Nature's Song 08 That's how it is 10 The Wet 13 The Outback Bush Nurse 15 Droving the Asphalt Paddock 20 On my way to Broken Hill 22 Kangaroo Poor 24 Corner Country 26 Laughing Kookaburra 28 New Holland Honeyeater 30 Red Rose 31 Spirit of Australia 32 What the Devil Says 35 For the one I love 38 Brine 40 Voyage 42 Our House 44 Rewilders 46 Dear Mother 48 My Special Boy 52 Seasonal Utterances - Winter 58 Digital Hostages 60 Four Years Old 62 Panoramic Love 64 Poets are the shadows of birds 66 The geography of grief 67 TAT information page - How to submit work 74
Sharing a Day
Ipswich Qld 53
Everything is Winter
A TOUCH OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Poems Videos Want to know more? Featured Article
POETRY Maureen Clifford
G’day from the Editor
Winter has finally arrived with a bang with temperatures dropping into the minus figures in many places. Anything below 20 degrees is considered cold to most Australians so across the land, the electric blankets, Ugg boots and winter Jamies have been reappearing. We are so spoilt ... but for our homeless people of course it is no joke. For those with no shelter above their heads Winter is a nightmare - luckily there are organizations like Rosies that help by supplying hot meals and drinks as well as toiletries and blankets - if you can share with them please do - they really make a difference and if you have sheets, towels and blankets as well as old jumpers that are too shabby to pass on, then please drop them into your local animal shelters who can make good use of them. The sleeve of an old Jumper can be a coat for a small dog or puppy, and the body of the jumper will be ideal for a bigger dog. These little ones feel the cold terribly as they are housed on cold concrete often in tin sheds with no insulation. Many pounds/animal refuges are offering reduced fees on desexing right now - why not take advantage of it if your fur baby hasn't been speyed. We are kicking off a new segment in this issue - your chance to tell us and show us a little of your town/city/favourite place.
Sharing a Day
is a great opportunity to showcase our country to our overseas readers. Feel free to submit something yourself or if I send you an email requesting you to participate, then give it your best shot. Diane Heath shares her beautifully descriptive prose poem with us -
is a delight to read. Dudley Pye shares his reminiscences of living in the outback and relying on
The Outback Nurse
to dispense medical treatment. Many small towns in Australia's outback areas still do just this. He also gives a dog's view of Droving the Asphalt Paddock. For an old retired Kelpie the days must be long and boring - chasing cars is a form of entertainment. Catherine Lee shares her prize winning poem
The Spirit of Australia
with us and Debra Shiveley Welch shares an insight into her latest book
The Swinging Bridge
with us..with a from the heart story of the process of adoption of her beloved son...her
. As always lots of variety to enjoy - and if you do enjoy it please do share our links within your own circles. MAUREEN CLIFFORD
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 find 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 flooded 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. the
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
a like-minded community in a great project
the TAT Deputy Editor has been solely responsible for instigating and obtaining the wonderful interviews with poets that we have been bringing you and she has also been instrumental in bringing many new poets on board as well – all of which has been marvellous. Loretta lives on Phillip Island, Victoria, and enjoys walking her Dalmatians on the beach. The wild weather in winter and the gentle breezes of summer provide inspiration for her poetry. Loretta has a number of poems published and several short stories published and enjoys the medium as it hones the skill. Every word has to fight for its place. She performs her poetry at Folk Festivals under the name of LorLes. Currently running her own editing business, LorLes Lifestyles Editing and Proofreading, Loretta is busy assisting talented writers prepare their work for publication. She loves seeing a work develop from a concept into a novel. Deputy
Diane Jane Heath Brenda Joy Colin Hope Dudley Pye John Macleod G J Olsen Esq Joyleen Gibbons Sally Hunter Elizabeth Moxey Catherine Lee Claire Fitzpatrick Elizabeth Rogers Samuel Elliott Bijoy Balram David Troman Brandon Marlon Debra Shiveley Welch Julie P Lauton Diana McDonald Lastwolf T Ponder Sam Faryad Shiri
Courtesy of Mark Scrivener
DIANA JANE HEATH
is an author, poet, and blogger who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her creative writing journey began in childhood. At school she would often get in trouble for writing stories when she should have been focusing on school work. At home she would write and direct plays with her friends, or spend hours lost in her favourite book. Her love of poetry was inspired by her mother who created humorous rhyming
poems that combined
the vibrant imagery of the Australian bush, and the characteristics of Australian animals and birds. In 2015, Diana completed an online bachelor of communication through Griffith university, with two majors: creative writing and screen studies. She has her own website, www. creativedestination.com.au, which provides creative writing tips for aspiring writers. Diana also volunteers as an editor for Unearthed Fiction, and some of her short stories and creative writing articles have appeared in online publications such as www.short-story. me, and www.ezinearticles.com. She has recently published a collection of short stories, Tales for the Sisterhood. Diana's poetry is a mix of varying styles from traditional rhyme to 'open' forms like free verse that allow a poet to challenge conventional poetic expectations. Many of her poems are designed to raise awareness of social justice issues like bullying and human trafficking, while others aim to offer a different perspective on the complexities of life, or to celebrate the beauty and power of nature.
This prose poem aims to evoke the beauty of the Australian bush, by drawing upon the colourful, vibrant and dynamic imagery of the flora and fauna that hang in the delicate balance of nature. The inspiration for this poem came while I was listening to a CD of forest sounds and the imagery that came to mind. Also, I have also spent a lot of time in the Australian bush: The Blue Mountains and the Frecinyet National Park in Tasmania.
An un-defiled world lies hidden from the ravages of human decay
While nature's clock signals the bright promise of new dawn. Day-spring creatures emerge from the realm of dreams and gladly embrace the smiling face of Helios as he banishes the Stygian cover of night.
