Melaleuca 045

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  • Submitted by: Phillip A Ellis
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Melaleuca Number 45: March 2013

Editor: Phillip A. Ellis Table of Contents

Leigh Blackmore George Fripley George Fripley Fred Phillips & Leigh Blackmore Claire Roberts Malobi Sinha Malobi Sinha Paul Williamson Paul Williamson

Immolation August 1983 Naqsh-e Rustam Guerdon March Heaven Itself Rain City Limits The Man who Would Be

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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 . 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 protected] 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.



Immolation I saw you drift into my world and take me by the hand And lead me through the darkling night — you seemed to understand. Your voice so sweet, your tender touch like foam upon the sea Wafted my heart to heights divine — and sealed my doom for me. I watch the sun float through your mind and touch your streaming hair The heat is on but soon I find the sun's not really there I see the moon upon your brow and realise with pain That though the lovelight's burning now, the moon is on the wane. I watch the stars rise in your eyes, but they're not what they seem Their gentle light-glow fades and dies, the stars are just a dream I see the soul-fire in your breast flare high and bright and bold But when I out it to the test I find the flame is cold. I watch the quiet, ethereal clouds that gather 'round your head And autumn leaves that brown and fall, still pretty though they're dead I see a sparkling rainbow grown, a bridge 'twixt you and me But things of beauty never last and you long to be free Sun, moon and stars, rainbow and fire and clouds, they none are real; My love swoops down from misty heights and now I cannot feel. —Newcastle, 1976 Leigh Blackmore


August 1983 In August 1983 I was fourteen, I was free. The sun energised, stimulated, awakened the joy inside of me. The lack of school helped too. Long summer days spent lazing, the Radio One Roadshow broadcasting ‘Bits and Pieces’ from St Ives, Llandudno, Weston-Super-Mare. Carried on most gentle air was the symphony of birds and bees, the perfume of cut grass, roses on a pleasant soporific breeze dusting half-read books, discarded shoes. These days were made of magic, made for holidays, for youth’s fleeting innocence, time for free, to waste away, when nobody had a care, before being trapped by purpose responsibility…work. A daydream left meandering… a place of solace and retreat when reality catches up and mugs me on a Monday morning. George Fripley


Naqsh-e Rustam Silence sits comfortably here; the lizards bask in baking sun shading visions of past glories resistant to the thought of death caressed by the desert's hot breath. Long since gone the steady chip of hammers, careful footsteps, scraping trowels, the swish of sand through sieves; the scaffolds that spoiled the view. Ghosts of kings now left in peace gaze east through dusty haze, dream of days when gleaming Parse stood proud, stood tall and bowed to none, their epitaphs etched hard in stone, still whispers echo gently in the air cross crumbled bones in tombs long since laid bare. George Fripley


Guerdon Were I to forge a model of your soul, I’d forge it not in gold, but metals rare, Wrought better far your memory to preserve A stalwart constitution for a fair Clear purpose, since no less do you deserve. For I and others of your ken have sought The proper guerdon, that by right we ought At your feet lay, to ring a just account Of character and deeds which we had sought. No higher, nobler purpose we believe – Ere we’re compelled our fleeting Earth to leave. —New York and Wollongong, March 2012 Fred Phillips & Leigh Blackmore


March For Kathleen Lumley College Red painted wooden windows open, catching the evening air like sails on yachts and the indecipherable whispers of trees in the paved courtyard below. Claire Roberts


Heaven Itself A Cry in the Night At the beginning of Existence itself; A Hungry jackal on the Prowl – the bane of Life being the Thud Thud of the tractor That digs up the soil Building castles In the sky in the stead Of the rainbow skies Overlooking the Green pastures In the vale Of Heaven Itself Malobi Sinha


Rain The bell, it was Tolling loudly as Though possessed of Ghosts of its Own; Toll it did Loud and strong Pure and True Until I woke from Slumber to realise That it was Wind chimes from The Outside coming Through the window; The wind pulling it To and fro And a storm Was Arising as it Must as it had Needed to all those Days that the Hot Sun beat down On the Ground Accursed at its own Existence. Would It rain Malobi Sinha


City Limits Your gears were stripped along the main street from too heavy loads flawed design; you could not speed away. The grinding stop was a surprise. Calloused hands removed the load. You left the wreck - took to the road in search of another job. The mechanic had seen it all before that final loss of wheels. He said that breaking down dispensed a pass to urban visions. Traffic wardens found their way to wear their uniforms and badges and took weekly salaries for judgements, sometimes answers. The meter maid smiled and pointed like she always did when asked. it helped her feel better about not knowing the direction. The guide was more experienced. He knew of wrecks and exits. He alway gave the same advice and very few returned. Signs amoung the neon waves tout where drinks are served to anyone who breasts the bar for sanity and corrosion; Veronica behind the wall holds tissues for the face soothes the traveller’s pain with love but not affection while medicine men patrol sell cures to passers by; teaching toil and tablets together equal living. The butcher’s shop is in the lane. He offers choicest cuts. With shaved and fastest prices his bench is groaning full. Buses with signs for city outskirts are almost full of people with eyes that look the same as yours through the dirty windows. You ride with hope, anticipate 10

while numbers in seats dwindle until you reach an empty end with you, the only rider. Paying the fares has left you poor. You have to take some work that helps your fellow travellers find food for their survival. Workmates are a mixture of dedicated and life-skilled and a twisted product of the streets who likes to watch the pain. You are bruised from the city’s blows abused by its people take the city’s coin survive on its kindness. Yet the guru on the roadside is pointing at your path. ‘All life is pain and grief’ he says ‘you are almost there’. In vacant lots that nature claims where locals will not tarry you are instructed by the breeze your spirit undoes tangles until those glimpses of city boundaries come through the grimy windows while the bus speeds on to somewhere else never long but the sightings linger. Images of clear blue skies show more often, soothe but ever the soft fields elude as the city bleeds to doom. You have struggled onward since the wreck. Your body is wirey and thin. Your hands grow soft; your mind has gone to a poet and a pilgrim. Paul Williamson


The Man who Would Be Fresh faced, in late prime with dark hair and unlined features handsome as a toothpaste ad on a ride of crowd support; holding a bag of tricks to massage and mislead you and me; inside his head is vigorous and strong; he is the giant to rule every man as the fatal vote falls towards the throne. Besieged by opponents, the press and fellow travellers; he is hunted through years like an animal to be tagged for a trophy. As a messiah he carries his cross towards the knowledge he is not a god but a created thing – an orange; the latest to be squeezed for flavour. Paul Williamson