Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge   Day 30

prompt: finished/never finished

It's only when I think
I'm doomed to die
tomorrow that I regret
the unfinished memoirs,
the poems never discovered
in others' conversations
the paper that clogs every
drawer, shelf, table top.

Luckily, my diagnoses
are refuted by the doctor
highly qualified and 
unquestionably right.
I continue squirelling away
my precious impressions
against another
hungry-for-a-future day.

April Poem-A-Day Challenge   Day 29

prompt: a line from a previous poem

Massive explosion
(after the collapse of a garment factory)

In a country of twenty-three million
how do we count twenty-five hundred
survivors, refugees from corporate
greed country? There are the dead
of course, almost twice as many
as we lost to fire that apocalyptic summer.
The numbers, the numbers, represent
families without food or water, without
a future. We are living in an era
of unimaginable explosive potential.
April Poem-A-Day Challenge   Day 28

prompt: a shadorma
(syllables: 3 - 5 - 3 - 3 - 7 - 5)

sick of her coughing
I eat fast
remind her
the doctor's appointment is
tomorrow at one.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 27

prompt: mechanical

The fault is
no longer
in physical
universe or net
but somehow
in a cloud.

Who fixes
the laptop
now must be
a pilot 
or space

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 26

prompt: casting

The Die is Cast

The wind has been
casting around
for a victim all day.

Meanwhile, cottonwool clouds
turn to fish-tails, grey.

I slap at what could be
a mosquito, too fast to see.

The garden tosses
its tresses. A haircut please?
I have to agree.

I feel myself sway.
I've been writing all day.

Tomorrow I'll submit
to secateur
and weedkiller spray.

There's so much to do
I'll be down on my knees.

The wind sighs and frets.
I'll come back next week, OK?

Friday, April 26, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge Day 25

prompt: "Everyone ..."

Everyone knows

Everyone knows that you cannot wear
blue with green. red with pink

and yet I match my outfits to avoid
the necessity to think

just as I write my poetry, with
an empty heartless mind

so do I churn out words, one rule:
to not be unkind

and dress with discovery, that rules
and eyes can be otherwise blind.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 24

prompt: "auto"

Automatically, I want to write
Autumn, the season when, in
some countries, leaves 

auto-destruct, bled of all green
and shed from trees like scurf.
This Autumn we remember

boys who were used as
automatons, with machinery
that ought not to have been

invented, since it resembles
the death rattle, and caused
the dead to rain, cold, upon

country now turned into
memorial green, or seemingly
untouched, under autobahns.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 23

prompt: 2 for Tuesday - love/anti-love

How can you be anti-love?
It feels good, it bathes
the world in a new light.

Light up the world!
Feel good!

Love for trees, animals
other people, it's mysterious 
a link with the sacred.

A sacred link!

Some say there's not
enough of it in the world.
Glasses half empty.

Empty glass!
Room for more!

I say there is more than
enough to go round, but
some of us are greedy.

Take more!
More than you need!

Love is found in niche
and crevice, in the dark
and in the wilderness.

Do not carry a gun!
Wear your heart on your sleeve!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 22  April Poem-A-Day Challenge

prompt: a complex poem

Making omelette

First the bacon
is hard to cut
because frozen.

Once warmed
too hot to touch
chopped roughly.

Why beat eggs?
Let me whisk
away their

Spring! onions
Brussels sprouts
and as Mum says

good jaw exercise!!
Three weeks! April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 21

prompt: a senryu

Against night's blackout
the bird-deterrent cd
a turntable of light.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 20

prompt: a "beyond" poem

A mystery
this "Goldilocks zone"
around suns - too hot? No.
broken? No. In someone
else's bed? Unlikely.

And yet three planets
discovered loitering
there, the possibility
of water, rock and life
alive and real.

Two thousand or more
light years away, it's
a moot point whether
anyone will ever
invade their Space.

Unless the story
of three bears and an
intruder is streaming
via cloud and dust
like golden hair.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 19

prompt: "burn"

Getting burnt out

It's a job that scars you
every time 
the boiling oils and fats 
reach out
for you
from the vats.

the night shift
you can hide
the evidence
and insist
it's better
than nothing.

I must save
you mutter
before sleep and after
having counted
the scars
like accolades
or stepping stones
to the stars.

Friday, April 19, 2013

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 18

prompt: I am ...

