard room,
Where poverty sits and gloats,
On runaway feet from a dirty street
To a field of snow she floats;
And tickets to Hell have a curious smell
And a dangerous crystal whiff,
Where men hawk Death in a snowdrops’s breath
At a couple of shillings a sniff.
Kenneth Slessor
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Softly and humbly to the Gulf of Arabs
The convoys of dead sailors come;
At night they sway and wander in the waters far under,
But morning rolls them in the foam.
Between the sob and clubbing of gunfire
Someone, it seems, has time for this,
To pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows
And tread the sand upon their nakedness;
Kenneth Slessor
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And each cross, the driven stake of tidewood,
Bears the last signature of men,
Written with such perplexity, with such bewildered pity,
The words choke as they begin -
‘Unknown seaman’ – the ghostly pencil
Wavers and fades, the purple drips,
The breath of wet season has washed their inscriptions
As blue as drowned men’s lips,
Dead seamen, gone in search of the same landfall,
Whether as enemies they fought,
Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together,
Enlisted on the other front.
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Al hails from Canberra but now lives in Bathurst – he
claims the parking is easier –
Well, it was last year.
Writing and story telling has always been part of Al’s
life, beginning in primary school where he loved to get in
front of the class to tell stories often involving classmates.
“We’ve rescued more maidens, good teachers and favourite
girls from every baddie that ever was,” Al said.
Al worked for the Defence Department as a reporter with
the Army Newspaper and in the PR section of defence
Recruiting. He also worked for the Sydney Morning Herald
and the Telegraph.
Away from all of that, Al is a radio broadcaster by choice
and has worked stations across the nation currently works
with 2MCE in Bathurst.
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They spied each other in the school playground at lunch
recess. Her name was Lynda and she wore red jeans and a
green Nancy Drew top: His name was Dann; he wore blue
jeans and a Bert and Ernie T-shirt. She had red hair. His hair
was fair.
He looked her up and down. Gee, you’ve got rusty hair,” he
said, grinning.
It was Dann’s nine-year-old way of giving her a compliment,
which Lynda apparently took the wrong way. She sat up and
in her haughtiest eight-year-old manner, replied.
"You're ugly, you look like a bunyip”.
“What’s a bunyip”?
“It’s a ugly animal what eats boys”.
“Then you're double-time ugly, even uglier than a witch, an
my brother says she's triple ugly and you've got a rusty head”,
He retorted.
Tears welled in her green eyes. "You're a rude boy and I
don't like you”.
"And I triple-time don't like you back, my brother says if I
kissed you I'd get girl germs and turn into a toad. I bet you're
the ugliest girl in all Chinry School”.
© Al McCartan, 2004
He Si
-Se Si
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"You're stupid boy. It's Shinnery School. My daddy says it
was named after the small timber forest that was here in the
olden days”.
“I’ve got tuna an' lettuce samiches for lunch," he broke in,
“what you got?"
"Peanut butter with red jelly and you're not getting any
"Don' want your stupid peanut butter – it's ugly people food
and makes girls have all carroty hair”.
"Go away stupid boy, you're rude, ugly and I hate you”.
They had kept up their mini feud through both grade and
high school. Neither one of made any attempt to even try for
some sort of friendship. Each keeping their distances.
Time and tide wait for no man it has been said and time
certainly spun around, as hands on clock face, for both Lynda
and Dann. After graduation they went their separate ways.
Lynda to the National University in Canberra and Dann to a
journalism school, in Bathurst, New South Wales. Both dated
yet remained uncommitted.
Upon graduation and teacher training, Lynda returned to
New South Wales and Shinnery, teaching science and biology
courses at high school. She was impassioned with her subjects
and had the biology students enthralled with her knowledge
of white and yellow corals especially the corals on the famous
Great Barrier Reef.
Dann on the other hand, found his vocation in the media
as a newspaper journalist and gained some national fame in
bringing to the public's attention a major real estate swindle.
He had then switched over to writing a syndicated column and
broadcasting that column on a weekly radio breakfast show
helping his listeners start their day in a better frame of mind.
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That came to an abrupt end with the death of his father;
later that year, his mother had suffered a mild stroke and
although curable she was still immobile.
