Sample Poems

Morning rites

I see the moon, such dragon’s egg,

that nestles at horizon’s breast

to hatch out light for winter birth

when morning passion fills the sky.

I see the dawn, her crying pangs

that burst to blood the clouds then sigh

and smear the blankets high above

as slowly darkness yields to sight.

I see the sun grow newborn day

that touches landscape with her rays,

above the waters of the lake,

so tips of wavelets sparkle white.

© Greg Burns

The scent of warm bedding

From habit, I stir,

a languid awakening.

In half light, focus blurred 

familiarity assures the shapes of things.

Possums scamper across the roof

their last minute bid to beat day’s light.

Blissful silence, then

the sound of rain.

I burrow deeper under the doona

as icy drops spatter glass.

Cocooned in warmth, I listen

to the steady patter as

nature’s morning shower

refreshes the earth.

First light is fleeting.

I want to return

to my dreamtime

but a new day awaits.

© Leigh Hay

Morning Haiku

flute of a bird song                                                     

                cello of wind through trees –                                  

                            concerto in joy                               

© Erica Woolgar


To turn that corner

that crooks you in a hug,

to see those trees

familiar as garden plants

sun grins beneath a lid of cloud

peeks between rooftops

still warm against your cheek

as you wish you could cup this light

backed by a choir of clouds

that ring orange, to violet, to vermillion.

As it streams between your fingers,

against a darkening of blue

hold it firm but loving

just a little while longer.

© Graeme Turner

Joy In the morning

A blackbird sings way off in the distance

the magpies join in the chorus

a soft thud as the possum flees the night

I cling to the last vestiges of sleep

and the safety and warmth of my bed

a cool breeze carries the scents of the garden

through the open window, the subtle perfumes

of moist petals, the leaves and the earth.

I raise the blind to a frosty white lawn

my day begins with a gentle feeling of joy

as the blackbird and the magpie have arrived

more birds join in from the bushland nearby

 the morning light greets a new day

inviting me to join them before winter’s sun

fades away.

© Cecily Falkingham


joyous found beauty

ephemeral summer snowflake

wistful rememberance

©Peter White

Morning vignettes

A possum

romping on our roof

rouses me from slumber

Subtle light

from the full moon

silver-paints my room

casts eerie shadows

I doze dreamily

under my doona

in this fantasia before

morning’s orchestra tunes up  ̶ 

garbage truck’s thunder-thump

street-sweeper’s swish-swoosh

highway traffic’s far-off rumble

crescendo of bird calls, dog barks

After breakfast

I go on my daily walk

via parks, bike tracks

ascending, descending

A multi-coloured flame

the rainbow lorikeet sips from

a banksia’s nectar-filled candles

chirrups to his mate

 Low sun

rising in the east

gilds angled building facades

casts Tuscan shadows

Viewed from the highpoint

houses step-stair

down into valleys

climb skyward to hilltops

Framed by distance

the neighbourhood panorama

captures my attention

is worthy of a master artist

Overhead, edged by white

the moon’s marbled orb

is reluctant to fade

as sun rises into pale blue

Returning home

jonquils’ heady perfume

surrounds me

© Maree Silver

River Dance

You took me to the river where the ducklings like to play

to the merry laughing river, a-singing night and day

When I heard again the waters and the laughter in the air

My old heart danced to meet them and with loving smiles greet them

As we danced upon the swing bridge to the song we heard that day.

So, I praise the Lord for sunshine sparkling on the water,

For the river and its progeny, the platypus at play:

the ducks a-diving, squawking and the people riding, walking

in a joyous place of meeting on a sunny winter’s day.

© Cath M Barnard

The world is so beautiful

Sometimes the world is so beautiful

that it hurts.

Colours blaze and burn,

falling in splintering shards

which pierce the eye

and turn the world

to glittering slivers of light.

The wind cuts keen as a knife

on the skin,

but leaves no wound,

only the singing of the blood

through the veins.

The world is too beautiful,

too much to be contained

in two eyes, two hands.

It leaps away,

dancing at its own beauty,

drunk with its own joy.

© Cate Lewis


It is only a lightening on that eastern wrap of cloth,

a loosening of the knot

that paling at the edge.

A night that’s quieted

 bedded for a while

in deep blue slumber.

At least here in a cherry glow that gathers

that climbs towards a flare of gold,

exhales a shimmer upon my face,

warm as friendship,

there’s a chance for another day.