I am the woman
from over the river

who in 1958 had no idea
there would be
Cummeragunja girls

singing soul, living it,
in Vietnam for the troops.

I may well have played
with them - volleyball
not music. 

A reference to the film "The Sapphires"
which I watched today on the IPad
provided by the airline in our 767-333
flight from Perth to Melbourne.

April Poem-A-Day Challenge  Day 17

prompt: an express poem

The coffee in Perth
costs more and
tastes worse
than in Melbourne.
Even the coffee
served with breakfast
on our Qantas flight
tastes better.

The people of Perth
clearly express
themselves more
artistically in other
media. Each day
I pass the park
backpackers use
as a living room,
watching news
and concerts
on a massive screen.

While in the cafe
diagonally opposite
the ceiling is art
the coffee
bitter, bankrupt.
April Poem-A-Day Challenge Day 16

prompt: 2 for Tuesday - possible/impossible

These buttressed Moreton Bay Fig trees
in Russell Square park, Northbridge,
Perth, Western Australia, appear to
perform an impossible balancing act,
their limbs so long and unmoved by 
currents of air, fashion, change. 

Their presence is gripping; the pavement
is littered with fallen fruit, seeds
finding nothing in which to grow.
I imagine great carved roots underground
creating the possibility of pure balance.
I see that people prefer open spaces.
April Poem-A-Day Challenge Day 15

prompt: an infested poem

Ants break speed limits
before rain, moving
a nursery. Out of the way!
Move! Long live the queen!

Hanging washing on the line
I must dance and stamp, for
deterrence, my own version
of territoriality, upper hand.

Too bad, they say. Life
is urgent. Get out of the way!
How many communities
occupy this block with me?

No use to petition the queen;
she's too busy with parturition.
Carried along by the army's will,
she is deaf to all pleas.

Washing hung, I retreat
Rain washes all thoughts
of retribution away. I hope
their young thrive.
I've been working (in my paid job) in Perth for the week and the poetic spirit apparently flew off sightseeing. Not me, however; I was in the office or in an apartment watching TV.

So now: back to April Poem-A-Day Challenge.

Day 14

prompt: a sonnet


A wall falls:
random deaths
Bomb on marathon
Last breaths.
Freedom to shoot
a clear shibboleth.

Popular Aussie
a paedophile
Massive explosion
from stockpile
Rogue state
threatens missile.

Take note, Macbeth.
Admire the
twenty-first century

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 13 April Poem-A-Day Challenge

prompt: a comparison poem

The public image is
efficient, brisk, youthful.
The drink machines
care not. According
to Mikaela, they make
mistakes: too much ice
or only one cube, two
cups of the same drink
on one drive-through
order, so the second one
is thrown away. 

She is good-humoured
about these annoying habits
of Maccas' mischievous
machines. She speaks
with high energy, and
vivacious hand movements.

I on the other hand
must turn such facts
of life into a quiet poem
and when I told her so
we laughed together.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Poem-A-Day April Challenge Day 12

prompt: a "broke" poem

They throw the tents away!
Now he is on a mission
to house the homeless, say.

What is broken there?
Severed? Crumbled? Awry?
Irreparable? Unfair?

And who is he to say?
To house the homeless, on
a mission, give the game away?

New possibilities connect
the synapses in new ways.
He's on a mission, to give

those tents away!

Poem-A-Day Challenge Day 11

prompt: in case of ...

For My Mother

In case of forgetting,
put balance back,

once you are upright
again, and have

forgiven the brandy
glass for shattering

on the tiles, not on
the carpet. Maybe

you are just clumsy
or perhaps the Earth

did one of those funny
tilts on its axis we saw

on  TV last night. In case of
wobbling, don't fall, just

right yourself as
the Earth does

and put balance back.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is it already Day 10?

prompt: a suffering poem

Oh, I am the poem of sorrow.
I represent all the misunderstood
of this world. Is there
anyone I have left out?

Oh, I am the poem of despair.
My words appear meaningless
on the page, and in the air
as they fly about.

Oh, I am the poem of intense pain.
I notify you of new infections
of the heart, the nowhere,
and rampant self-doubt.

Yes, I am the incurable poem, always
moaning and whining through
lines that never dare
to speak straight, or even shout.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 9 April Poetry Month Poem-A-Day

prompt: a hunter/hunted poem

He hunts answers.
They call to him
from forest undergrowth.
It is not that they want
to attract his notice
but they cannot help
chittering among themselves
sorting out who sleeps
with whom, who spends
the time as sentry.

