Day 18 — frackwit

Pretty self-explanatory.

*****

frackwit

the same Prime Smirker 
who once gloated about
how good coal is on the floor
of the Australian parliament
is today raving about 
the multitude of climate saving
virtues (to hear him spout it)
of natural gas

the same guy who appointed 
a couple of natural gas wonks
to his COVID-19 recovery taskforce
which later (to no one’s surprise)
revealed that the way out of our
Covid-induced economic coma was … 
{ da-dah }
Nat. U. Ral.  Gas. &. Lots of it.

this fracking clown is relentlessly
smirking while the world burns

i only hope the pentecostal hell
he so fervently believes in is real
& he ends up sweating down there

eternally

Day 2 – conspiracy kiss

Why is it always the usual suspects that get rounded up in the weirdest theories? 

conspiracy kiss

thankfully i : only have a few : in my friendship group : but why is it : the same people : who wildly warned me : exactly 12 months ago : that covid 19 : was a chinese invention : funded by bill gates : hillary’s pizza shop : & spread via 5g : designed to   :  :  :   oh, I dunno : something nefarious : involving : microchips : a new world order : & stopping trump from re-election

are the same : geniuses : who claim : human-caused climate change : is not really a thing : & call me (all of us) : sheeple : & beseech us : to : “do our own research” : which to them : means a youtube page : with several hundred views : & a blog written by : an angry : out of work : austrian geologist 

me : rather than think : i’m being conned : believe instead : in the KISS theory : of understanding things : which is : if a substantial number : of climate scientists : claim we’re over : heating the world : chances are : that’s what’s happening

Day 30 — history doing what history does best

Wide NY

Once again, as if to round out the month, the poem I had been planning to finish the event with is not the one I’m publishing tonight. Again, an article I read about 100 year old New York serviceman who died due to complications with COVID19. This led to me playing with voice & POV & trying to put the scant biographical facts I had about him into a poetic first person monologue. Which lead me to research more about him. Thankfully the first article I read was the least evocative & I found some beautiful stories/snippets in other obituaries. 

As much as I liked the other idea, it seems right & fitting to end with this moving personal story that spans the centuries.

*****

Philip Kahn: a semi-imagined poetic obituary

everyone should understand by now history always
replays versions of itself for its own amusement.

he was born at the end of the war to end all wars
— then fought in the next one that came along.

on the ground, at Iwo Jima, survived snipers — & a booby
trap which blew him 15 feet from where he stood.

from the air, over Japan, flew B29s & dropped
bombs — then carried their weight the rest of his life.

he helped the Twin Towers go up
— then like everyone else, watched them come down.

married in 46 & remained happily wed
— until Rose’s death last summer. 

yet always — he carried a void with him.
i was that void. Samuel. twin. died 1919.

taken by two pandemics — a century apart.
a life lived — & one that only watched.

the irony of our deaths — is my brother
& i are bookends on a shelf that never ends.

Day 29 — the end of my GloWriMoPo 2-part poem experiment

29 Emergency.jpg

While I don’t think this poem works as well as I hoped it might, I was keen to complete because I thought it an interesting idea & I wanted to try & show in semi-poetic sense how acts of non-isolation impact others. Given a chance I’d restructure the first part giving me more flexibility in part 2. And once this month’s all over, & I’ve recovered, I might just do that.

Here’s the link to the first part if you want a refresher.

*****

Quarantine: part 2

what Donnie did this week

1. the days in bed didn’t help
he ended up being rushed to hospital
where he’s spent the last week
on a ventilator …

a selection of consequences of the things Donnie did instead of staying home

1. Plane
several people at Donnie’s church feel unwell.
including the pastor who has performed three funerals in the past 48 hours.
the lady that prepares the community meals hasn’t come in for days
one of the cabin crew felt feverish in Perth a couple of days later
  but had to work a flight back to her home Brisbane
  before she could self isolate.
her housemates have been looking after her.  

2. Shops
1st time. the check out girl who served him caught what Donnie has
 — but as she’s a casual with no sick leave
   she’s been at work every day since.
2nd time. the woman who used his trolley after him has a cough.
3rd time. when he coughed without covering his mouth
   the butcher couldn’t avoid breathing some in.

