Friday, December 2, 2011

November Poem-A-Day Challenge

Prompt 27: a tribute poem

He returns!

i see he's lost weight
not eating well?
too much to do?
he is a spirit of survival
in a world of giants, enemies,
the hungry, the sly.
and she? where?
busy raising the family?
perhaps it's necessity
brings him here this dusk
bouncing across patio
bricks, diving into
rosemary bush, his
blue head and back
enthusiastic, electric.

Prompt 28: "_______ Story"

The Untold Story

That one at the back of your throat
scratching like a quill, words fading
quickly; it'd be better to cough it up.

Or that one riding the horse you
never mounted, a clotted mane and
fly-switch tail carrying it into the future.

Perhaps you have kept one in a tin
embossed with symbols of good cheer
too enclosed now too long to set free.

Or: you buried your library of stories
in the back yard; the trees grow tall
and you knw why, but you're not telling.

Prompt 29: 1. an evening poem  2. a daytime poem (2 for Tuesday)

Summer Time, Saving Daylight

The birds have no idea I'm checking the clock
It's ten to eight, that time when the trees are
halved by light, their leaves casting shadows
as if painted on trunks. One mauve agapanthus
shakes its head; my friend Mr Superb Wren
uses its stem as a stepping-stalk, leaping
into the hedge. Larger birds perch on
clothes hoist arms, and possibly do wonder
where so much ground cover has gone.
A pair of pigeons discover water, drink
and bathe together. Unchangeable, despite
the lengthening of day, the trees and birds
dance between earth and the sun.

Prompt 30: "against all odds"

After The Pirates

To speak so calmly about capture
is to exist without body or mind
to dwell in a world more foreign
to us than that of the captors.

To be human is to cherish
one's own beauty, strength,
sense of self. To leave that
love behind is love itself.

The boundaries of what is
and what is deemed normal
defy maps, reaching into
the deepest currents, beyond

clouds, breaking borders.
It is indeed humbling
to contemplate how creative
the hunter  and hunted become.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Poem-A-Day Challenge

Prompt 23: a travel poem

... the urge for going ...

Dark waiting time
car park almost empty
the moon a bold slash
on black and the train
somewhere going

Early or late, it is
my chariot to escape on
cross the country, sleep on,
be rocked and jolted
out of the myth there's
always something, someone
to keep a hold on.

I am crossing deserts again,
recording with camera
and pen, waiting for murder,
romance, the return
of an era when seats were
leather, numbers in brass.
Ah! To travel First Class.

Dark waiting time
headlights on rails
no side tracks or
trails, and brakes
wail. Here she comes!
My daughter, daily
traveller. Home. Safe.

Prompt 24: a gathering poem

The Fate of Art

The launching was a splendid affair.
So many landscapes, many watercolours,
a dearth of alternative media, but ...
"Lovely!" "Found in an Op Shop!
No! Twenty dollars! Shame."
"What were they thinking?"
"Not thinking, obviously." "But now -
look! This one's gorgeous." 
The wine flowed, little works of edible
art, platters of pumped-up fruit,
painted intestinal interiors unfortunately
never able to be hung, shown, sold
and bought in Op Shop or gallery.

Prompt 25: a consumption poem

The Poet Dines

Yes, I'm eating my words.
Boiled, fried, roasted or raw
they taste better with herbs
from my own garden: oregano
(roll that on the tongue ... mmm)
rosemary, mint (sharp!), parsley
(do I mean parsleymonious?)
Now I burp: ah yes, all hot air
and regurgitated ideas. In future,
I'll diet, strictly, on commas
and brackets. Or sentence myself
to eating real food in restaurants.

Prompt 26: a "good old days" poem

History Lesson

There goes the school bus.
Three of them! Full!
I'd hate to drive one.
Me too. Silence.

When I travelled to school
by bus, I used to sit up front
next to the driver.
Did you, Mum? (spoken kindly)
Yes! (undaunted) And the two boys
who had a crush on me
sat behind the driver.
Laughter. Silence.

Of course, the boy I had
a crush on ,,,
Didn't have a crush on you, Mum?
Of course. He was in Form Four.
I was only in Form Two.
What does that mean?

What do you call your fourth year
in secondary school? (only slightly
Oh. Year 10.
Exactly. (Perhaps she doesn't
believe I was ever that young)

Anyway one of the boys
who did have a crush on me
is dead now. Had a massive heart attack
not long after the last school reunion.
Aw. Mum. (Kindly) Silence.