© Graeme M Turner


colonial windows frame

my garden gallery

hung afresh each morning 

spectacular ‘Appreciation’ rose transitioning

from bud to full bloom

bordered by the windowpane.

magnificent magnolia slanted

towards the path

portrayed in painter’s palette

florets of hybrid hydrangea mingling

with pearly gardenias

a portrait of beauty

filtered sunlight          slanting rain

visiting honeyeaters

complete the morning joy

of this changing vista.

© Carolyn Vimpani


Oh God

It’s that season again –

this time of Lent

this stripping back

letting go

the leaves

on the branches

of our lives.

It’s that time

we remember that You

let go

Your beloved son


Him to us

for awhile.


Who made us in Your image

allowed Your Son

to be made in our image

for awhile.

He became real

flesh and blood

eating and drinking 

with us

sharing everyday stories

about everyday things

so we could see You

Eternal God

in the here and now.

You allowed us to spit

on that image

to pin it down

as we tried to hold Him

keep Him

control Him

– the irony of nails.

The time You’d lent Him to us

was past.

He wintered in Hell…


the morning

of the third day

– springing Your promise –

You gave Him back to us

   not lent

       but given


we could see You

Eternal God

and be for-given.

© Janette Fernando


Clumped together

in grey-green costume

they stand in silence

on a rain-soaked river path

waiting in the wings

for a chance to shine.

Sinewy limbs

sprout flattened leaf stalks.

Soft and feathered

they shelter hopeful buds

(a cast of thousands)

sitting snug on fragile stems.

As winter eases into spring

we’ll see this blockbuster

these picture show stars

competing for an Oscar

all vying for gold;

coming soon to a walk near you.

© Leigh Hay


Daffodils dance in the morning sun

rejoicing in their resurrection

glowing and gold for a risen king

their beauty a godly reflection.

Green and gold the daffodils bloom

trumpeting joy in the morning

gladly proclaiming the word of the Lord

on each day’s new come dawning.

Spring has sprung with a leap of joy

announcing summer’s nearing

autumn bears fruit that we gather to eat

thankful for God’s providing

© Jean Sietzema-Dickson

Breathing space  –(c) Leigh Hay


a flaming red sky is dispossessed

as the rising sun burnishes morning

gilding leafy iron bark canopies.


heed the Laughing Kookaburras’

melodic brashness     this early interlude

stirs percussion in sulphur-crested symphony.


for the wallaby intent on winning

first to the bridge in two-legged bound

nimble skitter into still damp scrub.


resume the reverie      rhythmic stride

rustle and crackle of twigs underfoot

descry the lumbering echidna.


By the river – (c) Greg Burns

Street lights plant
yellow flowers
in Yarra’s
fertile fields,
hinting at the
hope of life’s
renewal with the dawn.

Rowers raise skiffs on
stick insect legs,
rippling reflections
in the river
as it runs.

A canoeist wears
selkie skin
to skim
beside the bank,
eschewing the shore
lest she
is stolen
from water’s waves.


Rhythm of life – (c)Janette Fernando

The ocean of my life

ebbs and flows with the tides,

pulling away from the sand,

getting sucked in

by the undercurrent,

being dragged back against my will

to make new waves

—never the same waves.


This one is tangled with seaweed,

another is tickling my toes.

Here’s one that barely ripples

while another’s a mini tsunami

slowly building to

a surging crescendo,

then dashing itself into

a million waterfalls

surrendered to the shore…


Who picks up the pieces

and sends them back to sea?


Who takes the pulse of my life,

my every heartbeat

and fills me with His breath?


Fairy wren – (c)Cecily Falkingham

A Fairy wren visited our camp-site

bounced towards us on dainty legs

adorned in its immaculate blue suit

how could we not stop and admire?


Lit by the sun, bluer than the sky

despite its diminutive size

this bird with attitude and shrill call

commanded our attention our delight


Blue wren you are truly superb

courting your Jenny wren partner

a contrast of humility and showmanship

making our day with your sweet presence.


Winter joy – (c) Jean Sietzema-Dickson

For two months

as winter chills me

I’m encouraged

by my camellias

sudden flowering


First the glossy green

is sprinkled with buds

exploding into a pure

bridal extravaganza


Then the deep pink flowers

of the bridesmaids

smile through the window

and I know that for weeks

winter gloom will be lightened

brightened and coloured…


Crossroads – (c) Xiaoli Yang

many voices in this world

entice me

to touch



and possess



I am waiting

in the dark

to be possessed



and touched


will I always be

caught in the middle

living in-between?

will I always be

on a journey

wrestling with

the unknown?


