The HyperTexts

Claire Brew

Claire Brew poet and actress

Claire Brew is a poet and actress who lives in Sydney, Australia. She describes herself as "a passionate and expressive woman who has a great love for telling stories." This is her first publication by a literary journal, but we suspect it won't be the last.

A Daughter’s Prayer

My father, don’t cry inside;
You know, the ocean is waiting to meet you. Don’t hide inside, either—
nothing is safer than to risk it all, because nothing is ever safe.
You are known as the one who smiles:
you are known to surprise yourself.

My father, don’t leave me behind.
Before you go, tuck me into that pocket near your heart
(the one where you keep your cigarettes).
The time has come to forget the tristful years.

My father, I remember that you carried me for long hours on your shoulders:
remember, we carry each other, now. Remember that time is on your side
as long as the day has a dawn—
and remember at sunset to kiss me goodnight, because one day this will be a dream
we awaken from, together.

My father, you told me nothing is finite,
but that everything must end.
You told me I made you see God, the Father—but I don’t see him,
because I have you.

NOTE: The word "tristful" means "sad," "sorrowful," "melancholy."

A Woman’s Song

Mine is a path of a darker kind,
I did not ask for;
you do not understand
what you do not seek to find,
so you call me a whore.

Mine is an experience of unkindness—
there is another side;
a secret process
you do not see
makes room for hope to hide.

Mine is a young heart and an old soul,
I am still within a crowd:
look for me to make you whole
or silence a mind too loud.

Mine is a freedom intangible
which can never be taken;
throw the first stone
If you are able
to deny there are parts of you, shaken.

Mine is a road less travelled—
of lonely, whispered tales;
I've walked with spirits
I clung to—and battled
and witnessed that love prevails.

Mine is a desire without choice
from the prisoner in my chest;
who aches to be heard
(yet fears the sound of her voice)
and will never be at rest.


I think of that beautiful sadness:
a glorious moment
filled with dread—
when once you carried me to my deathbed,
where I saw myself
remember you.

I think of that
rundown motel
(A palace!)
where we escaped chaotic traffic
to feel the ever-flowing current,
so that when the rain fell
we knew it was for us.

I think of that time we pushed to the end of love, and then

I think of that
as I think of you—
perpetually alone
without me.

I Wish I Had a Better Story

He was much older than the rest of us—
someone’s brother;
my sister said he wouldn’t want an unfinished woman,
but I was a willful girl.

I was thinking of my mother
when he put it in,
the bloodletting piercing my resistance
(O how I wished he had treasured me more
than to leave his socks on).

he handed me a towel, and left.
I wiped it red and buried it in his closet,
with little hope that cheap cologne and chaos would obscure
my springtime, lost.

His triumph was
that now-gone portion of my youth:
his attention vanished from

A finished woman—
I made towards the stormy hills
for the last train home;
composed against the looming winds,
and void within
to mock the tempest’s scorn.

Under the Frangipani Tree

Under the frangipani tree
we sat, my father at the head;
who spoke of days gone by—
when once his sister drowned,
and they buried her
under a frangipani tree.

Frangipani Tree,
of sweet and mild delicacy;
your mazes fade into that sapphire light—
your flowers bloom too soon,
though bright.

Under the frangipani tree
we sat and gave
blessings to my sister,
for a child
whose laughter might one day rise,
under the frangipani tree.

Frangipani Tree,
of sweet and mild delicacy;
your flower (for a moment)
safe against the night—
engulfed in huddling branches,
gently hidden from His sight.

Under the frangipani tree
my father visits me,
and snuffs the air and sighs inside,
for Her pale redolence—
ephemeral and free,
holds time’s memory.

Frangipani Tree,
of sweet and mild delicacy;
falling petals softly carpet, pink and white,
no shadows—only shade,
where life and death take flight.

Hard to Swallow

It’s true that lies
Linger in eyes:
Fear burns like pine
inside the mind.

The chains you wear
are just air
and whiskey will follow
pills, hard to swallow,
to loosen your tongue.

Hiding truth
makes you aloof;
deception takes shelter
under your roof.

You say the bed you sleep in
is weeping—
where’s the proof?

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