Day 24 – glory (& well, more glory)

24 climate-and-seasons-bgwa.jpg

Thoughts which have been broiling round in my brain while driving round the Barossa these past few weeks as Vintage wraps up, have finally coalesced into a reasonable poem. (After a bit of a biological brush up on the process of leaf colour changing.)

*****

senescence

i
with the arrival of mechanical harvesters
the Valley lost much of its vivid autumnal charm.
over violent shaking of the vines strips a quarter
or more of the leaf cover & startles the remainder
into a state of shock. though improved technology
has recently reduced the trauma & restored slightly
the brilliant explosions, breathtaking feast-your-eyes
yellow-golds, gorgeous scarlets, cheekblushing-crimsons,
redhued-rubies, winedark-purples, outrageous-oranges.
but still, slowly, the old ways die.

ii
a smilier malaise is affecting the less prevalent,
but still present, deciduous population. normally
as daylight declines & the nights grow long & cold,
chlorophyll production slows as plants recycle
& ship to storage those molecules ready for next season.
the domineering chlorophyll, no longer in the ascendancy
allows the always-present but lushly masked
complex chemistry compounds called carotenoids,
yellows & oranges, to have their moment in the sun
(as it were); before the red, pink, & purple pigments
responsible for sunscreen, light protection & pest prevention
kick in to complete the slow motion fireworks display.

iii
but this year’s long dry summer means unhealthy
water-stressed trees seem to be cutting their losses
carte blanche by snap-drying then rapidly dumping
instabrown dry paperwisps; terraforming the sky
to the same dusty brown as the droughtbaked dirt
                                                                                          it mirrors


 

BONUS POEM: April 24, 2018

A place Mum & I had to visit. & somewhere I think I’d love to live.

2019 EDIT: minor tweaks to improve flow, rejambed enjambment, & various images given extra bite. All in all, at least a 50% better poem than previous incarnation.

*****

sitting on the Doc’s step

after driftwalking
half in the world
the rest in my own head ;
limbo rambling in
artfully framed narrative ;
& the much messier
more inconveniently laid
out reality ; I sit on
his fake slate step —
wanting ; wishing ; hoping
to someday leave
such a through
looking-glass legacy
for other daytrip
dreamers

24b doc martin's house.jpg

Day 17 – tops (& tails)

An auspicious start to the day. Happy 95th Birthday gran.

*****

day of birth

air of gold  sky of water
bow of rain  leaves of blood
   a promise of home

.


.

BONUS POEM: April 17, 2018

One of the highlights of the trip is seeing these little critters first hand. Pookie you’ve got a lot to answer for.

*****

the shadetails

now seen : a dozen, more?

frozen tension : quicksilver bounce : flag fluttering frenzy : the business end ; of the gymnast’s ribbon : electrified question marks

still every time : there’s a flash : a furry pulse : an extrapolated heartbeat : I experience : a silken thrill : of my own

17b squirell tale

Day 13 – sport (& fashion)

13 jerk.jpg

For about a decade of my life, Saturdays in Autumn & Winter meant sport: football & netball. For the first time in forever, that’s how I spent my Saturday.

*****

Autumn day

it’s as if I’ve just finished playing u/17s
& we’ve come down to watch our girlfriends
(or more likely) those we wish were —
except the ones i played with are fat & bald
& the girls i once fancied, grey & chubby

everything else — the tinkle of coins
as goals rustle metal nets; the wild calls
of support; the choc of ball on court;
insistent whistle chirps; the scent
of homemade soup; kids queuing
for lollies too excited to choose;
others sausagerolling down the mound;
stars of yesterday cunningly disguised
as grandmothers; repeated complaints
about the too cold wind — the same

the minor differences — infinitely
more stylish uniforms; better hair
cuts (only one mullet); & everywhere
smartphones plastered to every palm

sadly there’s still that one jerk
father cheering too hard; screaming
pressure pressure; always over
aggressively; threatening to blow
his gasket; as if a gold medal
is on the line

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 13, 2018

A slightly lighter toned pome, just for some variety.

*****

lemmingwear

The North Face
clearly seems
to be the current
accoatrement
of choice
for the fashion
conscious
rambler

— or it would still be
if not for the fact
my mother
recently bought
one each
for her & dad
sending stock
prices tumbling

as if from a cliff

13b North Face.JPG

Day 02 – twilight (& touristas)

02 twilight

No longwinded introduction needed tonight.

*****

twilight: autumn roll call driving home

in the 25 dusky kilometres
between work’s end
& my welcoming door
i choose the slower route
the winding back way
through hills

by so doing, i glimpse three
glitteringly furred foxes;
half a dozen twitchy roos;
two scraps of darkness
reveal themselves as bats;
a crossing echidna forces brakes;
& a stealth owl i can’t identify
skims the windscreen
in an unwise game of chicken 

& although these are all
common enough creatures
for my part of the earth
every one ticks the box
inside my greengrass heart
labelled TINY THRILL

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 2, 2018

Wandering round Rome’s big Roman attractions (the Flavian Amphitheatre, Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, the Forum) has been somewhat surreal. I loved classics since a kid; read countless histories & fictions set there, that to experience them firsthand was bliss (despite the blisters, boom, you’re welcome).

