Fractal Myth

Nature Poems

Beastly Behaviour.

[Michelle Chapman ©1988]
What now is left for the beaten beast?
Once strong and proud, now forced to be least.
In happier days, through jungles wild he roamed
But now he's brought to bay in cities domed -
Where man speaks of what he does not understand
And chains the beast with cold metallic band.
Alas he gazes sad on vistas sweeping
While silently inside, the beast is weeping.
'Though life and hope and courage have been lost,
Man barges on, regardless of the cost.


[Michelle Chapman ©1990]
Glittering, tinselled spider-webs
stretch golden chains
across the velvet night.

In the East the
prussian turns to pale and
lemon burns.

The blood of eons lies upon
the sharp straight line of land

as older sky lends ancient earth
the beauty of the dawn.


[Michelle Chapman ©1991]
Sun beats down on the corrugated plain
Dead limbs reach and pray for rain
The defeated armies of tired grain
Sigh as the wind sings its scorching refrain.

The glade is dappled, the light is cool
Leaves watch themselves in the mirrored pool
The breeze caresses the glistening jewel
And over all shade and quiet hold rule.

The tarred road resists the hurrying feet
At the corner the lamp-post and rubbish-bins meet
The light and the glare on the streaked windows beat
And the dirty wind kicks empty cans down the street.

Contrasts - revised.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Sun beats down on the corrugated plain.
Dead limbs reach, praying for lifegiving rain.
The defeated armies of tired grain
Sigh as the wind sings its scorching refrain.

The glade is dappled, the light soft and cool.
Green leaves watch themselves in the mirrored pool.
Gentle breezes caress the shining jewel
And over all, shade and quiet hold rule.

Foaming salt waves on the sandy shore curl.
Fragile shells, pink, cream and mother-of-pearl.
The seagull's white feathers flutter and furl
Catching breezes which, through the sand-dunes, swirl.

The tarred road resists the hurrying feet.
Stray dogs at lamp-posts on corner-kerbs meet.
Harsh neon lights on the streaked windows beat
As the wind kicks empty cans down the street.

High in the mountains, slow glaciers flow.
Sunlight reflects off fresh, new-fallen snow.
The thin atmosphere has a frozen glow
While, whistling shrilly, the cold gales blow

The Kitten's Song.

[Michelle Chapman ©1997]
Moth and Mouse and Bird and Bee
Stalking silently - long grass - I'm free!
Velvet paws and razor claws
My prey does not see me.

Sun and Shade and Wind and Rain
Meow - I sing the same refrain!
Velvet paws and razor claws
It's time to prowl again.

Play and Pounce and Peer and Preen
Fur - soft and silky - blackest sheen!
Velvet paws and razor claws
Sandpaper tongue to lick me clean.

Urban People.

[Michelle Chapman ©1998]
Urban people - WAKE UP !
If you believe the bush is gone,
It will be.

When you leave your smoky citadel
You take your cage of steel.

"Whoops, dear, that was a tortoise!"
"Oh. Do you think it hurt the wheel?"

What do YOU believe in?
What DO you think is real?

... believe me ...

the rainbow
on a pool of oil
is NOT as
as crystal dew drops
on a web of silk.

Imagine a world dry of mother's milk

A desert without oases ...
a stained, glass sea ...
... in a glowing emerald forest
... the oldest living tree.



[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
(Urban People revised).
people, rise!
Ponder this quiz:
Of all species made
which is the cruellest one?
Who leaves the smoke-hazed city,
takes country drives, encaged in steel?
"Whoops, dear, I fear that was a tortoise!"
"Oh. Do you think it hurt the wheel?"
Which species thinks it's witty?
Whose greedy lust for fun
makes others afraid?
The answer is
no surprise:
A rainbow
shimmering on a stagnant pool of spilt oil is nowhere near
as lovely as dew drops of crystal moisture shining on a web of silk. Can you
the earth without
ferns, moss and lichen;
fresh water in clear streams;
verdant, sunlit forest glades;
bright butterflies and sweet birdsong;
fragrant flowers beneath tall-trunked trees?
We've ignored it for far too long:
A cold, concrete jungle shades
our living, hopeful dreams.
Arise!!! Awaken!!!
Banish all doubt
and begin