Amazing –(c) Catherine m Barnard

I cross a continent today

from east to west

at thirty thousand feet

through a sea of cloud

then coming through

dream-blue all around

air   cloud   sea   land

stretched map-like beneath


I cross a continent today

f­rom east to west

in one giant leap

– for me a feat


for those who fly for me

all in a day’s work


As the sun spilled red – (c) Colleen Maranda

As the sun went down

spilling red on the lake,

you took your last breath.


Something swallowed me whole.


Then, by some miracle…

I breathed.


Interludes – (c) P G Baker

Spaces, gaps

always there,


hard to enter.


Love, joy

fear, pain

envy, loss.


Often avoided,

easily missed

in the ocean of life.


Here’s one now.


Be aware –

avoid the scare.


Let go and live!


Meal – (c) Don Helmore

Magnificent minestrone

of life,

simmering in the cauldron

of love,

blessed with the dressing

of worship,

succumbing to interludes

of grace.


Night-time interlude –  (c) Florence Lisner

A flock of leaves grazes

on a plump moon-field,

overshadowed by delicate twiggery.

They scatter at a breeze…


The moon glows on…



Glimpses – (c) Maree Silver

Long waves of cloud breakers

surf the leaden sky


Bare twigs on frosty morning

sequinned parasol ribs


Raindrops jewel greenery

sparkling diamonds


Vivid multi-hued rainbow

fainter     colours reversed      a second bow


Peach-gold radiance

silhouettes dawn-dark foliage


Circling plovers fire dawn pipings

in staccato volleys    ki-ki, ki-ki-ki


Bonding – (c) Joan Ray

We were, what?  thirteen, fourteen

at most –  a picnic by a lake –

we left my brothers, dad, to fish

while mother sketched the scene,

wandered off along the shore –

grass close-cropped by sheep,

finest sandy shingle where

the beckoning wavelets lapped.


As the day grew hot and close –

prickling sweat, tickling flies

slowed our schoolgirl chatter.

“I wish” you said “we’d brought our togs.”

“There’s no one round” I urged,

                                “We could go in without.”

“I’m game if you are!”    “Right!”

Off came sandals, shirt and shorts…

headlong we dashed

into the dazzling splendour of the lake,

flopped down flat and splashed –

revelled in freedom and the cool caress

of water on bare skin.


Your parents worried at the ‘might have been’;

my mother, unperturbed (I doubt my father heard).

Yet for us, now, at eighty years,

that skinny-dip still thrills.


Lightning © Rebecca Maxwell

my vase holds Mother Earth’s magic warmth.

lightning from within her fiery soul

enlivened the seeds which rebirthed

these stems and leaves and petals,

in gracious accord with air and sun,

sharing the might of their kind beings combined.


dear Mother Earth,

at the end of a flowering season,

we thank you, knowing the certainty of return.

your gentle inner nurture enters the seeds,

and lights them up to sprouting.


outer visible lightning

descends with sky’s pounding plosions-

all strident light,

all strongly palpable,

seen and heard and felt:


capable of striking someone dead-

suddenly striking sharply,

swiftly searing a passer-by-

perhaps the cousin who strolled among us,

alive only one flash back.


prompt respect, not paralysing fear,

this sky lightning requires.


and earth’s inner lightning?

it merits grateful cognisance,

and conscious care,

hopeful of earth’s next reflowering.



To be whole               © Maree Nikolaou

I give myself permission

To touch His robe.

I feel forgiven,

to have hope,

to have faith,

to have grace,

to feel good,

to feel love,

to feel whole.


Comfort in the shoreline                  © Natalie Jeffreys

Written as a consolation and blessing to someone who wrote: ‘I feel like I’ve missed the boat.’

May you find comfort in the shoreline.

May you know that nothing that is prepared to carry you

would leave without you.

It will wait.

May you always have hope in the waves.

May you feel the movement of the tide on your feet

and know that the moon will never tire of creating more.

May you lie in hope that your Father has not ventured without you;

may you search for better means of travel together.

May you know that your destination is waiting for you

as much as you wait for it.

It will feel the emptiness

should you decide not to travel.

May you always live in hope

and be sure of your arrival.

May you sail smoothly,

and may you reach your destination.

But, until then,

may you find comfort in the shoreline.


invocation                  © Maree Silver

may my inner self

reach for the light

gifted from earth’s beginning


may I be newly created

lifted out of darkness

by empathy and courage


may I hear

the word of grace

share in new understanding


may I journey

with wisdom, justice and peace

in my heart


may I see

beyond fear and cultural differences –

welcome those I do not know


may I walk

together with love

into the unknown…


He dwelt among us© Janette Fernando

Sent from Your home

You became


for us

a refugee

in a land

You helped create


From being

the centre of the universe

You went to a woman’s womb

then to a bed of straw

in a humble town


You put your life

in our hands

so we could put our lives

in Yours


 Dying to live              © Jean Sietzema Dickson

“For to us a child is born

to us a son is given,”            –  Isaiah 9:6


Let it be autumn when I fall to earth

that those who bear my body to the grave

may see your splendour in the leafy flames.

and understand my dying was not brave.


