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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 email@example.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.
something reminds his thoughts of swallows swelling skies with birdsong. As birds awaken and sing. aware since faring forth into the lengthened night. his weary body sinking back. burned in a blaze so swift and sudden sleep was swiftly shucked off alike the covers of his bed. and under it the darkened world that wakens without a speaking person turning action to human presence. whose lights were suns so far. O you who hear this. Light so light it swims to rise above the upper world is such a sweetness. the sound of many birds at song at once. hovers high.Martin and the Hidden Birds Martin at night. words 3 . at night. hearts whose art is living. He can see the furrowed glow. so small. awaken and are hidden. that's sweet and soft. There are certain hours that sleep is ever certain. and dream the opalescence of the light. This glow. sees the morning awaken as though the poem of life has stopped in time. that it seems his heart would break to breathe it. waking into the dream that is the day. Open up. Dawn is a fair while away. He is feeling heavy. and drifts with lines of clouds. I'd like to say that he had woken early. The east is lightened. sees the morning awaken despite his lack of living sleep. the window wakened to the sky outside it. like verses that sing of sorrows sweetly. massing by the seaside's pines beneath a sky like this within the past he has not known. the ever lengthened hours of passing darkness. the houses set to soon decay and moulder. as is the dream of some who dwell here. But breath was so awake. We could easily dream the world awake without a man or human. and writes itself a static image. his spirits arisen to the sky of light. The light is lighter than darkness. and listen. The birds that clamour this dawn that's false are yet the birds that work and lurk in daylight. mackerel backs of clouds of ice. neither does his mind turn on thoughts of verse that takes his self into the heart of being. Yet such sleep was absent. He waits under the sky of pearl and thinks not this: he does not think of humans passing. so slight the sky was darkness transparent. that hover under the sunless sky. and he.
He. save when its set when the sun has yet to rise. be it time's seconds. the sky a mess of birds that sing while hidden. as yet. its audience. O dawn that is no dawn. The solid sky is such a sweetest. the dawn that is not dawn has come. light lightens the sky. Forgiving dreamers who never seek to see this moment seems a waste of words. not what's gone between the poet and the poet's ears. 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. I shall not share this unhidden burden. Something shifts: is it dream.and memories of making music. gives solidity. time that flows past fidget wheels and hangs suspended in the interval between another's five bells ringing. and with it that chance of someone wakened.. the birdsongs' burdens ringing into the early air.. or dawn. He thinks not of such: he is awake and witness. that breaks upon the shores of Moreton Bay.. shall not. or the false dawn. has let the world emerge from darkness. witness. for who am I to dictate anything about this poem. for this poem alone. renewed. from whence it has arisen out of time uncounted. has knowledge of light and liquid music. Outside. His life before and since exists but. has slept not. given that there are many people. And somewhere birds are always singing it is said. but now. With a word. ways of seeing whether what's seen is word or thought. Somewhere dawn arrives. starlight towards a blue opaque. Here the witness to the dawn. they sing their songs. songs. softest blue.. bring forth the birdsongs. the way the poems we pause in serve as witness to something other. superstitious. be it old world or new. sometimes. but now. lightened the eastern skies where the hidden ocean waits. and he is wrapped in bedding. seeking shelter. arisen. always. dreamer? Is it time? I know not what shifts or seems to shift. the way that words and verse are witness also. From whence shall birdsong sound aloud? He lies abed. And it is ribbed 4 . His head's on pillow. a wasteland. it's focused. speak of the message you will read and see. catching the image in a lens of light and glass alike. Lighten the skies of his.