Scavengers scurry along the forest floor looking for their first meal.
Famished and frenzied young clamour for their mother's milk.
Flowers raise their drooped heads, their faces flush as they welcome
the gentle radiance of morning's kiss and caress.
Rich red waratah wink at clusters of fluffy yellow wattle, nestled beneath the primeval 'Centurion' Ash that points towards the infinity of heaven.
The storm king releases his cloudy soldiers that march, billow and roll. Their watery armaments release shards of rains that form shimmering streams which wind their way through the stalwart trees. Birds of all colours perform a ritual of bathing.
Flashes of red and blue, yellow and green, glint off droplets that twinkle and cascade like virgin waterfalls off trembling leaves. Elegant eucalypt offer their fragrance as a healing balm for sleepy koalas. Once more the golden sovereign peeks through as the departing storm soldiers
relinquish burnished spears that turn pools of water into golden mirrors.
Proud Kangaroos inspect their reflections as burly kookaburra's laugh -
Their mirth mimicked by bell-birds who chime in response. A dirge of Didgeridoo moan as the song of the morning rises to a crescendo. His daylight reign now complete, the bronzed god bows his head and sinks behind
purple mountains, ringed with burnt orange fire.
The dying light like blood dances upon the ghostly skin of the gum tree as she
silently weeps fragrant tears that drift upon the evening breeze.
The night sky begins to twinkle, like diamonds on black velvet
as the silent sentinels of the night stand guard.
The moon goddess in her silver gown smiles upon the sleeping earth. Under her watchful gaze, nocturnal red eyed creatures creep and crawl through
their shadowy domains as their diurnal counterparts slip into the waiting
arms of slumber.
©Diana Jane Heath
Across many different art forms, Brenda Joy, ABPA Australian, Victorian, New South Wales and West Australian Bush Poetry Written Champion and New South Wales Performance Humorous Champion, has always loved entertaining. Having moved through the music modes of 'Soul', 'Blues' 'Folk' and 'Minstrel Storytelling', she finally found avenues into Bush Poetry - and she knew she had ‘arrived home’. This has been borne out by the success she has had both in the written and performance areas of this special genre and by the excitement and enthusiasm she feels for the opportunity to help share and preserve our unique Australian culture through the many different creative dimensions and diverse experiences that life as a modern bush poet offers. She is the current Secretary of the Australian Bush Poets Association and assistant to the President, her husband Hal Pritchard. As a performer, Brenda Joy provides a 'JOY- ful' mix of all-Australian comedy, poetry
and song, for festivals, corporate and
community events and tourist outlets.
As a qualified and approved ABPA Judge for both written and performance Brenda
judges and MC’s at ABPA championships
and competitions. As a qualified and experienced educator,
she also conducts bush poetry workshops for adults and poetry and language development workshops for children in schools and learning centres. She is the Host Editor for ‘Young Xpressions’ in the printed literary magazine ‘Free XpresSion. Bush Poet http://www.brenda">HereWasAnURLjoy- bushpoet.com.au
THAT'S HOW IT IS
Throughout the seasons we have shared we’ve known both joys and pains, the kiss of sun through dreams we dared, the tearful touch of rains. We joined together man and wife in passion born of youth
and mellowed through each phase of life to find a deeper truth.
The marriages that can endure the tests and rise above vicissitudes become secure. That’s how it is with love. When we combined we found the space that we would call our home,
a wild, remote, enticing place on which to write our tome.
And just as partnerships will grow through nurturing and care, our land brought love. Through seeds we’d sow, our hopes were planted there. Its needs enmeshed us in its grip, we came to understand.
It bonded our relationship.
That’s how it is with land.
We planted memories and dreams within its fickle soil.
We reaped the produce of extremes, the harvests born of toil, the barrenness of empty years when it was seized by drought, yet through response of smiles or tears there wasn’t any doubt:
This patch of earth we called our own through times of peace or strife
became our refuge, safety zone. That’s how it is with life.
© Brenda Joy
But land and life are borrowed gifts that we can come to lose and fortune takes dramatic shifts when companies can choose To confiscate a person’s dreams and drill below the earth in mining exploration schemes. That’s all our home was worth.
They tore the gases from its heart, get rich, commercial plan, so ‘Progress’ played its cruel part. That’s how it is with Man. We felt the shock of disbelief but found we had no say. We wore the anguish born of grief but had to walk away. Against authority and might, in anger and despair,
we were too powerless to fight and so we had to bear
the pain of governmental crime in our declining stage
as winter stalked our earthly time.
That’s how it is with age.
Our land, just like our still-born child, will always be a part of who we are, for love is filed forever in the heart.
As aching bodies weather through inevitable tears,
I’m grateful Darling I have you to share my latter years.
We’ve grown together, man and wife and we will rise above this further trial of earthly life. That’s how it is with love.
is an Australian poet surveyor who has travelled extensively through outback Western Australia in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Goldfields and Murchison regions. Working as a Jackeroo in the Kimberley since he turned 16 he started writing in the late 80s, very informally, just for himself and friends. Col spent a lot of time in mining camps and towns for 15 years and liked to spread a bit of culture around. He eventually moved to Canada fulltime in 2003 but plans to retire back in Oz. He self-published a book with a friend in the early 90s in Toronto (Observations on Chaos Theory), performed on the Ed the Sock show and in a few pubs, but only wrote sporadically for the next few years. He then decided to concentrate on the positive and dusted of all of those unfinished rhymes earlier in 2015 and started writing again. Cols Poetry Page - https://www.facebook.com/ColsPoetryPa">HereWasAnURLge
A long grey line Crossed the horizon As the wind swirled Toying with the dust A smell of moisture taints the air Rolling in from the west
The earth waits in expectation
As the frogs give up their rest
© Colin Hope 1991
The plants quiver to the first drops The birds begin to bathe in appreciation A rattle of raindrops caresses the soil As the desert trees bow down in supplication
Rain has come to the desert again Relieving a long dry thirst As the life comes springing back With an urgent burst Now there is water As the gulley’s run again As spinifex sheds it bloody dust The trees stretch their roots The rain, the rain The rain says they must Phot o Cr edit: Mk c
is a resident in the War veterans Retirement Village at Narrabeen NSW. He is a busy man being involved in many activities such as: Bingo Caller, resident JP, writer of eulogies, birthday poems and he contributes to the village magazine. He is hoping to get a Black Belt in origami for being the principal paper napkin folder with the 'you beaut' Village Bistro. Dudley is also involved with a remote school in Zimbabwe which he
has visited on several occasions with articles which are of help to
the students. He also gives cookery lessons at a lodge in Africa. He is still entering poetry comps and was included in The Bronze Swagman's latest book. a great achievement in Australian Bush Poetry circles, plus he has also gained mention in a book put out by the US Marines Korean Veterans with whom he served alongside during that conflict.
