The Diamond Python

Under a dome of unrelenting blue
we follow a high plateau
littered with spring flowering,
drop into a gully, cross a creek,
wind our way along the sandstone cliff face,
bend beneath overhangs, squeeze
through narrow gaps between boulders
until finally, there it is, a large shaded rock shelf
overlooking a spectacular network of chasms,
sheer sandstone cliffs sunlit in their ancient weathering,
distant waterfall a wind-blown silver thread,
river unspooling through the green grey scrub,
air full of wind sound and bird song.

We drop our packs, sit in the shade.
We think we have this solitary place to ourselves,
until the owner casually drops in
and pokes his diamond head
through a fissure next to an elbow.
He slithers casually over a backpack,
unhurriedly follows our retreating feet,
unfurling his nine feet of glory.
Large of head, diamond flecked,
he carries the beauty of the night sky
along his thickly muscular length.
He moves from person to person,
slowly traverses the overhang
and then, branch by branch,
with long practised ingenuity
hauls his limbless mass up a tree.

Time passes.
The ancient cliffs grow shadows.
We must retrace our steps,
leave this privileged place
but as we go we carry in our packs
a weight of thankfulness for the diamond Python,
for the gift he has given us,
for his beauty, size, grace and power
and especially for his casual indifference
towards we mere puny humans
now struggling and laboring homewards
through his beauty-filled world.

By Neil Creighton

diamond python

Blue Mountains, west of Sydney


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 also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photos by the author

The Fallen Forest Tree

I think on this blue planet,
slant of rain, scud of cloud,
surge of river, the glittering sea,
flocks that flit, dart or soar,
wandering herds, encircling wolves,
coral blaze, fish, whale and krill,
leopard lazing in curve of tree,
myriad life given and accepted back
over aeons as the spinning earth treks
through the black void of space.

I raise my eyes from the fallen tree
to the tree tops and to the sky.
The abundant cycle of life and loss
stretches endlessly beyond
this transient moment where I live,
yet why should I regret its brevity?
I embrace its mystery and privilege,
thankful that for at least this brief moment
I have lived to gaze upon the earth
in deep wonder and in awe.

By Neil Creighton
First Published in Praxis Mag Online

 fallen trees along creek in the autumn


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 also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo by Xalanx

The Myriad Stars

The myriad stars – diamond points of night –
Make a great journey across the sky;
Day’s spoked and beautiful columns of light
Are majestic ladders descending from high;
Behind the gentle waft of zephyr breeze
Is the wind’s vast, relentless, shifting heft;
Within the shimmer of the glistening seas
Is the eternal crash on cliff and cleft.
In mystery and wonder we stop and stare,
Search for meaning, a firm rock of belief,
And seeing the shooting star’s final flare
Or the spiralling flutter of a falling leaf,
Meditate upon vast Time’s eternity
And fleeting life’s momentary brevity.

By Neil Creighton

starry sky over mountain river


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 also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo of Milky Way and Mountains by Rast

I Hear the Music

When these limbs were strong,
when ears were young and clear,
when each day was unblinkingly bright,
much grand music I could not hear.

Now they hear a vast symphony
from stars traversing the night,
and these declining ears hear “alleluia”
from vast pinpricks of cosmic light.

They hear it too from a drop of dew,
hear it from the falling rain,
hear it swell and hear it fade,
hear those motifs return again.

They hear it from a falling leaf,
hear it from the forest floor.
from soaring tree and fallen log
sound melodies that I adore.

They hear it too in baby’s cry,
from rosy cheeks and shining hair,
hear from love’s deep bond and union
songs with harmonies bright and fair.

They hear this beautiful, symphonic world
filled with the magic of sound.
Hear it swell, rise, crescendo, fall,
echo, harmonise and resound.

They hear it too within my chest,
they hear it from each tiny cell,
hear in the twisted helix of DNA
a great song rise and swell

and though these limbs no longer spring
these fading ears hear the throng
and raising my voice I cry aloud
“I hear the music! I sing the song!”

By Neil Creighton

man standing on mountain top


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 also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo by drepicter

The Phosphorescence Lapping

I raise my eyes in silence
towards the vast solemnity,
distant fading stars,
great symbols of eternity,

sensing that there is something
invisible, veiled from sight,
a portal to reach and tear
and reveal a realm of light,

unutterable mysteries
words can never convey,
beyond this time-trapped
confluence of breath and clay-

dimensions
only few have ever seen,
holy men in ages past
in prophecy, vision and dream

but then I know that all
can gaze upon the dew,
the moon upon the water,
the sky’s ethereal blue

or in privileged reverence gape,
in wonder and in awe
at the phosphorescence lapping
so close upon the shore.

By Neil Creighton

full moon on an ocean beach


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 also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo of moon on the beach by Denys Bilytskyi