Neil Creighton – Three Poems


Mother and Child at Piano

Light spills through the room.
She sits at piano,
her baby on her lap.

Her fingers move
in skillful patterns
and fluid chords flow.

The sound is liquid, 
as clear and delicate
as running water.

The baby gurgles
in new delight
and waves her little arms.



Beyond morphine detachment,
out of the bed’s encircled darkness,
when all-consuming pain
recedes just enough
to let the mind tiptoe 
a cautious step or two,

through a small window
in the antiseptic room 
comes a gift the darkness brings
in a rush of revelation,
just glint of light playing on green leaves 
swaying to the wind’s caress,
sun-dappled tangle of branches,
cloud-flecked blue sky,

but each simple, commonplace moment 
transformed, miraculously new,
never truly seen before,
now shouting glory to ears
that had been deaf,
beauty to eyes 
that had been blind.


The Transcendent Tide

The current sweeps us
past laugh and splash
of free running water,
falls that shout and plunge,
red poppy fields, 
green pendant droop of willows,
curving bends, lazy meander 
to finally, in the distance,
the still dark sea.

Remember, long ago,
before the river grew mighty,
how in the morning song-birds
flitted through the sparkling air.
Somehow, wonderfully,
you floated by, 
I reached out, felt your hand 
and it closed on mine.
Why? The body’s desire?
The mind’s fear of loneliness?
A beauty of need,
to love and be loved?
Who can tell, but every day
sunlight caressed the waves
and every night the current filled 
with silken sheen from moon and star.

So what if we are still swept
towards the rumbling confluence
where river protests to meet sea.
A lifetime ago I surrendered to you
and your tide consumed me,
took me way out beyond 
sheltered cove or stagnant stillness,
deep, deep into a trackless wonder,
into mighty waves of beauty and joy,
deep troughs of compassion
for heartache and pain,
a pure, sublime, tide far beyond self.
There I have dwelt.
There, in wonder and surrender,
I willingly sink and drown.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

where surge meets sand
sun touches sea
and light in column slants
where wagtail fidgets
swordfish surges
and silver fox leaps in snow
where green shoots curl
dappled profusion grows
and the mountain ash touches the sky
where pen strokes page
brush the canvas
and songs in cadence rise
where palm meets palm
mind meets mind
and hearts in union beat
where responsive spirits
seek high ideals
and transcendent beauty grows


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” and “Verse-Virtual”, where he is a Contributing Editor. More at