THE OUTBACK BUSH NURSE
If you live in the scrub, far from city hubbub, perhaps you could always do worse, but in the bush calm if you do yourself harm, you can rely on the Outback Bush Nurse. She has always been there, tanned forearms both bare, with myriad chores to be done,
perhaps spider bite, to be bound up real tight,
or a young kid shot with an air gun. Most likely she’s found, on the outskirts of town,
in a cottage that's well kept but small.
Living space to reside, water tank round the side, with a treatment room just down the hall.
Sometimes she looks pale, 'neath her flowing white veil,
that surrounds a face full of cheer. In her pocket pressed neat, always some kind of sweet for kids that show signs of fear. She’ll tend to your cuts in outback bush huts, travel long untold miles to the sick, she picks out the worker from the simpering shirker. Tell lies and she’s rid of you quick.
© By Dudley C. Pye
Those clearing the scrub, have sore muscles to rub, they’re quite sure that death must be imminent. At a glance the Nurse says, “I’ve seen a lot worse try a bath and Goanna Oil Liniment."
Bush nurses play midwives quite often in life, most often, the early A.M,
at the birth of an heir you can bet they'll be there.
Plenty of bush kids are named after them. Many times she’s sat by, hearing old folks last sigh,
and stroking a thin weathered hand, trying not to shed tears as she listens to fears of being called to that heavenly land. She knows about babies and mad dogs with rabies, recognises most pets around town,
often acts as a Vet, the time hasn’t come yet
when she's dry-eyed if a pet is put down. Saturday night at the Pub that is more like a club,
with dancing - it's a family affair
she'll enjoy a shandy if one’s close and handy, tomorrow there’ll be heads to repair.
There are stockmen in town, tossing money around,
they just finished a drive that was hard.
They’ll have copious drink, maybe end in the 'clink' but their horses are safe in her yard. Sunday’s arrived, all the stockmen survived, though there's bugger all cash in their britches,
to the bush nurse at dawn, come the battered and torn, all searching for Aspirin or stitches.
She patches them up, there’s hot tea in a cup, and she listens to their hopes and fears,
they head off at a jog for some hair of the dog, and consolation from bleary eyed peers. In quiet times she’ll sit, maybe crochet or knit,
to herself musing life could be worse, despite pushes and shoves, her fondest of loves, is just being an Outback Bush Nurse. Phot o Cr edit: R obert T a ylor
DROVING THE ASPHALT PADDOCK
Eyelids at first light flutter,
Body in its foetal stance, Canine eyes cast around,
On the days initial glance.
Frosted spots on dulling fur,
Like the dusting on a cake,
Dislodged like mini snowballs, By the dogs head gentle shake!
He doesn’t lift his aging head,
While old eyes dimly scan,
Towards his normal resting place, Rusting Kombi campervan!
A glance towards his master,
Stirring in his canvas swag, The meeting of each other’s eyes,
Cause the Kelpies tail to wag. The old blokes hand emerges, Beckons to his lifelong mate, The Kelpie pads toward him, At a less than rapid rate!
© By Dudley C. Pye
Photo Credit: mkc
Gently lick the old man's face, Stubble rough upon his tongue, Both growing old together,
Their stories left unsung.
They had once been droving, The long paddocks endless course, Dog loped behind his master, In the shadow of the horse! The road trains overtook them,
Cattle cramped in lowing loads,
Long paddock now is Asphalt, White lines bisect the road. The man then bought the Kombi, Swag tucked behind him neat, They drove the Asphalt paddock, Dogs own window seat!
At times the old man sickens,
Of life now spent in cars, Then camps beside a creek bed, Spends a night beneath the stars! The Kelpie eyes the old man, Of whom he is so fond, Heads toward his water plate, Blue enamel frozen pond! The man emerges slowly, Stretching with a yawn, Strokes the Kelpies greying chin, Welcomes yet another dawn! This must be their life now, The kelpie and the man, To drove the Asphalt paddock, In the Kombi campervan! Phot o Cr edit: mk c
On my way to Broken Hill
The Earth’s flat, well… flat out here. Scarred by time, sandy red, dotted with saltbush. Saltbush: saviour of stock in times of drought.
The roots of saltbush are baked by hot soil,
cattle chew the tough leaves--survive.
Ned, fetlock boots dusted with peppered paprika— ‘brrrs' in the bore trough, sucks up water,
lifts his scraggy head, and utters a smile.
Drips drop down to the powdered earth, a plate of raspberries in blancmange appears between hooves. Angling a chipped mug downwards I balance, then sip a mouthful of water: tangy mineral wetness. I can taste Ned in the water. Not to worry, Ned’s habits are cleaner than mine. A moist muzzle slips by me, and brushes the water. We’ve a few hot hours before Menindee...
the lakes, vineyards, and habitation. I push a plastic bottle under water, bubbles, big ones,
escape then smaller ones ‘plipping’ upwards vacate the scene, cap screwed down. We are ready.
