Poems by Willem Tibben

midsummer night's breeze             

your entry is cool silent
brings a moment of forever
leaves me whole blown memories

come caress this body
kiss its skin extremes
you are the softest lover

From Near Myths published 1986 

becoming a nomad #2
(from a series of 4)

i am going to live with the natives
i will strip myself of all encumbrance
and go into the wilderness

i hereby renounce all my decrepit culture
and in its place announce myself a noble savage
who is both in and of the elemental world

i confess for years i've been a ghost
existentializing in the body of a clerk
but from this moment on i choose to be

will i be tough enough will i survive?
gosh i know that it will be no picnic
but isn't that the point exactly?

so all that's left to do is choose my tribe
i'll study National Geographic then i'll decide

from The Conscious Moment published 1995
has also been published in Ten Years Live,
 Live Poets Society, 2001

done in rude ochre teeth
screaming at hunter hordes
sensing the coming massacre
of domestication

this classic alexander on steed 
dolloped with pigeonshit
a million milling americans
in dirtymarbled venice

neither horse nor woman sweats
a pale halo softens the edges
of their eighteenth century
dainty haughty splendor

lolloping thru paddocks
of tree-stumping victoria
horse's nomenclature extends
to hunting imported foxes

teeth weird again
biting out "horse"
screaming at hordes
brute guernica

posted on OZpoet Freeform page March 2002
published in a previous version in Fling! - 1984 - as "a short note on the evolution of horse")

but and

the pause in their voice
begins its excuse
of a life
speechless with
his brain
is a clenched fist
unable to
her hand lifts
from the cold window
where fingerprints
fill with streetlights
and the heat of
their either / or
rubs between them

her fore-arm shifts
flexes with his throat
tick tick

she turns

winner: Passing Show Poetry Competition
Macquarie University, 1986

david's funeral

the congregation emerges 
its ragegrief shifting splintering
to family and friends
knotting about the fountain

with its mercury/classic/affect
clink of flag-rope a bellsound - 
what did they sing? I don't know
a late-arrival I was outside

their silence is ending-focused 
she moves to leave

the gravel drive 
crunches under her shoes

the crowd closes follows 
her brave hat

posted on poetic inspirations message board, March 2002

doing time

spend time
save time
take time
give time

share time
keep time
lose time
make up time

before time
after time
in time
out of time

all the time
doing time



(after "parce mihi domine"
by jan garbarek and the hilliard ensemble… )

from under 
ten centuries of singing
a voice surfaces, mine

and for the first time in an age 
i'm listening, hearing it 

like empty pages
zephyr strewn along the grass
or the surfsound of a billion leaves
whispering my life



Artwork: Nocturne in Black and Gold by James Whistler
Music: Enya

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Willem (Bill) Tibben  was  born  in Holland 21.04.1947. He migrated to Australia in 1954  and grew up on dairy farms in the Camden district, 75 k or so from Sydney centre, New South Wales,Australia. His work life was spent in various parts of the New South Wales Public Service- much of it in Health, much of it in Training and Development. He has had two marriages ,13 years and 16 years respectively, the second going strong,  and four kids (ages 28, 24, 14, and 12)
Bill studied part-time at the university between 1973 and 1987, including one fulltime year,,  eventually finishing three degrees (BS.Social Science, Masters Sociology, BA Literature and Philosophy. He started writing in 1967.To quote Bill, ' ...after doing it in my head for a couple of years. I had dreamed of being the new Bob Dylan, and did eventually learn to strum a bit on guitar but never finished any songs'.
Bill first submitted poems to the student Newspaper Neucleus UNE (University of New England) in 1977 which were all published. He then published in some small magazines but never the major ones  until he won a competition in 1986,  got onto ABC Radio (Poet's Tongue" in 1984), and then published his  first book, Near Myths, via Kardoorair , a small press  with links to UNE , in 1986.
He gave up on trying to get published but a  long term association with several writing/Reading groups kept him going in the ensuing years and reading aloud in public , a great test for many poems of this period.
Bill self published  his second book ,The Conscious Moment , in 1995 and is working towards a third collection  possibly due out in 2004.
Another quote from Bill: "My core style is freeform .I  do believe that there is one best expression of form and content for any given poem  and the task is to find it. Ironically my 'most famous' poem is three six line stanzas with an a b c c b /a rhyming structure ("did Bill Shakespeare have to wash the dishes?") published in the Oxford Illustrated Treasury of Australian Humour - 1988  I have been invigorated and inspired by my recent forays into epoety".