Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mapping Moorabool in Poetry

More fun at Darley Market, the Harvest Festival (Bacchus Marsh), the Autumn Festival (Ballan), two Primary Schools ... I now have 107 first drafts written by me in partnership with over 100 others, plus 56 from students so far and four mailed in by local poets. More from schools to come. Longer notes in Arty Jay next week.

Here's two I liked from today's Autumn Festival jaunt (second drafts):

Gum Trees

Each has a personality
some staid, patient, others
more flexible, frisky.
Some are moody. There are 
cheerful ones, the sad.
The shapely, the untidy.

There is shade in your eyes,
a curve to your long limbs
as you speak. My pen 
almost whistles like the wind.
The life drawings around us
seem to shift slightly.

Patterns in randomness
you continue, each tree unique
and a township for other
families, a hotel for some.
See the growth over rooftops
in established suburbs

how that gives life to cities.
Their community, flourishing,
feeds ours with birdsong
a sense of shelter, a passion
for life, skill in the art of life
drawing, changing points of view.


I ask what you want a poem about.
Faster than thought you say "lightning!"

Your flash of inspiration lights up
our minds' landscapes, a storm breaks.

Sound effects: thunder, rolling
and banging, heavy feet on roofs.

The shape of light: forked, sheet,
and bolt - not so common, that.

And so much luck needed to capture it
being sudden, one-off, not recurrent.

You learn such a lot, taking photos:
survival, making yourself small to

hide in culverts, listening for the hum
in tripod that says a strike is coming.

At any age, that's a grand show -
a great way to live before you go!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Having a fantastic time writing poems in my local community. More details about that on Arty Jay.

I've been to primary schools, the shopping centre, an aged care hostel, choir practice, walking, and to Gordon Cafe, so far. Written 55 first drafts. Here's 2.

For Mona

The wind blows umbrellas
like skirts dancing outside.
The tables sit stolidly
offering baklava, fruit pie,
the coffees, black and white.

We come here for good food,
the colourful art on walls, but
mostly we come here for Mona
not the Lisa kind, but our
smiling server of sweets
our reward for being here.

Coming Out of Prison

It's a sticky situation
a spider's web, volunteering.
They do open up, discover
creativity, a passion for
making ceramic ashtrays,
places to stub butts, collect

Some come to this new
country, only to seek
the familiar trap, the door
that clangs, the lock
they've lost the key for.

I can drive away.
They stick with me.
It's the web. Am I
free or not free?