John Macleod ©
Phot o Cr edit: mk c
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Will Australia ever be kangaroo poor? I mean, there ain’t none of them thylacines no more. Tasmanian devils are on the hop. That nasty virus is givin’ ‘em the chop. What about our islands? They’re smaller, girt by sea. They’ve managed to outdo the feats of Crocodile Dundee, Norfolk and Lord Howe take the cake leaving the mainland in their wake. Birds, once numerous are no longer seen people have exterminated what should have been. Parakeets and pigeons and the Norfolk ground dove have been pushed aside, given the shove.
But the big island ain’t no better, nothin’ to write home about. Native mice and brush-tailed bettongs have simply bowed out.
Lost are many amphibians to the far north of Queensland.
Mammalians fare no better, soon to go, the bee ...
© G. J. Olsen Esq 2016
When will we learn to love and care for our fauna just as we do for our sons and our daughters? Do we want to lose the giant barred frog
or view the greater bilby stuffed on a log?
Geckos and turtles are at terrible risk
while anthropomorphic climate change can’t be fixed.
The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from money hungry moguls mining their mineral assets. So where does that leave the people? That’s you and me.
What can we do to stave off this ignominy?
Write to your pollies, tell ‘em what you think. The world’s best minister can lead us from the brink. But unless the will is there nothing will occur to prevent the worst happening, we can no longer defer
action to the future, to our grandchildren’s door -
for very, very soon we’ll be kangaroo poor. Photo Credit: mkc
was inspired to write this poem when spending a couple of nights in Tibooburra, a small town in the far northwest of NSW referred to as Border Country because the borders of 3 states meet there .. . New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. It is not far as the crow flies from Cameron's Corner. Tibooburra is the aboriginal word for 'heaps of rocks'. Gold was discovered there in 1881. Joyleen Gibbons is a retired teacher and librarian who lives in rural South Australia. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of poetry, and much of her work reflects her interest in the Australian landscape. Joyleen is also a contributor to the ABC Open 500 Words Project. She has self-published a small volume of poetry, and is an occasional blogger and oral presenter of her poems.
Wide reaching plains pocked with granite rocks
as though a company of titans,
abandoning their game,
left their marbles where they lay;
edged with distant jump-ups and criss- crossed by ephemeral watercourses. Empty miles of landscape signposted by ruins
and lonely graves;
reminders of abandoned hopes
and shattered dreams.
Country where emu and kangaroo
still demand right of way
and seasons strictly regulate
where seemingly endless horizons draw the eye,
and settlements survive today
against all odds. Corner Country,
still dangerous, fascinating, confronting and exciting,
but beyond all these, enduring.
© Joyleen Gibbons
has published a collection of poetry called
“The Structure of Light”
, and a biography entitled
“You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down: From Parkinson's To A New Life With Deep Brain Stimulation”
. Her work has also been published elsewhere, in anthologies, magazines and online. She has also written many submissions, plans and reports for the environment movement, and she has a business in 'Environmental Writing'. Sally also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies.
dusky white and brown with a touch of sky on its wing a streak of brown back from its eye abdomen shaggy
it camouflages well
with the old stumpy gum tree and its patchy bark it’s a big bird and silent now no loud jubilant
rising and falling in curves its beady eye watches perhaps
waiting for its mates
© Sally Hunter
Photo Credit: mkc
New Holland Honeyeater
looks alarmed staring straight ahead
can’t sit still long enough
to be painted
must be off to find more flowers
bristly throat leads to black streaks on white abdomen with yellow touches on wing and tail
tiny feet that can’t be seen
it’s on a roll a permanent adrenalin high
so many flowers so little time
© Sally Hunter
Red rose against the wall, you are the fairest of them all. Your claret crown, rich velvet folds, enshrine a heart of purest gold. Your perfume sweet upon the air, tempts and teases those who dare
where strong tall stems and thickening thorns, sharp-edged leaves and hardened hips,
prickle prying finger-tips.
Best to admire you from afar, where your beauty shines like a ruby star.
Inspired by the red rose grown from a cutting of my Mother’s rose.
© Elizabeth Moxey
Spirit of Australia
The tussock’s gusting down the hill, the red sand mocks our crying,
for soil is cracking, dehydrated livestock sadly dying.
The wells are dry, the land is desiccated, nothing’s blooming;
we wake to heartbreak every day—no sign of rain is looming.
The dust whips over arid fields, we fight a losing battle of pulling thirsting sheep from mud holes, shooting starving cattle.
The birds are falling down from trees, no strength in them for soaring, whilst every eye turns heavenward, for sweet respite imploring.
We have to wait it out—there isn’t any other option— we chose this life, this place in our great country of adoption.
Yet though the drought is merciless and all supplies depleted,
we’ll come through this just like before, brought low but not defeated… This poem of Catherine's won the the Gippsland Wattle Competition in 2010.
© Catherine Lee
Phot o Cr edit: R oss Beckle y
Vast forests savaged by the flames with heat that’s all consuming;
all living things their imminent demise are now assuming.
The crackling gums are buffeted by untamed winds of fury
as Mother Nature rages—stands unyielding judge and jury.
Black ash is flying through the air and roos take flight in terror;
dense smoke conceals escape routes and too late they see their error.
The stench of burning bush and carcass screams abomination— the die is cast, we have to beat this dreadful conflagration. From conquered furnace, houses razed, defiant smouldering embers,
fresh hope will spring with life anew whilst everyone remembers.
Though bush fires bring such tragedies no victory can sweeten, this toughened harsh rough country’s sometimes licked, but never beaten…
The coastline’s whipped with high speed winds, the palm trees wildly thrashing— huge waves spew forth their anger on primeval rocks they’re smashing.
