Melaleuca

Number 48: June 2013 Table of Contents Phillip A. Ellis Phillip A. Ellis Jonathan Hadwen Jonathan Hadwen Jonathan Hadwen Max Merckenschlager Sam Orton Martin and the Hidden Birds Music, as From the Spheres Five-Day Test I Have Not Been Sleeping [“I read so much poetry that day,”] Mulling over Mafeking Dream Girl 3 13 14 15 16 17 18 Editor: Phillip A. Ellis

All works are copyright by their respective creators, 2013; the arrangement of this collection is copyright by Phillip A. Ellis, 2013. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/au/>. You are free to make and pass along copies, so long as you do not charge money or goods for the copy, and as long as this and other issues remain intact. Submission guidelines: email 2-5 poems, any length, any style, any genre to phillip@phillipaellis.com in the body of a single RTF or DOC attachment. No bios are needed; cover letters are welcome. We accept previously published material and simultaneous submissions; if work is published prior to its appearance in Melaleuca you must advise us accordingly, so that proper attribution can be made.

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the houses set to soon decay and moulder. mackerel backs of clouds of ice.Martin and the Hidden Birds Martin at night. hearts whose art is living. As birds awaken and sing. He waits under the sky of pearl and thinks not this: he does not think of humans passing. He is feeling heavy. This glow. Dawn is a fair while away. like verses that sing of sorrows sweetly. that's sweet and soft. the window wakened to the sky outside it. waking into the dream that is the day. burned in a blaze so swift and sudden sleep was swiftly shucked off alike the covers of his bed. the sound of many birds at song at once. neither does his mind turn on thoughts of verse that takes his self into the heart of being. The east is lightened. Yet such sleep was absent. massing by the seaside's pines beneath a sky like this within the past he has not known. and under it the darkened world that wakens without a speaking person turning action to human presence. The birds that clamour this dawn that's false are yet the birds that work and lurk in daylight. his spirits arisen to the sky of light. and listen. But breath was so awake. and writes itself a static image. O you who hear this. aware since faring forth into the lengthened night. We could easily dream the world awake without a man or human. whose lights were suns so far. as is the dream of some who dwell here. so small. There are certain hours that sleep is ever certain. sees the morning awaken as though the poem of life has stopped in time. words 3 . and he. that it seems his heart would break to breathe it. that hover under the sunless sky. The light is lighter than darkness. hovers high. so slight the sky was darkness transparent. and drifts with lines of clouds. his weary body sinking back. Open up. at night. something reminds his thoughts of swallows swelling skies with birdsong. awaken and are hidden. Light so light it swims to rise above the upper world is such a sweetness. He can see the furrowed glow. sees the morning awaken despite his lack of living sleep. and dream the opalescence of the light. the ever lengthened hours of passing darkness. I'd like to say that he had woken early.

He thinks not of such: he is awake and witness. has let the world emerge from darkness. O dawn that is no dawn. always. a wasteland. but now. save when its set when the sun has yet to rise.. and with it that chance of someone wakened. but now. for who am I to dictate anything about this poem. its audience. Outside. be it time's seconds. or dawn. be it old world or new. With a word.. for this poem alone. light lightens the sky. has knowledge of light and liquid music. the birdsongs' burdens ringing into the early air.. they sing their songs. catching the image in a lens of light and glass alike. ways of seeing whether what's seen is word or thought. the dawn that is not dawn has come. Lighten the skies of his. it's focused. Somewhere dawn arrives. lightened the eastern skies where the hidden ocean waits. I shall not share this unhidden burden. songs. Here the witness to the dawn. the way that words and verse are witness also. that breaks upon the shores of Moreton Bay. sometimes. time that flows past fidget wheels and hangs suspended in the interval between another's five bells ringing. as yet. not what's gone between the poet and the poet's ears. dreamer? Is it time? I know not what shifts or seems to shift. starlight towards a blue opaque. bring forth the birdsongs. softest blue. And it is ribbed 4 . seeking shelter. superstitious.and memories of making music. and lends it substance. written into a maze of words whose burden writes within these lines what burdens might well must: the dust to dance when sunlight streams through windows will dance at last. Something shifts: is it dream. or the false dawn. witness. From whence shall birdsong sound aloud? He lies abed. renewed. The solid sky is such a sweetest. the way the poems we pause in serve as witness to something other. He. speak of the message you will read and see. arisen. gives solidity. And somewhere birds are always singing it is said.. and he is wrapped in bedding. has slept not. from whence it has arisen out of time uncounted. Forgiving dreamers who never seek to see this moment seems a waste of words. His life before and since exists but. His head's on pillow. given that there are many people. the sky a mess of birds that sing while hidden. shall not.