Not brave because I know the King of kings

as father, brother, partner, prince of peace,

to whom I turn, returning to my home,

to whom I look to bring me death’s release.


Let there be sunshine after rainy days

that those who weep may see the mist dispersed,

revealing in the rainbow’s promise here

the pattern of my life, in death reversed .


So may my dying boldly witness be

to God’s unceasing care in everything,

and may my broken-heartedness reveal

the rainbowed radiant splendour of my King.


Hoping for rain                      © Leigh Hay

People will tell you

raindrops resemble diamonds

and they do

except they’re not…

diamonds that is.


Each is unique.

Reflecting perfection, they






hang off leaves

drip from umbrellas

land softly on your face

or fall across your path


then flatter and pool


running away

with a million other lookalikes

to become a puddle


or lake of beautiful blue      inviting you


to collect just one

and behold its beauty

in the palm of your hand.


On the road to maturity                   © Cameron Semmens

A blessing

Mostly I want to say –

just keep moving.

Don’t sprint –

you’ll exhaust yourself in seconds.

Don’t power walk.

I suggest

a shuffle

or a stroll…

a pace that keeps you moving

but also, a pace in which

you can enjoy the journey.


Maturity will arrive


often without you even noticing.

There’s no clear border signs:

“You are now passing from

Immaturity to Maturity!


No, nothing is that clear

on the twisting, dusty roads of life.


Stop if you need to.

Have a rest.

Replenish yourself.

But don’t give up.

Keep facing forward.


Look back if you need to.

But don’t go back.

There’s no going back.


Keep walking

You’ll get there

– to maturity –

despite yourself.


Just keep moving forward.


Ocean memory© Greg Burns

Their valour’s gold drawn down as billet’s wire

who priceless rest within seclusion deep

away from battle sound and distant fire
but rest in memory of youthful sleep.


Their courage will not ever be forgot
by those of us whose lives they sought to save
and ocean swells commemorate the spot
remembering their sacred water grave.


Above the waves now sing a lullaby
while corals sway with movement deep below
and heaven is the hope where now they fly
that we can only dream one day we’ll know.


Because we silently acknowledge debt
each year we pause and stop lest we forget.



Mrs Galgotzi’s garden                      © Carolyn Vimpani

late Winter beauty

carpets of fragrance

as jonquils bloom…

generations of regeneration


thorny silhouettes await


anticipating magnificence

Speck’s Yellow, Peace


absolute delight

in a garden…

as they pass children collect Magi gifts

offerings for teachers and parents


Then    savagely destroyed in a day

High wire fences preventing salvation

Nothing salvaged…

Parable for a soulless society


 Summer brings long grass   fences removed

children playing hide and seek

joyously discover a single gladioli bloom…

symbol of hope


A granddaughter’s gift                    © Carolyn Ingvarson

 The studio light glows in the back yard

Hours and hours getting this piece

just right

She is learning from her dad

and teaching him her way of feeling

I am allowed to listen to the result

Her voice is golden

I close my eyes, hearing that small girl again,

so pure and true

Behind that clear bell, a piano, guitar, is that a flute?


This is a song of pain

it builds and swells

My throat tightens

What is it about music that brings the tears?

It has a resonance that is physical

I almost vibrate

She melds melody, rhythm, and meaning

I want to hear it

again and again

‘Play it again Sam’ I hear myself say

She turns her head


at my Casablanca moment


Old weak eyes                       © Don Helmore

A movement observed.

First thought; grey insect

on tortoiseshell specs,

prim preening perhaps,

but no. Distantly

from footpath apex

shrouded deep between

the indifferent shrubs,

eucalypt scented

but still all in grey,

growing urgently

now enriched with sounds

human, wheels, giggles,

larger and louder

resolving blurred shape

now multi-coloured

on her silver trike

downhill to hugs

and kisses

“Hi Gramps”



Hope                © Cecily Falkingham

They are called illegals

they being human

people just like ourselves, except that they are

fleeing from wars, from bombs.

Often they are innocent

women and children

who just need a chance

a new life.


Given the chance, they contribute

to our society in so many ways

opening our hearts to

compassion, acceptance, friendship,

new culinary skills,

revelations and understanding.