To his ailing mother, Dann's sister, Samantha and brother-
in-law, Bob, were a tower of strength and both Dann and his
elder brother, Tim, decided they would return to Shinnery;
Tim to continue with his medical practice and Dann, to work
his column and radio show from a home office and the local
radio station's studio. Neither Dann nor Lynda knew the other
was in town.
Lynda's sister had run into Dann at the local radio station,
where she claimed a competition prize and he had finished
recording his weekly report. She had no hesitation in ringing
Lynda that night.
"Guess who's in town – no don't guess, it's Dann, you know,
the only guy at school who never asked you out, he is kinda
cute now.
"You know Jeannie, they could lobotomize a midge and it
would still have a higher IQ. I never could stand him. I'd rather
date an inebriate than him or his very subjective newspaper
column. I'm still smarting about what he wrote about Our State
Member, Bill Vale. He called Mr. Vale, a papilla on the plain of
progress and the stale wart in the brew of good governance”.
“But Lynni, that was five years ago. Funny how you can
remember word for word, what he wrote - for someone you
can't stand. Still it was amusing when you and a group of Mr.
Vale's campaign team wanted to besiege the newspaper office.
As for not liking him, sorry honey, methinks the girl doth
protest much - I'm not convinced”.
Lynda put down the phone, her heart beating faster than
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Fate and her little helpmate, Cupid often pick the most out
of the way places and most inopportune moments to ply their
professions. For Dann, it was the Shinnery Market, on his turn
to do the family grocery shopping.
She wore blue jeans and a Canberra Raiders football jumper;
her dark red hair pulled back into a fashionable ponytail, a
pencil with a tassel in the Shinnery High School colours as
an addition. He wore his favourite navy slacks and orange
sweater, his fair hair darker and he had adopted a crew cut.
It was at the spreads and condiments aisle, when Fate chose
the moment and place for them to reunite
Lynda, never a tall girl, vainly tried to reach for her
favourite brand of peanut butter, which is, quite normal in
supermarkets, stacked on the highest shelf.
"Here, let me help you," said Dann, taking the jar from the
rack and placing it in her shopping trolley.
Lynda wheeled around, not recognizing the voice. She paled
and grabbed the trolley handle for support. She shook her
head and managed a weak…
"Yes, me," he smiled. "You know – I take back all I said
about peanut butter being ugly food. You're still rusty-headed
Lynda looked him up and down. "Apparently, you're still
insufferable, and I'm still smarting about what you said about
Bill Vale. I was on his campaign team”.
"I said many things about Mr. Vale," said Dann. "You mean
the over-quoted wart on good governance?”
"Amongst other things”, Lynda said icily. “Anyway who and
what gives you the right to make.?”
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"…Hey hold on here, I haven't seen you for ten years and
we're already at it like a couple of Kilkenny cats, not even
a thank you Dann for getting that peanut butter…. lawdy, I
bet you still eat tons of it. Must make you the meanest girl in
"That's Shinnery, you…”. Lynda stopped, broke into a giggle
and then a laugh..
"I don't like you," she pealed.
"And I triple time don't like you, but If I did like you, I'd say
that Bruno Magro's Italian Eatery has the best darned chicken
cacciatore in Chinry and If I double, triple time liked you I'd
ask you to join me for dinner. You know even the warring
nations of the world do sit down to negotiation. So, Lynda, this
is an invitation for a peace dinner, would you join me?”
“If I quadruple times double time liked you back I'd say, for
years I was secretly hoping that you would ask me out”. She
held out her hand. "Shall we say seven or eight? You can tell
the time can't you? And for the umpteenth time, it’s Shinnery
not Chinry”.
"You know, I've spoken to presidents, prime ministers,
prelates and pretzel makers they didn't faze me; but I was
double scared of asking you out, especially since high school.
To me, you were the prettiest girl in the whole school and with
you being so pretty I was sure, I didn’t stand a chance”.
Lynda blushed and smiled. “You didn't have to be scared at
all, the answer would have always been yes - even since we
met on our first day at primary school”.
Dann reached out his arms, gently drawing her closer and
gave her a light kiss on the cheek. Seven thirty it is.
“It’s a date”.
