Monday, 16 June 2014


Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet

The days before were hot and dry, the months before as well.
At times a bank of clouds appeared -but just as quickly disappeared
a misted mauve light bathed the land and in the paddock he would stand
talking to ghosts with spirit voices – not one bloke down here rejoices
we are walking dark pathways all leading straight to hell.

Long days continued hot and dry with no relief in sight.
He watched his money disappear along with hope and now his fear
was soon that he would lose it all and that would no way be his call.
He struggled daily with these things, perhaps his thoughts had paper wings…
 his night-time dreams offered  no rest and little in respite.

The land wilted beneath the heat, and now paddocks were bare.
Dark spirits from primordial times were in each rock and tree,
he felt himself held in their arms.  Land – you belong to me
and though clouds came to tantalize not one drop fell from out the skies -
he saw grey cloud crevasses drifting by on the thin air.

He now recalled his father’s voice – it rains at end of drought.
He rubbed the sacred rain stone on a boulder ancestors had known
and drew the dreamtime serpents curves in dust, the rituals he observed.
He threw his boomerang up high to cut the clouds and let the sky
release the rain.  But had they heard?  An element of doubt.

That night he slept a dreamless sleep, beaten and out of choices.
And in the distance thunder rolled, the hot air cooled, the night turned cold.
The gum leaves rustled, turned their faces as the storm fronts wind outpaces
rain that fell vertically down to parched earths arms, dusty and brown;
as he slept on exhausted, soothed in sleep by spirit voices.

Friday, 6 June 2014


Heading for the Chop
Maureen Clifford ©  The Scribbly Bark Poet

It appears that sadly the time is coming when this beauty will be saying her goodbyes and it is with regret I have to say.  She is an old girl, grown spindly and leggy, who has a hissy fit every time the wind blows a bit harder than normal, and throws her branches down willy- nilly.  I am in fear for my neighbours chooks, whose grandiose villa rests beneath her shade.

I've tried taming this girl, had her pruned a few times at great cost, but she sprouts away again in rampant fury, and comes back taller and crankier than before.  I can see her ending her days mulched and scattered to feed her mates - those she outgrew and then selfishly robbed of light and nutriments. But she has had a kind side.  Her lacy leaves grow in abundance, the sheer weight of her greenery adding to the burden of her brittle boughs. She is resplendent in summer in her rich robes of green and purple.  She is truly a regal queen this old Jacaranda tree. When winter comes and she sheds her green garb, they supply a thick layer of mulch to the more tender and delicate plants growing in the understory where they have been protected from harsh rain and hail and hot sun by her leaves.

There were many days when I also took advantage of her shade.  Hours spent lazing, reading a book beneath her purple cape, but she took umbrage at my slothfulness and hurled a wooden spear in my direction.  I can no longer trust her to behave.

I wonder if she suspects that this winter will likely be the winter of her discontent.

  Maureen Clifford  ©  The Scribbly Bark Poet

Life tends to go full circle, and I ‘m back here once again
after drifting forty years from town to town.
Driving past my old home, the one that we once shared
my Jacaranda I see wears her purple gown.

The purple blossom softly drifts across the lawn and walls
and creates a carpet shaded blue and green.
When  planted  as a sapling it was slender frail and small,
but now she’s beautiful, a regal Queen.

They say that life will always go full circle given time.
I lived here once with love and family.
But now that moments gone, kids have grown and loves moved on.
Feels like time to plant a Jacaranda tree.

Though I may not live long enough to sit beneath its shade
watching as purple blossoms softly fall.
Still my memories return across bridges now long burned
and forty years seems like no time at all.

So I’ll plant a Jacaranda tree tomorrow
Plant it gently, with my hopes and secret vows.
For memories are recalled as Jacaranda blossoms fall
‘neath the green and lacy canopy of boughs.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Delighted with this issue of TAT Poetry - thanks to my Poetry friends it is chock a block full of some great poetry and a fabulous front cover courtesy of Miss Grey Photography