Sweet is sleep in such a time as this. Listen and you will hear the calls of birds. the way that sleep has come before. so high they're ice and ribs of ice within the air. and into being. these elements and others gather. are speaking in tongues to his that yearned-for sleep's abandoned. in streets. and washing down the roads that glow with blackness from tarmac. listen and you will hear the early traffic. rich with the heard songs of wakened birds that call the dawn towards the shore alike a magus. written and spoken. a place in parts of some traditions. 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. the lightening of sky within the east. making a minor world. the clamour of the singing birds. Reader. Sometimes I have dreamt such streets and sometimes trod them. so the sleepers wake not knowing how the day begins. know the early morning trucks that clean the streets into the next day. unbidden and silent. are singing: let them sing forever within the moment stilled by verse that works the moment over many pages. Time is life. some say. 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. And sweet when missing.with rows of clouds so cold. And listen and you will hear the rolling bottles mention 5 . and others: time is enemy to life. the wheeled machines are sweeping trash away. as the subject of this poem. at song. the long beginning is marked by solitary cars regarding the traffic lights and roundabouts with thought akin to negligence. shadows of night. I know not. not daily. the way that sleep has often twined the covers of sleeping beds around this sleeper's limbs. Such waking worlds are often thought to represent the death of humans. parse the city roads since decades. In this world of poem. the time of many suns. when the world awakens and. I only know the sleeper abandoned. the time of one that banishes the many. in his eyes and mine. Let them sing the while. the eyes of sleepers abandoned of their sleep. Not within this world they're not. unseen. The birds. I take such moments when the birds.
make it last beyond the moment even when it enters the realm of time? Perhaps I'm folding time into a torus. closing. the light that lays its hands upon the head of Whangarei and blesses it. In moments as this there once were metal bins whose lids would clatter down when knocked off. as only the sleepless hear them. In such a silent moment the artist is a poet. I give this image. Let me gather my images and offer them in order unto you. think upon this thought the while my mind returns to birds at song while hidden in the world. alike this poet and this artist within his bed. Or elsewhere. abandoned bottles rolling. and sleepless alike. and poetry aspires the art of snatching what is invisible and makes it real from what is real. yes. these lines alike. we are captured (or we were captured) on a film reversed in colour. skies that lighten. poet artist. so he listens closely 6 . an image others find in magpies' carols deep in a field of fog in mountain towns at dawn. roiling the magic moment when the light awakens to birdsong. is also visible as well. In such a moment. and now the dawn is closer. poetry ready to capture time as images of words and sounds alike. Reader. turn opaque and see the empty streets. and you who hear this. Such places others have written. as the cats and other strays would hunt up food. is this the duty of the poet? To snatch the image onto paper. And then we're made on paper within the dark. streetsweepers cleaning. One: the sleeper sleepless. and wakens a sort of sensed and senseless beauty. I ask the poet watching. I've been there. clinking. I have written. And maybe the world that wakens wakens in your heart the sort of art that's worked in words. Some may find it elsewhere. Two: a world without without the certain poet prowling the empty streets. He is my subject awake beyond the call of sleep. cats that are strays moving from the mouths of drains across the roads to other paths. Truth exists in truth and fiction. He knew the night. shade. strange attractor. Sleepless people.the world is hard and plays its note. the light that breaks above the swells that break upon the sands of Wollongong.
Such a sky evokes the moving world. when vehicles wash the streets with brushes. this very moment. and tries to count the moments left. so high they seem untouched by any thought of anything below them. for in the past the cats at night would clatter lids from bins so only sleepless people heard them. That other cast is all asleep by now. water. that seems so light and easy. This time he holds back. that very sky of light within the east that knows not the sun and stars. their voice is stilled. they do not mew to humans. for time is like a tangle in which thought is often tumbled. breaking songs with birds the ways that others break their bread. lest it seems that time will slow unto the point of stillness. the air above a liquid pressing down alike the belly of a beast. the cast of life. tabby-furred with white and grey. 7 . the cleaners slower. But now―why name his name?―he lies awake within the wake of time. He dares not lift his sight to count the time that's tamed by clocks. And days have opened like this day. seeking. cats come creeping out of drains and into the streets. the solitary cars in empty streets. in this very hour when the sky lightens while waiting for the sun. Such skies that I have known! Above this very scene. light and cleaner. snarled and caught alike a tuft of cloud within the sky. finding hunger a void and burden. when at that certain hour when the sun was still unrisen. Fidget time. cursing and often seeking respite in their cliches. the oceans knowing day and night alike. not thinking of the other poet writing the words of cat and birdsong. wary. the cats that come out hungry. that purrs and crouches lower. sweeping with their washes of water. but such as he who sees this sky of lightening and serried cloud will see it as another thought in the light of being.to the world waking. but often feed upon our wasted food when it is found at last. and named with numbers. serried ranks of ice are covering the sky. Such is as it always seems to one who dreams in poetry and fire. and over everything that sky. the poet lies wrapped within his bed. In refrains as this. And in points of stillness. the turning lands.