[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
I wonder, do you know the land I love?
See the Southern Cross, shining bright above ...
In the fresh light of dawn, the birds come out
To feast on black beetles, buzzing about
Fluffy gold Wattle flowers and green leaves ...
A Grey Shrike-Thrush hunts spiders 'neath the eaves ...
The glossy Satin Bowerbird warbles
His mimic song, and searches for baubles
To ornament with blue his woven bower ...
See rare, dainty-petalled orchids in flower ...
See, too, the towering trunks of the trees ...
Clean-scented Eucalypts perfume the breeze ...
See butterflies sip from nectar blossoms ...
At night, hear the rooftop-dancing possums,
And soft-winged owls. By day, the dragonflies
Soar, metal-coloured, with glittering eyes ...
A Wallaby, with twitching nose, hops through
Thick scrub, where Peaceful Doves and Bronzewings coo ...
The bushland rings with the Whipbird's clear call ...
No wonder that this land holds me in thrall!

Bright Butterfly.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Bright butterfly,
flitting past sweet scented flowers.
Bright butterfly,
where do you go when the clouds cry?
When from summer skies, soft showers
sprinkle through your sunlit hours -
bright butterfly?

Borrowed Glory.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Diamond dew drops dance
on silken strands stretched across
sky-reaching branches.
Bare and blossomless they shine
bright in their borrowed glory.

Corrupted Rainbow.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
In rainy weather
cars splash by so fast, making
pools on the pavement.

Rainbow shimmering
translucent but polluting,
water mixed with oil.

Thick grey clouds above,
not bearing fresh, clean water
but factory soot.

Choking gases float
Above our crowded cities.
How will children breathe?

Buildings cover land
once covered by wild flowers.
Towers grow like trees.

Threatened marine-life,
poisoned by heavy metals:
industrial waste.

Endangered creatures.
Each day so many species
becoming extinct.

Habitats destroyed
by bulldozers and chainsaws.
Is this what we need?

Deep holes in the ground.
Precious metals and gems are
ripped from Earth's belly.

chaos caused by human greed
makes my spirit weep.

Cemented landscape.
Golden dandelion peeks
through the cracked pavement.

Symbol of hope that nature
may still forgive us.


[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Tawny maned lion,
yawning with wide open jaw.
King of the jungle.

Lioness stalking,
hunting for food for her cubs.
A loving mother.

Lion cubs playing,
rough and tumble feline games.
Learning new life skills.


[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Soft clouds reflect the slowly setting sun,
brightly glowing gold and radiant rose:
a gaudy flame that sears day into night.
The colours blend and mingle into one
deep velvet shade. As day draws near its close,
birdsong sweetly farewells the fading light.

Stark silhouettes against the sky, the trees
sway gently in the evening's balmy breeze.

The moon waits patiently till day is done,
her silver chariot, a shining sphere.
In place of vibrant colour, shadows run
till sharp-lined edges, blurring, disappear.
While sparkling with a beauty that can stun
the brilliant sequined stars through cloud-wisps peer.

Eomecon Chionanthus.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Dawn Poppy,
how many years does your
genetic dream reach back
into the
dawn of time?
Pre-prehistoric plant,
sweet fragile survivor ~
do you know
how many
earth's eons evolving
have blossomed and faded
before your
watchful eyes?

Here on our verandah,
green heart-shaped leaves turn brown
in winter,
while on stems
heartachingly slender
four snow-white petals shine
cruciform flowers with
crystal dust glistening
diamond bright
in the light.

Golden stamens cluster
around each rampant style,
their anthers
raised proudly,
pollen rich ~ the potent
lure that first drew insects
from the sea.


[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Verdant misty mountain valley,
sheltered dale where echoes dally...

lullabied by lilting ripples,
soothed by breezes, lolling lakeside...

trickling quickly 'round rock's course,
creek cheekily chuckling on...

spilling splendoured rainbow wonder,
sparkle spray cascades in thunder...

swirling into whirling chaos,
foaming pools of frothy laughter...

flowing out a broad brown ribbon,
between twin banks of fertile fields...

winding bends the river rounding,
distant thudding of surf pounding...

surf with surging salty swelling,
crashes splashes churning fresh wave...

tossed by taunting tidal turmoil,
bubbling up to sandy shores...

squabbling squawking seagulls cry,
shattering echo's lullaby...

Feline Frustration.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
I cannot understand
the politics
of your behaviour.