Dann smiled, his eyes glinting mischief.
“If I get girl germs from that kiss, you're in deep trouble”.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
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Have you seen the bush by moonlight, from the train, go running by?
Blackened log and stump and sapling, ghostly trees all dead and dry;
here a patch of glassy water; there a glimpse of mystic sky.
Have you heard the still voice calling — yet so warm, and yet so cold?
"I'm the Mother-Bush that bore you! Come to me when you are old"
Did you see the Bush below you sweeping darkly to the Range,
all unchanged and all unchanging, yet so very old and strange
while you thought in softened anger of the things that did estrange?
Did you hear the Bush a-calling, when your heart was young and bold:
"I'm the Mother-bush that nursed you; Come to me when you are old"?
In the cutting or the tunnel, out of sight of stock or shed,
did you hear the grey Bush calling from the pine-ridge overhead?
"You have seen the seas and cities — all is cold to you, or dead,
all seems done and all seems told, but the grey-light turns to gold!
I'm the Mother-Bush that loves you — come to me now you are old"
Henry Lawson
O Te
Niht Trai
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My name is Ben I am a thief – I stole, that part is true
but I had starving children , so tell me what would you do?
My young wife died in childbirth; there were three kids at my hearth.
They’ve been sent to the workhouse now. Well that’s a bloody laugh.
The oldest one is only five, I fear for him each day
for no doubt in the cotton mills is where hell get to play;
scrabbling beneath machinery, gathering lint and fluff.
Yes food hell get but beatings too. Life shouldn’t be this tough.
My name is Ben I am a thief, I’m not sure what that means
all I know is that hunger pangs drove me to this extreme.
They say that I was homeless and was wandering the streets,
all true of course for that I was. Always happy to greet
and befriend those who shared a smile and pass the time of day
but now I’m trapped within these walls and no one wants to play.
I get a good feed every day, and nothing wrong with that
but find it hard sleeping at night for one old whinging cat.
Maureen Cliord © The Scribbly Bark Poet
 No
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It’s Ben again, they’ve taken me in rotting hulks that leak
across the oceans to these shores so strange , full of mystique.
I’ve felt the cat across my back; my skin is ripped and torn
I’m sunk in abject misery. Wish I’d never been born.
My children I will never see – nor yet the hills of home.
My family is lost to me I stand here all alone
in a strange land , on a strange shore. Who knows how this will end.
Perhaps in time some man will come to me and call me friend.
It’s Ben again, they’ve taken me out of my prison cage
and slipped a chain around my neck. We’re starting a fresh page.
My misery is gone today I’m happy to be free
they say we’re going for a walk at a place they call sea.
I stand here close beside them wondering how this will end.
I sense that I’ve been here before, lonely without a friend.
Today’s a new beginning; I can run and chase a ball
I still feel that I know this place, but how I don’t recall.
And down upon the waterline on the deserted sands
one saw two sets of footprints , one were dogs – the other, mans.
And yet the dog was running free and no one else was there
but watching close one sensed a gentle hand smoothing his hair.
He turned his head, lifted his eyes, one saw his long tail wag,
he sat and watched, but who knew what. Perhaps some ancient lag
whose name was Ben walked ‘longside him on beaches without end.
I like to think that Ben met Ben, and both now have a friend.
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Leon Gellert was an Australian poet, born in
Adelaide who was a teacher, a soldier, a journalist and a
poet. He was also a literary Editor with Fairfax up until
1961. He is probably best known in Australia for his war
poems as during the war he diverted himself by writing
poetry. Despite his Fathers harsh discipline he remained
grateful to him for introducing him to books.
Leon died in August 1977 after spending his last years with
his beloved dachshund at Hazlewood Park. He owned two
of these dogs named Otto and Archie
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Some scarlet poppies lay upon our right.
He watched them through his periscope all day.
He watched then all the day; but in the night
they seemed to pass away.
They came again much redder with the morn
and still he gazed, and strangely longed to roam
among their savage splendour in the corn,
and ponder on his home.
But when the charge was done, they found him there
deep in the redness, where he’d made his stand,
with withered poppies in his twisted hair,
and poppies in his hand.
