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 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 07 – ordinary days (& extraordinary nights)

Open doorway

A fun little exercise whereby I describe the things I’ve done today in more abstract ways via unordinary day alchemy; ie, went to the shops & bought vegies might be unordinary day alchemised to hunted in the long cool aisles for prey that cannot outrun me. Fear not, the examples in the poems are better (I hope 😂)

on an unordinary day 

i now have

half a dozen doorways
to new nowhere rooms
if only i can get them home

two notebooks which float

more stories i own
but likely never know

two big volumes of all
the old words of once were

somewhere silky
to rest my migraine
& learn new dreams

plus a full tank to take me there

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 7, 2018

A poetic love fable. Inspired, this may come as no surprise, by the fact that Venezia has somewhat scrambled my otherwise fairly reasonable compass. Conceived on one bewildered journey; completed on several others when I set out to deliberately wander writing lines in my head as I went …

The poem so far I’m most pleased with 😁
[2019 edit: even more pleased with it following a few tweaks 😁😁]

*****

The 1000 Ways to San Marco Piazza

my love lives in Dorsoduro ; I, in Castello ; & every morning ; she promises to meet me ; in San Marco’s Piazza at sunset ; she says if we find each other there ; our love will last

if I had the talent ; I’d pen a postmodern novel ; telling of the thousand ways ; we never meet ; a short chapter ; a paragraph; even just a line, a single word ; about how my unerring ability ; to lose my way ; dooms me ; where every route I choose ; is wrong

the one where I see her on another Ponte, chase her, see her on other Pontes, but I never get closer ; the one where every Calle is a dead end ; the where I find a letter on the cobblestones from her to another ; the one where I fall in ; the one with a Calle so narrow my shoulders touch each wall, closer, closer, till I am wedged tight; the one where I meet another who might in fact be : the one true one

nights thick with the stink of summer tourists ; nights where the waters are still obsidian; nights when I don’t want to leave the house ; nights when I am dying to ; muggy shirts sticky nights ; wet winter nights ; nights where la Serenissima is a dream ; nights where only it is

& maybe ; one night ; when I least expect ; I will arrive ; & so will she ; & we ; will meet 

07b Calle

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

Day 29 – poem about mines

cornish_mining_heritage___st_agnes CROP

Good one gareth, mining the same old topics. Sheesh! Maybe next year’s NaPoWriMo you could try something different …

emotion mining

sometimes the people who enter our lives are of our own choosing
while others are introduced by loved ones who should know better

i.
i’ve spent the past 2 months with several
of my mother’s dearest most beloved friends
who have suckered me into their whirlwind
unconventional romance, their aching love,
heartbreak, their failed business ventures,
smuggling, revolution, trials, jealously, the death
of their firstborn & the wild beauty of life
on an old coast, & a few days ago, Francis
drowning alone in a dark place

ii.
only moments have passed since Ross began
the affair he’s been threatening for years. now
it’s been so brutally consummated i cannot
contain my shock & as a consequence Demelza
has determined to go unattended to a ball
where who knows what calamity will befall.
i’m too afraid to turn, begin the next chapter
of course i will, after zapping this cold coffee

iii.
but the greatest betrayal of all is my mother’s
for she knew these calamities occur, yet still
blithely offered me the first in the series leaving
me to experience the emotional rollercoaster
…………………………………………………………………….alone

 

 

Day 20 – poem about emotional maturity

dogaccino

Two thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo 2017 … & a light-hearted poem on a day when I just wanted to read & relax.

growth

people accuse
me of being
change-reticent

patently untrue
clearly they have
not observed

the blasé way
i now fingernail
a stray dog hair

up the slippery
side of my mug
after its quick

coffee dip &
continue sipping
unperturbed

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 07 – poem about bicycles

Penny-farthing bicycle on a distant moon CROP

Some of my favourite poems come out of the dreams I have. Coincidentally they’re often among the easiest to write, even if I’m not always sure what they mean (the dreams I mean; I always know what my poems are about, huh-ha… ha).

night bike ride

you ride your penny farthing
along the lush lip of the moon
while I potter along beneath

pushing the chunky wheels
of my trike round hard as I can
without getting anywhere

soon you’ll be soaring along
the roadway of milky stars
& i’ll be watching you fade

Day 06 – poem about THE wonder of the world

text close up

Life can be such a poo the way it gets in the way. The first draft of this pome was finished well before 11am with intentions to tweak later in the day; but work, 2 & 1/2 hours of driving, that pesky niece again (thankfully the essay is due tomorrow, well today now) meant it’s had no chance for revision & is being uploaded a few minutes after my midnight. Ahh well, it’s a solid start that can be worked on later.

cheap paperback wonderland

though the pages are yellow, foxed
though the spine brittle
though the glue cracks
as each page tumbles over
transforming bound book
into loose leaves no matter
how reverentially i turn

despite the damage i inflict
upon this precious relic
long savoured by my mother
as one of her favourite fictions
i am once more lost   this time
in revolutionary cornwall
as the industrial age fires up
weeping at love gone awry
wailing harder when reconciled

every so often wandering astray
at the way words  no matter
the medium  these upright lines
curious curves  intermittent
dots & convoluted squiggles
repeatedly rearrange themselves
into emotional outpourings
that make them the greatest
of all wonders