You live in the same house
... on sufferance.

If one is in, then
the other is out.

You take viscious swipes
at each other in passing.

You refuse to eat
the same things
in the same place
at the same time.

So why do I find you
sleeping together,
cuddled up on the couch?

oriental cats,
you drive me

End of the Trail.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
What happens to the slimy snail
if I put salt upon his tail?
Will his silver ribbon fail?
Will he stop eating my flowers?

Why must this caravanning slug
his thin-shelled mobile dwelling lug
'cross garden beds, carefully dug,
sneakily, in night-time hours?

Oh, can this ugly eye-horned beast
become a juicy lizard's feast?
Please, bright-eyed birds, at very least,
crunch and crack him where he cowers?

Voracious snail, why won't you leave?
I promise gladly not to grieve!
Tell me kindly why you believe
I should not display my powers?

spring winds.

[Michelle Chapman ©2001]
Swooping, swallows' wings
sweep wisps of white cloud across
spring-blue evening skies.
Summoning summer they swirl,
swift in insect-chasing flight.


[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
Fierce westerly winds
whip dry trees into frenzy
beneath bushfire moon~
her eerie beauty taunts us,
veiled by a burnt ochre shroud.

Charred leaves in silent eddies
spiral through smoke-heavy air:
bracken holds its shape
'til touched; turpentine leaves are
unburnt underneath.

Battlecry for the War against Kikuyu.

[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
You are a tenacious enemy
and I am surrounded.
In the heat of the sun your defiance
fuels my murderous rage.
I cannot forgive you
for hurting the innocent.
Under the sultry clouds I draw a line
declaring: "You shall not pass.
I attack with sharpened metal blade.
I beat you back
but you invade again
somewhere else.
You are indomitable.
You want this land.
This harsh dry land
that has been fought over
so often.
Is co-existence possible?
We both have master plans that are
mutually exclusive.
Each desires to cover the earth
in their own way~
but the earth is finite and
border skirmishes result in casualties.
I count my losses and arm myself

Then when I am old and tired
and no longer care to fight
will I grant you victory,
gracefully accepting my defeat?
Or will I cement you over
so nothing can grow?


[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
Cascading tresses
Smooth and soften the mountain's
pebble rough shoulders.

Flight of Fancy.

[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
With hearts as light as albatross in flight ...
"Albatross-bloody-flavour?" (a Pythonesque parrot)
Alone, alone, all all alone,
alone in a mad mad world.
I see
on a trawler's long-hooked line
an albatross wing

Save the Whales - Collect the whole set.

[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
Mounds of
delicate white flesh
gleaming fresh
on the sushi bar,
oil for
to soothe your silky skin,
scientific measurements
of tail, fluke and


Basho's Haiku.

[Michelle Chapman ©2002]
"the full moon
seven story-songs of a woman
turning towards the sea."
(trans. Jane Reichhold)

Delicate driftwood,
graceful arch of soft-fleshed bone,
embracing the night;

salty grass-tussocks,
moonkissed fur giving cover
to eroded dunes;

sand grains encrusting
her skin with shining crystals,
shades of gold and cream;

damp seaweed fingers
entwining 'round her ankles,
clutching like cold fear;

surf tasting her toes,
wavelets whispering secrets,
sighing mystery;

dead bird washed ashore,
catching on twig, inscribing
lines with broken beak;

wind weaving random
sounds into song; she, turning,
dissolves in moonlight.

Mr Kelly Brings Water.

[Michelle Whitehead ©2002]
Whenever the tank runs low
we call for Mr Kelly;
short, wrinkled grey
with goggle glasses,
he brings free eggs
and chlorinated water
in a red tanker truck.

In March,
he asks who
I think'll win
the footy.
" 'sthere a match on?"
I tease.
He, accidentally, backs
into an apple tree.
A day later it rains.

Late May,
I ask
about the soccer.
No answer,
not his cuppatea.
Tells me his son's
camping in Kakadu;
complains "it's high time
he came home."
It rains that night.

4th of July,
he mentions
I say,
"surely the Australian
can do it?"

So we talk tennis,
tucked between two tanks,
watching water swirl,
while wind tears twigs from
winterbare fruit trees,
tugging the dense
moptops of gums.

Clouds loom as he confides
he must rush back
to let the chooks out.

It starts to rain.

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