© Leon Gellert
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South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
clean, lean, hungry country. The creek's leaf-silenced,
willow choked, the slope a tangle of medlar and crab-apple
branching over and under, blotched with a green lichen;
and the old cottage lurches in for shelter.
Judith Wright ©
O M Ds
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O cold the black-frost night. The walls draw in to the warmth
and the old roof cracks its joints; the slung kettle hisses a leak on the fire.
Hardly to be believed that summer will turn up again some day
in a wave of rambler-roses,
thrust it's hot face in here to tell another yarn-
a story old Dan can spin into a blanket against the winter.
Seventy years of stories he clutches round his bones.
Seventy years are hived in him like old honey.
Droving that year, Charleville to the Hunter,
nineteen-one it was, and the drought beginning;
sixty head left at the McIntyre, the mud round them
hardened like iron; and the yellow boy died
in the sulky ahead with the gear, but the horse went on,
stopped at Sandy Camp and waited in the evening.
It was the flies we seen first, swarming like bees.
Came to the Hunter, three hundred head of a thousand-
cruel to keep them alive - and the river was dust.
Or mustering up in the Bogongs in the autumn
when the blizzards came early. Brought them down; we
brought them down, what aren't there yet. Or driving for Cobb's on the run
up from Tamworth-Thunderbolt at the top of Hungry Hill,
and I give him a wink. I wouldn't wait long, Fred,
not if I was you. The troopers are just behind,
coming for that job at the Hillgrove.
He went like a loony, him on his big black horse.
Oh, they slide and they vanish
as he shuffles the years like a pack of conjuror's cards.
True or not, it's all the same; and the frost on the roof
cracks like a whip, and the back-log break into ash.
Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening South of my days' circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Poets please ensure that you register initially
through our main page and get yourself
added into our list of contributors and submit
your work either through the preferred
option of
e Australia Times
or direct to me at my TAT Poetry email
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Have you checked out our Facebook Page yet?
If you are on Facebook why not come on over and say Gday
and ‘like’ our page as well – wed love to have you come visit
and your support would be appreciated.
Sharing our links will help spread our poetry around the world.
It is updated every day and events of interest that miss the magazine
will be on our FB page – along with some shared poetry.
I have noticed that there are not many of our
poets showing up on our Contributors page and
this is why. If you wish to show on that page
and your picture/name is not on this list please
go and register now. And just an extra bit of info
because that page is dual usage and not just for
Poetry It asks for a CV. In relation to Poetry all
we need there is just a brief biography to put with
your poetry when we use it - doesn't have to be
personal - just what you are happy to share.
Inspiring MindsIndependent Media
Steampunk poetry is a genre of poetry where the setting
involves the use of steampower or futuristic innovations -
the elements of science ction or fantasy. If you think along
the lines of the ctional machines found in Jules Verne or
HG Wells you would be on the right track.
Elements of what comprise Steampunk are found in many
areas. Some of the
Dr Who
TV series, The
Duh-Vinci Code
episode in the
science ction sitcom is another.
The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne
– classic steampunk.
It pops up in The
Witches of Chiswick
and even in the old
The Sundowners
, western ction by James Swallow.
The War of the Worlds, Starwars
and The
Chronicles of
all have elements of steampunk in their plots and
there are, worldwide, conventions held to embrace the
concept of steampunk in all its facets from jewellery to
music, movies to poetry and more.
Steampunk started to be noticed in the 1980 – 1990 decade
and the term steampunk was coined in the 1980s. Perhaps
this poem By Oliver Wendell Holmes falls into the category.
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© Ross Beckley
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Look out! Look out, boys! Clear the track!
The witches are here! They’ve all come back!
They hanged them high, — No use! No use!
What cares a witch for a hangman’s noose?
They buried them deep, but they wouldn’t lie still,
for cats and witches are hard to kill;
they swore they shouldn’t and wouldn’t die,
books said they did, but they lie! They lie!
A couple of hundred years, or so,
they had knocked about in the world below,
when an Essex Deacon dropped in to call
and a homesick feeling seized them all;
for he came from a place they knew full well
and many a tale he had to tell.