3. Grandmother
his grandmother died
   (though she has lots of loo paper in reserve).

4. Beach
thankfully Donnie encountered no one at the beach.

5. Haircut
his barber has come down sick.
his barber’s young son too.
  & the mum of the kid next door who looks after him after kindy.
his barber’s son’s kindy teacher is sick, but has recovered.
  her mother has not.
his barber’s parents are also feeling ill.

6. Bus
three passengers that Donnie coughed near are sick,
   including one who has CF: she has been hospitalised
   & is in a critical condition
one of the nurses at the hospital is so overwhelmed
   he’s contemplating suicide.
the single mother he sat next to is having trouble breathing.
   she doesn’t know who’s going to look after her young son.
two high school students had the virus without even really knowing.
their English teacher was not so lucky.
the driver has died.

7. Mates
Gary felt crook but kept going to work.
Gary’s boss has a fever.
Greg too felt a bit funny, but stayed home in bed.
Greg’s wife is now in bed too (& not in the fun way).
Greg’s wife’s mum dropped off some soup for them.
   and did a bit of tidying up.
   now she’s having trouble breathing.
Bill is fine.

today
… sadly Donnie
has recovered.

Day 27 – amusing reflections on our education conundrum 

social-distancing-kids-.png

Not the poem I was working on initially, but given my facebook feed was full of posts on this topic, it sorta spewed out. Maybe the COVIDSafe app poem will get aired tomorrow. Or maybe like around a dozen others, it won’t, cos I’m running out of time.

*****

funny haha

isn’t it funny
how council playgrounds
are off limits with signs up
saying CLOSED FOR COVID
but playgrounds in primary schools
all over the country
are somehow virus-safe spaces

isn’t it funny
how kids aren’t allowed
to visit their grandparents
but teachers of the same age
are supposed to go to work
to teach classrooms full
of similarly aged tykes

isn’t it funny
how the prime minister
closed parliament till august
so 76 senators & 151 house of reppers
don’t have to associate together
whereas schools with a 1000 kids
& 100s of staff are meant to function
as if everything’s normal

actually, i guess
it’s not that funny
after all

like a lot of what’s going on
right now

Day 26 – festive-themed silly Sunday

26 12 days.png

Okay, this is one I’ve been saving. I’ve tried to get it as close to the original as I can (phonetically & rhythmically, but I’ll concede there are holes) — while referencing contemporary things, which definitely made it more challenging. But it’s okay for a bit of fun. I’m just gonna hit you with the last verse not the 11 incrementally longer versions. But you’re smart, you can figure out what’s going on.

*****

12 days of Coronamas

12th day
On the 12th day of Coronamas my true love sent to me
Twelve doctors doct’ring
Eleven nurses nursing
Ten landlords a-weeping
Nine checkouts chicking
Eight Brady’s zooming
Seven stylists a-trimming
Six priests a-praying
Five toilet rolls
Four brawling kids
Three Bench Clenz
Two surgical gloves, and
A smart new facemask just for me

Day 25 — big dates raise big issues

25 Rosemary.jpg

As always, Anzac Day is highly conflicted for me. I had two grandfathers who served in WW2 in North Africa, the Middle East & Papua New Guinea & who thankfully both came home. I had a great grandfather & a great great uncle who fought in the trenches of France & one came home & one did not. I had another great grandfather who served with the Light Horse in Egypt & Palestine. He also came home. So the Anzac mythos is strong on both sides of my family. It is personal. However, at the same time, I find much of Anzac Day tokenistic* & backward-looking.  See below for my reasoning.

*Though there is something very communal & positive about the #AnzacAtHome & #DrivewayAtDawn movement as a result of COVID-19 which I like immensely. Perhaps this could be one of the ways forward, followed by street parties all over the country.

