About Creative Writing...
Creative writing is the process of using crafted writing for the purpose of personal expression. This may take the shape of poetry or prose, and it may be fictional or non-fictional. Research has shown that participation in creative writing groups in mental health can lead to personal growth and the development of identity and self-esteem. A 2019 study found that individuals had an improved ability to manage stress and cope with “life’s ups and downs” and higher scores on resilience as a result of their creative writing.
The Hobart Clinic has been running a weekly Creative Writing group since late 2019, and participants have enjoyed the process of sharing and discussing poems from established poets as well as responding to writing exercises and sharing what they have written, (when they choose to), with the group. It has led to laughter, expression of difficult emotions, and a sense of common humanity and support between participants. Participants have often surprised themselves with what they have been able to create in the group sessions. We are pleased to be able to share some examples of their work within this exhibition.
By Susan Austin –  Occupational Therapist, Poet, and Program Facilitator.

Whale Song
The thrumming of baleen strings
Sings the cetacean opera
The call and response 
of deep poetry
Tears to fill
the ocean

My mind is like an endless stream
every fuzzy thought
interrupted occasionally with clarity and laughter
A bird or small mammal
scratching at the wall or digging a hole
trying to get out to make its new home
in the old pine tree
The still lake
surrounded by precious rocks
emerald, silver and turquoise
I long for my mind to be clear and calm
I long to experience more pleasure
in things I used to love
By Jules 
(Written during a group exercise when we each came up with a word: emerald, pine tree, scratching, fuzzy, bird, endless.)


There’s a place in every person’s soul
Liberated, free
A part of your very nature,
Unbroken though unseen
You may be fractured by the world,
Beaten down and hurt
Frustrated by the long, cold nights
In an unforgiving world
But like the purple light of dawn 
You will shine bright again
You’ll shake your hips and slam your fists
Proud, open and free.
By Nicole Lawrence

The light coaches wakefulness.
The bed disagrees and captures me.
For a moment the day’s potential blossoms.
Now beaten down into the usual fog.
And now the day seems full of pain,
my heart heavy and unyielding. 
Oh could I return to and live in 
these first moments before thought
robs the purity of the heart. 
It knows the way but the mind stands resolute. 
Ah but the full sun breaks its hold on me
and I contemplate what might be.
By Brett Duhig

Butterfly clouds over plastic ocean
Fields of glass, no emotion
Strongest winds but silent gales
Skies of blue, light and pale
Whisks of sunlight, bright but cold
No warmth or healing, feeling old
Grass greener than is green
Fallen branches remain unseen
He steps outside to right the wrongs
Storms and storm clouds, come and gone
Flowers bent at petal and at stem
Dogs cavorting amid, amongst them
The ground now moist, has sown its seed
A hungry smorgasbord to feed
Feathered breast, flightless wings
Come to gather and peck at things
This man, these dogs, the whole of place
Reflect and mirror their saving grace 
By Kris Carr

Well they melted down sand, and turned it to glass,
We melted down rocks, and mixed ‘em to brass.
Then we shaped it, and moulded it,
and made it a plane,
that flies through the air,
And it’s starting again..,
Well, da Vinci was crazy, and Marx, he was mad,
But they must have had something.
Who knows what they had?
It’s a crazy old place that can make a mind twirl.
But there was method in the madness, 
‘cause they changed the world.
Mind, after, after mind, after mind is the same,
But there’s some a little different, 
Some a little strange,
Some a little dangerous, 
Some a little cruel,
But some shining out in a world built of fools!
King Henry was a ruler,
They say he was mad,
Rasputin was a loony, infamously bad.
So tell me what’s normal, 
Tell me what’s sane,
It’s much too hard for a singular brain. 
Maybe Jesus was crazy,
Mahatma was mad,
But they must have had something, 
Who knows what they had, 
It’s a crazy old place that can make a mind twirl, 
But there was method in the madness, 
‘cause they changed the world. 

My favourite thing
I have not spent any time in the defence forces
I cannot be bought or sold
I started out being just a dream
a dream that could not be forgotten
I needed lots of nurturing
I needed hours and hours of training
I had to endure self-doubt, pain, insomnia
I am the 2010 Ironman New Zealand Finisher medal
I am round, with the shape of Lake Taupo etched on the front
On the back I proudly have had the times laser-engraved for the swim, bike and run –
A journey of sixteen hours and twelve minutes
Right now, I am in my self-soothing box as a reminder of something I have achieved
The strength I have somewhere deep inside
As a reminder of how happy and proud I was when I leaped across the Finish Line
It was one of the hardest, longest and best days of my life.

The Skater
The skater launches from the arena lip
Air time frames limbs tangled 
in the clouds all afire like burnished brass 
with a smouldering sun to underscore the majesty
out of which flails the skater 
as he waves back at the heavens
before gravity reasserts its dominion 
and gathers the scattered limbs to earth

The bristles are eager...
The bristles are eager, the paint excitable, they dance gestural on the flat white space.  
Changing brushes, I chase the colour, cool tones creep back, whilst warmer hues jump explosively from palette to planet. 
The oil paint smells productive, the turps a work-woman’s perfume, mixing like an alchemist, mark-making ripe decisions. 
These colours talk to me, speak to me, dandy pink and look-at-me purple. 
The vastness of viridian and cool allure that is blue, mix up, muck up, keep painting to remember, remember what? 
That creativity saves lives… 
Beloved Feline 
Ginger stripes, caramel fur 
Pastel pink nose, rumbling purr 
Sharp little claws, rounded belly 
Playful swiping, breath is smelly 
Stretched out body, emerald eyes 
Enormous appetite, devouring flies 
Blessed with softness, contrasting teeth 
Swiftly adopted to escape one's grief 
Flexible limbs and steady poise 
Scratches furniture, ignoring toys 
Delicate paws, chevron collar 
Greetings of a high pitch holler 
Random whiskers, perceptive ears 
Static tail when facing fears 
Dreams of birds, deep in REM 
Cuddles galore, if he wants them. 
By Penny 

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