They long to visit the haunts of men,
to see the old dwellings they knew again,
and ride on their broomsticks all around
their wide domain of unhallowed ground.
by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809 - 1894
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In Essex county there’s many a roof
well known to him of the cloven hoof;
the small square windows are full in view
which the midnight hags went sailing through,
on their well-trained broomsticks mounted high,
seen like shadows against the sky;
crossing the track of owls and bats,
hugging before them their coal-black cats.
Well did they know, those gray old wives,
the sights we see in our daily drives.
Shimmer of lake and shine of sea,
Brown’s bare hill with its lonely tree,
(It wasn’t then as we see it now,
with one scant scalp-lock to shade its brow);
dusky nooks in the Essex woods,
dark, dim, Dante-like solitudes,
where the tree-toad watches the sinuous snake
glide through his forests of fern and brake;
Ipswich River; its old stone bridge;
far off Andover’s Indian Ridge
and many a scene where history tells
some shadow of bygone terror dwells, —
of “Norman’s Woe” with its tale of dread,
of the Screeching Woman of Marblehead.
(The fearful story that turns men pale:
Don’t bid me tell it, my speech would fail.)
Who would not, will not, if he can,
bathe in the breezes of fair Cape Ann,
rest in the bowers her bays enfold,
loved by the sachems and squaws of old?
Home where the white magnolias bloom,
sweet with the bayberry’s chaste perfume,
hugged by the woods and kissed by the sea!
Where is the Eden like to thee?
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For that “couple of hundred years, or so,”
there had been no peace in the world below;
the witches still grumbling, “It isn’t fair -
come, give us a taste of the upper air!
We’ve had enough of your sulphur springs
and the evil odour that round them clings;
we long for a drink that is cool and nice,
great buckets of water with Wenham ice.
We’ve served you well up-stairs, you know.
You ‘re a good old fellow — come, let us go!”
I don’t feel sure of his being good,
but he happened to be in a pleasant mood,
as fiends with their skins full sometimes are,
(He’d been drinking with “roughs” at a Boston bar).
So what does he do but up and shout
to a greybeard turnkey, “Let ’em out!”
To mind his orders was all he knew
the gates swung open, and out they flew.
“Where are our broomsticks?” the beldams cried.
“Here are your broomsticks,” an imp replied.
“They’ve been in — the place you know — so long
they smell of brimstone uncommon strong;
but they’ve gained by being left alone,
just look, and you’ll see how tall they’ve grown.
And where is my cat?” a vixen squalled.
“Yes, where are our cats?” the witches bawled,
and began to call them all by name,
as fast as they called the cats, they came.
There was bob-tailed Tommy and long-tailed Tim,
and wall-eyed Jacky and green-eyed Jim,
and splay-foot Benny and slim-legged Beau,
and Skinny and Squally, and Jerry and Joe.
And many another that came at call,
it would take too long to count them all.
All black, one could hardly tell which was which,
but every cat knew his own old witch;
and she knew hers as hers knew her.
Ah, didn’t they curl their tails and purr!
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No sooner the withered hags were free
than out they swarmed for a midnight spree;
I couldn’t tell all they did in rhymes
but the Essex people had dreadful times.
The Swampscott fishermen still relate
how a strange sea-monster stole their bait;
how their nets were tangled in loops and knots,
and they found dead crabs in their lobster-pots.
Poor Danvers grieved for her blasted crops
and Wilmington mourned over mildewed hops.
A blight played havoc with Beverly beans, —
it was all the work of those hateful queans!
A dreadful panic began at ‘Pride’s’
where the witches stopped in their midnight rides
and there rose strange rumours and vague alarms
‘mid the peaceful dwellers at Beverly Farms.
Now when the Boss of the Beldams found
that without his leave they were ramping round,
he called … they could hear him twenty miles
from Chelsea beach to the Misery Isles;
the deafest old granny knew his tone
without the trick of the telephone.
“Come here, you witches! Come here!” says he,
“at your games of old, without asking me?
I ‘ll give you a little job to do
that will keep you stirring, you godless crew!”
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They came, of course, at their master’s call,
the witches, the broomsticks, the cats, and all;
he led the hags to a railway train
the horses were trying to drag in vain.
“Now, then,” says he, “you’ve had your fun
and here are the cars you’ve got to run.
