Day 20 — solastalgia

Playing with a word I learnt last year and thought might make a good poem title (& hopefully poem).

*****

solastalgia 

The homesickness you have when you are still at home.

word & definition coined by Glenn Albrecht
Australian philosopher & Professor of Sustainability

that peculiar 
form of distress 
that envelopes us 
in a misty kind 
of claustrophobic 
cling wrap
when we see our 
homelands both 
lived & idealised
lands which bring 
peace simply by being
give us tranquility
remind us to breath
to hope  to sit 
quietly   & still   & just

when we feel those lands
callously destroyed 
paddocks ploughed under
for another subdivision
megahardware store
or discount supermarket 
or cut open for coal
or fracked  set on fire  covered in oil  torn up by trucks

then
there is no solace

Day 15 — conceivably

Day 2 of the festival of grief.

conceivably 

in an ideal alternate universe : at least one of my unborn bairns
might by now have brought : their own bubbling babes 

into that mystic parallelium — so conceivably in that
painfully imagined utopia : i might even have grandkids

perhaps on that earth they started : acting decisively on climate change 
around the time my first born was : instead of stupidly kicking the can/

/i’m sorry : even in a dreamscape theoretical existence
i cannot conceive a humanity — which would have acted

Day 5 – in firing range

This is the poem I started writing yesterday till all the might have beens that never were muscled its way out into the world mid-draft. I’ve gone back to it today & finished it off.

in firing range

despite insane frustration with inept governments :
& debilitating rage at arrogant greedybloodhungry
multinational corps’ ruthless relentless unabashed 
pillaging of the planet : part of me knows — i
can’t really complain : for since that so long past :
never forgotten : sunday : i too have failed to meet targets

failed to reduce emissions (though reducing consumption 
would be more benefit) : failed in every known dataset
that supposedly counts : for something : in life : 
marriage : career : kids : success : legacy : wealth 
accumulation : financial security : et cetera : & : ad nauseum

for the longest time : failed to even notice
i’d been trapped in a tomb : since the first 
of those soulharrowing three days : over three
decades ago : the stone rolled back on me :
unaware : unable to escape my darkness

the difference i suppose is my failure :
has destroyed predominantly me :
(with deepest apologies to a handful
of beautiful people who were caught
in the crosshairs of my grief) : whereas
it is currently the world : being crucified 
now : & into the firing range : of the future

NB I'm really hating the new WordPress. It's repeatedly refusing to let me upload photos saying I'm not connected to the internet (even though I am & capable of opening other pages, watching youtube videos, etc. It's highly frustrating & causing the delays in posting.

Day 4 – all the might have beens that never were

This emotionally draining day usually comes along at some point during NaPoWriMo but not often this soon in (although I note I will have respite in 2024 when Easter Sunday falls on March 31). Best to get it over with early I guess. 

It’s not quite tied into the Climate Change theme as, erm, intricately as it perhaps could be. That said it did come out of a poem I was working on which was more intensely linked … & you could argue that there have been a series of dates & deadlines that could have dramatically affected/lessened the potential clout of the coming temperature rise … so thematically there’s a connection … so … I’m gonna allow it! (Whew, I was worried there for a sec I wasn’t going to convince myself.)

04 three-paths

all the might have beens that never were

today : mournday sunday
is one of two : fallow days
in every : whimpering year
i allow myself : to truly : wallow

to weep deep :  for my 
lost three : to wonder
over all the might have beens 
that never          :          were

to let grief’s heat : blister
through : the other mes
other lives : other trajectories
other doors : other : if onlys

all the stars that might : have burned
all the constellations : that others :
might have read : into that sky
all the other pathways : all the other joys

all the other : others : that never were

Day 30 – endings (& fairy tales)

30 at_the_end_by_heretyczkaa_d4irx0t.jpg

Toyed with a couple of ideas, none developed very far, when I realised I’d almost written a poem over the past 29 days. Took the titles & laid them out one after the other & they make a kind of sense. Couple of stabs at rearranging lines & adding words to help soften the occasional harsh transitions, but in the end, just went with the order they were produced, unadulterated, in a self-referential, albeit imperfect, found poem.

*****

the end

i.
the present  twilight ; a long ago perfect day ; the speed of light

ii.
the many things we see in the moon  from our flying machines  on an unordinary day

iii.
to repair with gold  failure  deflated ; big top potpourri  white hare

iv.
autumn day  sunday farm sounds  home, less  holy houses  day of birth ; Jubilate Canis (shout out to my dog)

v.
absence  wallows  the wind tree ; game of poems  will never end ; senescence  lest we forget ; game of moans  intertextuality ; last day of holidays  scans  the end

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 30, 2018

Looking back over the bookface, it seems I never actually posted a Day 30 pome last year. WiFi was possibly an issue, but it was also a big travel day. None-the-less, checking my master file it seems there were three pomes drafted that day (or at least, begun) so as a special End-of-Month Bonus … I’m going to share all three (after each gets a wee tidy up).

*****

silver 3

in an outer suburb
of Bad Wildungen
on route to Kassel
where the Grimm Boys
collected, collated
& reconditioned
so many of their tales

a silver 3 heliums
its shiny foil
way to freedom. sadly
tonight someone will
be recelebrating their 1st
rather than their 13th

initially  think it’s a bird
a rook or raven or some other
portentous feathered omen

seek personal symbolism
you can see signs
in anything — so i do

being in Fairy Tale land
naturally i see in
the wayward ballon

the three bears;
the little pigs;
three wishes;

three sons, two who fail,
one who saves everyone;
rules of three everywhere.