Arriving in leaky boats

risking a watery grave

they leave their beloved homelands

their birthplace

all they hold dear.


Illegal is just a word

as is humane

as is hope


Listen              © Catherine M Barnard

long before the dawn

as night-creatures slip away

do you hear the earth rotating

to meet the light of day?


listen for a moment

to the silent sounds around you

the singing of the starry sky

the universe surrounds you


listen for the little things

birth of dragonfly and bee

the tendril of the waking vine

hear mist and growing tree


listen for the rosebud

its fragrance drifting down

melodies of gardens

rising from the ground


earth   noiseless   ever turning

around the burning sun


hear… creation ever praising

Creator   Holy One



Behind the River Reeds                © Yan Sun

Across the river

behind the reeds

there lives a Water Dragon

so they say.


Finally I find my way there

on a hot summer’s day;

Under the big wooden wheel

water splashes happily;

Pushing through green reeds

I gasp:

It’s him –

the secretive Water Dragon!


No shining scales

just lots of bones

brown, muddy and v-e-r-y long;

It stretches into the rice paddy

that knows no bounds.


Take off my sandals

climb onto the Dragon

slowly I start to walk

and before long I run

I feel the Dragon moving;

I am flying!

higher and higher

on the Dragon’s back…

Brothers             © Christopher Ringrose

Some days we walk back from school together.

Other days, you’re with mates.

That’s OK.


I like that photo of us on the beach

squinting into the sun

and Mum’s camera.


I don’t know how you can go on eating

long after I’m full to busting


I wasn’t ever going to speak to you again.

Lasted an hour.


I was watching that jacket

get too small for you.

Some hand-me-downs are OK.


You’re stronger than you look.

I should know!


You have to be loyal

and not talk about brothers with others

unless they’re telling the good stuff.


I keep looking for a game

where I’m better than you.

You don’t seem to care about that.


It’s funny how,

in the photos in the album,

we look a little less like each other

each year.


You were a funny-looking bub

in those old photos.

Or, wait . . . was that me?


There are just a few things

I keep hidden from you:

a fossil, a diary, a feather, a fear.


Charlie Cat         © Kathryn Hamann

At the window my Singapura

the world’s smallest cat

sits in a concentration

of looking looking in-

to the unreflecting world


Is it he? (or I?) seeing

that inner cat

the mountain lion

Before my world began…            © Janette Fernando

God was there


planning who I would be.


I think of God

knitting me together

love in every stitch

designing my one-off fingerprints

unique DNA

choosing my colours –

skin, hair, eyes

laying down my potential

shape, size, weight

gently curving my bones

to fit together



breathing life into me

making up my mind

holding me together

making me whole



here I am now

weathered by the years

worn thin in places

patched up in others

every break

every tear

mended by

God’s own hands


I am




 Childish Things  © Jean Sietzema-Dickson

 I’ll make a list of all the things

with which my childhood really rings:

of clocks and socks

and chicken pox,

of toys and joys

with playing blocks,

of thrills and spills

in climbing trees,

of blackberries

and wounded knees,

of rhymes and times

of reading books

and kitchen fun

of playing cooks

of cubby houses in the bush

and swinging branches with a whoosh…


of picnics at the creek below our house

where we played “Pooh Sticks”.  It was “grouse”.

Dropping sticks the upstream side

we ran across to watch them glide

out from beneath the bridge.  The creek

flowed slowly.  We had time to seek

for berries on the bank.

Not these days!

Our adult lives rush

past us in a haze.

Disparity            © Carolyn Vimpani

agapanthus blooms

azure skies

monochromatic match for

the prone child’s seersucker sun-suit


pervasive lethargy permeates

accentuated by

droning bees harvesting sweetness

distant lapping of rhythmic waves


Toby, sea-gull chasing satiated

salt-water saturated

joyously sprays rainbow droplets

wet nose nuzzling his child-friend


unable to comprehend

the splinted rigidity of

this child who has danced

her way through life…


now immobile

elsewhere          ©Carolyn Vimpani

for seventy years

immersed in things manly

little time to savour life’s joys



as daily life becomes



he recedes into

a world of boy-hood dreams

where reality is




a sphere where gentle

mother-love abounds

a familiar place he once knew

where no-one else can go

Fish                      © Mary Jones

In the beginning is the idea.

You stir beneath the surface,

throwing up ripples, eddies,

troublesome bubbles


until your sleek head rises

through swirls of foam

to stare me in the eye

and I am hooked.

