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!

What’s New

Patches of Godlight –  poems, prayers, contemplations by Janette Fernando. “This is the work of a courageous, sensitive, vulnerable, new millennium Psalmist, who like David of old finds intimacy and faith in the realities of life. From the laundry to the cathedral, from the tragedy of NY 9/11 to the desert outback of Australia, this is poetry on a journey to the promised Land.” Dr John Smith, Author, Preacher, Founder of God’s Squad.

What’s New

Trumped by Grace – In Trumped by Grace, Peter Stiles shares a stunning poetic ear. And what is more, since that ear is informed by the Word, we find our joy doubled.  David Craig, Prof. of English, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

Trumped By Grace



Poem of the Month – April



Deep in a sea of golden staves,

tincture of sun on a summer sky.

Strangely blunted distant sounds,

and a whisper of thanks

met with peace and gladness.

Why come to me for so little, Lord?

A sheaf of grace

for the husk of my scribbling,

Wheatfields of love

for this kernel of praise.


© Peter Stiles (from Trumped by Grace)

Winners of the 2015 Poetica Christi Press Poetry Competition – Imagine

First Prize

Avril Bradley
The view from a balcony in Noosa

Second Prize

Cameron Semmens
Upon holding a brand new person (womb-fresh and yawning)

Other poems selected by the judge to appear in the anthology – poets listed alphabetically:

Mazzy Adams

Avril Bradley
Things to do in the belly of a whale

Victoria Carnell
Ride with Chesterton

Joy Chellew

Jennifer Chrystie
If Dogs Were Horses

Tru S Dowling
Orange Rope Walk

John Egan
Ghosts and Dreams

Jeff Guess

Don Helmore

Gillian Hunt
Moon orchids

Gillian Hunt
Palestine Dreaming

Janine Johnston

Fiona McIlroy

Jane McMillan

Jan Price
Close Your Eyes

Paul Scully
Waltzing Croydon

Christina Spry
Champagne Cocktail

Peter Stiles
The Crabapple Tree

Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas
Warrandyte Thoughts

Rachel Timmins
Sun Dried Tomato

Valerie Volk
In dreams

Bron Williams


Poem of the Month – August

1952 : Survivors

War had been hard, though six years down the line
in Adelaide, the pain was fading off.
But letters came from Europe; there, the crack
of pistols, rifles, bones and caved in skulls
still echoed at the borders, where the wire
and occupying flags staked out new worlds.
They echoed in the ears of children who
had seen and heard too many bitter things –
had dined on rats at tables in Berlin
while mother pulled her skirts back down
and turned her head to watch the Russians leave.
Their homes knelt down in piles of ruined bricks.
Sometimes a lonely slab still stood; revealed
a splash of flowers on a bedroom wall
bombed-out and on display, for all to see.
Their fathers never made it back to towns
where patriotic flags once fluttered stiff
in summer breeze above the proud town hall.
The telegrams had ticked them off the list.
A million childhoods throttled by a war
that wrapped its dirty fingers round their throats,
before it left to seek new nurseries
in Kabul, Mogadishu or Phnom Penh.
In after years, imaginations plucked
some keepsakes from the fractured growing-up.
Our cousins’ memories would sift the wreck
like treasure-hunters passing magic wands
across the post-war silence and decay,
until a moment gleamed from early days.
Snapdragons on a wall. The scent of starch
in mother’s pinafore upon their face;
an uncle’s figure pointing to the sky
where aircraft droned and slid into the clouds –
in days before the sirens howled and sobbed.
A stamp collection like a tiny world
inside an album, where the nations lay
in neat serrated ranks, before their fall,
and, on the farms, the clicks of breakfast plates
downstairs, as they lay warm in bed – those days
when hearts could lift, as cocks called up the dawn.

©2015  C Ringrose

Winner of the 2015 Poetica Christi competition and used by permission from the recent anthology Inner Child.