Day 12 – hares (& old stones)

12 hares in snow lino prints

Been playing round with some hare-inspired poems. This is my reconstruction of a West Country legend of a witch who takes the form of a white hare.

*****

white hare

while hunting : in the afterbones : of night : her siren warning : sways over the valley : a white hare warms me : goldeneyes gleaming light : look away look away : must not stare : into her eyes : or my soul : she’ll steal : a swift shadow approaches : white haired woman : wooing me : face of ashen grey : begging me to stay : look away look away : white belly : dancing bare : on the heather : from dusk till dawn : hounds bray

look away look away

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 12, 2018

Part of the holiday experience is visiting places my ancestors left a century or more ago. This is one of them.  EDIT: formatted lines the way I wanted them to look last year, but couldn’t owing to facebook.

*****

wandering round the churchyard at St Winnow

good Cornish stone sprouting
                                                 grey
among green dandelions
                                        & wild cowslips
long ago some single
still yet-to-be great
  great    great     great    grandparents
left what they thought a harsh life
for one with more
                               hope
in the far off dust
                              of Australia

a short prayer away the Fowey
flows south
                    like silver slate

I walk over lusciousness
wanting to make amends
for a hiccup of snow amongst
stones so weatherworn
 & lichenloved
                        they’re illegible
we vow we’ll remember
                                       forever
when a generation
or two is the most
                              most of us get

so though I might be
                                treading on
ancient ancestors
given the perfection
of their forgetting
                             place
I don’t believe
                         they’ll mind

12b St Winnow

Day 27 – April Twenty Seven: “Sunday Sillies” (sort of) Part 3 – poetry reincarnations

Played around with a series of things today, but most of them serious. Remembered (after forgetting last week) that I was going to use Sundays as a play day for silly experiments & games.  The first two weeks were attempts at humour (limericks & a caricature poem). This one is a crossbreeding of the poet’s game Golden Shovel invented by Terrance Hayes where the last word of each line of your poem is a word from another poem & a “found poem” I made by abridging one of my absolute favourite poems of all time: D.H. Lawrence’s “The Ship of Death”.

I allowed myself up to four words from each of his lines. They appear in the same verse structure as his poem.

There is precedent for this as Lawrence himself edited the poem before his death so there are two versions: a longer one which I believe is the superior & the one I used for this game, & a second shorter version, which lacks much of the longer poem’s emotive power.  My version is midway in length between the two, & apart from one or two clunky lines, still works pretty well I think.

The Ship of Death (Reader’s Digest abridged version)

I
falling fruit
journey towards oblivion.

drops of dew
exit from themselves.

bid farewell
exit
the fallen self.

II
you
will need it.
apples will fall
on the hardened earth.

a smell of ashes!
smell it?

the frightened soul
wincing from the cold
through the orifices.

III
quietus make
a bare bodkin?

man can make
exit for his life
is it quietus?

even self-murder
make?

IV
we know,
deep and lovely quiet
heart at peace!

quietus, make?

V
you must take
journey, to oblivion.

painful death
the new.

bruised, badly bruised,
oozing through the exit
the cruel bruise.

ocean of the end
of our wounds,
flood is upon us.

your little ark
little cakes, and wine
oblivion.

VI
the timid soul
the dark flood rises.

all of us dying
death-flood rising within us
on the outside world.

our bodies are dying
our strength leaves us,
rain over the flood,
our life.

VII
all we can do
build the ship
the longest journey.

with oars and food
accoutrements
for the departing soul.

as the body dies
out, the fragile soul
the ark of faith
pans
clothes,
black waste
waters of the end
where still we sail
and have no port.

nowhere to go
deepening black darkening still
the soundless, ungurgling flood
darkness, up and down
no direction any more
she is gone.
see her by.
gone! gone! and yet
somewhere she is there.
Nowhere!

VIII
the body is gone
gone, entirely gone.
heavy as the lower,
the little ship
is gone
gone.

end, it is oblivion.