when night is longer. perhaps. make his way into the cool and clarity. where other feet would wander in the silence of the streets that greet the waking day and the false dawn. and marking lights with sprays of blue exhaust. at night. seeing darkness veiled by light. the houses and the buildings silhouettes against the lightened sky. with conscience.and yet's opaque. stronger and a wealthy dreamer (one profligate with time and points of light). the dream of minds that make such images in sleep. This sort of sight notes not the cats that crawl out. as though this were a certain season dreaming within the year (and well it might). time had brought the poet here. When time had left the poet bereft. saved for blackouts that claim as much as they can claim. ignoring red green and amber alike. as once the poet who composed these lines would seek to rise on waking. so deep that stars become a dream that seems unreal. a vision saved for the country visits. and save for pictures risen out of dream. but unseen 8 . in a city such as this or Sydney. beneath. a solitary driver riding roughly over the roundabouts. the lights of night are hidden as the glow of city streets and buildings shouts them down. until it's gone and driven off by swollen suns. that ever-present chorus swelling skywards from hidden places on the earth beneath it. robbed of sleep and ease of eyes that rest in darkness. and find a world awakening and made anew after the night dissolves towards the day. that hides the many suns above. for save for sleepy-minded people sweeping streets. and on the very threshold. Moving along their tracks are trains. a sleep he does not know this night and moment. He knows this but does not think this. with streetlamps lit and still. now dawn. into silence save for the songs of birds in hidden chorus. Janus-wise. but. the dream of media. tabby with their clouds that sit so high they seem a dream of ice. beyond. such that they glow at night. and underneath their watching eyes the world is barely known to human eyes. so that the lower clouds can baste their bellies in light. the eyes of the wakened poet see the world of skies that brighten. The air around this place is chilly.
night to dawn and day. Time to dream. But time to listen to birdsong building visions of a dream that is the waking world without his window. Or to take stock of what the world reveals beneath the skies of opalescent light. Listen as he is doing. and that Janus-moment of the day's threshold's marked by music thrown from the birds' throats. to night again. the certain sleeper's awake and catches glimpses of the worlds without his and thus the flow of thought. air as clear and sharp as memories of eucalypts at morning within the bush. the clink of bottles. except when.and driven into nescience. or even for roundabouts. And so the poet lies awake: he sees this world awaken. and out into the world that wakes. a world. that changes as the light from moonlit nights to pre-dawn opalescence. from drains. as though sent from night to dawn. to sleep again. worth returning 9 . here. to morning. and many waking. and sees the sky that lightens to opaqueness within the east. and all this happening. impressed upon the poet. as elements occur: the cloud-striped sky. with his thoughts. it seems. as caught in paintings of cathedrals dreaming the day away in Nineteenth Century France. noon and after. dusk. the songs of many birds at once. the silhouettes of homes and buildings. the ever-beautiful and moving songs of many hidden birds behind the darkened streets with streetlamps lit. written deep with image and with sound. cats that creep from cover. and maybe sighs. and so too humans. Time to write this waking world? Perhaps. Again the poet seems to cease the flow of time. the stream reflecting the world alike a mirror that transforms and that transmutes from world to verse. from the dawn's blue. so that his thoughts return to what is seen or witnessed. the whole is heard as complicated. the everpresent. and so the sleepers from sleep to waking life. as. and. that is a blue so sweet it seems opaque in ways that are as striking as the thought itself. a car passing without a thought for traffic lights. streetsweepers cleaning roads with water in council machines. the light of sunset. and so it seems the world without is catalogued in turn. over all. and so the cycle goes.