The driver may just unhitch his team,
we don’t want horses, we don’t want steam;
you may keep your old black cats to hug,
but the loaded train you’ve got to lug.
Since then on many a car you’ll see
a broomstick plain as plain can be;
on every stick there’s a witch astride,
the string you see to her leg is tied.
She will do a mischief if she can,
but the string is held by a careful man
and whenever the evil-minded witch
would cut some caper, he gives a twitch.
As for the hag, you can’t see her,
but hark! You can hear her black cat’s purr,
and now and then, as a car goes by,
you may catch a gleam from her wicked eye.
Often you’ve looked on a rushing train,
but just what moved it was not so plain.
It couldn’t be those wires above,
for they could neither pull nor shove.
Where was the motor that made it go?
You couldn’t guess, but now you know.
Remember my rhymes when you ride again
on the rattling rail by the broomstick train!
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Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ ǡ
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
To book an appointment visit our website
or call Caitlin on:
0433 319 609
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We come to you!
Alicja Maria Kuberska born in 1960,
in Swiebodzin, Poland. Currently, she lives family in
Inowroclaw, Poland.
In 2011 she published her first volume of poems entitled:
“The Glass Reality”. A second volume, entitled: “ Analysis of
Feelings”, was published in 2012. The third one ( in English)
entitled “ Moments” was published as well Poland as USA in
2014.In the same year she published the volume entitled “ On
the Border of Dream” and novel entitled “ Virtual Roses” She
has just released her latest book titled ''Girl in the Mirror''.
Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies
and magazines in Poland, USA, UK, Canada, India, Italy
and Australia.
Alicja is a member of the Polish Writers Associations in
Warsaw, Poland.
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Every day I am slowly leaving.
I step to the rhythm of minutes.
The evanescence is astounding
- Days and years pass
At an ever increasing speed
I am living in an ephemeral world.
My house of cards can be demolished
By each gust of events,
But with an insistence of a maniac, I build
Castles in the air, inside my imagination.
I am running towards mirages and I am looking for
Greener grass in the neighbor’s garden
I cannot appreciate what I have
- I regret only when certainty
Turns into uncertainty
I am an incorrigible dreamer
Incrrigible ree
© Alicja Kuberska
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at night he comes a-tiptoeing
along the city streets
searching through the rubbish
for discarded treats
the urge is pressing heavy
soon therell be more mouths to feed
his natural habitat is disappearing
due to mankind’s need - or greed
the bin bags piled in alleyways
are now his hunting ground
he has to rip them open
hidden treasures to be found
unwanted food thrown down
in cartons late at night
that never see inside a bin
at least they aid his plight
now the hunted is out hunting
just to keep himself alive
on man’s abandoned sustenance
he is learning how to thrive
Urb x
Ida Jones ©
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The sergeant was retiring that morning,
after serving for twenty-two years.
He hoped he had not given warning,
as he wanted to leave with no tears.
He shook hands with men he respected.
He hugged those he cared much about.
He nodded to others, there collected,
to watch the old warrior ‘Fall out’.
by Clive Sanders ©
i Retirin
It was General Macarthur who was quoted as saying “Old soldiers never die they
just fade away.” His final words in his now famous speech were “I now close my
military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave
him the light to see that duty. Good-by.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
He choked as he shook hands with Harry,
who had fought by his side in Iraq.
His friend crumpled up his Glengarry,
then gave him a slap on the back.
“Well miss you. You ugly old rascal,
but promise well all stay in touch.
The sergeant smiled back at McCaskill,
a friend that he’d miss very much.
“Remember the next time you’re fighting,”
the old faithful sergeant replied,
“If you find it’s a bit more exciting,
it’ll be ‘cause I’m not by your side.
Then they all led him out of the doorway,
and he left to a chorus of cheers.
He would always remember his last day,
and leaving his office in tears.
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There’s a memorial in the churchyard,
To the soldiers who died in the war.
The monument now looks neglected,
With weeds growing out of the floor.
The names on its sides are now dimmer,
As the village forgets all they’d done.
No one remembers the places they died,
Or the names of the battles they’d won.
The Hamstone that forms the memorial,
Is now weathered and covered in moss.