There’s not much hope for any boat still coupled to its mooring; as sea churns fiercely, ruthless, heavy stinging rains are pouring. Though preparations have been made we still remain astounded
at power of the elements and unleashed hell unbounded. From shelter we’re inert with shock at force of winds prevailing,
uprooting objects in its path, producing eerie wailing. Although we’re safe inside with sturdy hatches firmly battened, we cannot help but fear our homes will be completely flattened.
But we will salvage all we can when wrathful storm’s abated
and start again—we’re often crushed, but never subjugated…
The plains are swamped, swift rivers run throughout the drowning city, and in the country bloated livestock floats—the sight’s not pretty! The people flee as homes are wrenched and carried in the torrent;
they try to save their pets and come to terms with sights abhorrent.
Survivors cling to battered trees to wait for their salvation, whilst on the news we’re watched by every person in the nation. The animals are moved to higher ground in scenes chaotic, confused and panicked, terrified at nature’s rage aquatic. Belongings float away; some lose their every prized possession—
must start from scratch—a necessary slow and sad progression. But weapons that the elements seem always to be wielding
may see our spirits dampened, tried or sunk, but never yielding… Adversity may belt this massive continent of splendour— this timeless land of ancient race and all who would defend her; yet through the droughts and tempests, fires, each conflict and confusion
her people rise to challenges with guts in great profusion. And be it man or be it nature who aspires in taming this rugged, wild enormous place, her pride she’ll be reclaiming.
For country-wide, although she’s knocked she’ll rise and come up fighting— descendants of her pioneers still sense their zeal igniting. Though life is sometimes rocky, cruel, and she may seem reflective— her passion often tested—she will not be found defective. Enduring, free and bountiful with loyalty deep seated,
the Aussie spirit triumphs, and will never be defeated. Phot o Cr edit: R oss Beckle y
is an Australian journalist, author, poet, and performance artist. She writes historical fiction, speculative fiction, and horror. Currently studying a bachelor of Government and International Relations, she juggles her time between parenting, interviewing people, reviewing theatre, writing assignments, and imagining all the awards she'llreceive as the next big IR theorist. Visit her at www.clairefitzpatrick.net
WHAT THE DEVIL SAYS
The devil said: be a model of a man Be a cannibal of life Who will never seek to understand The need to hide yourself The devil said: drink well, eat well Be a connoisseur of death Do not seek to dwell
On knots unable to be untied.
He said: eat the worms that hole your soul Leave leech on skin that bleeds you Pluck the eyes that look like coal Leave sleeping dogs to die. The devil said: be a model of a man
And eat your fill of life
We will never truly understand Why God will never love us in return.
Claire Fitzpatrick ©
For one I Love
It’s tricky to remain quiet in the din of exhaling goodbye.
Persimmons push to the ground; cities swell and squat on the faces of their dwellers
releasing come hither children who rollerblade then drive by the lines leading towards
silver spoked wheel chairs waiting in the wings,
their leather pouches eager to cradle again while whirring - be mine kangaroo baby be mine. And the oceans move, move, move.
It’s unsettling to remain still in the droning of goodbye.
You want to get going in case it catches up and slams you right in the can with a lock the size of not knowing where you are going. Or where you have been. Or how you were ever their wrecking ball, back splash,
beautiful visionary, dictator,
as every cell now nears its final curtain call –
© Elizabeth Rogers
The mountains curtsy to move, move, move while spreading their savvy snow lined skirts.
It’s a slap-stick to remain calm in the inevitability of no such thing as a good bye. To allow time to pass and skin you alive with its breath
silently long jumping from your rock- slide body bending to the ground while the mountain gods grumble. Save it for a rainy day, the sky moves, moves, moves.
I’m just wrestling she softens, infinity scratching and by the way -
we won’t say goodbye. You are in my blood, and when that dries we will paint it in the sand.
is a twenty-seven year old author, who divides his time between a full-time uni degree, a job within the television industry (from which he is yearning to escape ), a job at a pub that he is ambivalent about and penning his next novel. Sam has been been published in MoviePilot, Blue Crow Magazine, Vertigo and The Independent Australian for a broad array of work, including interviews, reviews and short stories. One of his novels,
'The Sisters of Satan'
was published in 2011 and the second edition was published in 2012, a fantasy horror novel that is still available internationally. One of his novellas
is set to be released later this year.
We are mere brine Torn asunder By the currents of our folly Fragments of salt
Without voice Without movement
Flailing at the whim
Of malignant destiny
Occasionally we rise Renegades amongst us Those that embrace
Those that wear The unknowable Proudly on their faces Broad as day Tough as promise These be the heroes That minority few
They define you
© Samuel Elliott
Far away I see ...Far away I see
the beacon of hope flashing so dazzlingly
like a twinkling star on the horizon,
kindling the hidden ambitions of my life.
I embark on the voyage.
The harsh odds batter me from many sides
but I never mind their intensity for my spirit is so keen and vivid.
© BIJOY BALRAM
For so long, bitter memories have haunted me.
At moments, I fall prey to them. Now, I derive the power to retaliate
from the depths of staunch resolution.
The new world brings hopes and hurdles I loll in the waves of doubts and despair
but it never pacifies the quest for success, for I sail towards the target with unflinching hope.
The power to move on by persistence escorts me throughout the journey of my life
unleashed from the fetters of misery
showering a new vista with zeal.
Life is a voyage with meaningful destinations
Some behold the beauty of this truth.
Those hidden ambitions of my life
drive me towards the twinkling star on the horizon.
is a Mechanical engineer who has been writing short stories and poetry for many years. He has been published in various magazines, and has received several honourable mentions in competitions over the years and also achieved joint fourth place in the Hastings International Poetry competition in 2011. He lives in a tiny village in the East Midlands of England surrounded by miles of green fields and he loves walking. David also loves music and reading and used to play alto saxophone and clarinet.
