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 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 25 – The Year of One Day

Today is a controversial day for many. But it’s been good to me. The past 2 years now, I’ve got good poems out of it. Today I re-read Alan Seymour’s “classic Aussie play” The One Day of the Year, about the changing face of Anzac Day in the 60’s. I haven’t read it since uni, & ironically while it has dated, many of the issues it explores are still ones that people argue about today.

I began with its last line (Last Line, Gone) & continued from there…

the last post

i.

love its haunting frail warbly wobbly squeaky somehow off-key, off-kilter
voice trying to be courageous to death’s face but never quite succeeding
forlorn melancholy brassy vulnerability half-farting battlefield bravado
but most of all the strange perception that no matter how well played
it always sounds like there’s a note wrong in there — somewhere

ii.

yes, it’s time to turn off the taps we’ve had our last warning
your duty is done your time is over your rest deserves peace

last postCROP

The last line of The One Day of the Year is: “i’m a bloody Australian & i’ll always …

Day 25 – “Birth of a Nation” Day (Alleged)

This is either the 3rd or 4th poem I’ve completed today (all about Anzac / WWI). & while I like the others, I’ve chosen to go with this last hour composition because it kinda has an edge the others don’t — even if my sounding board is unsure about its poesy.

*****

recipe for the world’s best Anzac biscuit

Ingredients
1 cup rolled duty
1 cup raw recruits
1 cup plain patriotism, sifted
¾ cup desiccated Colonialism
125 g adventure, melted
2 tablespoons Golden Age of Innocence
½ tsp bicarb of courage
3 tablespoons boiling anger

Method
Preheat the society to 40+ degrees. (Denying climate change will help here.  Note: If your society is fan forced, it’ll escalate quicker.)

Line your history books with a bunch of lies & mythos.

Place the duty, colonialism, patriotism & recruits in a bowl, stir with wooden rhetoric to combine. Melt the adventure & golden age of innocence in a melting pot over low heat.

In a separate bowl, combine the courage & boiling anger, then add this to the adventure/golden innocence mixture.  It will probably foam up & increase in size.  That’s good. Pour this foaming mess into your dry mix & stir.

Once it’s all combined, use a tablespoon to drop mixture onto trays, spacing them about 20 years apart.

Bake for 100 years or until golden brown — just kidding, it’s gotta be mostly white.  Sometimes if your society looks like it’s running out of recipe, you need to rotate the trays in the 70’s, then add some carefully sprinkled jingoism in the 90’s so you get an even bake.

Leave biscuits to cool on beach about 8 months before transferring to other racks to cook & cool in different places — France is good, as is the desert, the jungle.

Store in an old biscuit tin that your grandma gave you. They’ll last months.  Try not to scoff them all within the day.

Finally, please do not share them with anyone offshore. We don’t do that anymore.

Codicil: They really are delicious. And there’s nothing wrong with eating them, enjoying eating them, telling others you’re eating them — just try & understand the reasons why you are.

 *****
anzac biscuits

Day 14 – poem about weight

 

helix nebula

NaPoWriMo should cycle through the months of the year, because repeated participation throws up the same zeitgesty events annually. Today, a topic that continues to intrigue me.

14 sorrows

i.
all that remains
the kiss complete
sentence cast

ii.
weight is not great
merely wood, would
the rest weighed less

iii.
stumble, fall
twice more for
dramatic effect

iv.
love i’ve denied
before me where
others share, i’ve hid

v.
brother shoulders
compelled to bear
what he’d gladly choose

vi.
a cool cloth
give her my face
& my thanks

vii.
halfway to skulls
stagger again, stumble
tumble into desert dust

viii.
women weep
barren wombs, dry breasts
call mountains to crumble

ix.
fall
a third time
at last, almost done

x.
stolen clothes
brigands barter
naked before the gods

xi.
metal bites
wood absorbs blood
more than flesh hangs

xii.
enough
call for poison
the sleep of death

xiii.
amid weeping, relief
the weight off
down, done

xiv.
lie, in darkness
hopefully, finally
some peace

Day 29 – April Twenty Nine: a kind of love poem

Had a number of poems I could choose from today. Went with this cos it’s unlike most of the ones I’ve posted this month.

Almost sad to realise there’s only one day left …

deliberations made since you stood me up one time too many

admittedly, unequivocally, & without question
the house is calmer
since you’ve stopped coming over
but is peace, tranquility, contentment,
balance, harmony, solace & serenity
worth losing your special brand of insanity

sadly, the jury is still out on that

*****

 Heart_by_HEandRO copy

 

Image: Heart by HEandRo.

Day 25 – April Twenty Five: “national identity day”

As I get older I understand Anzacs, Anzac Day & war more. I also understand it less. Hopefully this poem written at the Dawn Service my Papa used to attend when alive & which we go to in memory of him captures some of those understandings.

keeping the peace

bagpipes fight
the magpies
for supremacy
in cool April air
chilling autumn
leaves & evergreen
eucalypt alike
church bells bless
try to reconcile
that age old
oxymoronic misnomer
fighting for peace

aware what Anzac is
but still shocks
to see the guns
of the catafalque
party so close
reminds it’s more
than just speeches
stirring words
holidays
it’s also old men
getting under
standably drunk

*****

soldier

Image: moi

April 19 – Day Nineteen: the theme continues

Still at country retreat. Same Word Press issue.

This came in a white hot rush & has barely been touched.  It’s almost Day 18: part 2. Or draft two. Or whatever. It’s a better poem than yesterday’s, that’s for sure. Was posted on fb 11 hours before midnight!!! I was impressed.

On at least one level the inspiration for today’s poem should be obvious.

Tomb

Buried. In darkness. Alone.
Wake surrounded. By the scent of aloes.
& bitter perfumes. All is dark, cold. Every
atom aches. Every muscle. Wine soaked.
Sinew & bone. I am sore. To my core.

The air smells. Mushrooms. Liquorice,
Damp smouldering wood. Eat the aloe.
Make myself sick. Eject the poison.
Wounded. In dark places I dwell. Alone
In a cave. Just me. & my angels.

*****

2014-04-24 09.53.56-8

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

April 12 – Day Twelve: anniversary (a year, a week & a day since you moved in)

The original intention was to publish this a year & a week from the day our lives meshed. The tech glitches described in such eloquent detail in a previous ~interlude~ prevented that.  So now it is online, a year, a week & a day since that wonderful day.  You’ve changed my life in ways I didn’t believe possible.

Belated Anniversary Poem

It occurred to me yesterday, I forgot an anniversary
A big one, too. A year together. A full year. Our first.
I’m not the man who wept last Easter. I am un-entombed.

I met you on a Monday, you’d moved in by Friday.
We met on April Fools Day, which some think’s funny
but for me is no laughing matter. It suits us perfectly

& even though I’m reasonably confident you’re okay
I forgot — no doubt not realising the significance either
for me it’s important to sing to the stars I’m the best

I’ve been since you came, the world’s broken in two
even to the point of my own personal timekeeping
symbology — AD is After Dog; BC, Before Chester.

Lick you!

 

 

*****

2014-04-13 21.47.56

 

Image: ChesterLickyTongue, by moi