Day 25 — make love not war (3 for the price of 1 today)

For once, I don’t feel conflicted about writing an Anzac Day Poem. And as happened 2 days ago with Bill Shakey Day, (& last year for both days) having a superimposed theme (“love” this year, “climate change” last) made me look at the day in a whole new way — which in turn has generated not 1, not 2, but 3 poems of which I am exceedingly pleased. 

Looking at love in war time is a wonderful way to get around the whole uncertainty I have about A25. 

It’s also a lovely way (pun intended) to honour, commemorate, call what you will my grandparents in poetical form.

*****

Anzac Triptych
1. Atherton Tablelands 
2. Goodbye Will Moon
3. TIL


*

1.
Atherton Tablelands

In April 1943 following three weeks leave after seeing action at Tobruk, Mersa Matruh and El Alamein Gunner RL JONES of the 2/7th Field Regiment arrived at Kairi in the Atherton Tablelands.

It was love at first sight.

Even though he was from 
a notoriously lush part
of the Adelaide hills the green 
in Far North Queensland 
is several degrees greater 
than most mortal eyes 
are used to — or able to endure.

Gunner RL Jones remained 
on the Tablelands with his unit
for almost two years — training
and playing upon the rich red 
loam born in ancient volcanoes.
Before being sent to Tarrakan 
that began the Allies’ Borneo 
Campaign. He survived those jungles 
by thinking often of the equally 
lush Atherton tablelands — 
until the Americans blew up 
the world and the war ended.

Gunner RL Jones eventually 
made his way home & made
Florence his fiancé.

Rueben told Florence. 
Of the green.
Of the red soil. 
Of his desire to move there.

Florence said no. 

He never saw the Tablelands again 


*

2.
Goodbye Will Moon

In late 1944 Corporal BI Burgan of RAAF 1 Squadron was likewise on leave when he visited his parents in Port Wakefield.

Quiet Sunday evening.
Parents off praying.
It’s been a long journey 
and I’ve only a few precious
day’s leave. But I know
dad will be disappointed
if I don’t attend. So 
although I don’t feel like it
reluctantly walk across town.

Only one seat remains 
in the very back pew.
Slide into that space next 
to a beautiful young woman
who smiles as I sit down.
Can’t concentrate. On 
what the pastor is saying.
Nor the service itself.
Nothing but —
that sublime smile.

Afterwards, I offer to walk 
her home and am bemused 
and delighted to discover 
she’s boarding with our next 
door neighbour.

We stand talking for ages
til I brazenly lean in
and kiss her over the garden gate.
I’d best go in now, she says.

The best night of my life.

During my leave we spend 
as much time as possible
together but it ends
all too quickly. Before I 
deploy to New Guinea 
I must tell her. I confess
undying love. The hammer 
blow. She’s engaged to another!
I didn’t know I say 
and chivalrously
offer to step aside. 

Leave it with me.
She says.
I’ll deal with it.

And. She. Did.


*

3.

TIL

today i learnt 
that unlike my
gran and grandad
nana and papa 
weren’t engaged
or even dating 
while he was away 
during the war
they only started 
seeing each other
after he got home 

her first  love 
     died     flying   bombers
over    germany 
   she       was                s h a t t e r e d
when   Will    was  
                                     killed 


suddenly saw my frail
ninety nine year old nana
       with  newer 
    sadder  eyes

Day 10 – Acrostics & Golden Shovels

Sunday fun & games again … today’s task involves the use of acrostics & pseudo-golden shovels; forms I haven’t played with much. I tried complicating this (with mixed results) in the middle stanza, but overall, it holds up okay. The melancholy mood seems apt given the songs I’m playing with.

for the love of Murray 2
Acrostics & Golden Shovels

unfinished 

waiting forlornly
for you to realise
this is a one time
love offer

if you decide again
we are meant to dance
never not ever no never
dance together we
again end with if

so i must let 
my soul release you 
& gently watch love go

Day 05 – puppy love

A somewhat lighthearted pome for an otherwise rather emotional day. It’s also 9 years & one day since my housemate brought Chester home to live with us.

me or the dog

high on one 
of my shelves
a book titled 
as per this poem

jokingly perhaps
or perhaps 
genuinely concerned 

my significant other
bravely asked:
which would you choose?

i told her
i’ll call you 
the very day 
the dog dies

Day 04 – not all love poems are romantic in nature

Written early enough but owing to the exhaustion brought about by the poem’s subject matter from the day before followed. by two tiring shifts the following day meant it was unable to to posted before the allotted hour due to the poet falling asleep almost immediately upon arrival home.

moving love
(for Sarah)

everyone dreads
that phone call 
from a friend
or loved one
who wants to know
if you’re free on Sunday
(just for a couple of hours)

so when someone 
actually helps you:
pack carry load 
bags boxes crates 
ungainly ugly furniture
tatty bric-a-brac 
& misc junk that 
honestly should’ve been 
ditched decades ago

but most of all:
wait patiently while 
poor logistical decisions 
regarding the stowage 
in the trailer are trialled
fine tuned & discarded 
before again gently 
suggesting the idea 
they first shared 
15 minutes earlier 
& which works 
— perfectly —

perhaps makes it 
the most moving love of all 

Day 04 – time travel (& road rules)

Orange Dwarf

Several poems started, then a last minute contender rushed in demanding to be completed with 37 minutes till midnight to go. Such is the joy of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. 