David Troman ©
Fill up all those cracks with new mortar. Cement, tears and overcome fears make strong walls against hurricane squalls. Look on one another with opened eyes, see the light and know things will come right if we just keep on building together. Without waits the wolf with baited breath, primed to blow when resistance is low
and his ultimate conquest assured.
Neglect has brought us to this sad pass. Hearts of stone
whence loving has flown
leaving bricks but no bonding to join them. Regret, a latecomer, maybe too late, says that fate can have an altered state if we labour together to change it. Phot o Cr edit: Mk c Phot o Cr edit: R oss Beckle y
is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and has been published in more than 90 publications in Canada, U.S.A., England, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Romania, Israel, India, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Trinidad. www.brandonmarlon.com
Brandon Marlon ©
Limpid views dissipate the mists dimming the minds of observers
beholding the unrelenting panorama
of apple orchards and lavender farms, their thoughts harking back to prior epochs in an appended land lush with waterfalls and rainforests. Humble in gait and mien, they trek wide-eyed amid fern labyrinths, listening for a susurrus latent if not patent,
the subtilized pulse of space and time.
They surpass chasms toward rugged highlands
where tessellated pavements await;
there they admire the moment, sighing their aches
on high to yellow wattlebirds, the expiating pangs
of heirs keen to annul the trespasses of forebears once unsure whether to explore or exploit. By the bay they encounter aborigines intent on salmon and rockweed,
sharing gratitude for outback blessings,
the largesse warmly conferred on renewers of innate bonds fondly remembered.
Taken from her book
The Swinging Bridge
.. a memoir told in poems, articles and short stories, Debra Shiveley Welch gives us an insight into her world. Debra has been writing since she 9 years old. Her poem
My Special Boy
relates to the adoption of her son Christopher. You can check out Debra's l web page on the following link - http://www.amazon.com/Debra-Shiveley-Welch/e/">HereWasAnURL B003U7P9B0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Memories, buried beneath pain and resentment, began to surface, like a family movie with sudden stops and starts: trips to the cinema, long chats over coffee, laughter and tears. In the last decade of our journey as mother and daughter, we had moved closer together. These were the things to remember, to cherish, and to hold close to my heart. These were the healing memories; this was the testimony to my mother.
© Debra Shiveley Welch
If I could see you
Just one more time, I would hand you a red flower.
You would tuck it behind your ear, And you would dance.
You would lift your arms
Above your head, And shining face raised toward the sky, You would smile, And I would watch you twirl.
I knew that your first mother was in court.
There she would stand before a judge who would inform her that she was forever relinquishing her rights to you, and that this
relinquishment was final. In addition, should
she discover who we were and decide we
were unfit parents, she would not get you
back. Instead, you would go into foster care
and be put up for re-adoption. This was a
forever decision. She would then be asked to go into the hallway for one hour to consider
the ramifications of what she had been told.
Upon her return, the judge would repeat the
stipulations. Did she understand? Was she still determined to go ahead? Then, and only
then, would you become our son. Would she change her mind at the last minute? Would
we again realize the pain of a failed adoption?
We were both 39 years and 6 months old . In
the State of Ohio at that time, the cut-off age for adoption was 40. I prayed to God that you
would come home to us. Two o’clock p.m. arrived. We heard a car pull up in front of the house and ran to the door, cam-cord in tow and rolling. It was FedEx delivering a package from WordPerfect. We laughed nervously, accepted the package, and I managed to get the FedEx guy to say, “We deliver!” as a recorded memento of the day. By now, we were frazzled. Where were you? Another car! We rushed to the door and it was...our friend Mary. She had shown up with the crib. Right behind her, literally, was
our entire neighborhood. We decided to go
outside to wait. Nerves strained to the limit,
we were in need of distraction. Maybe being
with our friends would help to calm us down. We stepped out of our front door and a miracle happened. It was you! You were here! You were home! We literally ran to the
driveway where our lawyer, whom I often
refer to as our matchmaker, Gary and his
wife were getting out of the car. Gary’s wife
opened the passenger rear door, bent in, and gathered a small bundle into her arms.
I could see a little head with a knit cap, tiny hands waving in the fragrant May air, fingers
curled, angry to be aroused from a soothing car-induced sleep. Gary took you from his wife, turned to me beaming, and placed you in my arms. I took you, held you to my breast, and breathed you in. You smelled so sweet. I
learned later that this is a natural instinct of a
mother. She imprints her baby’s own special scent into the core of her very being, making
it possible to identify her child by scent alone.
To this day, I breathe you in, reveling in your unique perfume. Removing the blanket from your face, on some level, I noted that you had a unilateral
(one-side) clefting – easier to repair and better results with fewer surgeries – but the first thing I responded to had nothing to do
with your anomaly. Removing your cap, the
first words I uttered were “He does have hair!” I noted its silkiness, its soft curl, and the color…the same as my own!
Turning, I walked slowly toward our house, my sweet baby in my arms. The sidewalk was literally lined with friends and neighbors, smiling, laughing, clapping. We all entered the house where I promptly undressed you,
counted your toes, your fingers, and kissed
all those parts a mama kisses: your knees,
your hands, your little nose, your elbows, and
feet. It was the most wonderful day of my life and I was in Nursery Nirvana. I was a mother. Finally, I was a mother!
I dreamt of you when I was but a child, And imagined how very special you would be. I fantasized about your smile, your sweetness,
And anticipated the time when we would be together.
I searched for you through the years.
One by one, adoptions failed,
But I knew that someday we would be together, And you would be coming home. Years passed and my longing for you grew: My special one, my child, my love. I searched for you across mountains and plains,
And still, we were not united.