Hauled from the depths

into an alien world

you slither through primeval mud

to flounder at my feet.


In your first faltering breaths

you look to me for guidance.

I struggle to understand you,

make you welcome in my world.

I feed you, groom you, nurture you,

until you rocket through

my dreams and out the other side

beyond imagination.

Foreseen            © Don Helmore

Except you become as little children

you will not enter the heavens.   Matthew Ch.18:3.


Bend, and depth-look

into a wee babe’s eyes.

You may peek through

lucid pupils

into warm womb wonder.

In time, beyond

that unborn place,

the acorn mysteries

form a moving


Wholesome seed memory

directs wise thought.

Heavens spirit.

Look within wee babes eyes,

Go soon my friends.

Inner Child         (c) Jean Sietzema-Dickson

My inner child

wants to play

all day


You say, There’s work for you.

I say that’s for you to do

Not me!

 Nonagenarian                 © Joan Ray

They’ve dressed her neatly

in slacks and twinset,

sprayed her hair

and powdered her nose,

even added a touch of lippie.

She sits apart, in a chair

in the Day Room,

waiting…   watching

the entrance door.


I approach with my dog,

meaning to greet her.

She cuts me short:

Where’s my hat?

Mum will be here,

any minute, to fetch me.

It’s home time now –

               mustn’t be late!

Perfect Partum               © Sandra Topp

 Newborn as an old man

turns pink and fresh before our eyes

tiny hand reaches out.


We are speechless

in awe of another miracle of birth

as we take his hand.


With one look he is ours

hereditary bonds tie the knot

that bind him for life.

The Salon           © Leigh Hay

 I find them together

quiet as mice

‘Ted’ sitting upright on a little wooden chair

the floor beneath a growing mound

of nylon shavings    faintly blue

the colour of him.


She’s wielding scissors

(her very own pair)

vigorously cutting

giving Ted a trim.


“It won’t grow back”    I gently tell her.


Then I chance a look at hand-me-down Ted ─

legs and arms of moulting fuzz

his glassy bead      an eye job in need

jacket faded       stuffing missing

and a button nose that’s seen better days…


…and I quietly go back to the ironing.

 Carnival            © Maree Silver

The caravan convoy arrives

transforms vacant land

in town centre


Tents shelter

attractions and games

Clamorous music lures


Aromas float and mingle

tempting taste buds

hot dogs    deep fried chips


Fairy floss     sticky to touch

spun-sugary sweetness

melts in mouth

tongues stained vibrant pink


Billy Sharman’s boxing tent

drums up business,

a magnet for local lads

to fight for prize money


Over eighteens

shoot knock-down ducks

Open-mouthed clowns

gape side to side

luck wins a reward


The merry-go-round

entices young jockeys

fantasy horses

prance up and down


Exotic children

join our class

Tales of travel

and excitement

fascinate town kids


The ensemble remains

a short time

before rumbling on to

another town

Tea Party            © Joy Chellew

Today it lives in a crystal cabinet

my bright little china teapot

shaped like an English cottage.

It’s not valuable to anyone but me.

You see, the secret of its worth

is safely deposited and stored away

in my own special memory bank.

Time was when I arranged

tea parties on lonely afternoons

lovingly shaping pretend cakes

with mud and grass and pretty petals

to share with Betsy, my china doll,

and we took tea and happily chatted.

You think that strange?

I enjoyed those quiet hours

and happy conversations.

In my imagination

our back yard became

my imitation English garden.

To this day I remember

how that little china teapot

poured away all my loneliness.

Rowboat             © Maree Silver

Pushing out from

an inlet’s reed-bed

into the amber river

we head upstream

Oars rest in rowlocks

bend stroke bend

body in harmony

at one with the boat

Sun shines through cobalt

warming soothing

young bodies

bather clad

Rays glint from wavelets

splashing gently into banks

Green parrots’ staccato screeches

warn the flock of our intrusion

Reaching Picnic Bend

we swim sunbake

play on the sandy beach

savour our al fresco lunch

Relaxed for return journey

downstream with the current

oars dip and draw around

fallen trees and branches

Arriving back at

our sheltered haven

oars are shipped

Tiny Tim made safe

Summer holidays

have just begun

Childish Things                © Jean Sietzema-Dickson

I’ll make a list of all the things

with which my childhood really rings:

of clocks and socks

and chicken pox,

of toys and joys

with playing blocks,

of thrills and spills

in climbing trees,

of blackberries

and wounded knees,

of rhymes and times

of reading books

and kitchen fun

of playing cooks

of cubby houses in the bush

and swinging branches with a whoosh…

of picnics at the creek below our house

of playing Pooh Sticks It was ‘grouse’.

