Weaving Dandelion Seeds

They stick sometimes, flecks on sleeves
that refuse to shift, even as we brush at them,
or pick at each in concentrated effort,
only to have them cling like those tight-fitting
garbs we wear to shape our being.

I said I wanted to fly, blew full-blast
into my sails, trimmed the mainsheet
to allow the mainsail more weight,
only to have it spin around, slap me
in the face. No spray to cool my cheeks.

No shiver of wine to ease the pain,
to bolster me, as I struggle to hold on.
So here I go, choices played again
and again, like a ferry trailing white foam
in its arc, as it circles the harbour shores.

I had asked him, that first time
we made love. I asked –
can you follow, do you know how?
It’s good, he replied, it’s very good.
But, you don’t know the seventy years

of me, the wizard crone that weaves
threads of dandelion seeds into womankind.
He couldn’t hear! I couldn’t see, flying
full-wind ahead my hair plaiting rainbow
clusters in the gleam of the sun.

I couldn’t see the crash to come.

© Rosalie Fishman April 2021


The tall Shanghai building in China,
London’s Shard, to be primed with Pharmacie belgique lard,
the lofty Clock Tower in Mecca
are giving their builders a hard.
How else can we honour our nation
in a world where biggest is best?
There’s nothing quite like masturbation
To puff out the vanity chest.

It is now Sydney’s turn to focus
on erection at Barangaroo,
the design, fired by penis envy,
the patriarchal thing to do.
Not for the good of local people
but high rollers from foreign lands.
An obscenity on our skyline,
public space going to private hands.

Meanwhile in little private houses,
and male dominated terrain,
women, both young and old, are abused
not once but again and again.
The slap slashes across her shying face
sealing her unchosen fate.
It’s time for architectural change,
new blueprints before it’s too late.

© Oliver Freeman 1 May 2021


When I unlock my heart

what do I find
apart from broken dreams
and shards of wasted emotions

I find love
curled in an embryonic ball
unfurling slowly
through a thousand angry moments
though I have cursed you
desired you gone
hoped for someone you are not
all the time knowing
no such change

can have love from
my own heart
be aborted
I cry and kiss your sleeping face

© Margie Gottlieb


you are such a flirt
yellow gossamer
hugging earth’s dirt
in hovering indecision
before you launch
the day I cannot stop
your tender heat
climbs the
confidence ascending
knowing your best
is yet to come and
soon you summit the
a brassy lover in
shameless glory
your peak so brief
you slide the slope of
the horizon thrusting
darkly in your face
and with a fleeting
menopausal flush
you slip between
earth’s bed sheets and
yawns an open
mouth of possibilities

© Laurie Lovell-Simons March 2016

Blue Tissue

Climb that ladder to dusty attic
and everything you’ve stored –
the letters, photos,
schoolbooks, baby clothes –
threads linking memories
through scattered generations –
treasures put aside before,
the ones your heart
could not ignore.

In sky blue tissue,
carefully wrapped,
a length of lace.
I hear
my mother’s voice
say, “Something borrowed,
something blue,
something old,
something new”

and in her hand the note
that names the lace
her mother wore
at marriage; and that she,
in rented wartime gown,
pinned to her hair.
“Honiton” –
the “something old”
she cherished, kept and handed on.

It’s getting dark.
There’s nothing to farewell.
Back to their boxes! Time will tell
(when other feet climb these stairs,
and other hands sift through these wares).
Meaning may be blurred,
Less pain stand in the way
of throwing precious flakes
of life away.

© Jennifer Thurstun November 2020

The Tree-Change

I google: tree-change in the country
Going to sell my assets in the city
Move my house to near Mullimbimby
To a fantasy life of rural-simplicity …

Lucky result: renovated abode@fire-sale price
Estate agent gives me good advice
Be quick or you’ll miss out in a trice
So I gazumped a buyer from over the ditch for my dream-paradise

Pack the sports-car, toy-dogs and wife
This the best thing we’ll do in all our life
To the Northern Rivers, leave the debtors’ strife
For a dream-hardwood kitchen complete with chop-board & knife

Up the coastal highway, our neighbours live very far
They stare over fences at our non-four-wheel-drive-car
Through the dry-water-course now off the tar
At last, our palace-in-the-tropics, front-door, fly-screen ajar

So here we are living the life-style that we oughter
Chopping wood and carrying water …
The reality was better than any dream could be
But it wouldn’t last as you are about to see …

Our natural-spring started to trickle then get even shorter
Discovered in the water-tank the goanna’s dead-daughter

With that wife then gets a urinary-tract infection
And despite the python-snake’s intervention
The house-mice’ insurrection
Destroys the Sigmund Freud first-edition-book-collection

Toward the evening a pack-of-feral-dogs had come
Baying for the blood of anyone
Back to the verandah my brave little puppies would run
If only I had one I’d get my gun …

The dream going pear-shape starts to get to me so
Forty-tive minutes short-drive into town I go
Talk to the agent – told the market’s slow
So accept a loss to the guy o’er the ditch, a body-blow

So, now I’m back in Old Sydney Town
Can’t afford the mortgage it’s getting me down
Municipal rat-race, pollution and congestion abound
But at least there’s water to drink and my pipes are sound ….

Current plan is: escape with a sailing-boat bought off the Net
Fido and Poochinella to join the suburban street-dogs that they’ve met
Wife is happy now; she has no fantasy-life to regret
And I’m sailing over the horizon toward my next sunset …

© Jason Morris

Thanks to Achmed who told a story this was somewhat based on in Conversations with Richard Fiedler on Radio National 080919

The Pause

Through the screeching of cockatoos,
grating squawks of wattle birds
runs a silence,
a stillness,
quieter than the flight of night owls
or column of ants walking.

The bush seems never silent,
never still – leaves rustle before the breeze,
a swamp wallaby drags down leaves,
nibbles, thuds away,
a scatter of cattle egrets amble
beside the grazing horse,
underground myriad tiny lives
turn over the humus,
seeds split and sprout.

And yet, beyond all this busyness
remains a strange stillness.

Let’s stand here,
hold back a moment longer
as the smudged sun disappears,
as darkness blurs edges
so we can’t name what we see….

Let’s not turn to go, but linger
until night swallows the world,
birds roost and rest tired wings,
the last breeze falters, fails,
and all we know is our breathing.

until earth’s stillness opens
the luminous labyrinth
of unbidden thought.

© Dexter Dumphy