Thus they see him coming
and set out to distract.
They are the answers, so
respond only to questions.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Poem-A-Day Challenge, Day 8

prompt: an instructional poem

How do I write it?
The students always ask.
Treat it like a sport, I say.
It's more a game than task.

The rules are pretty easy:
just exercise your hand
don't worry about your spelling
or if others will understand.

The playing field is huge.
With room for great improvement.
Just practise on your paper gym
to master each new movement.

A team or individual
can reach incredible scores
a champion practises practising
indoor, or outdoors.

You set yourself a goal each time
one to make you stretch
and so you limber up your mind
and leave a new world etched

on paper for the reader
to umpire or to cheer
and that is how you write it.
Show me now you're clear.

They write with sporting spirit
it's such surprising fun.
They win because they write so fast
their worries are outrun.

And now they say to teachers
Just tell me when to start
and I will write a poem for you
as fast as it is smart!

Poem-A-Day #7

prompt: a sevenling poem

Writing two tercets
between the lines
an early upset

no word, wordless
no promise made or kept
a definite minus

except ... a day off to reflect.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Poem-A-Day challenge Day 6

prompt: a post poem

When My Sister Visits

My sister's dog, Jill,
knows she is brought here
to be posted on blackbird
and boundary duty.

Her sturdy short legs
march smartly from
one back door to another
and at times she sees action.

Mostly, however, the canny
birds know to stay away
and cats, getting a whiff
of dog, pretend they never

intended to come anywhere
near this yard. She is
a kind little dog, and sniffs
but does not pee on 

anything I value such as
underpants on a clothes horse.
And every so often she takes
time off to come inside.

 Jill, came to my sister
terrified from the RSPCA. 
Now she is at home, knowing
her posting is permanent.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 5 ... no idea what to write yet ...

prompt: a plus poem

Warm air rising (27 degrees in my town today)
plus atmospheric receptivity makes grey clouds
bulge from a brilliant blue sky. Just the right
amount of condensation plus unknown factors
of air movement, and the whole cloud cracks
and breaks open and we have a flash flood
right here in our back yard, and a waterfall
off the roof that's meant to feed a steady stream
into the second tank.

To be frank, it is hard to hear myself think.
That plus the gloomy light, and this the last
day of daylight saving, plus the heat that
preceded and provoked this storm makes me
happy I  brought sheets and clothes in off
the line, just in time, and can sit typing.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 4 - Having to come up with something on the spur of the moment is like skiing - you never know what's around the corner or down the slope!

prompt: "Hold that ..."


Hold that camera steady!
Is your focus
clear and present
as the future will demand
of you, recorder and creator
of the past?

With three deaths in the past
month, you must arrange
words as a camera cannot,
leaving a picture imprinted
on every retina.
Great people died: parents,
community leaders, people
with big hearts whose lives
would make extraordinary

Your camera pans across
generations. Left or right
wing, it matters not. 
Their mark was made
and we the inheritors
live the futures 
they envisioned.
Hold that camera steady!
The memories depend on you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 3 of the Writers Digest Poem-A-Day challenge ...

prompt: a tentative poem

View from my home office window

One fern frond virtually flaps
at the wind's transgression.

One bounces slightly, as if
it's not sure a breeze is passing.

The third moves so cautiously
I think it is resisting reacting to mere air.

But then, I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

prompt: a bright poem/a dark poem

The end days
of official summer time
ordained by some unknown god
in a fluoro office
make seven am seem
like midnight
and why do I have to
get up?

The world is bird-less
at that hour, and cats
prowl on the edge
of vision. I feel my way

Next Sunday, next Sunday,
I tell my wrinkled mind,
tired body, seven o'clock
will become its real self
again - six am, six pm.
While I'm writing, the sky

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today is the first (belated) day of April Poem-A-Day Month!! Yay!

Prompt: a new arrival poem

Something must have hatched
something edible.
They came here in several
small groups,
hopped, pecked and scratched.

All dressed neatly in their black
gleaming, tailored:
Was this a tribal gathering, or 
random families
hearing the news, seeking a snack?

Just the one day, on my patch
they came ransacking.
No time for flight, or fighting -.
for those blackbirds
something hatched: a good day's catch.