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 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 12 – the hell of easter sundays

12 ole-magnus-schei-sunnevag-untitled-76

30 years ago today, Easter Sunday 1990 (April 15 of that year), my fiancé/soulmate & I experienced the first of three miscarriages of our three and half year relationship. We were kids, both 19. 

Back then there was no internet, we didn’t know where to go get support, no easy way of knowing that we were not unique in this. But it happened twice more during the next two & half years. Each time got harder, harder to come back from. Eventually our relationship ended, in no small part due to the stresses & sadnesses of those three losses; although there were other circumstances complicating things too. 

I have never fully recovered from the loss; almost daily wonder what different paths my life would have taken had I become a father way back then. It damaged me in ways I didn’t understand for decades. It took almost 25 years to “process” the grief (even though I still feel it) but eventually my alter-ego wrote & staged a 1-woman play which got much of the pain out of me … & enabled me to find a fragile kind of peace. Naturally, I’ve written countless poems about it. & every Na/GloWriPoMo the poem on April 15 or Easter Sunday is bound to explore it in some way. That’s another little gift: the fact that it has two “anniversaries” which have only aligned once in the last 30 years.

Also helping is the fact that a once young person I taught drama to writes about her miscarriages so honestly, lovingly, & beautifully on facebook (that often trite medium). I believe her words are profoundly positive & healing for me, herself, her partner, friends & family, & no doubt many others. I also love how someone I once taught is now teaching me. Thanks, Alice, for giving me the courage to write this post so openly & reinforcing the serenity to know it’s okay on those days when coping doesn’t seem possible. 

*****

pandemic for one

this disease : infects & reinfects my mind : repeatedly : over decades : every easter : of course : but christmases too : birthdays : facebook posts : of friends celebrating : first days of school : & 21sts : & weddings : & births of grandkids : & just about anything fucking else : can set it off : a time bomb explosion : of regret : anger : what ifs : why mes : & i wonders :

there is no herd immunity : i am the herd : reinfection is frequent : sometimes more virulent : than ever before : the curve has not flattened : the only cure : a wormhole

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 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 04 – time travel (& road rules)

Orange Dwarf

Several poems started, then a last minute contender rushed in demanding to be completed with 37 minutes till midnight to go. Such is the joy of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. 

Further complications were added when my wireless keyboard batteries went flat & I had to see if any of my dozen or so randomly distributed rechargeable batteries had enough charge to fire this badboy back up. 49 combinations later, little green light was go.

*****

the speed of light

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
for the foreseeable future my favourite
star is going to be 12 Ophiuchi
a main-sequence orange-red dwarf
BY Draconis-type variable star
in the east central corner
of Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer

at around 83 percent of Sol’s mass
85 to 100 percent of its diameter
& being similarly as enriched
in elements heavier than hydrogen
as our sun it is a semi-sort kind of a twin
i guess, i don’t really know much
about the astrophysiwhatsit specs
the reason i’m interested in
this faint little blip of light
in a relatively unknown
constellation is simple

it is 31.89 light-years away

which means the light my eye
is trampolining onto the back
of my retina & zipping off up
the optic nerve to my visual cortex
left the star 31.89 years ago
which according to my (admittedly
roughly hewn calculations)

… is about 3 days before we first met

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 4, 2018

*****

Crash Course
(A Poetic Interpretation of the 12 Rules of Driving on Italian Roads)

1.
i’m just kidding of course
there’s no such list

 

30264773_1707627189326933_8928048657901399959_n_1707627189326933

Day 27 – poem about bad hair

g&g

Some days a poem just writes itself. This was one such. From a few notes jotted while I was visiting my gran in her “retirement home”, the tone quickly established itself & made me laugh out loud as the various descriptions presented themselves.

knot me

in the quiet blue of my gran’s tiny
room a photo of a long-haired kiss-
curled cow-licked feminine-faced lout;
smug in a purple-striped shirt under
neath an all-white knitted jumper
(as was, I hope, vaguely fashionable
in the Miami Vice trashed late 80’s);
set off with a heart-shaped silver bolo-
tie for fuck’s sake
                                 although i recognise
his confident cock-eyed grin, his too-
smooth clean-cut chin, & once-pride&joy
full-but-already-thinning head of fine
wavy hair, my stomach double knots
in grief & pity — for he does not yet
know all he has, nor all he will lose

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