But this is the subject of a separate poem. What you get today is somewhat lighter & more whimsical 😬.

*****

Selfie Schtick 

something about me
clearly implies trust
(or an ability to fake it
photographically)

for today, on top
of Palatine Hill,
i’ve been requested
to supplant
the selfie stick
almost a dozen times

i quickly developed
my own schtick
by the second request
— a trio of American
boys who laughed
at the result

which of course
meant the joke
grew with exposure
till its inevitable
demise with a Russian
(perhaps) family 

who failed to see
the humour in having
one photo of my face
& two blurry ones
of their own four
(so poorly framed
owing to gross self
congratulation with
my cheekiness)
i neglected to include
the Vatican
in the background

02b-view-from-palatine-hill.jpg

Day 19 – poem about bed

19 autumn_feeling_by_bittersea CROP

NaPoWriMo continues despite a long day prepping for & running a production meeting. So the following formula: very tired + little creative juice = quick pome.

bed

you brought autumn into our bed
which was fine while the leaves

were still soft & smelt of earth
— now they crackle when i snore

& you are long gone though
i refuse to change the sheets

Day 18 – poem about gloamings

golden_autumn_ii CROP

Today was a tiring day with a meeting in the morning, work on technical/production documents, phone calls & planning, pulling information teeth from my reluctant-to-divulge-information director, along with a printer cartridge which needed replacing at a crucial time, all meant my brain wasn’t really in a poeting frame when 8 o’clock rolled round & I realised I hadn’t written anything postable yet.

Feeling uninspired, I used an old trick — flicking through an art website I like, typing in keywords (like “firefly”, “serenity”, etcetera) until “autumn leaves” brought me to a website of a lovely French photographer who was obsessed with both the season & the “golden hour” which meant her page was full of golds, & glowing light, rich decaying reds, browns, & yellows.

So I assembled a page & a half’s worth of picture description (me describing what I see in the photo), photo titles (or parts of), & words/phrases lifted from the mostly French comments below the photos & run through google translate, which I arranged, tweaked, edited & tried to shape.

The result is this narrative through images. I know it probably needs a solid edit to help make it, make “sense” — & I’m not sure about the last line which originally I took out because it felt like it was from another pome, but I missed what was lost & so put it back — anyhoo, NaPoWriMo is about writing a pome a day, not about masterpieces. (At least that’s my excuse, & I’m sticking.)

Autumnus

your hands : overlap : your face : letting go : the place remains : imaginary : you handstand : in puddles : hair caught on blossoms

the leaves of my manuscript : waterfall over the balcony : stare at blank pages : sunbeams on my skin : my house : then the sky : pity the sun : that must go down : every night

we look at the stars : & talk til 2am : different themes : on the same thought : the same person : yearning for sunshine : in different clothes

wildness in your eyes : crackles through : everything seems to be twirling : ambiguous : diminished

i lay in the field : among flowers : asleep : my book : across my face

this is the link : to us : i am me : & you are nobody

you could : hide beside me : & i could : hide inside : maybe we just like fixation : this is the madness : melancholic nostalgia : beautiful : but full of sad memories

please don’t : wake me up : i need time to dream : everything deep : so i’ll remember forever : the days we spent : together

child of the autumn : child of the leaves : child that can never be

Day 13 – poem about heat

sacks

So it seems the NaPoWriMo moral of the story is, post Thursday mornings beforehand, not think you’ll have time at the end of the night. Thursday is my Worstday; with driving, work, late night, driving; I arrived home half an hour before midnight, tired & with a slow computer so that when it ticked over to midnight, I just thought: I’ll do it in the morning. 

Not a 100% happy with this one, but the others I worked on (yester)today are i) for a competition  or ii) political so it’s a very short short list (i.e., it’s this one poem). The only editing I’ve done (to)today is shorten the title.

favourite sign of autumn

you can keep your gently goldenening leafs
your sugarysweet ripening grapes & all
your other dull stereotypical signs of autumn
i’ll stick with my little bag of wheat

in the old days we warmed em in the oven
my forgetfulness costing me at least two
now the agitation of microwaves does the trick
in 180 seconds stimulating water molecules within

& so for the next three, four or more hours
it gently leaks heat into my bed, against my leg
warming against the oncoming winter
reassuring me cold can & will be overcome

more organic than an electric blanket
(& less likely to incinerate) but sadly
more lumpy than a lover at 3am when I roll
— at least, I think it is, it’s been a while