Further complications were added when my wireless keyboard batteries went flat & I had to see if any of my dozen or so randomly distributed rechargeable batteries had enough charge to fire this badboy back up. 49 combinations later, little green light was go.

*****

the speed of light

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
for the foreseeable future my favourite
star is going to be 12 Ophiuchi
a main-sequence orange-red dwarf
BY Draconis-type variable star
in the east central corner
of Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer

at around 83 percent of Sol’s mass
85 to 100 percent of its diameter
& being similarly as enriched
in elements heavier than hydrogen
as our sun it is a semi-sort kind of a twin
i guess, i don’t really know much
about the astrophysiwhatsit specs
the reason i’m interested in
this faint little blip of light
in a relatively unknown
constellation is simple

it is 31.89 light-years away

which means the light my eye
is trampolining onto the back
of my retina & zipping off up
the optic nerve to my visual cortex
left the star 31.89 years ago
which according to my (admittedly
roughly hewn calculations)

… is about 3 days before we first met

 


 

BONUS POEM: April 4, 2018

*****

Crash Course
(A Poetic Interpretation of the 12 Rules of Driving on Italian Roads)

1.
i’m just kidding of course
there’s no such list

 

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Valentine’s Day presence

So, the pay off for some hard work over the past week or so is here — I’ve been exploring/researching the world of epublishing.

love: a test run is my first foray into ebooks. I still seek publication via the literary journals & poetry publication websites & competitions, etc … but the reality is, I have already written more poems than I’m ever likely to see published via traditional methods. & I’m certainly not writing poetry for the $$$$. Not to mention, much of what I write probably doesn’t fit the criteria for online journals …

So be it…

I want people to read my stuff. Or at least have the opportunity to. To connect with it. To be moved by it. Even to disagree with it. Which is why epublishing is so amazing. & why I’ve taken this first Test Run step … & why there are more planned.

& so to love: a test run

Love - a test run

This collection of poems came out of an experiment for a project a fellow poet & I are working on (giving rise to one of the multiple meanings of “test run” which makes up the book’s subtitle).

The task was simple, to write a poem a day, every day for a month.

24 hours to conceive, plan, write & edit a new poem every day & email it to each other before midnight. Well, the midnight deadline didn’t always quite get met, but the poem a day did. This was not for the famously challenging event NaPoWrMo (National Poetry Writing Month) but shared similar draining/exhilarating characteristics. Oddly enough, once you got over the hump, it became easier the further on it went. Some days several poems came out of the exercise – but we only shared one per day.

The catch: every poem was to explore love in some form.

I haven’t edited them overly much, just a tweak or two here & there for clarity. I wanted to keep it close to what I churned out, I mean, produced in that furiouso month. I have altered the order of several poems to make the whole have a better flow; & a couple of the poems I sent through, I have replaced with others written in that month because they felt like they fitted the collection better. I would have liked to have shuffled the order more, but I really went with the “snap shot” notion of the test run here.

What pleases me is their diversity: there’s a wide range of styles evident; there are several different voices; the tone varies; some are more experimental than others; some are profoundly personal, others wholly imagined; even just simple things like the variety in their length (both of lines & overall poem); & of course, some succeed better than others. Naturally there are certain topics, images, phrases that echo themselves – but overall, I hope they make for an eclectic, interesting read.

What remains constant is the theme: there’s poems about true love, soul mate love, infidelity, whale love, first love, lost love, unrequited love, undeclared love, dark love, abandoned love, arrogant love, ghost love, broken love, eternal love, love-at-first-sight love, literary love, 10-second love, pure perfect impossible love, painful love, imagined love, fantasy love, universe-ending love … & more besides I’m sure.

I hope you seek out & enjoy love: a test run …

it’s available at these addresses:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/519315 (sample & full download available)

http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/32748708-love-a-test-run (sample only)

& via your ereading devices shortly (i hope, once it gets approval) ((if i understand how it all works 🙂 ))

if you read & like, leave a comment.


but as a taste test of the test run …

here are two poems i particularly enjoy

Day 10. explaining the universe, using the physics of love

here’s what happened
put into the simplest
language i can muster
as best as i understand
20 years on

i gave you more of my heart
than i could reasonably
be expected to lose
then you died
gone — none know where

that part of my heart so gifted
went with you

& that … is how
black holes are made


Day 16. love poem to my plump lover

how do i love thee
let me not count the weighs


Later skaters. May you survive Valentine’s Day — whether it is a day of joy or pain for you …