Day 19 – absences (& returns)

19 black hole.jpg

The third of three pomes all exploring absence in different ways. While not completely successful, it is the most successful of the three.


*****

absence iii

every so often your absence
is more noticeable, like today

the        removed from the rainbow
a heart                   only air
the             that is all hole
a night        without any stars
the bullet                 the glass
a spine with every                  missing
the               who cannot blow fire
a fish without


BONUS POEM: April 19, 2018

It can speak for itself.


*****

Homecoming

swan wings : the saw of the air : the piece : oftentimes : of return : the peace : the safety of a new place : where no one : any one : has their way : but every one : will prosper : coming through the lock : reflection ripples : relentless birdsong : playing dogs : oars up & back : leaping into the unknown river : willowy light : birthplaces : spires into memory : across time : making a mark : that lasts

19b flower.jpg

Day 16 – fire (& stone)

flames.jpg

Spent a large chunk of my writing time today trying to craft a pome comparing & contrasting the fire at Notre Dame with the fire in our climate. While many parts worked, a few did not & I realised longer would be needed to resolve the kinks.

However, while researching the idea I came across another, far less known story, which led to this …

*****

holy houses

in less widely covered news, the revered
al-asqa mosque in east jerusalem
was also struck by (a far less dramatic)
blaze at the same time as notre dame’s
inferno in france — damaging solomon’s
stables beneath a corner of temple mount

here’s a thought:
perhaps god is trying to tell us something

.


.

BONUS POEM: April 16, 2018

The theme persists.

*****

immemorial

stone is worn
moss softens
lichen gathers
chiselled lines
flatten
it rains hard
the sun shines
& pretty soon
everything
is forgotten

14b cornish grave

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 13 – sport (& fashion)

13 jerk.jpg

For about a decade of my life, Saturdays in Autumn & Winter meant sport: football & netball. For the first time in forever, that’s how I spent my Saturday.

*****

Autumn day

it’s as if I’ve just finished playing u/17s
& we’ve come down to watch our girlfriends
(or more likely) those we wish were —
except the ones i played with are fat & bald
& the girls i once fancied, grey & chubby

everything else — the tinkle of coins
as goals rustle metal nets; the wild calls
of support; the choc of ball on court;
insistent whistle chirps; the scent
of homemade soup; kids queuing
for lollies too excited to choose;
others sausagerolling down the mound;
stars of yesterday cunningly disguised
as grandmothers; repeated complaints
about the too cold wind — the same

the minor differences — infinitely
more stylish uniforms; better hair
cuts (only one mullet); & everywhere
smartphones plastered to every palm

sadly there’s still that one jerk
father cheering too hard; screaming
pressure pressure; always over
aggressively; threatening to blow
his gasket; as if a gold medal
is on the line

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 13, 2018

A slightly lighter toned pome, just for some variety.

*****

lemmingwear

The North Face
clearly seems
to be the current
accoatrement
of choice
for the fashion
conscious
rambler

— or it would still be
if not for the fact
my mother
recently bought
one each
for her & dad
sending stock
prices tumbling

as if from a cliff

13b North Face.JPG

Day 03 – valleys (& hobbitholes)

03 misthouse

Reading a Carl Sagan book earlier, where he describes a perfect day from his childhood at a World Fair & got to wondering, what might a perfect day from my childhood be?

*****

a long ago perfect day

a sunday, naturally
  they’re always sundays

autumn morning
cool but not too cold
  not unlike today

overprotective mist
hugging the edges
of our tiny valley

book snug under covers
  wasn’t a doona then
  but in this memory
  i’m stitching it so

hurried lunch
sardines on toast
  tomato sauce
can’t be away too long
from the otherworld

back into bed
till tea

tinned tomato soup
heated in aluminium
saucepan on the stove
  thinned with milk

fire in the potbelly
  wood i probably chopped

not much mattered
beyond the old stone walls
  indeed other than grandparents’ homes
  i barely knew anything
  greater than a dozen miles distant

except the stars of course
always the stars

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 3, 2018

Visited a place I’ve wanted to experience, since reading about it nearly a decade ago. It was as wonderful as anticipated, even if I was disappointed to discover they now have their own iPhone app. The world changes even when we wish it wouldn’t…

*****

Civitie de Bagnoregio 

to live upon
a mountain top
                         alone
like many monk
incarnations before

a town of hobbit
holes on a hill
instead of in
if all mine i’d fill
every home
with books

if only

i were unaware
of the signs
of
      land
       slipping
        away

 

03b Bagnoregio

Day 10 – poem about memory

_filtered__by_aksdareflection

I think I’ve mentioned before that during NaPoWriMo, I try & draft several pomes a day, testing out ideas to see what sticks … & hopefully finding an idea worthy enough to develop into some sort of acceptable first draft.

