Poem of the Month


Haiku septet

music whispers song

redolent with season’s gusts

tomorrow fading

strings pizzicato

memory of last spring’s rain

crickets dance summer

breeze plays flute with reeds

autumn song until snowfall

silences the earth

voice ascends subtly

climbing peaks to clear blue sky

storm awaits descent

drumbeat quickens pulse

startled deer arise to run

through wildflower forests

cherry blossom notes

fall to pattern ground below

joy ephemeral

bow carves chords of wood

craftsmanship supporting limbs

from winter’s burdens

© Greg Burns


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.

(c) Catherine Lewis

A poem

a poem is                                                                                                                                                            a precious thing                                                                                                                                                 a fleeting fragment of time and space                                                                                                      unable to be caught again                                                                                                                            once lost

leaving only a lingering sense                                                                                                                      of something seen                                                                                                                                            but not quite                                                                                                                                                        grasped

(c) Catherine Lewis


Bread and stone  

I have been reading poetry

instead of praying

or was it through those

darkened corridors I pursued

God? His face like the hole

in the plane trees, but

by the power lines and fringed

with thin branches, thrashing

their seed pods. Something

about bread and a stone.

A bird pushes its beak

into the marrow of a bone.

(c) Cathy Altmann

JULY 2018

St Luke’s, Toowoomba.

A weary way I walked in noonday heat,

then saw a door, an invitation to come in.

Within, the church awaited, quiet and cool,

vaulted roof and carpet floor

empty pews aside the aisle –

all this my eyes took in –

the brilliance of stained glass

jewelled the building dim.

Remote within the chancel,

altar high and altarpiece

extolled God’s grandeur –

and I felt so small

I could not pray at all.

But as I softly stepped

along that aisle I saw

a transept door, and above

a tri-part window, which proclaimed

Faith, Hope and Charity,

and there the message clear:

Love never faileth.   Here,

within the transept set,

beside the wall, a chapel small

invited –    here I crept.

I prayed and stayed awhile,

then, as I turned, I saw:

O thou of little faith,

the tempest, Galilee, the sea,

and a saving hand outstretched

to Peter…

and to me.

(c) Joan Ray (from Wonderment)

JUNE 2018

Black bathers

Now I am old

and my body fragile:

skin so fine it ruptures

with a slight knock;

joints rheumatic,

hair thinning (though

my stylist denies it),

and I grow

breathless when I walk

the hill outside my door.

In a hot midsummer

I don my black bathers,

smart with white trim,

and drive to the ocean.

The sand burns,

gritty between my toes,

and the green sea heaves,

wild waves rushing

to the shore.


I do not hesitate;

but run

on my aching legs

to the edge of the

salty deep.

How wonderful,

the cool caress

of water on my

heated toes;

how my eyes drink in

this unhampered horizon.


Then I plunge in head first.

I forget about my pain,

my flabby figure, and I float

and dive like a

carefree fish.

Who says I need a stylist

to make me a prison, when now

I have discovered

how to be free?

(c) Vivien de Jong (from Wonderment)

MAY 2018

Cloud artistry

Watch blue cosmos depth.
Without pregnant birth
wisp builds fragile wisp,
white on white on white,
tumble on tumble.
Such svelte artistry
mystically clouds minds.
Communes of mist stray,
happen, shape, resolve
shadow without sound.
© Don Helmore (from Behold!)

MARCH 2017

The Crabapple Tree 

 We stood beneath the flowering crabapple,

the pink and white blossom

like clusters of cream and strawberry icing

sprayed throughout the slender branches.

Plentifully sprinkled with frenzied honeybees

the old tree, backlit by the morning sun,

triumphantly glistened –

a dessert prepared for Springtime.

(c) Peter Stiles


MAY 2016

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

Give melodies to everything you say,

new life must be sung into this world.


Let your arms be a lush valley.

Sway like a grove of she-oaks in a fresh sea breeze.


Watch their eyes.

Whisper ‘open sesame’.

Keep watching.

Study the red river deltas on their eyelids;

follow them all the way to the sea.

Keep watching.


Stroke their downy hair

as if it were the ermine fringe

of a sovereign’s crown.


Blow gently on the bouquet of dandelions

that is their face.

Smell them like you would a new-blooming rose,

aware that thriving comes with fertilising –

the scent of poo, itself a miracle.


Be the librarian.

This soft-covered story with blank-page eyes

shelved on your forearms needs your shushing.

Quick, sharp shushes for boisterous visitors.

Soft, slow shushes for lulling and loving.


Fill your mouth with colourful marbles,

surrender your vocab,

and let your tone

do all the talking.

Let your sighs be fairy floss;

let your hums be jester plums.


This warm body in the corona of your love

carries heat passed on through generations;

it is the hot tip of an iceberg –

the cold bodies of myriad humans

the submerged mass

of traits and immunities and adaptions.

Hold this vital, restless tip


prayerfully –

it can burn through

flesh and future.

(c) Cameron Semmens

This poem was Runner-up in the 2015 Poetica Christi Press Poetry Competition

and is published in the recent anthology ‘Imagine’. 


April 2016


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)


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.