*****

the Anzac spirit

beware: today’s the day you’re most
likely to catch Anzacspiritus flu
an insidious disease that claims men
fighting on Gallipoli beaches
& trenches of the Western front
somehow forged our young nation’s
nature with five distinctive qualities:
mateship, humour, courage,
ingenuity, & endurance.

my perennial question —
how 256,000 men who rarely
spoke of their experiences
influenced the entirity of Australian
society’s then five millions
                          remains unanswered.

that said, i don’t begrudge a nation
built on these tenets
they’re a reasonable list — though
you wonder if they’re not in fact
lacking somewhat. maybe: compassion,
cooperation, freedom, security & equity
                                    could be added.

but instead of simply praising them
this one day of the year
let’s actually live by them.

there wasn’t much mateship going round
when toilet paper was being hoarded
& supermarket shelves stripped;
nor courage when it came to attacking
fellow citizens simply because they look
like where our current virus is from.
thankfully though our GSOH
has been highly evident through countless
memes, TP workout routines, etc.

my request is — if any politician
from the Prime Minister down
to your local council member
wants to cash in on the gungho glory
of Anzac then they need to spread
those five+ tenets to every decision
they make throughout the year.

let’s start using our brave, heroic,
foolish, flawed Diggers never ending
sacrifices to heal, to look forward,
                            instead of always behind …

Day 06 – close to home

Red V big

Not much explanation needed tonight.

*****

hypochondranoia

in these anxiousladen : hypertensile times : over doctor googling : affects mental health : almost more than any virus : attacking flesh

a pre-exisiting history of weak lungs : can’t account for : this shortness of breath : when walking : into the next room : to make another cuppa ; every whimpered cough : bubbling up like lukewarm lava ; the-not-quite-hot : but-definitely-warmer-than-bugsnug : flushes ; the soft aches of exhaustion : in every cell ; the intermittent bouts : of nowhere-near-migrainial misery : but discombobulating enough : to warrant frequent napping ; all adds up : to not quite anything 

simultaneously : not wanting to : over-react : read too much into it : complain : cos it’s probably nothing : don’t want to : over-whelm : the local medical centre : probably : just a hangover : from last month’s laryngitis : after all : other than living in a : designated cluster area : what chance has there been : to jump on : this global pan-wagon

Day 05 – my first ever 2 part GloWriMoPo(em)

Sick at home with high fever

Um, this still isn’t the poem I promised yesterday; that’s the “trouble” when there’s lots of ideas bouncing round all the time. (You might get that poem one day or you might not.)

But this isn’t quite the poem I was hoping to present today either — hence the brillo idea of making it a 2 part poem. Part 2 will make it’s way onto these pages in a week or so. (I love it when form & content inform each other.)

*****

Quarantine: part 1

8 things Donnie did last week instead of staying at home

1. Disembarked the Ruby Princess … & caught a plane back to Adelaide
2. Bought some toilet paper, he had plenty … but was on the shelf so why not
3. Visited his grandmother, gave her a hug … & the loo paper too cos she was out
4. Spent the day at the beach … probably the last warm day before winter
5. Got his hair cut, sneezed once or twice … those chemicals always set him off
6. Caught the bus, coughing as he did … people looked at him, big deal
7. Returned to the shop three times … cos he kept forgetting things
8. Visited a few mates for a brew … though Bill, the bastard, wouldn’t let him in

What Donnie’s doing this week

1. Feeling under the weather … so decided to have a couple of days in bed

Day 04 – the flat curve round the corner

04 The falling Curve

Was intending to write a poem based on exercise from yesterday’s Na/GloPoWriMo site. However, I spent so long collecting words (part of the task) that I had no time left to actually write the thing. So I’ll try & get to that tomorrow using the words gathered today.

So this then is a quick stopgap, started only an hour ago, based on one of the dozen or so ideas I’ve got stockpiled to work on this month. As such, it’s a bit rushed, but it’s okay. As I always say, Na/GloPoWriMo is not about crafting perfect poems but trying new things, having poems to work on post April; & occasionally if you’re lucky catching a lightning bolt or two in a bottle along the way.

*****

decurving

i.
the challenge with the whole lockdown
don’t leave the house, isolate yourself
curve-squashing philosophy is if it works
all the instant expert naysayers will neigh
see it wasn’t as bad as your henny penny
sky’s falling economy-killing hysteria predicted
— which although technically frustrating
is surely not as grave as the alternative,

ii,
despite this, some debate whether the cost
of flattening is really the lesser of the evils
— which in a way overlooks an essential issue
the fact that we as a species are living
way above our credit level & treating earth
as a giant hypermarket where we can grab
anything we want without needing to pay
— well, debts are starting to be called in.