My arms ached to hold you in a warm embrace, I envisioned us in a nursery-scented nirvana, Together, mother and child, Love complete, a journey begun. Then came a day, in the month of May A man walked toward me, holding a bundle,
Little hands waving in the air,
Unhappy at being disturbed. I held out my arms, eager to hold.
You were placed within my cradling embrace;
I beheld the face of my son, And I fell in love.
My Special Boy
© Debra Shiveley Welch
SHARING A DAY
By Maureen Clifford
This is a little segment that we are going to experiment with - a chance for our readers and poets to showcase a little piece of where they live, be it their home town, state, city or even
their own favourite place . We have poets from around the globe who subscribe to the TAT
Poetry Magazine and many of our readers are completely unfamiliar with different parts of our
wonderful world so why not share what we love amongst our poetry friends. So here's your chance - depending on the support received we will try and include one in each issue along with photos the writer has taken.
I am kicking it off with my home town of Ipswich ...I hope you like what you see.
A Day in Ipswich Queensland
Every day should start with a little light exercise and communing with nature and what better place to start than in the beautiful surrounding of Queens Park one of the first parks to be established in Queensland. Its original architectural design dates back to 1862 and is perhaps Ipswich's most well know landmark. Visitors to the park will experience old world charm with modern day conveniences. Its close proximity to the Ipswich City Centre allows for easy access to shady gardens and a relaxing outing. Features of the park include extensive formalised gardens, Nerima Gardens (a Japanese-styled garden), the Ipswich Nature Centre, Children's play facilities, Bush House, Bush Chapel, several sporting Clubs, Environmental Education Centre and the Incinerator Theatre designed by Walter Burley-Griffin. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Nerima Gardens - perhaps meditate or do some yoga on the verandah of the tea house or by the lakeside then wander across to the animal nursery - a gold coin donation will let you in and you can see our lovely bilbies.
TOP OF THE TOWN TODAY
You could probably go a coffee right about now and maybe some breakfast and there is some available close and handy at the Queen's Park Cafe where you can admire some local art work while you wait for your order or just sit on the shaded verandah and listen to the bird song and admire the views. A short stroll will see you heading into the heart of Ipswich - where you will be spoilt for choice. Turn left into East Street and just up the hill at 86 East Street Ipswich is the Heritage Listed Uniting Church Central Memorial Hall, built in 1895 and designed by well known architect George Brockwell Gill. This building now houses the Ipswich Antiques Centre. Fully restored it was opened to the public in 2010. It hosts around 15 antique dealers wares and also has a delightful coffee shop. Admire the streetscape - part of the charm of Ipswich is its many old churches and public buildings. Stroll down the hill towards the CBD and at D'arcy Doyle Place you will find The Ipswich Art Gallery - the exhibitions there constantly change but are always interesting. The 'Top of the Town' precinct is virtually unchanged from Victorian times with its historic facades and little shops - many of which are now eateries and coffee shops, or little boutiques and novelty shops ...plenty to feast the eyes on as well as the body. Stroll through the Mall in the Brisbane CBD and a short walk will take you across the footbridge to the Riverlink Shopping Centre where you can shop to your heart's content. It is probably the only shopping centre in Queensland that has a railway line running through the middle of it. The Railway workshops are a 15 minute stroll away at North Street North Ipswich - The Workshops Rail Museum is a wholly
Ipswich Antique Centre
Photo Credit:Melissa Bowmer
Nerima Gardens Tea House
interactive authentic heritage and cultural experience located at the birthplace of rail in Queensland. And if you want to go a little further afield Ipswich Trike Tours can give you a freewheeling fun and fast paced tour around outer lying areas of Ipswich from the back of a Harley Davidson trike - they are available from a half hour tour to a full day tour and can take you to visit some of our lovely wineries in the scenic rim area if you are so inclined. Visit our Babies of Walloon at the Henry Lawson Bicentennial park . Our Ipswich Poetry Feast Breakfast takes place there ever year under the watchful gaze of Henry Lawson, or take a trip out to Rosewood - another lovely town just on our outskirts where we have a magnificent Cobb and Co coach on display. Wander down to the Bremer River Parklands at dusk and our 3 resident dinosaurs Ippy, Stoney and Limey will come up and say G'day ... they are a bit scary at first but once you get to know them you will see them for the gentle souls they really are. They
Dinosaurs in the Bremer
T op of the T o wn - Vin t ag e P os t c ar d
Phot o Cr edit:mk c
love an audience and will happily show off for you as long as you want to stand and watch them play. Our riverside parklands are a nice place to end your day in Ipswich as thousands of bird roost in the trees along the river, and bats perform an aerial display every night for your delight. Ipswich is a beaut place to visit and a great place in which to live, we stride confidently into the future led by our Mayor Paul Pisasale and his staunch band of Councillors
- Paul is currently serving his 4th term
as Mayor of our city and his drive and enthusiasm, are very evident to all that come in contact with him. Our council motto is confide recte agens: doing rightly be confident ... Why not come visit Ipswich and see for yourself what a beaut place it is ...we are very confident that we are doing it right here.
Babies of W alloon
Phot o Cr edit: Mk c
Cobb & Co Coach
Phot o Cr edit: ICC
Backy ar d crick e t a t Ip s wich
Phot o Cr edit:d'Ar cy Do yle pain ting
JULIE P. LAUTON
is a New Jersey (USA) native, where she currently lives and works
as a freelance copy and content writer/editor. She graduated
magna cum laude
from Lehigh University, earning a BA in Psychology and minoring in American Literature. Julie recently
discovered the gratification that poetry writing can bring about. With a growing appreciation for this creative form, she wishes
to share the experience of poetry with others. Her poems have
appeared in several print and online publications, including
The Greenwich Village Literary Review and A Hundred Gourds.
When not writing, Julie seeks out off-beat independent movies and loves listening to music, eating amazing food and spending time outdoors in the sunshine. This is Julie's first submission to the TAT Poetry Magazine ... but I am sure we will be sharing more in the months ahead.