that greater ocean a certain writer said is real. And everything that happens happens within a timeless moment. that lie beyond the bourns of Sydney Harbour. the clink of bottles made 10 . or I. cats. or whether it were older. whether the stream had flowed underneath a bridge beside a path in Armidale. soon enough. caught in the stream's flow. a fine lietmotif spun unlike the thoughts this world's corrupt and evil. again. turn it and take it towards the ocean of the past that waits to take all bubbles. its back a silver bubble of captured air. This world is real. like a bubble the stream of time has set before the present before it catches. and takes the birdsong hidden in shadows. and cleaners. or you have ever known before. poet. whether by less. makes it memory. Time. Time will take it up. Away the moment passes. and takes the silhouettes of buildings. or since. others that he. let the moment catch before your fingers. whether the stream one that may have held a spider upon its floor. away the bubble passes. always the past. makes it memory. for here there is a clarity of vision. flowing unto the ocean. Such are the ways of streams. all in the lives of others. and so we dress within it. remaining beautiful among the weeks and days of grey and grinding mediocrity. flowing and onwards into the vast past that takes the sky of blue and icen clouds and makes it memory. will take this. let it slip away so. or now.again. then. Let it flow. snatches up and passes into the past. whether by seconds. opaque sky fretted with blue. unlike the thoughts the flesh is corrupt and evil. flowing like time towards the past. will take this up alike a bubble. feel the unity of life and being. his head unfilled by thoughts except that world without his. the sun as yet unrisen. And so on. ever flowing towards the oceans of our lives. and soon away. O sleepless dreamer. and so the poet lies within his bed. is all we have. catch your breath and breathe again when all has passed. art and beauty. a poignant beauty piercing sky and poet alike. you see. and what seems real is ever. and cars. but while it stays a moment.
the heart that lies upon his bed and beats within his body. as Slessor once had written. finding that prior to the dawn the sky that held transparency that. as he might walk. a memory. and sprint and go across the roads. and makes them memory. and sweet. This bubble's worth for his? I cannot count it out in coins. would hold up a world's worth of stars and planets. it is this poem's intention. nor make a prophecy that it may last. rising into the sunless sky. dreading the weary day to follow. into his heart. the poet stolen from sleep. between the buildings wrapt in shadow. breathing in the cold whilst cats are scattering away from drains within his presence. such a pulse of blood that seems a drumbeat of a tide that breaks 11 . there's signs of life: though people drive an isolated car. so high they cannot bear a cloud of rain.of glass. the cogs and ratchets making up the workings of mundane clocks of Earth. for such is not this poem's concern. makes them. it is this poem: the text. and makes it memory. Within the streets below the sky. over all the songs. the sleep that's fled from his a hidden home for dreams he may not spin or ever see again. lying awake and weary within his bed. the sky a lighter shade of blue that's luminous. silhouettes against the sky. ignoring the traffic lights and roundabouts. Time flows. although streetsweepers clean the streets. and high. under the streetlamps. free from fidget wheels. yes. turns opaque. the cats that crawl out from the drains. in another sky. caught in his bedding. the drivers of the solitary cars that parse the traffic lights and roundabouts without a thought for others. the hidden birdsongs sung and wrung out. a herringbone of clouds made out of ice. another time. this way. alike the memories that bundle up together. no-one has come to walk the streets. such that he'd see in other times and places. and in the sky that deepens. My dream is in this poem. So it goes this morning. ringing out of the throats of countless singers. make the bubble that catches for a moment before his fingers then bobs away. prior to the dawn. so bottles clink against the edges of the gutters.
