Friday, April 18, 2014

Poetic Asides Days 16 & 17

Day 16  an elegy

What is Survival Anyway?

I don’t believe in death.
And I’m not so sure about
“the way things change
the more they stay the same”
because there you were
in a photograph exactly
the way you always were
and, as always, no longer
with us but somewhere
in your own point of view.

And what about the hundreds
of travellers now in the news
and at the same time
at the bottom of oceans?

It would be useful to know
one way or another
if all the dead are elsewhere
waiting for us to join them
in a very pleasant country.

Personally, I’d prefer to be
like the third Silver Princess
in my yard – cut to the quick
one day, dying from borers,
now bushy, with new tips,
half as tall as the old lady
of the tribe next to her, three
tiny gumnuts budding.

Not old or strong enough
to support perching birds,
yet she inspires me with
the possibility of regeneration:
same roots, new expression.

Day 17  pop culture

Pop Up Art

Sometimes the train travels so fast, the sides of stationary grain transporters
are a blur of tags and cartoon characters speaking from the urban diaspora.
They make beautifully rounded canvasses; clearly the designs are well-considered,
reflecting the opportunity of democratic artistic display on government property.
We, however, are pilgrims to the shrine of Private and Major Galleries, seeking
the perfect piece of flat serious Art to complement our flat down-lit walls.
We may lift our eyes to the messages on grain transport carriages, but they
remain incomprehensible, a blur of unrecognisable signatures and figures.

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