the time of many suns. shadows of night. and washing down the roads that glow with blackness from tarmac. so high they're ice and ribs of ice within the air. parse the city roads since decades. making a minor world. the long beginning is marked by solitary cars regarding the traffic lights and roundabouts with thought akin to negligence. the way that sleep has come before. unseen. the clamour of the singing birds. as the subject of this poem. written and spoken. unbidden and silent. these elements and others gather. Time is life. so the sleepers wake not knowing how the day begins. the wheeled machines are sweeping trash away. a world of his that's sleepless despite the clink of bottles in the gutters that seem as if they just exist between the greenery of day. Listen and you will hear the calls of birds. The birds. Not within this world they're not. the eyes of sleepers abandoned of their sleep. in streets. And sweet when missing. when the world awakens and. Sometimes I have dreamt such streets and sometimes trod them. know the early morning trucks that clean the streets into the next day. the way that sleep has often twined the covers of sleeping beds around this sleeper's limbs. I only know the sleeper abandoned. are speaking in tongues to his that yearned-for sleep's abandoned. and into being. I know not. In this world of poem. Such waking worlds are often thought to represent the death of humans. like swallows that may well treat the streets of Coolangatta as home for choruses that call the dawn to rise and strike alike a breaker. listen and you will hear the early traffic. and others: time is enemy to life. And listen and you will hear the rolling bottles mention 5 . Sweet is sleep in such a time as this. Let them sing the while. a place in parts of some traditions. the lightening of sky within the east. at song. in his eyes and mine. some say. Reader. are singing: let them sing forever within the moment stilled by verse that works the moment over many pages. not daily. rich with the heard songs of wakened birds that call the dawn towards the shore alike a magus. I take such moments when the birds. the time of one that banishes the many.with rows of clouds so cold.

as the cats and other strays would hunt up food. And then we're made on paper within the dark. we are captured (or we were captured) on a film reversed in colour. so he listens closely 6 . In such a silent moment the artist is a poet. Such places others have written. closing. is also visible as well. shade. Truth exists in truth and fiction. the light that breaks above the swells that break upon the sands of Wollongong. roiling the magic moment when the light awakens to birdsong. think upon this thought the while my mind returns to birds at song while hidden in the world. cats that are strays moving from the mouths of drains across the roads to other paths. In moments as this there once were metal bins whose lids would clatter down when knocked off. the light that lays its hands upon the head of Whangarei and blesses it. He knew the night. yes. make it last beyond the moment even when it enters the realm of time? Perhaps I'm folding time into a torus. as only the sleepless hear them. Let me gather my images and offer them in order unto you. skies that lighten. strange attractor. and now the dawn is closer. Sleepless people. One: the sleeper sleepless. Some may find it elsewhere. poet artist. streetsweepers cleaning. turn opaque and see the empty streets.the world is hard and plays its note. clinking. is this the duty of the poet? To snatch the image onto paper. Or elsewhere. an image others find in magpies' carols deep in a field of fog in mountain towns at dawn. and poetry aspires the art of snatching what is invisible and makes it real from what is real. Reader. abandoned bottles rolling. poetry ready to capture time as images of words and sounds alike. I give this image. I have written. these lines alike. Two: a world without without the certain poet prowling the empty streets. I ask the poet watching. and you who hear this. and wakens a sort of sensed and senseless beauty. He is my subject awake beyond the call of sleep. alike this poet and this artist within his bed. I've been there. And maybe the world that wakens wakens in your heart the sort of art that's worked in words. In such a moment. and sleepless alike.

