QLD Writer’s Week Feature #4 – John Wainwright

For my fourth feature, I have a chat to John Wainwright, the man behind the blog, Mirror Mosaic of Sounds.

What excites you about poetry?

Poetry drills down to the depths of the mind of the poet from which it springs at the will of the poet; and it can drill down into the words, the combinations of words, and the sounds the poet uses.  This exploration of the mind, both intimate and mysterious intrigues me.  Narrative poetry, from the momentary to the epic, is a great vehicle to do this vicariously, but the poet who reveals (or appears to reveal) their experience and imagination and analysis directly is more intimate and mysterious.

Writing excites me as it is my opportunity to examine my own experience and my own mind, and it gives me the tools to express that which I discover.

What are the themes that interest you / that you like to explore in your own writing?

This is a very difficult question for me.  I can find neither theme nor style in my folio of poems.  My poems seem to explore sounds.  I like to put interesting combinations of sounds together.   This also tends to keep rhyme and rhythm as commonly occurring techniques in my poetry. 
How does a poem happen for you?

Sometimes an expression like “fig psyllid” or “mirror mosaic” will drop into a story or an idea I want to tell, and I play with words and sounds around the story or idea. 

Interacting with poets by reading them, hearing & seeing them, conversing with them in text or voice will often provide a springboard to lend energy or direction or both to a poem. 

I take notes, share ideas, interact, until it becomes clearly annoying.  Some poets are very private: unfortunately for them, this makes them more ‘intimate and mysterious’.


Beachy Head

The air is still
the chalk cliff a cathedral
a vertical cemetery
bones crushed by sea
this sea
the dinosaurs’ sea.

The sea is not still.
It domes beyond the reef
trimmed in silver white lace.
Waves lift and lower
move on
the water stays.

This sea changes not
wanderlust and wonder
mystery and mastery
lace dashes along the reef.
This sea
is blue and green
and a deeper blue and another green, and another blue and a deeper green and another…

My anchor is loosed
time drifts upon the tide.
This sea destroys bones
to build cliffs
this sea
destroys cliffs.
It builds and destroys and builds and destroys
generation after generation upon generation after generation …
Wave behind wave after wave behind wave after …

Blue upon green after blue behind green beyond blue…


 About John:

I have been living the wrong life.  And thoroughly enjoying it.   And now I am vicariously {well, not quite vicariously} living some of the other lives.  In this process I was drawn into the whirlpool of poetry and I am drowning.  And thoroughly enjoying it.   The whirlpool of Brisbane poetry is seductive and vibrant, and I am a fledgling flying fish, behaving self-indulgently, enthusiastically and annoyingly, as all the recently re-born should!  There is some record of the experience at my blog: here



Filed under interviews/artist profiles, poetry & publishing

7 responses to “QLD Writer’s Week Feature #4 – John Wainwright

  1. Pingback: Featured in Another Lost Shark « Mirror mosaic of sounds Blog

  2. Thanks for the introduction to this poet’s work.

  3. I really like that poem John – you get caught up in the movement and repetition and everything of the sea.
    I love this bit:
    ‘Waves lift and lower
    move on
    the water stays.’
    It’s a bit like stasis within chaos (chaos theory).

  4. I love the last two lines…nice, John 🙂

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