This very short pome began life as a stanza in a longer piece which wasn’t pulling its weight. I spent a long time playing with versions of it, until I realised, everything I was trying to say was in these lines. Less is more & all that. So I abandoned the rest; copied-&-pasted this bit into a new document & kept cutting*, playing with enjambment, alternative words, & finally titles; a dozen versions came & went before I stumbled onto the current choice which seems so ideal I wonder why it took so long.

Speaking of long, this introduction is so, only because the pome is so short & I wanted readers to feel like they got value for money 🙂

filtrate

he craves age
so everything
can be better
than it was, when it was

 

 

 

*sure it’s only 14 words long, but once it was 19

Day 14 – Second New Game, still learning the rules

Being a new week (after second Poet in Residence session yesterday), means I start a new game (actually I’ll be playing a couple this week).

This one I’m still kinda making up as I go along (it’s a test run for next week) & it harks back to the Title Poem of week one, I’m calling it Gossip: which means – Choosing a book, opening it randomly several times, picking out phrases, words, images, ideas … then assembling them to make a poem. I have chosen a phrase from: the first & last pages (1 & 378), every 50 pages (50, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350), & 5 random pages (55, 173, 221, 292 & 292, yes I opened it to the same page twice)

I’ve done a couple of test runs today & it’s certainly easier than Title Poem was. More fun too, cos there’s more choice & you can choose ‘clues’ to help give the book away. Can you guess the identity of the book? Today’s is, admittedly, pretty easy …

shirley of verdant verandahs

it was a terrible temptation
an irresistible temptation
so much superfluous flesh

the dark secrets of pool
& cascade soft mingling
of fireshine & shadow

the sunshine fell down
the sunshine of a 100 summers
through the misty blue air

but my ambition in life
is to go down the shore road
beyond the bend in the road

beyond the wind & stars & fireflies
till i can forget all about you
your drinking of raspberry cordial

& how one of your roses fell
out of your hair which i
picked up & put in my pocket

Verdant CLOSEUP

Note: the order the lines appear in are pages: 173, 200, 55, 1, 292, 100, 292, 350, 300, 50, 378, 221, 150, 250

 

 

 

Day 12 – lies, damn lies & autobiographies

I am reading Rebecca for the first time after it being on my wishlist for … well, ages, & while I am loving it (& subsequently in that strange frisson between ‘why didn’t you do this years ago’ & ‘perhaps it’s exactly the right time to do it now’) I cannot help but think about the artificiality of autobiographical writing of any kind. Particularly after many years have passed. Hence:

*****

the past is its own perfume

i don’t believe memoirs ;
cannot trust that upright
uptight autobiographical
‘I’
lives as lies ;
lies as narrative ;
narrativlies ;

they’re all a fiction subset ;
diaries a sanctioned form
of lying ; journals a justifying
conversation with who
we want to believe we are

my scepticism stems
from my limited recall
where i no longer recognise
if some of the wonderful
seconds of my own innocuous
history happened as i believe ;
or whether years of retelling
has altered the original impulse
beyond recognition ;

i trust baser instincts ;
scent which can roar us
back to who we were
faster than einstein’s ride
but so rarely are key moments
accompanied by unique smells ;

even music, that effortless
time travel machine
risks carbuncles calcifying
accreting, cumulating
till the detritus of decades
is attached & the original
pulse ; long lost ; gone ;

memory ; is smoke

NB I’m not entirely sure it’s finished, or whether it’s missing something, or what … but running out of time & mental acuity. Thoughts & feedback particularly welcomed on this one. (BTW thanks Sarah for the editing advice – suggesting cutting 4 words – or more accurately one word, 4 times, either way, big improvement)

*****

Smoke_by_rovokop copy