the solitary cars in empty streets. finding hunger a void and burden. they do not mew to humans. cats come creeping out of drains and into the streets. that very sky of light within the east that knows not the sun and stars. for time is like a tangle in which thought is often tumbled. the cast of life. 7 . Such is as it always seems to one who dreams in poetry and fire. snarled and caught alike a tuft of cloud within the sky. so high they seem untouched by any thought of anything below them. the turning lands. that seems so light and easy. wary. in this very hour when the sky lightens while waiting for the sun. And days have opened like this day. and named with numbers. and tries to count the moments left. the cleaners slower. sweeping with their washes of water. Such skies that I have known! Above this very scene. when vehicles wash the streets with brushes. breaking songs with birds the ways that others break their bread. but often feed upon our wasted food when it is found at last. cursing and often seeking respite in their cliches. In refrains as this. the poet lies wrapped within his bed. not thinking of the other poet writing the words of cat and birdsong. He dares not lift his sight to count the time that's tamed by clocks. their voice is stilled. But now―why name his name?―he lies awake within the wake of time. Such a sky evokes the moving world. lest it seems that time will slow unto the point of stillness. and over everything that sky. light and cleaner. That other cast is all asleep by now. And in points of stillness. Fidget time. for in the past the cats at night would clatter lids from bins so only sleepless people heard them. the air above a liquid pressing down alike the belly of a beast.to the world waking. serried ranks of ice are covering the sky. seeking. tabby-furred with white and grey. water. This time he holds back. the cats that come out hungry. but such as he who sees this sky of lightening and serried cloud will see it as another thought in the light of being. that purrs and crouches lower. the oceans knowing day and night alike. when at that certain hour when the sun was still unrisen. this very moment.

He knows this but does not think this. the dream of minds that make such images in sleep. and marking lights with sprays of blue exhaust. and find a world awakening and made anew after the night dissolves towards the day. that ever-present chorus swelling skywards from hidden places on the earth beneath it. now dawn. as though this were a certain season dreaming within the year (and well it might). but. where other feet would wander in the silence of the streets that greet the waking day and the false dawn. the eyes of the wakened poet see the world of skies that brighten. tabby with their clouds that sit so high they seem a dream of ice. and on the very threshold. such that they glow at night. Moving along their tracks are trains. with streetlamps lit and still. so that the lower clouds can baste their bellies in light. When time had left the poet bereft. a sleep he does not know this night and moment. the lights of night are hidden as the glow of city streets and buildings shouts them down. time had brought the poet here. This sort of sight notes not the cats that crawl out. saved for blackouts that claim as much as they can claim. at night. in a city such as this or Sydney. into silence save for the songs of birds in hidden chorus. and underneath their watching eyes the world is barely known to human eyes. so deep that stars become a dream that seems unreal. the dream of media. perhaps. The air around this place is chilly. when night is longer. make his way into the cool and clarity. Janus-wise. that hides the many suns above. ignoring red green and amber alike. seeing darkness veiled by light. beneath. and save for pictures risen out of dream. with conscience. but unseen 8 . until it's gone and driven off by swollen suns. beyond.and yet's opaque. robbed of sleep and ease of eyes that rest in darkness. the houses and the buildings silhouettes against the lightened sky. for save for sleepy-minded people sweeping streets. stronger and a wealthy dreamer (one profligate with time and points of light). a vision saved for the country visits. as once the poet who composed these lines would seek to rise on waking. a solitary driver riding roughly over the roundabouts.

worth returning 9 . to morning. streetsweepers cleaning roads with water in council machines. and so the sleepers from sleep to waking life. the certain sleeper's awake and catches glimpses of the worlds without his and thus the flow of thought. the clink of bottles. the everpresent. to sleep again. as though sent from night to dawn. here. air as clear and sharp as memories of eucalypts at morning within the bush. as elements occur: the cloud-striped sky. to night again. except when. or even for roundabouts. the whole is heard as complicated. as. the stream reflecting the world alike a mirror that transforms and that transmutes from world to verse. the light of sunset. it seems. and. impressed upon the poet. over all. from drains. with his thoughts. dusk. written deep with image and with sound. and all this happening. and maybe sighs. and many waking. and sees the sky that lightens to opaqueness within the east. Again the poet seems to cease the flow of time. and out into the world that wakes. a world. and so the cycle goes. that changes as the light from moonlit nights to pre-dawn opalescence. cats that creep from cover. But time to listen to birdsong building visions of a dream that is the waking world without his window. noon and after. the silhouettes of homes and buildings. and so it seems the world without is catalogued in turn. Time to dream. And so the poet lies awake: he sees this world awaken. night to dawn and day.and driven into nescience. a car passing without a thought for traffic lights. Listen as he is doing. and so too humans. and that Janus-moment of the day's threshold's marked by music thrown from the birds' throats. so that his thoughts return to what is seen or witnessed. that is a blue so sweet it seems opaque in ways that are as striking as the thought itself. the songs of many birds at once. Time to write this waking world? Perhaps. from the dawn's blue. the ever-beautiful and moving songs of many hidden birds behind the darkened streets with streetlamps lit. as caught in paintings of cathedrals dreaming the day away in Nineteenth Century France. Or to take stock of what the world reveals beneath the skies of opalescent light.