Phillip A. the alpha and omega of these lines. the sleepless. those songs that seem. O poet. against the coming day those songs. flowing. Listen. upon the very start. so closes this poem about the poet whose name is Martin. and with their voice in blended chorus. beauty given voice. a furling forth of lifeforce. the poet I have named. as though to sway the moments that will follow. the very last. listen and let sweep these songs. these songs that seem a simple gift of life unto the poet on his bed. the subject. that hears. the very first. the voices of ancient beings bringing notes and bringing a throat that greets the coming day. here. the very end. Let us end.upon the very edge of sound. upon the songs. rejoicing and dominating everything around his self. within his world. Ellis 12 . then.
so I'd the sonnet's silver trace to heal the comet-battered face of moons and planets of all space. Phillip A. and I would die to return thence. in younger years. sinned against the gods unknown and limned. and I would the phoenix burn my heart to capture. and I would lift my face in joy as would any enraptured boy for whom all mundane melodies cloy. Ellis 13 . a little thing to even praise for muddling through such fleeting days as swiftly pass. I feared my heart had risen. And I then sought the fairer vowel that blots the world's despairing howl. with my ashen art. as From the Spheres I once would hear. the strains of music. casting ashes to the wind.Music. the visions such hymns will impart. when morning came their ashes remained: and. I have not heard such music since. And though I shaped my odes of flame. as from the spheres. a little thing to praise or damn. and never stay. But I am nothing more than man.
wilt in front of pedestal fans. wispy fringes waving at each pass. Tea cups sit empty on saucers. a half-hearted appeal – Not out. Jonathan Hadwen 14 . floral patterns faded where wrinkled lips have kissed. The cricket is on the wireless.Five-Day Test Old men grow older.
From the window it pleads. as a witness. I know. It needs me. Jonathan Hadwen 15 . Stay Awake.I Have Not Been Sleeping The night holds me open. I am afraid of what you might dream. each a coin of sound clattering on the wooden floor. drips in its secrets.
an emptiness. Jonathan Hadwen 16 . There was stillness in me.I read so much poetry that day. book after book. like the teacup waiting to be filled.
2009) 17 . the scene at Spion Kopf and Ladysmith is still. one asleep on father’s neck. The children search for Australites that fell from outer space and hone their skills of prospecting for colour in the trace. Carrs and Kellys. it numbs the toes of students as they cross the fields of snow. they’ll save their spleen for governments that over-rule and tax. A chilling front of several weeks is disinclined to go. as goodwill and camaraderie are gathered up and spent. A family is coming. it was a bustling tent city of 10. in a culture-pot of names. or be German.000 miners. Then opportunist bullockies see hauling business thrive. A bugler sounding reveille draws miners from their beds and commerce cranks through Mafeking in slab-hut stores and sheds. nine thousand more are working at their claims – the Brownings. The winter rains and horses hooves make gluepots of the roads and wagon wheels are sinking fast beneath their precious loads. Down gullies deep. a wagonload of vegetables has come to boost supply! Then snatching up their polished picks. Swede or Ghan. At its peak. by sucking hapless owners out with teams of ‘four-wheel-drive’. may hail from Cork in Ireland.Mulling over Mafeking Mafeking is a retired goldfield of The Grampians. The food’s consumed – now hunger parks in every miner’s tent. A city stitched from canvas twinkles brightly after tea. while careful feet avoid the mouths of miners’ blackened shafts. that mountain-tempered band revisits hardship stoically. below. The sedges and the bracken ferns are marching up the hill. Published in Lifemarks (Ginninderra Press. her siblings four to seven years are old enough to trek. That spectre with a shovel and his mate with swirling pan. "No Orients! No Women!" But their ruling shall relax. to wash the gold from sand. Max Merckenschlager Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival first (traditional verse) and statuette winning poem 2009. They know the scrub’s surprises and it spills their childish laughs. while valleys ring in chorus of the male-voice harmony. But hark! From Mason’s Paddock there’s an echoed. They shoulder arms to stringybarks and blackwoods in their hosts and bow in silent homage to a thousand miners’ ghosts. Victoria. cheery cry.
My heart is in a fret. The more she seems to be The one that I've been waiting for. And I love her all the more. Sam Orton 18 . I only know that when she speaks She scares me to the core. My head is in a tizzy.Dream Girl (A comment on internet dating) Is she really out there. 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. I cry out for the loving arms Of a girl I've never met. The one who's meant for me.
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