Neil Creighton – Four Poems


At Piano

She keeps her sadness hidden,
eyes clear and direct,
mouth curved in a gentle smile,

but when her hands touch the keys,
a new richness seeps
through her fingers, hangs

for a trembling moment
in the expectant air,
then disperses into our changed minds.


places diamonds in the blue-black sky,
wraps the horizon in orange glow,
the sea in silver shimmer
and distant clouds in purple gown.

See, even the houses on the low hills
are transformed into sparkles of colored light
and all the land’s imperfections, pock marks and wrinkles
are brushed clean away by her gentle soft touch.


She kneels
amongst the strawberries,
sunshine in her hair.

“I can do it Pa.”
Her little hand takes the plant
and parts the rich earth.

She snuggles in close.
Her arms encircle my neck.
I feel her eyes shine.

Ten thousand thousand
small, miraculous moments
fill my heart with joy.


(For my sister, Jean)

I think of you, Leah,
your young self standing
against tempests in calm control,
your artist eye filled with dreams
of children in golden forests,
sun dance of poppies,
moon floating high
into the velvet night,
foam ripple of waves
washing white sand.

I think of you, Leah,
leaf-fragile, partial, secretive,
how you inch in your walker,
flop in front of the screen’s
mind-numbing monotony,
dream of painting again,
linger over photographs,
shuffle the years
and that deceiver, memory,
into forms that make you happy.

Leah, is it comfort
that the gathering tide
flowed over you, swept you
out into the deep calm
where the great swells gather,
far beyond the tears of the living
trapped in this tumult,
this ebb and flow of waves
that pound upon the sand
and suck back relentlessly
into the ceaseless sea?


Author’s Statement on Beauty

the leaves sway and sparkle,
but from the trunk
comes supporting strength

the flower blooms in brightness
but the roots are hidden
from which their beauty grows

the waves foam in blue, green and white
but the cliffs stand strong
against their curl and crash

the baby gurgles and waves her arms,
the child laughs in pure delight,
the young seem to glow and shine

but I love also the older mind
tested and tempered by adversity,
made strong, still tender, always kind


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work often reflects strong interest in social justice. His recent publications have been in “Poetry Quarterly”, “Autumn Sky Daily”, “Praxis mag online”, “Rats Ass Review” and “Verse-Virtual”, where he is a Contributing Editor. More at