Day 14 – silences (& more silences)

14 view

Familiar theme. Unfamiliar ending.


Sunday afternoon farm sounds

mostly sleepy silence
a suite of breezes
  of differing thicknesses
cartwheeling leaves
bone-crunching lawn dogs
young pup’s yips
  unsure what’s going on
mad gabbing of parrots
lonely cry of a duck
  searching for the lost flock
solitary desolation
  of the only crow around

the soporific drone of man
whether high sky, dirt disturbing
or distant roadway rumbling
a forgotten radio
  playing to a shed of ghosts
the irritating digital pings
  as new words arrive
  at my mother’s phone

& my beautiful grandmother
humming made up melodies
& starting sentences
memory won’t let her finish



BONUS POEM: April 14, 2018

Bit of theme developing. Oh well, it’s part of the reason behind the trip …
NOTE: minor 2019 edits to improve flow.


looking for Ambrose in the Torringtons

start in lush Merton sunshine
where we are confident one is sown
yet six of us, crisscrossing, find nothing
except freshly cut grass, lichen
& boredom blooming like mushrooms
— so five leave as one goes on
to the Torringtons three: Little —
unclear if any were ever planted here
regular — where a football pitch garden
implies looking for needles that might
not even be in this granite haystack
for not a single 18th century date’s
visible beneath time’s smoothings
whereas ironically Great — no longer
seems to exist. 
realise I need simply to enjoy
the moss path beneath my feet
settling sunbeams on my skin
& be reassured that if Ambrose et al
even still care, I have tried.
moments later I pass a bus full of silly
young people preparing for a wedding
which seems eminently appropriate —
reassures me I made the right choice.

14b merton.jpg


Day 3 – from Other Poets’ Poems

NOTE: so the lesson learnt from late last night is: remember to press the publish button, not the preview one. 

Today’s title poem comes from a different source than the first two. Friendly Street Poets had a session at the Payneham library & I went to listen to/support friends (I didn’t read given I’ll be yabbering on enough this month). While I was there

While I was there I recorded as many of the titles of the poems read out as I could (some poets don’t speak very audibly & some poets in the audience vague out from time to time). Then when I got home (after a quick diversion to a public house to discuss important issues like how many hands a clock has & our views on cats on the continent of Australia) I typed up the list of titles (those I could decipher given my scrawl) & from that subset drew my list of phrases.

Out of 71 possible titles I used 44, I probably could have got more in but I felt I was already ‘losing control’ of the draft as it was. It definitely would be better shorter, but that’s not the exercise this month.

Thanks & apologies in advance to any poets who are horrified that I have appropriated parts of their masterpieces for this Frankenpoem. If you are really upset, just remember — it’d be a better poem, if you gave me better titles hahaha…


scraping the (sleepless) nights

toward evening’s
moment of departure
you in your rocking chair

love your collection of axioms
poetry is dead
time is a hound
it’s best to be sure
love is a no through road
there’s no wonder in an open door
red in the morning
death by stoning’s too good, etc

your leftover questions
why are people so cruel
who can know the mind of the sea

your opinions
on the philosophy of cut flowers
on the 6.04pm platform 8 to osborne
on poetry as an alternative to oxygen masks

your admission
when aunty was dying
that night she said
she was living in a draft
of a new life

i ache to find
the ink trail lost
between words

the crux of trust
the genesis of hope

otherwise it’s just
the losing of wisdom

but you pack
your twilight years
up in neat little boxes
snuggle down
into your multi
coloured dream coat
your face turned
toward the garden
& the cold autumn wind