Dropping sticks the upstream side

we ran across to watch them glide

out from beneath the bridge. The creek

flowed slowly. We had time to seek

for berries on the bank.

Not these days!

Our adult lives rush

past us in a haze.

Phoebe                                © Cecily Falkingham

here she comes, our little princess

she dances lightly in her new pink shoes

multi-coloured ribbons shine

on her bouncing curls

eyes shining, she spins and weaves

her happiness sweeps us up and carries

us to a new realm, where each

minute is precious, each second enough

we could learn a lot from this child

she already knows some of

life’s big secrets

embrace the now, dance, laugh, sing, love,

explore and share these gifts

put on the music grandma, let’s dance

Newborn            Janette Fernando

Two become one

and you are conceived,

the moment of birth draws near.

No longer confined,

you are exposed.

We see who you are

and we name you.

You look so perfect –

ten fingers, ten toes, such tiny nails,

a wise but innocent face.

Fragile, yet strong,

helpless, but free;

your life a paradox.

The cord is cut

and one becomes two.

The letting go begins.

Waterfight         © Peter White

the water flies

loaded arcs of riotous laughter

cascades of ever building crescendos

down hair, faces, tummies, leg

pools on the grass

slowly turning to mud

delighted yelps of oh no!

help! ring out

like rays of sunshine

bathing the park in summer

wet bodies ducking, weaving

behind slides, trees, somewhere to hide

drenched but elated

tired and wrung out

water buckets packed and stowed

hair shaken out

drying bodies pick up towels

car keys, drive themselves home

Behind the River Reeds    © Yan Sun

Across the river

behind the reeds

there lives a Water Dragon

so they say.

Finally I find my way there

on a hot summer’s day;

under the big wooden wheel

water splashes happily.

Pushing through green reeds

I gasp:

It’s him –

the secretive Water Dragon!

No shining scales

just lots of bones

brown, muddy and v-e-r-y long;

it stretches into the rice paddy

that knows no bounds.

Take off my sandals

climb onto the Dragon

slowly I start to walk

and before long I run.

I feel the Dragon moving;

I am flying!

Higher and higher

on the Dragon’s back…


Foreseen            © Don Helmore

‘Except you become as little children

you will not enter the heavens.’ Matt 18:3

Bend, and depth-look

into a wee babe’s eyes.

You may peek through

lucid pupils

into warm womb wonder.

In time, beyond

that unborn place,

the acorn mysteries

form a moving


Wholesome seed memory

directs wise thought.

Heaven’s spirit.

Look within wee babe’s eyes,

go soon my friends.

The Salon           © Leigh Hay

I find them together

quiet as mice

‘Ted’ sitting upright on a little wooden chair

the floor beneath a growing mound

of nylon shavings faintly blue

the colour of him.

She’s wielding scissors

(her very own pair)

vigorously cutting

giving Ted a trim.

“It won’t grow back” I gently tell her.

Then I chance a look at hand-me-down Ted –

legs and arms of moulting fuzz

his glassy bead an eye job in need

jacket faded stuffing missing

and a button nose that’s seen better days…

…and I quietly go back to the ironing.

Child at the March          © Catherine m Barnard

Thousands in the city street:

I meet a big dog with massive feet.

His master says he walks today

for many creatures who have no say

as to how they like their habitat.

So many people: I have my dad.

Someone parades as a polar bear;

their ice is melting, so I hear.

Parents with little kids hanging on;

we join the chant – it’s like a song.

All sorts of people with placards;

mine’s a huge green cardboard heart:

Save our beautiful earth!

The rambler     (c) Joan Ray

Today I’m first to walk the park
no foot-mark on the dew-white grass
but mine interwoven there
festoons of paw prints where
my dogs have coursed        on
and around my track          loping
in sweeping loops and curves
the prints a growing rambler rose
my steady path the trunk    theirs
the interlacing boughs
where they pause to sniff
green patches sprout like leaves

 joy blossoms
scents the sparkling air.

Sideways (c) Greg Burns

Eyes stare through the gap.

Eyes where I had expected

no eyes to be.


one atop the other,

low in the doorway

they gaze.

Brilliant white they

peer from darkest face

within a darkened room.

Eyes gaze at me.

Those eyes had seen

the loss of one parent

and the grief of another.

Seen brothers and sisters

become fatherless

in a homeland

filled with conflict.

Eyes that fled the place with

its violence,

that saw the

struggle to survive

amidst the

flood of human grief,

eyes that wept tears, which

ran dry.