Swishing, swaying, tempest playing, whipping wind takes hold. She cackles,
stinging slice of cold.
Naked limbs, helpless in the fray, screech at her sky. Icy winter lays her blanket, from under which
we whimper, wince, shudder… awaiting the whisper of
© Julie P. Lauton
writes under her maiden name of Benskin. A graduate of Mercy College in New York with a BSc no less, Diana has always enjoyed
writing and is inspired by the works of Maya Angelou.
Born in Trinidad of Barbadian parents,
We don't talk anymore Instead we sit around With our heads faced to the ground In our hands can be found A digital device We no longer feel it’s nice To sit around and conversate Staring profusely at the digital slate A beep here a swipe there all the sounds you can hear Why is it so hard to speak? Held hostage by an invisible network in the sky
we don’t have the time to look each other in the eye
not even just to say hi The digital slate has become our fate As we sit around With our heads to the ground
No time to look up high To savour that majestic sky
We don’t talk anymore I wonder what will we use our speech for?
An original poem by Diana Benskin ©
Photo Credit: Gilles Lambert
LASTWOLF AKA DELIA DAUBNEY
or D is a 62 year old English woman who has lived all her life in the same small cottage, in a wood in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds in the UK. Brought up a "country girl" she loves with a passion all of her wildlife neighbours, the deer,
foxes, badgers and hares. The things she writes about are true;
being accounts of wonderful events she has witnessed over many, many hours spent watching and drinking in the wonder and beauty of her surroundings.
The Pen Name Lastwolf is taken from the title of one of her
favourite books, Alba, The Last Wolf by David Stephen, and pays tribute to his skills as a naturalist and writer.
I think I was maybe four years old, A wild urchin of the wood
Oft seen afield with lurcher dog
Bound to make no good.
My parents left me to run free,
A toddler with a dog The wood our play ground everyday Come sun, come snow, come rain or fog. I saw the wild things unafraid, I watched the foxes play The stoat and weasel gambolling Along the woodland way.
Four Years Old
I learned silence at the long dogs paw,
Patience to watch and wait
We shared the magic 'neath the trees
From dawn to dusk ... till late.
No one knew just where we lay, The snug bower where we hid No one knew the fun we had A dog and a wayward kid. Phot o Cr edit:D Daubne y
Born in1990 in Seattle, Washington - T. Ponder writes to touch readers through realism, insight, and humour. His poems cover topics such as: love, depression, achievement, and life experience. Journaling life has always been T. Ponder’s hobby. Ponder has faced many obstacles throughout life. The largest being the loss of his mother to cancer. He and his brother were raised by a loving grandmother. At the age of sixteen he picked up a pen and has been writing poetry ever since. T. Ponder is inspired by Poet Pablo Neruda, Singer/Songwriter Sade, and Rap Artist The Jacka. His greatest success was having his first work of art published in September 2015. The work is titled “Temperature of art” and contains 25 poems, and 2 short stories, poems reflecting the growth he went through, while facing many life struggles. He attempts to take readers to a new realm with innovative writings. Life has revealed itself at angles for T. Ponder, a young man only in his early twenties, and he hopes to connect , through his poetry, with people in that manner. WEBSITE: www.tpcreativeworks.wordpress.com TWITTER: www.Twitter.com/TPLoyal
Tide of my eyelids swallows my vision While thoughts become weightless The void of her has great precision I shall remain stainless Inside and outside True love is reversible
With moments that confide
Every touch is not rehearse-able Air of despair is unaware Our clarity is crystal A thousand words within a stare Although sight is fairly simple With panoramic love Fits us both like a glove
© T Ponder
is a well known poet and author in his own country of Iran where he works as a as a professional translator from Kurdish to Farsi, an
executive manager, literature teacher and journalist. He has won
many literary awards in Iran and worldwide, and is the author of several children's books. Faryad has published more than twenty
works consisting of his poems, translations and stories.
Poets are the shadows of birds seeking the earth.
The birds flying free in the sky
are the poet's dreams
and you, who fills the space
between the earth and the sky draw your breath from the poets and the birds From this island you can only see the sky
and the birds' silhouettes sinking into the sea.
The man who feeds grain to the birds is a real lover and love can be an island far away when grief stricken. Ah! Blue is not always the predominant colour,
sometimes red erases a bird at sunset
as the sky darkens. From his window he can only see the sky and hear traces of the voices that sink into the sea. They have removed the birds from his vision, and silenced the sounds of the world.
Poets are the shadows of birds The Geography of Grief
© Faryad Shiri © Faryad Shiri
Photo Credit:J Abbott - Hervey Bay
Because English is not Faryad's native language he has kindly allowed me to help with the translation of his poetry from Iranian to English...... Maureen - Ed.
We at The Australia Times look forward to receiving submissions from our readers. If you would like to submit some of your own poetry to us for publication please do so.
For the Poetry Mag this address should see it head off in the right direction –
Maureen.Clifford@theaustraliatimes.com.au or you can upload word directly into Volume 1 Issue 1 http://uploader.theaustraliatimes.org/">HereWasAnURL
We are also interested to know what you would like to see. Is there a particular poets work you might like featured? Or a particular style of poetry you would like to read? We hope in future issues to set up a section for children’s poems, showcasing poetry written by and written for children. Do you have a writing group that is perhaps running a competition that you would like to see listed in our pages? Please let us know. Would you like more competitions listed?
A magazine is only as good as its readers make it. Between our readers and our subscribers
and the people working behind the scenes we plan to make it the best we possibly can. Please share our links with your friends and colleagues and if you can ‘like’ us on your Facebook and Twitter pages we will be over the moon. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Australia-Times-Poetry-Magazine/">HereWasAnURL386461994820768 https://twitter.com/TheAUSTim">HereWasAnURLes