Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Pleased to see the 2nd issue of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine go on line.  Even though I say so myself there are some terrific contributions within its pages all generously shared with me from Poetry friends on different forums I frequent across the world.

You will find it located here -

Have a read and I think you will be pleasantly surprised - and if you would like to contribute please do so.

Sunday, 25 August 2013



The blood red moon mimicked the colours of the desert sands.
They too shone blood red in Australia’s red heart
where Uluru stood.
A magnificent monolith
whose colours were constantly changing
from gold to red to deep purple hues
and now with the rain
she was gray,
streaked with black algae and white foam
as rushing waters bathed the dust from her sides.

The keeper of the stones sits on the red earth
beneath the shade offered by the bloodwood.
He is Anangu.
The spirits of his ancestors are here.
Their ancient paintings adorn her.
The paints made from what the Mother provided.
Ochres, calcite, ash and charcoal
mixed with animal fats –
as has been done since the Dreamtime.

The same symbols and paint are used during sacred ceremonies
to paint their bodies
to represent their Tjukurpa ancestors.
For the tourists
he paints Lungkata the blue tongued lizard. 

He paints Kuniya , the woman snake
and Lira, the poison snake
and tjali the honey ant.
His ancestors once painted the same symbols.

Uluru stands,
unchanged, serene, inscrutable
as she has since the Dreamtime.
He is the keeper of the stones.
He is Anangu.

Maureen Clifford ©
The Scribbly Bark Poet

Wednesday, 21 August 2013



Maureen Clifford ©  The Scribbly Bark Poet

There are six crows flying up above, high over the ridge
Death is around.  You smell its sickly taint.
Smoke drifts across the paddock where the bushfire has been through
those paddocks painter wants to paint.

High on the ridge the gum tree stands, a skeleton in black.
It’s stark and naked ‘neath a molten sky.
The smell of smoke is acrid, lingers everywhere.
Six crows in unison caw as they fly.
A silver river, ribbon like, wends its way ‘cross the land,
between granite rock banks and river scree.
Above the sky is sullen with no wind of change in sight.
No remedy to ease nature’s fury.

Dead woollies lie untidily together at the fence,
ran through the wire instead of running by.
Panicked and trying to escape and lacking common sense
they didn’t find the open gate nearby.
Black harbingers of death are here, a chance like this not missed
by them,  they strut ‘mongst  carcasses today.
Loud shots ring out, as more injured animals are put down.
The farmer’s working paddocks far away.

The smouldering paddock fence posts clearly mark where fire went.
Dollars and hours for fences to replace.
Reality of more stock losses, after years of drought
is clearly written on the bosses face.
But distant thunder rumbles, lightning's seen behind a hill,
the scent of rain is carried on the breeze.
Life will  go on tomorrow as undoubtedly will he.
The land is all he knows and all he needs.

There are six crows flying up above, high over the ridge.
Opportunistic scavengers of blight
Dark eyes survey the bloated, blackened carcasses below.
Six crows, the undertakers of the night.

Monday, 12 August 2013

LIFE IS GLORIOUS - however you look at it.

Today is a glorious day, full of sunshine, birdsong, gentle breezes and blue skies.  Sitting on the back steps with the dogs and a cuppa had me thinking back to another place and another time and  another back verandah.  

So enchanted was I with the view from my back verandah at Springdale that I used it for the cover of my book and also for the first edition of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine that I am now the editor of .  It is amazing the twists, turns and convolutions that our lives take.  If I have learnt one thing in life it is that nothing is for ever.  Just when we think we have got it all, someone or something whips the rug from under our feet forcing us to struggle up yet again.

Lucky most of us have the guts to do just that and go on to become  better and stronger that we were.  Adversity seems to bring out the Aussie fighting spirit I have found.

Anyway as I said before - today is glorious.  Just thought I'd share the view from the old place with you and my thoughts from when I was there - sitting on yet another back verandah.