Tuesday, July 10, 2018



Eastern Block Orphan

Bitter, bereaving cold
Shuddering under sheets, waiting…
No wrinkling in the snow, just
Washed out grey,
A shake out of flakes shed
In winter’s bed.

Bare hands claw at the pane,
Scritch, scratch,
And now the rain
To take their grief and wash down river
On a small boat with beckoning ID.

Far down the horizon,
There is a patch of blue…
She fixes her eyes on that
And copes
Until the sky explodes
In a way she never felt the sun before.
This is her hope!
First published in  Colours of Refuge Anthology ed by Shyam Sharma, Authorpress, 2016

The Young Ones

With his white paint he went and
daubed the death mark on
all the young and straight and tall to
be felled for a road through
human existence to
carry the load of

Dead Villager, Vietnam

Cloud heavy, oxen hang
Above disturbed reflections
On a drowned paddy field
for - beneath the sky beneath -
floats the image of our time
bearing no reflection
but gazing into silence
after guns.

Babi Yar  

Ice fingers reach out, grip and bind.
The crooked teeth of winter grind
The biting air. The wind whips oaks
Whose roots are red
That feed on Babi Yar’s long dead.

Frozen in time, a torn ravine,
Still photos of a killing scene.
The shot still rings, the victims
Hang mid fall, still seeing
The cliffs of ice engulf their being.

The trees stand sentinel  and keep
A watch on Babi Yar’s long sleep.
The trees’ wide arms a barrier,
The oak leaf’s fingers scatters tears,
This is no place for prying stares…

Deep inside collective mind
The forest grows upon mankind.
It hides the children clinging to
The bones of mothers, fathers, kin
Silent as the night within

At Babi Yar.
[In Dec 2011 issue Quadrant]

Sunset, II,

Palms claw out a strip
Of sky and leave a raw wound
The horizon long.

Field Surgeon Remembering

From his garden, he hears young men prowl in their cars,
Arms captured in a circling crush,
Hears their music blasting,
Down the stethoscope the beat is strong.
They U with screaming rubber.
He begins again, the third time tonight, the needle circling.
The metal cut deep in. The wound is sutured over staying the scar.

He wonders, from his garden, if the tank tracks are
Still there, snailing among the rosy flesh.
He remembers the bodies and how he stitched
Deliberate tank tracks across the skin,
The needle circling, the thread drawing torn flesh together.
He thinks, “there is no perfect rose.”

Thoughts on Water Pollution

We bleed rivers lost
In ocean's cry for strangers
Listening to shells.


i) View from...

Out your window
what do you see?


And you,
what do you see?

Men with guns
trained on

ii) Transport

Watching the highway for my bus and,
suddenly, over the rise,
large, lumbrous, a yellow-green truck -
in shock I realise,
Ten thousand miles away,
This is a tank.


J.R.POULTER/MCRAE  Multi-awarded writer /poet with 30+ traditionally published children’s and education books in Australia, UK,  USA and Europe, a former senior educator, librarian, book reviewer, she once worked in a circus. Awards include Children’s Choice, New Zealand, Top Ten Children's & YA Books, NZ, Premier’s Recommended Reading List, Australia, Simone Wood Award, USA. J.R. teaches poetry & prose and heads Word Wings collaborative, 50+ creatives from 20+ countries creating beautiful books.  As J.R.McRae, she is a multi-awarded, internationally published poet, fiction / YA writer and artist. Works include novels Free Passage and Cats’ Eyes, Picturebook/YA crossovers Dream of the Fox Women, Tatter Wings and The Dolls’ House in the Forest. International anthologies containing her poetry, stories and art include – Colours of Refuge, Mytho, Musings, A Mosaic, Best of Vines Leaves, Trust and Treachery, 100 Stories for Queensland, Basics of Life, Quadrant Book of Poetry, 2000-2010, The Spirit of Poe, Poe-It, Guide to Sydney Rivers.