The sword that stands in the centre,
Points up in the sign of the cross.
So remember all of their sufferings,
And teach us to honour the debt,
That each of us owes to those who died,
And remind us, ‘Lest We Forget’.
by Clive Sanders ©
Te Meri
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Peeling paint curls from plaster
in sympathy with delicate sandwiches
adorning her plate and wishing
that they still had their upper crusts
to hold them flat.
Cup and saucer before her
are perfectly matched, rose pattern,
faded and chipped round the edges
in concord with her nail polish.
It too has seen better days.
Look again at ancient walls,
wonder what colour they once were,
now darkly tannin stained
like the inside of a well used teapot
that has seen more than a few tea-leaves.
David Troman ©
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Gaze glides back to her, seated, alone.
Is she waiting for someone
alighting from the Plymouth train
that has just pulled into platform three
or dare I venture fate?
Courage grasped, before it cools,
I walk to her and ask of her
if I may share her space and fare.
She smiles, revealing more chipped enamel
and nods her head in assent.
We gasbag together, Molly and me,
as we sit and sip her cold stewed tea
remembering times now long since past
when hobo would not have meant either of us
but someone less lucky.
In my dreams she remains Aphrodite
this lady who was always far over my station.
Our friendship a virtue of common descent
we part as we timetable our next liaison
on Thursday, let’s meet at King’s Cross.
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George Gordon Byron - Lord Byron was born in 1788
in Aberdeen, Scotland, and inherited his family's English title at the age of
ten, becoming Baron Byron of Rochdale. He was resentful of and blamed his
mother for his birth deformity – a club foot. Abandoned by his father at an
early age, Byron was deeply unhappy through his younger days. He was heir
to a rundown estate and had no assets with which to maintain it. As a teenager,
Byron discovered that he was attracted to men as well as women, which made
him all the more remote and secretive.
He studied at Aberdeen Grammar School and then Trinity College in Cambridge
and published his first volumes of poetry titled Fugitive Pieces anonymously.
It was printed in 1806 and contained a miscellany of poems, some of which
were written when Byron was only fourteen. As a whole, the collection was
considered obscene, because it contained frank, erotic verses. At the request
of a friend, Byron burned all but four copies of the book, then immediately
began compiling a revised version—though it was not published during his
lifetime. The next year he published his second collection, Hours of Idleness,
which contained many of his early poems, including poems addressed to John
Edelston, a younger boy whom Byron deeply loved.
By Byron's twentieth birthday, he faced overwhelming debt. Byron set out on a
tour of the Mediterranean, travelling with a friend to Portugal, Spain, Albania,
Turkey, and finally Athens. Enjoying his new-found sexual freedom, Byron
decided to stay in Greece studying the language and working on a poem loosely
based on his adventures. He later wrote to his sister, "If I am a poet ... the air of
Greece has made me one."
His fame, however, was among the aristocratic intellectual class, at a time
when only cultivated people read and discussed literature. An outspoken
politician in the House of Lords, Byron used his popularity for public good,
speaking in favour of workers' rights and social reform. Byron settled in Italy
and began writing his masterpiece, Don Juan, an epic-satire novel-in-verse
loosely based on a legendary hero. When he died on April 19, 1824, at the age
of 36, Don Juan was yet to be finished, though 17 cantos had been written. A
memoir, which also hadn't been published, was burned by Byron's friends who
were either afraid of being implicated in scandal or protective of his reputation.
Today, Byron's Don Juan is considered one of the great long poems in English
written since Milton's Paradise Lost.
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I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Looked to the wingéd Lion's marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles!
She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers:
And such she was--her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East
Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers:
In purple was she robed, and of her feast
Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.
In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear:
Those days are gone--but Beauty still is here;
States fall, arts fade--but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!
by George Gordon Byron
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
[I stood in Venice]
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Hugo Laurenz
August Hofmann von
an Austrian novelist, librettist, poet,
dramatist, narrator, and essayist.
He began to write poems and plays from
an early age and later wrote libretti/text for
several of Richard Strauss’s operas.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
The valley of dusk was filled
With a silver-grey fragrance, like the moon
Seeping through clouds. But it wasn't night.
