Sunday, November 23, 2014

Poem-A-Day 14 to 21 November

Prompts 14 to 21 all at once as I have been interstate without internet.

Prompt: a follow poem

On Setting Out On A Mission

One action follows another.
They both precede the third
and there you have a triangle
of performance.

I follow no-one but devise
irresistible conversations
to attract votes away from
the major parties.

To break the back of a world
become predictable, divorced
from what really matters to us
is mere possibility.

True, I speak without evidence.
You might invite me in to chat.
and if you are not home, I leave
my heart in your letterbox.

Prompt: “Holy _________”

On hearing The Lion Sleeps Tonight: holy harmony

While the carols rise and fall about
my head and ears, and I miss another
choir practice, you call us together,
your voice like a muezzin. To be
religious in that way is a score we’ve
never learned to read. Nevertheless,
at the Anglican school, your voice soars
like an angel’s, pure and exultant as it
leaves your throat and fills an auditorium
with its message: let song be raw
& sweet & wild, let the gift of life be a primal
glory you never need to profit from. Let
your whole body be a testament to love.

Prompt: be explanatory

On re-reading the first draft of my memoir

I never was going to be
that woman you wanted
to walk through brick walls
climb over considerations
as the world itself broke
across your knees.

I was far too gone with my own
script, and besides I was happy
to be the heroine in my own
drama. There really was no room
for You, The Other, Stranger,
and why you asserted we were
connected never made sense.

I would always want you to
deliver me from temptation.

Prompt: afflicted

On Ageing 

I dream of dancing wildly to Osibisa
turning into a sixty-five-year-old
banshee in a sedated community.

But my knees defy me, wincingly,
and there is this new sour taste
in my throat after eating sweet.

Prompt: Two for Tuesday: sour/sweet

On Eating Fruit For Breakfast in Sydney

They’ve been bred
to be less messy
toned down to be
“tasteful”. Still, each
suck on ripe flesh
is to reminisce
about those years
of living dangerously.

of merciful simplicity.
So easy to slice.
flesh, mellow
on the tongue,
kind to old teeth.

Best eaten in threes.
Why? Beats me,
but there! The fork
an agent of sacrifice
while I complete
a crossword.

Prompt: an excuse

On Holding A Colleague To Account

You had to be there.
You weren’t. It was too hot
anyway. Anyway. Whatever.
Don’t tell me what to do.
You weren’t listening.
It wasn’t my fault.
It was because.

Prompt: “I’ll Never …..”

On Confronting A Possible Truth:
I’ll Never Finish That Memoir

And if so, bury all my papers
and computer with me
in a cemetery where other writers
lie. Where I can ask, “How
to finish de composition?”

Prompt: pick a direction

On Travelling South By Train Not Plane

When she gets into her stride
she’s a real goer.
Trees blur, power lines race
to keep up, or
get there first.

Are we really in contact
with rails?
We are skimming the earth,
a timely destination, and
running late.

We shimmy around broad curves.
Sheep and horses
pay no attention. It is possible
we are travelling
faster than sight.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Poem-A-Day November 13

Prompt: options

On Watching the Birds in my Back Yard

There’s a festive spirit out there today.
Blossoms full of nectar, grasses seeding,
and loquats dangling plump and golden.
What a feast! Families of honeyeaters
swing upside down on slim branchlets,
siphoning out sweet treats. Soldierly,
sparrows nip seeds from stalks. Less
orderly, blackbirds rummage in leaf litter.
Pigeons bob their heads as they scout for
riches fallen among stones, before taking
time out to preen, perched on wire frames.
A garden of many options. Yet even among
birds, one will send another fleeing and
come back to sing sweetly about victory.

Poem-A-Day November 12

Prompt: something unseen

On Comparing Climate Changes

You say Christmas will be all snow
and that vortex is bringing you
an early rendition. You talk about
packing gloves and hats for trips
north, and while you’re speaking
I remove my light cardigan, flap
my t-shirt for the breeze it makes.
I tell you all there is a Jingle Bells
for those of us Down Under. I send
it amid gales of laughter transmitted
via email. I’m on top of the world
actually, having packed away the
dark wardrobe and brought out
the colours of Spring & Summer,
not yet willing to consider what is
inevitable: bushfire, and heat waves
that melt tarmac, railway lines, and
the capacity for effective thought.
In the silence, I hear you shying away
from permafrost and burial by snow.
Of course, we all count on seasons
and their cycles. But what if …?