& always
always   always
three dead babes

°°°°°

for the trees

i.
being here where they were
has forever altered the way
I’ll read the Household Tales
for now I understand — forest

why so many stories are set there
why so many journeys go through
for there’s forest on every third hill

a forest around every third corner
a forest bordering every third field
& road … & river … & valley

& where it’s not a forest
it’s a grove, or a copse
or even just a stand

no wonder there are
so many woodcutters,
with so much wood to cut

likewise there are so many
kings, queens, princesses & princes
when beyond every forest
may well be a new kingdom

ii.
i also comprehend having
                                            walked in
Hansel & Gretel’s forest
that it’s so much darker,
blacker & gloomier than I could
ever have understood
from the desert’s
                              edge ;

Little Red’s, while
                                ominous
has infinitely more colour
a variegation of verde;

& seeing the virulence
with which things grow here
can well understand how
quickly thorns could over
come
Sleeping Beauty’s castle

°°°°°

Märchenstraße

I believe some of these towns
heard there was a wagon
grabbed their bands
& just jumped on

Cos their connection
to anything Fairy Tale
seems grimly tenuous
(& that’s being generous)

30b forest.JPG

Day 26 – harps (& axes)

26 mourn_xxx_by_ohlin84_da888ax.jpg

Came across the phrase “brother to dragons, and companion to owls” a couple of times in the past week (once as the title of a book I recently bought & was about to put on its new home: instead it’s now on the TBR pile) & wondered what it meant. So I did a wee search & located where the phrase came from … & though this didn’t help me understand what it means, it did inspire me to do a reimagining of the text around it into a semi-satisfying pome. It also feels slightly synchronicitous given we are 1/3 of the way through the final season of Game of Thrones. 

Note: Although I played some games with it, I was more interested in creating a new thing which worked than maintaining the meaning of the source material.

*****

Game of Moans

a harp mourns, my flute only weeps.
skin peels & baleful bones burn.
dragonbrother, owlcompanion.
mourn, but not beneath the sun
speak in assemblies, seeking help
constant churning, cannot rest;
days of affliction confront me.
hoped for good, only evil came;
looked for light, howling darkness fell.
wept the troubled, soulgrieved the needy
— yet none stretch a hand to my ruin
when I plea for help in my distress.
.
.


 

BONUS POEM: April 26, 2018

A pome about 2 sorts of home, written far away from both.

*****

Axe

i.
Our old rollie-smoking
Barossadeutsch neighbour once
told me, jokingly I suspect,
surrounded by sweet-smelling
wisps, about his favourite axe.
What a good axe it was.
How it’d been his since
boyhood; & he’d only
replaced 4 handles
& 2 heads in 60 years.
O wonderful, incomparable
eternal axe of his youth.
They don’t make em
like that anymore.

ii.
Feel like that ageless
axe — always waiting
for my head replacement
to continue being
the same old new me
of my youth

 

26b snit in snitterfield.jpg

Day 15 – sadness (always sadness today)

15 black_out_xiv___blue_candle.jpg

29 years today.

*****

home, less

the home is new
but sadness stays

my old heart yearns
for all the birthdays

that never came
.


.
BONUS POEM: April 15, 2018

Today. Every year.

*****

goldfish kisses

in the back of memory
monks monophone softly
as fish shivers pianoforte
glockenspielling my spine
these tingling goldfish kiss
past present & forever
into one molten lovechant
calcium dissolving moment
lift me up-in-to you
a been apart too long
old friend reminder

the sadness builds
I wait
           to come home

..
15b The Little House on the Mountain.jpg

Day 08 – cracks (& crows)

08 kintsugi-et-kintsukuroi-philosophie

The kintsukuroi meme popped up on my feed again today, It’s a common one that does the SM rounds fairly regularly, but is no less profound for that. I’ve thought about trying to write a pome about it previously, today I gave it the good old red hot crack. It’s not there yet, but I ran out of time.

*****

to repair with gold 

the philosophy is poignant : the aesthetic exquisite : the reality, harder to craft : repair broken pottery with powdered gold, silver, or platinum : mixed with lacquer : the precious metal seams : among the reassembled detritus : supposedly somehow : stronger : more beautiful : for having been broken

i doubt : the proof of fragility : together we dropped : three pots : which broke me : for over two decades : lived too long : with cracks, lines, chips, flaws, scratches, breaks : broken lines : deep trenches : the breaks, the knocks, the shattering : the fragments : too often my baked clay : wished to dry up : crumble : fall to pieces

unlike with Japanese artisans : if your pot breaks : only you can apply the lacquer : today i feel : the joins i’ve made : might be silver : perhaps one day : i’ll be strong enough : to transmute : those luminous lines to gold

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 8, 2018

Lines & images jotted down over past 3-4 days. Finally assembled & fine tuned today.

*****

Snug Voyeur 

every glimpse thrills me.
secret knowledge
hidden when you’re here,
temporarily abandoned;
your harsh full stops
& half-hearted commas;
like warts  like growths  like blisters;
blood clots in the cerebellum
conglomerate of cancer cells

collected sticks  stark
architectural recreations;
high amongst the skeletal
fog framed silhouettes,
reworkings of capillaries
tweaked bronchial tubes;
punctuating the forever
potential for new life.

when the leaves return
when the blossoms bloom
when your long flight
returns you home

08b clot

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