Day 18 – dog praising (& flag waving)

Kiara's Chezzy - side small.JPG

Today’s pome is inspired by a poem I read part of yesterday & wanted to i) play around a bit, ii) try attempting a different form, iii) honouring a subject I rarely write about (haha). 

The extract I’m referring to is taken from a very long poem Jubilate Agno (Latin: “Rejoice in the Lamb”) by Christopher Smart, written 1759-63, during Smart’s confinement for insanity, but first published only in 1939. Divided into four fragments A, B, C, & D the whole consists of over 1,200 lines: all the lines in some sections begin with Let; the other sections begin with For. The poem is chiefly remembered today for the 74-line extract wherein Smart extols the many virtues and habits of his cat, Jeoffry. It begins:

     For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
……For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.

& I will use the same/similar lines to begin my (considerably shorter paean).

*****

Jubilate Canis (shout out to my dog)

For I will consider my Dog Chester.
For he is the servant of the Infinite who is throughout the universe.

For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he wisely sniffs every piece of food offered to him
For secondly he quickly, softly, licks my toes should a leg drop over the bed’s edge
For thirdly he rests neatly, his forepaws politely crossed
For fourthly he sleeps wildly, upon his back, legs sprawled in 9 directions, completely at peace
For fifthly he always stretches his back properly upon awaking
For sixthly at dawn he wishes to smell all that his new in his yard & let others know of his return to dominance
For seventhly, beneath the desk even as I type, he reaches out a paw to ensure there is contact with my foot
For eighthly believes when he has the ball, all others want the ball, & it is his sworn duty to protect & retain the ball
For ninthly he does not consider himself too big to climb onto my lap & cradled like a babe
For tenthly he still whines excitedly (& only a little pathetically) at the gate, when I have been away a long time, as if he did not believe I was ever returning to him
For food
              for walk
…………………………..for pat
                                        for drive all delight in equal measure
For he is optimism beyond all reason for hope
For he finds joy in the simplest of things.

For while I claim he performs divine duty in ten degrees
For sure I could easily list ten times ten times ten more.


BONUS POEM: April 18, 2018

You don’t see as much of this in Australia, though it is getting worse…

*****

flags

proudly flapping
every where you go
patriotism overload
overwhelming, cloying
we have hung
them everywhere
outside our homes
along the roads
on tree branches
twigs, bushes, brambles
caught on wire
strung from fences
in towns, cities
& isolated country
hideaways
places you wouldn’t
places they shouldn’t
shreds of flag
shards of flag
a sliver, a scrap, a slip
the smallest fragment
enough to remind us
you can’t escape
the jingoistic fervour 

despite the propaganda
it’s hard to take pride
in any of our billion
billion plastic pennants

18b flags.jpg

Day 01 – the present (& the past)

knee

As much as I dread this time of the year, in a way I look forward to it too. The challenge of making yourself write something new is always illuminating. Particularly since I haven’t written as much poetry recently as I’d like. In the past 12 months, I have been overseas, packed up my old house, secured a loan, bought a new house, & moved back to the country where I grew up. It has been an exhausting but ultimately rewarding 12 months.

But for many hours today, I debated whether I would bother with another NaPoWriMo (they are quite exhausting) & I have participated every year since 2014.

That said. I really didn’t feel inspired. So I checked out the official NaPoWriMo page to see what the prompt of the day was: poem in the form of instructions on how to do something (a recipe, instructional manual, etc). Less than inspiring. None-the-less, I attempted for a while to fashion something I’ve been thinking about for a while — the “Goldilocks zone” for planetary habitability. But the recipe format made it too didactic, it clunked along & would take far too long to get it to work, so I abandoned it & felt like abandoning the whole idea, when …

 

the present

there are times : when in stillness : in solitude’s silence : in the black hole : of recrimination : i catch myself : remembering : who i was : grieving : for who i might : have been

when my dog : even if in slumber : feels the air shift : a gasp : tear : tremble : thought : paddles over : rests chin : on knee : looks at me : with liquidlove eyes : offers : a blessed moment : of forgetting

 


 

 

NOTE: Last year during NaPoWriMo18 I was overseas. I had intended to use the WordPress app to upload a poem daily but for three days the Italian wifi seemed unable to accommodate me. So instead I simply posted my poems on facebook. As a “bonus” I intend to share the poem I wrote each day a year ago so they too are on my blog.

BONUS POEM: April 1, 2018

TL;DR
Participating in #napowrimo/#glopowrimo again. Writing every day. WordPress sux. Posting on Facebook not blog. Catching up now…

Take 1. (Original Post)
Well that traumatic but challenging time of year has arrived again #napowrimo/#glopowrimo. Even though I am away from the Deskal Area of Creative Output, I was hoping to participate in it using the WordPress phone app.

However, even though 2 days have passed without a post yet, I have been writing heaps every day, so there is plenty to choose from. That said the excitement & exhaustion of OS travel (as well as just, er, frustrating technical issues) means I just … haven’t.

They will form, I hope a kind of mini travel-diary in poetic notation. They may not be the best poem of the day (though I’ll try) but one which captures the spirit/primary activity/mood/lesson (for want if a better word) for the day. But enough blather …

Take 2.
Okay so there’s a lesson learnt, I think … & that is that hotel wifi may not be “strong enough” to upload a new wp post. (Yeah I dunno either…) Either way, the spinning wheel of death went round & round for 20 min trying to publish before I was forced to concede & quit it. I lost it all & had to start again.

Take 3.
The ultimate lesson is that three (3) separate hotel wifis aren’t up to the task (2 in Rome, 1 in Tuscany).

So it clearly must be the fault of the app. In three evenings following delightful outings, I’ve managed to upload one saved version of Day 1 but not post it. & that took so much time I was able to read Chapter 1 of The Raunbow; a none-too-brief introduction to the Brangwens.

So I’ve decided the only inelegant solution is to only post on fb & updated the blog later.

 

Ancient Ostia, under the flight path

deliberately avoided
the showstoppers
wandered the small walls
half rooms,  broken paths
& togas of headless marble
once were somebodies

so when I arrive
via stone
steps so steep
OHS would object
i’m ready for breath
to be stolen

the ancient
amphitheatre’s
gasp

natural focal point
of congregating school
groups eating sandwiches
packets of chips
& browning precut
pieces of fruit;
impromptu lectures;
philosophical thoughts;
families clowning round;
kids singing songs
on the orchestra
while parents
applaud, laugh

even after 2000 years;
even while the big
planes bellydown nearby;
this long lost theatre
still works magic

Mask