let the moment catch before your fingers. others that he. his head unfilled by thoughts except that world without his. whether the stream had flowed underneath a bridge beside a path in Armidale. that greater ocean a certain writer said is real. O sleepless dreamer. soon enough.again. will take this. you see. opaque sky fretted with blue. turn it and take it towards the ocean of the past that waits to take all bubbles. feel the unity of life and being. Time will take it up. flowing and onwards into the vast past that takes the sky of blue and icen clouds and makes it memory. and takes the birdsong hidden in shadows. flowing unto the ocean. again. unlike the thoughts the flesh is corrupt and evil. Time. snatches up and passes into the past. and so the poet lies within his bed. or you have ever known before. Away the moment passes. whether the stream one that may have held a spider upon its floor. And everything that happens happens within a timeless moment. but while it stays a moment. will take this up alike a bubble. remaining beautiful among the weeks and days of grey and grinding mediocrity. and so we dress within it. and cleaners. ever flowing towards the oceans of our lives. and soon away. caught in the stream's flow. then. And so on. for here there is a clarity of vision. the clink of bottles made 10 . and what seems real is ever. away the bubble passes. Such are the ways of streams. all in the lives of others. or now. makes it memory. the sun as yet unrisen. whether by seconds. and takes the silhouettes of buildings. catch your breath and breathe again when all has passed. its back a silver bubble of captured air. or whether it were older. always the past. and cars. a fine lietmotif spun unlike the thoughts this world's corrupt and evil. makes it memory. art and beauty. let it slip away so. a poignant beauty piercing sky and poet alike. flowing like time towards the past. cats. Let it flow. whether by less. This world is real. or since. or I. poet. that lie beyond the bourns of Sydney Harbour. like a bubble the stream of time has set before the present before it catches. is all we have.

and sweet. such a pulse of blood that seems a drumbeat of a tide that breaks 11 . so high they cannot bear a cloud of rain. such that he'd see in other times and places. and makes them memory. Time flows. yes. nor make a prophecy that it may last.of glass. prior to the dawn. over all the songs. although streetsweepers clean the streets. there's signs of life: though people drive an isolated car. make the bubble that catches for a moment before his fingers then bobs away. and makes it memory. This bubble's worth for his? I cannot count it out in coins. turns opaque. another time. the cats that crawl out from the drains. this way. Within the streets below the sky. ringing out of the throats of countless singers. it is this poem: the text. free from fidget wheels. in another sky. breathing in the cold whilst cats are scattering away from drains within his presence. silhouettes against the sky. under the streetlamps. My dream is in this poem. no-one has come to walk the streets. makes them. and high. the sleep that's fled from his a hidden home for dreams he may not spin or ever see again. rising into the sunless sky. caught in his bedding. and in the sky that deepens. So it goes this morning. ignoring the traffic lights and roundabouts. finding that prior to the dawn the sky that held transparency that. for such is not this poem's concern. dreading the weary day to follow. into his heart. a memory. as he might walk. would hold up a world's worth of stars and planets. and sprint and go across the roads. lying awake and weary within his bed. the sky a lighter shade of blue that's luminous. the heart that lies upon his bed and beats within his body. the drivers of the solitary cars that parse the traffic lights and roundabouts without a thought for others. the poet stolen from sleep. between the buildings wrapt in shadow. the cogs and ratchets making up the workings of mundane clocks of Earth. as Slessor once had written. it is this poem's intention. so bottles clink against the edges of the gutters. alike the memories that bundle up together. a herringbone of clouds made out of ice. the hidden birdsongs sung and wrung out.

within his world. the very first. Phillip A. listen and let sweep these songs. here. so closes this poem about the poet whose name is Martin. rejoicing and dominating everything around his self. the very end. O poet. that hears. then. and with their voice in blended chorus. the alpha and omega of these lines. upon the very start. beauty given voice.upon the very edge of sound. the very last. the voices of ancient beings bringing notes and bringing a throat that greets the coming day. those songs that seem. the sleepless. Ellis 12 . the subject. flowing. as though to sway the moments that will follow. against the coming day those songs. these songs that seem a simple gift of life unto the poet on his bed. Let us end. Listen. the poet I have named. a furling forth of lifeforce. upon the songs.

