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 15 — conceivably

Day 2 of the festival of grief.

conceivably 

in an ideal alternate universe : at least one of my unborn bairns
might by now have brought : their own bubbling babes 

into that mystic parallelium — so conceivably in that
painfully imagined utopia : i might even have grandkids

perhaps on that earth they started : acting decisively on climate change 
around the time my first born was : instead of stupidly kicking the can/

/i’m sorry : even in a dreamscape theoretical existence
i cannot conceive a humanity — which would have acted

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 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 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 02 – poem about hermits

02 in_my_magnifying_glass_01_by_coollekotten-d4jgu83

case study #7

she makes peace with past tears ;
ignores the radio’s roster of sad songs
background faint which seek to suck
her into sinkholes she’s spent years
climbing out of ; sliding back in
– a triumph just buying milk

he prepares a packet-free meal ;
washes a load sans tissue-in-pocket ;
actually eats the watermelon before
it emulsifies in its clingwrap shroud
– little victories by most parameters
but he’ll take them ; gladly

& so we assemble our fragments

Day 30 – The Last Thing Remaining on My List

Last night, dear friend & wonderful poet, Louise Nicholas, launched her first, very beautiful, full-length collection of poems, The List of Last Remaining through 5 Islands Press. It was a fabulous warm funny (mildly drunken) night.

Today, after dipping my way in & out of the collection, I have taken the last line of her poem, “How to scale a fish” & tweaked it to use as the title of today’s poem.

moonlight, unearthed

& so it’s come : to that time : of life : to once again : take out the tools of excavation : to dust off : my brooms & tiny brushes : sharpen my trowels : put pads on my ageing knees : & get down in the pit : in the dirt : dig down through the layers : the strata of my happiness : & my grief : to uncover the bones : & broken pottery : & terracotta floors : of true love : lost : of childhood : lost : of embryos : washed down drains : blood on thighs, over tiles, over everything : & to keep digging : until all that’s left to see : is an empty grave : a soul shaped hole : a silver wash : of moon : light : & salt

fish scales

Last line: “as if unearthed in moonlight”

Day 29 – Flowers of Sun

Watched the 2010 episode of Doctor Who “Vincent and the Doctor”. A strange episode, with a monster that doesn’t really work — but such a lovely character piece that you overlook that (or I did anyway).

It ends with a sentimental, though for me, still deeply moving scene, where a lonely misunderstood Van Gogh (who sold only one painting in his life) is whizzed through time by Amy & the Doctor to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, to see an exhibition of his work & hear a beautiful (if slightly mawkish, so what!) speech by Art Historian disguised as Bill Nighy on his place in the history of art.

sensing sadness

who would not : given the chance : like to be whisked : jimmy stewart : wonderful life style : into your future : to see that : your love of strong sunlight : your thick brush strokes : your colour : your colour : your colour : your ability to transform : torment : your understanding : of ecstasy : the swirling double life : of your stars : your need to create : something greater : than yourself : was a masterpiece : despite : your doubts : despite you : not knowing : the sadness : actually : won’t last : forever

sunflowersCROP

Day 10 – Celestial Motions

Today was always going to be about this topic, given it is 4 months since one of my best mates died. I’ve tried half a dozen times to write about this loss (as well as other recent & ongoing ones) without much success. This comes closest so far …

nebula

& so . in a way . we all die young .
younger than we’d like . even if
we live to a hundred and twenty .
younger than our loved ones want
too . too long lost . in that aching
chasm . that distance between
stars that is all that’s left . when
there is nothing of you . left . except
a wisp . a tear . an echo of laughter .
a hair . a sigh . a gasp . a stifled
sob . an aimless wandering from
room to room . trying to remember
where you are . where you went . & why

cone CROP

NOTE: cover is from Tracy K. Smith’s lovely collection, Life on Mars. It is imaginatively titled: ‘Cone Nebula Close Up’ (I think in part because it is a Close Up of the Cone Nebula).

NOTE 2: I know ‘technically’ this poem may not really Ekphrastic in the strictest sense of the word, but is definitely an emotional response to the image.

Day 4 – the theme of loss continues

I wasn’t planning to write about this topic again. However, things often bubble to the top unasked — especially when you’re distracted working on other things.

*****

we are all haunted by the presence of absence

my umbrella is too small
to keep off the storm
my suitcase too small
to hold all my sadness
when the crows come pecking
i can’t scare them off

up to my eyes in water
up to my ears in salt
wings try growing from my back
but i refuse to let them
so i am always surrounded
by the sound of falling feathers

*****

image

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