Eyes that now brim

With curiosity:

They splash their

humour across the doorway,

look from a place of darkness

upon a place of


and hope.

Hills hoist  (c) Sue Donnelly

lanky legs

hang upside down

right side up

girlish giggles

somersault slide

on wooden pegs

wind-lashed smiles

dusted with dirt

dance with the sun

mischievous clouds

spin dreams

on the wind

as lanky legs


of flying free

Double helix   (c) Peter White

the sunlight


like a double helix

on the trunk

over the water

up and down

down and up

whilst in the shadows

an endless array

of nature’s neon lights

Suds   (c) Don Helmore

Often I remember him, with clarity

when I hear that song

not only sung gustily but he swam the

Yellow Submarine,

over and over, somehow under water

“ello suds-arine”.

The chubby two year old body sudsy bubbled

rainbowed his bathing,

his serious countenance steering plastic duck

under thighs, awkward

but quite expressively. “ello suds-arine,

ello suds-arine”.

Beyond his taut toes the fallen black beetle

thrashed wings, t’wards drowning,

struggling amongst circles of iridescence.

“Gramps, I get out now”.

Lifting my slippery grandchild to the warmed towel

my shirt dripped cuddles.

“ello suds-arine, the ello suds-arine”.

I scooped out the bug.

Wind song  (c) Cath m Barnard

wind chimes


five notes singing

each note sounds

to make a new song

your note and yours,

yours, yours and mine

melodies lifting

to carry the chime

each breath of wind

begins a new rhythm

rising and moving

lifted away

silent now


breath of the spirit

to bring a new song –

sing a new day


Exultation   (c) Sandra Topp

Stained glass filtered light

exquisitely, ethereal in the cathedral

shrouds the silent organ.

Heavenly notes now rise

exalting voices of cherubic boys

praising their Lord.

Stained glass filtered light

shimmers with incandescent delight

heralding awakening spirit.

Winter daffodil  (c) Xiaoli Yang

This morning

against the dew-weeping sky blind

for the first time

some drops of daring yellow

 are painted in my garden canvas

After a long winter

buried in the dark

they decide to poke their heads out

 waving in the cold wind

Beaming in the midst of grey

they bless me in whispers

 and dance over me in the breeze

just as they are

splashes of life

even though you are no longer here

 to sing with me

The fountain  (c) Jean Sietzema-Dickson

The sound

more than the sight

is soothing

though sight can mesmerise…

   patterns crossing

   and re-crossing





  But sound,

 a murmur of summer bees

               of doves

           of traffic, muted by distance

 water, gurgling and splashing!!!

Restores me


  to the care-freedom of childhood.

Summer garden remembered  (c) Rebecca Maxwell

East Ringwood

sunlight’s red kisses flush

globes of warm tomatoes

nestled in pungent leaves.

bordering the tomato bed,

wide-eyed marigolds radiate

countless solar reflections,

illuminating their surroundings.

then higher up, nearer the house,

gleam bright orange Meyer lemons

festooning the sombre foliage

like frangrant micro suns

shining into the kitchen window.

and a row of tall tansy figures

wearing sunhat florets

of strident yellow pompoms

dance in gentle swaying wind rhythm

with a graceful parallel row

of sturdy pink-hatted yarrow.

straight stately corncobs

guard their buttery yellow kernels

in demure swaddling,

and form the firm boundary

between growing plants

and solid path.

Murray River Reflections  (c) Maree Silver

River overflows

     in age-old


         Parched country,

 ancient red gums

               drink deeply

         Hushed stillness,

                 motionless air,

   reflections float and flicker ̶

 land and water merge,

      image and reality create

             a masterpiece

      Mallee mystery


Exposure    (c) Leigh Hay

where a copse of trees

blocks the sun –

there lies the frost

where walls and angles

shade the path –

there lies the frost

where fences squat –

a dusting of ice

where puddles freeze slivered needles

where ditches lie open

to Winter’s wee hours

and grass between cobblestones

curls stiff and rigid –

there my gloved fingers rest

my breath is seen

 my boots crunch

and Winter knows well

there’s Spring in my step

Lullaby  (c) Janette Fernando

Bush camp on the Tanami Track, NT.

I hold my face to the wind

the night


whistling in my ears

brushing my hair

with the breeze

lighting my face

with stars

stroking my cheeks

with moonlit fingers

sighing me to sleep

A benediction  (c)  Cameron Semmens


We have dreams –

fill them with your angels.

We have hopes –

may they fly free

on the winds of your spirit.

We have desires –

give us strength to channel them

towards lifeand others

and you.