IX
of eternity a thread
on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
pallor upon the dark.

does the pallor fume
higher?
there’s the dawn,
coming back to life
out of oblivion.

the little ship
the deathly ashy grey
flood-dawn.

a flush of yellow
a flush of rose.

whole thing starts again.

X
like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
home, faltering and lapsing
on the pink flood,
into the house again
with peace.

heart renewed with peace
even of oblivion.

build it!
you will need it.
oblivion awaits you.

*****

 2014-04-27 14.18.17

Day 24 – April Twenty Four: spit-spot off to bed

I’m reading the biography of P.L.Travers (the woman who created Mary Poppins) – it’s a wonderful rich inspiring book (unlike Disney’s saccharine superficial movie).  It sparks, tingles, fires & inspires so many ideas which I dash off as I read. This is the best of them from today.

night terrors

The children are frightened
of ceiling cracks
creaking radiators
& hot water services
which sizzle in the night

We calm them
with ancient tales
of transformation
flights against the sun
forest witches, & other grims

*****

 mary poppins

April 22 – Day Twenty Two: night visitors

Disturbing visitors last night inspired this. NB this still isn’t on word press despite being back in town is because I got back to discover my electricity has been disconnected. The glamorous life of the poet.

The Outsiders

I’m the proverbial snug bug in a rug
Bedcurled, thriller-reading when the attack begins
Intimate thunder that sounds far off
Yet feels close, frantic rain beating, never falling

As the numbers build, so too the sound
The fury, dive bombers splatting glass
On the neighbouring mesh screen, maniacal harpists
Frenetic playing to appease the wild god of light

Again & again they bash themselves
Over & over they wingertip strum
Till they fall to the ground, broken

There turn violent circles, overwound
tops hypercharged on red bull
Tyre smoking donuts by kamikaze hot rods

Already dying, despite only abandoning
Brownpaper sleeping bags hours ago

If the desire to embrace fire is so intense
Why not fly, Icarus like, at the sun

By the time dawn arrives, silver light filtered

By low clouds, dozens of wing-wrapped coffins

Sleep on

Concrete

*****

moth

Image moi. 

April 18 – Day Eighteen: Easter ghosts

I saved a bunch of articles I was planning to use/explore in poetic form during NaPoWriMo. Yet almost every day, something more “personal” gets in the way.  Good Friday (the day this was written, was one of them.)  This poem was written in the car on the drive between Adelaide & my parents’ farm.

When I re-read the poem for the first time since posting it on fb almost a week ago, the irony is, the poem itself has a huge hole. The one thing I always think about at Easter is not including, other than through indirect allusions.  Maybe it works, maybe it needs to be addressed in May, when NaPoWriMo is over & the editing process can begin on all these half begun, half completed poetical sketches.  I want to tweak it even now, but will save that for later & repost as first put onto fb.


What I think of when I think of Easter

Looking over the litany of Easters past
I recall very few moments of chocolates & egg hunts 
Haunted by decades of bright eyed moons

Floating down houseboat rivers, discovering cunnilingus
Climbing cliffs, faking falls, tomato sauce for blood
Church surfing with fish laughing at services
Glorious joyous days before he finally died
Driving overnight interstate thinking I was driving to true love
Some lost at the bottom of a bottle
Crashing cars in suburban streets
Several lazy long weekends at the farm
Amusing my nieces, annoying the rest
Walking with a black dog, before meeting my souldog

Tonight the moon’s a ruddy oblong egg
Low, ghosting the hills, as I drive north
What is life but a succession of wounds
Public crucifixions, little deaths, lying in darkness
Trapped beyond stone, & eventually rising to do it all again

What pains me are the holes
Years I can’t remember – when I’m the only constant
No other person or thing to act as yardstick
& the holes

Lovers lost, friends forgotten, children never held

*****

blood_moon_by_darkriderdlmc-d4rzhrg

Image: Dark Moon by darkriderdlmc @ deviantart.com