Music. and I would the phoenix burn my heart to capture. And though I shaped my odes of flame. sinned against the gods unknown and limned. in younger years. and I would lift my face in joy as would any enraptured boy for whom all mundane melodies cloy. a little thing to even praise for muddling through such fleeting days as swiftly pass. and I would die to return thence. But I am nothing more than man. as From the Spheres I once would hear. with my ashen art. Ellis 13 . as from the spheres. And I then sought the fairer vowel that blots the world's despairing howl. so I'd the sonnet's silver trace to heal the comet-battered face of moons and planets of all space. a little thing to praise or damn. and never stay. when morning came their ashes remained: and. I feared my heart had risen. casting ashes to the wind. Phillip A. I have not heard such music since. the strains of music. the visions such hymns will impart.

wilt in front of pedestal fans. a half-hearted appeal – Not out. Tea cups sit empty on saucers.Five-Day Test Old men grow older. Jonathan Hadwen 14 . The cricket is on the wireless. wispy fringes waving at each pass. floral patterns faded where wrinkled lips have kissed.

drips in its secrets. as a witness. each a coin of sound clattering on the wooden floor. Jonathan Hadwen 15 . From the window it pleads. I know. It needs me. Stay Awake.I Have Not Been Sleeping The night holds me open. I am afraid of what you might dream.

like the teacup waiting to be filled. book after book. an emptiness. There was stillness in me. Jonathan Hadwen 16 .I read so much poetry that day.

Mulling over Mafeking Mafeking is a retired goldfield of The Grampians. Victoria. it numbs the toes of students as they cross the fields of snow. her siblings four to seven years are old enough to trek. "No Orients! No Women!" But their ruling shall relax. A bugler sounding reveille draws miners from their beds and commerce cranks through Mafeking in slab-hut stores and sheds. Carrs and Kellys. 2009) 17 . below. The sedges and the bracken ferns are marching up the hill. A city stitched from canvas twinkles brightly after tea. The winter rains and horses hooves make gluepots of the roads and wagon wheels are sinking fast beneath their precious loads. while valleys ring in chorus of the male-voice harmony. as goodwill and camaraderie are gathered up and spent. They shoulder arms to stringybarks and blackwoods in their hosts and bow in silent homage to a thousand miners’ ghosts. cheery cry. They know the scrub’s surprises and it spills their childish laughs. The children search for Australites that fell from outer space and hone their skills of prospecting for colour in the trace. The food’s consumed – now hunger parks in every miner’s tent. one asleep on father’s neck. A family is coming. Then opportunist bullockies see hauling business thrive. it was a bustling tent city of 10. Published in Lifemarks (Ginninderra Press. they’ll save their spleen for governments that over-rule and tax. Swede or Ghan. while careful feet avoid the mouths of miners’ blackened shafts. or be German. the scene at Spion Kopf and Ladysmith is still. may hail from Cork in Ireland. That spectre with a shovel and his mate with swirling pan. by sucking hapless owners out with teams of ‘four-wheel-drive’. nine thousand more are working at their claims – the Brownings.000 miners. A chilling front of several weeks is disinclined to go. Down gullies deep. a wagonload of vegetables has come to boost supply! Then snatching up their polished picks. Max Merckenschlager Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival first (traditional verse) and statuette winning poem 2009. But hark! From Mason’s Paddock there’s an echoed. in a culture-pot of names. At its peak. to wash the gold from sand. that mountain-tempered band revisits hardship stoically.

She steals away my self-control. Or only in my head? Dare I believe that she could bring My heart back from the dead? The more I learn about her. The one who's meant for me. And I love her all the more. My head is in a tizzy. I only know that when she speaks She scares me to the core.Dream Girl (A comment on internet dating) Is she really out there. The more she seems to be The one that I've been waiting for. I cry out for the loving arms Of a girl I've never met. Sam Orton 18 . My heart is in a fret.