The silver-grey fragrance of the dark valley
Caused my sleepy thoughts to blur,
And silently I sank into the weaving,
Transparent sea and left my life.
What wonderful flowers there were,
With dark chalices glowing! A maze of plants
Through which a yellow-red light,
as if from topazes, glowed in warm streams. All
Was filled with a deep swelling
Of melancholy music. And this I knew,
Even though I could not fathom it, but I knew:
This was death. Death turned music,
With an immense longing, sweet and glowing darkly,
Brother to deepest melancholy.
And yet:
A nameless homesickness for life kept crying
Mutely in my soul, crying as someone
On board a big ocean vessel would cry, a ship, driven
By gigantic yellow sails, passing by the city,
His city, at night in dark-blue water. There he sees
The lanes, hears the rushing of the fountains, smells
The scent of the lilac bushes, sees himself,
A child, standing on the shore, with a child's eyes,
Fearful, with tears welling up, sees
Through the open window the light in his room
But the big ship carries him along,
Gliding away on dark-blue water soundlessly,
Driven by gigantic yellow sails of strange shape.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal 1874 – 1929
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Barnaby Wilde is the pen name of Tim Fisher.
Tim was born in 1947 in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom,
but grew up and was educated in the West Country. He
graduated with a Physics degree in 1969 and worked in
manufacturing and quality control for a multinational
photographic company for 30 years before taking an early
retirement to pursue other interests. He has two grown up
children and currently lives happily in Devon.
Visit www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk for the author's blog and
more information about the world of Barnaby Wilde.
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Yesterday, at half past three,
I nearly saw a chimpanzee.
I almost phoned to tell you so,
But then the moment seemed to go.
I almost phoned again today,
But didn’t have a thing to say.
You say that you were all alone?
You should have said. I nearly phoned.
This afternoon, at ten to four,
Just guess at what I nearly saw.
A hippo flying down the street
With small pink wellies on it’s feet.
I nearly rang you there and then
Until the moment passed again.
You feel depressed? I’m quite appalled.
You should have said. I nearly called.
An hour ago, at nine o’clock,
I almost had a nasty shock.
I nearly saw two elephants
In lacy bras and sequinned pants.
I would have rung you at the time,
But somehow it just slipped my mind.
You say you wish that you were dead?
I nearly phoned. You should have said.
Tomorrow when it’s five past two,
I wonder what I’ll nearly do.
But even if a blue giraffe
Should skate board down my garden path
And crash into the picket gate,
I cannot phone you. It’s too late.
I wonder …
… Would you have made a different choice
If you had heard a friendly voice?
Erratum: For nearly or almost read didn’t throughout.
Barnaby Wilde ©
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I found a little pebble that I’m keeping as a pet,
He’s hiding in the corner, much too scared to come out yet.
If I treat him kindly then before he gets much older,
I hope hell learn to trust me and become a little boulder.
He’s very nearly round in shape, with just the merest knobble,
I like to roll him down a slope to watch my cobble wobble.
We run together in the park to keep our muscles honed,
Once he overdosed on grass and got a little stoned.
We chill out in the evenings with some music - jazz or soul.
Sometimes we play a little blues, but mainly rock and roll.
He tells me all the things he’s done, about life in the shingle.
I recall the girls I’ve known, the joys of being single.
He says he’d like to settle down, to put an end to travel.
Maybe find himself a mate and hear the pattering of gravel.
I took him to the coast today, waves washed him from my reach.
I guess it’s true for pebbles that life really is a beach.
Barnaby Wilde ©
A Gneiss
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"For me, poetry is the
place where I go to heal
and realign myself with
everything going on inside,
outside, and around me.
It gives me the chance to
look beyond, to reflect, and
to recharge."
Bridget Conway
© unsplash.com
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Dont Forget to say
you have seen it in
We hope you have enjoyed reading the selection of poetry
in this issue both from Australian and overseas poets.
Please bear in mind we are a family friendly magazine
and poetry of an overtly explicit sexual nature
or containing profanity will not be used.
Poetry written by our children is always welcome.
The Australia Times looks forward to receiving submissions from our readers.
Please submit with a brief bio and any links you want included –
e.g. blog/web/book page.
This address should see it head o in the right direction –
or email The Editor at