April 8 – Day Eight: 4 bonus poems

Today was a bit messy.  Every other day I’ve known what  I was going to do by about midday.  Today I had a few false starts, & nothing was really grabbing me.  So I worked on a play instead, read some articles online, read Bill Bryson’s awesome chapter on Pronunciation, read a really interesting chapter on how Russia’s political instability is founded on a lack of any clear geographic demarcations between its Western border & Europe … & the “vulnerability” of St Petersburg & Russia now that the Soviet “buffer zone” of satellite Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania etc are now “independent” states.  Written a couple of years again, it shed interesting light on the current Crimea Crisis – but helped little in the poem creation caper.

So to a walk on the beach.  Which produced:

the blue seaglass sky

rain has kept all but the dedicated away
& we’re both a little stir crazy

thankfully this strip of salty dreams
is virtually deserted, even by the gulls

henley beach a zen meditation
the beach as onomatopoeia

water becomes sand, sand becomes sky
sky becomes water … & we drift between

lost on the wind, one lost in the wind
whispers of wings that cannot be seen

waves wash water over wet sand
the sucking sounds – sausages sizzling

in the seashell cemetery, exoskeletons sing
coral cartwheeling, a dead reef xylophone

& every piece of fairy seaglass i find
is washed out blue, just like the sky


1. beach & chezz 1.seaglass

Images: moi

Which, while “nice”, felt like a pretty bog standard grj poem.  It will hopefully improve once April is over & I have a chance to tweak it.  (I particularly like “the beach as onomatopoeia” & will possibly explore that in more detail, sometime.)

So, home after a wonderful wet walk, & a quick stop to shop for essentials, generated this gem:

one of the disadvantages of tardiness

get home after wet beach walk, soggy
towel dry the dog, feed the dog
think about feeding myself, consider coffee
catch from an eye corner, the clock
WTH – where did the time go, calculate
we left here at 4, clock says 6.59
the reading starts in an hour
check the oven: starts in an hour there too
we couldn’t have walked for that long
would’ve said 90 minutes at most
& i only bought a few groceries
dammit! no time for food
put the frozen stuff away. & the milk.
scramble into shower, scrape face
wriggle into jeans, search for shoes
check phone.  wait.  what?  wait!
here the reading starts in 1hr47min
i really should turn those damn
kitchen clocks back — daylight savings
has been over half a week



Image: Clock by gruelism

This was followed by attendance at said poetry reading which had previously caused such panic in my efforts to get there on time.  [We shan’t mention, the act of sitting at the computer to craft said poem, almost caused me to run late (again, so to speak) for the reading. Sometimes, it seems time is destiny.]

A quick conversation post-reading & this was spewed forth upon my return home. (I had 2 hours to meet the midnight deadline.)

operational policy

my friend works for the government
in the bureaucracy … doing something
to do with housing – or something

every time he talks about it i wittily
pretend to fall asleep. people understand if i say
‘i sit at a computer’  he jokes … before going silent

till one day i overhear him spieling to a stranger
i work for the government in operational policy
we implement what the strategic policy department

decides is a good idea … we make sure it works
i see the woman’s eyes glaze over too
i sit at a computer. aaah, the joke still works

yes, but what do you actually do, she persists
um, my work means the most vulnerable
get what they need in order to live

i haven’t pretended to fall asleep since



3. wooden_house_by_kleemass-d3jc2v7

Image: Wooden House by Kleemass

But this still didn’t feel like it.  So I returned to an abandoned effort from earlier in the day.

beyond pain
(Peaches Geldoff dies at age 25)

the deaths of celebrities are strange events
causing outpourings of grief from a deluded
General Population who believe they are somehow
“connected” just because they saw them lots on tv.
the deaths of not-really celebrities are even stranger.

while i sincerely feel the pain her father expresses
in his statement to the media, including the phrase
which titles this poem & others equally heartbreaking
Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh &
our family, fractured so often, but never broken
the pathos is profound – his clan has done it tough.

what i do not comprehend is how the media
thinks poorly worded tweets from other
second rate celebs some of whom may even
have known the deceased are news — but FFS
Miley & Jamie — sad face emoticons are not
appropriate ways to express your condolences
when someone’s daughter, someone’s mother dies


4. peaches only 3 in WA copy

Screencap moi:  “What’s up WA? – Why is it only 3 on your Reader’s Most Viewed????

But I still wasn’t happy … which leads to today’s Official Post (see new page)

April 3 – Day Three: third day, three omens

Once again NaPoWriMo throws unexpected things in front of me.  I have a folder of articles / images / ideas I’d like to craft a poem from / on / around.  I thought I might get to the poem I first envisaged writing on Day 1 as an introduction to the month.  But life intervened … so I went with the flow.

The use of 3 line stanzas (although now appearing in two out of three poems this month) is unusual for me, but I’m sure understandable when you read the narrative of the poem.  The colons are a homage to my friend Thom Sullivan : who is playing with : creating poetic forms : using this device. I discovered in draft one that I had an abundance of them (around 5) so instead of deleting them as I normally would, I went the other direction to see what happened.  I like the effect … it feels airy …

Finally, the system of drafting in the morning, crafting in the evening is working well.  It allows for the grunt work to get done early, then the fun of shaping comes later. Enjoy.

omens : doves in the house

a flurry : as we’re startled by a flutter of wings : aching for air
two doves in the kitchen : the dog sees this as a sign : saving
him chasing : he’s quickly closed on the door’s other side

for the moment they sit : still on the sill : where glass windows
corner : the wild inside : panic temporarily jack-in-the-boxed
aware of what’s beyond : yet cannot reach : they know not why

slowly walk to them : slowly slide my hand : upwards
between the air humming : with their beating hearts : tender
one panics : flies high : the other stays still : trusting : terrified?

flick the latch : swing glass open to sudden sunlight : air
flighty bashes her way out : calm needs a fingertip nudge
soft feathers : heat : i’m shivered by this soft communion

continue my initial task : providing canine sustenance
unexpectedly discover : a third bird in the bathroom!
this one requires actual contact : a simple capture : calm

holding this speckled creature : tremulously : pillowsoft
frightened : tiny heart staccato tapping the skin
of my palms : warm : is this how god feels : overlording us

i sometimes feel overwhelmingly protective : when patting
Chester : late at night : his devoted heart drumming away
under the pianokey bones of his ribs : just us in the world
a friend catches birds : with bare hands : stalking
gulls : pigeons : semi-domesticated scavengers
why? : because she can : to hold life : perhaps

once : she was startled : after a snared seagull bit
back : she released it straight away : as i laughed
what should it have done : i joked : what would you

one book tells : seagulls are : souls of dead sailors
another : doves inside : blessed with luck : a third
that freeing a bird is both : a good act : a good omen

old wives : folk tales : suggests : deaths are imminent
i live alone : am i to die three times : the punishment
seems excessive : for simply leaving a door open
no : i will read it differently : make my own signs
weave my own supernatural : no one else’s omen
no one else’s sorcery : shall dictate : my feelings

in my mythology : the three deaths occurred more than
twenty years ago : lived with daily : my heart doesn’t doubt
this is a blessing : a gentle : otherworldly message

this is : my version of a visit : from beyond
a reminder : the brush of a loved one’s : wings
is never far away




Bird Three


The Third Dove: image: moi