Monthly Archives: May 2013

Shisan: My Aching Back (Links #8 – #9)

I love the momentum that builds during this phase of a poem… for here is where we are required to push ourselves, to break new ground, to create an image that captivates with its originality. And the six poets who have offered up their words for link #8 have done just that!

After the hit of humour from Chloe, the majority of the poems here dive into darker territory.

Simon opens things by following the roots of the daffodils deeper into the earth; Cindy creeps across the lawn in a shroud of fog and later, on a rooftop, feels the breaking of waters; Jonathan leaves us wondering about his level of exertion as he ponders, raindrops or sweat?; John shrinks with the shadows, then gives us a much needed hit of sun; Chloe spotlights the one person silent at the wake; Mal, in just four words, leaps from the soil where we left the daffodils to a baby’s soiled nappy; and finally John returns to directly question spring – squat or leg up?, before bursting yolk on our tongue.

There was one poem from Jonathan that continued the thread of humour… his off beat vision of ducklings crossing the road.

It has been  a wonderful collection of poems for me to have rolling around my head.

And now it is time to take the leap…

This time, for its startling twist, intense colour and its ability to link back and leap forward, I have gone with John’s ‘spring shower’.

So off we go again in search of Link #9, the final poem in the intensification phase. This time we are looking for 3 lines, without a seasonal reference… so let’s continue to break new ground, to take the poem off into the unknown.

Looking forward to your words,

*****

My Aching Back: Shisan
Started: 15 May 2013 – Finished:
Written between: Matt Hetherington, Lyndon Norton, Ashley Capes, Lee-Anne Davie, Chris Lynch, Mal Keeble, Chloe Callistemon, John Wainwright,

Side 1jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

in the shed
removing a dropcloth
from old paintings

(Ashley Capes)

Side 2ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

gravy smears the dinner plate
winter moon

(Lee-Anne Davie)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

I regret
the light switch
cockroaches

(Chris Lynch)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom

the puppy
pisses on all
the daffodils

(Chloe Callistemon)

Link #8 (2 lines) – spring

spring shower
yolk burst on the tongue

(John Wainwright)

Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

Side 4kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse
Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse
Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

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To a Stone

[for Ko Un]

You were thrown from a bridge
left to drown
in what remains of the drought-
stricken river.

Today I find your body
caked in mud
unaware of the violent days ahead:

the tens
hundreds, no thousands of beatings
that reduce
everything we know to sand.

***

[This is another poem I wrote during my weekend in Blackall… it is a hard land, and the people working it are currently doing it very tough. These are the words I found to try and tell a little of their story.]

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Outcrop

Outcrop

If you are looking for poetry that reimagines this land we call Australia, poetry that experiments with landscape and geopolitics, then look no further than Outcrop, the latest release from Black Rider Press. There’s 60 hours left to secure a copy at the pre-release price of $20. There are also some other great packages from Black Rider Press on offer. Click here to find out more.

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Shisan: My Aching Back (Links #7 – #8)

As we move into a more intense phase in the poem, it has been wonderful to immerse myself in the rush of poems that came for link #7. Spring blossom may not seem the most intense subject, but there are many poems on offer here that give the senses a damn good slap!

Through the lens of these poems we see a naked sailor holding out an olive branch, a spring tryst, daffodil lined graves and the cocked leg of a puppy. In some of the poems the extreme contrast is what makes it sing – the crow’s dark voice against the shock of purple Jacaranda blossoms; in others it is the playful comparison – fairy floss crystals and cherry blossoms, galah’s feet and spring rain on a tin roof. The diversity on offer is what gives the poem its energy, so again, thank you for your words.

Now, which way did I leap…

For its sheer exuberance, off-kilter humour, and close linkage, I couldn’t resist Chloe’s ‘pissing puppy’. I have however, made one slight edit to the formatting, moving the word pisses to the middle line. For me, this strengthens the movement of the poem.

And with that, the call is open for link #8 – 2 lines, spring. With this link, we want the intensification of the poem to continue and the leap to be a little bolder. Subjects to be avoided in this verse, as they are already represented in the poem are:

darkness
trees / leaves
moon
animals (we have now had cockroaches and dogs, so it would have to be something wildly original)
flowers / blossoms

Look forward to seeing where you take the poem next.

*****

My Aching Back: Shisan
Started: 15 May 2013 – Finished:
Written between: Matt Hetherington, Lyndon Norton, Ashley Capes, Lee-Anne Davie, Chris Lynch, Mal Keeble

Side 1jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

in the shed
removing a dropcloth
from old paintings

(Ashley Capes)

Side 2ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

gravy smears the dinner plate
winter moon

(Lee-Anne Davie)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

I regret
the light switch
cockroaches

(Chris Lynch)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom

the puppy
pisses on all
the daffodils

(Chloe Callistemon)

Link #8 (2 lines) – spring
Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

Side 4kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse
Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse
Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

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Shisan: My Aching Back (Links #6 – #7)

A weekend in big sky country has given me plenty of time to read and ruminate on the 6 poems offered for Link #6. As always, each poem creates a new pathway for the poem, a new vision…

Two poems have been jostling for the position today… and only now, after sitting with the poems for many hours am I ready to move the poem on.

The poems are:

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

The shock of the light and the cockroaches is echoed here in the disturbed sleep of the old dog. The music and movement of this poem makes it an exciting link.

*

deep breathing
in a library of ladders

(John Wainwright)

The deep breath here also echoes the shock of the light and the cockroaches and the library of ladders adds an unexpected strangeness.

*

Both poems are worthy of the position, but there is only room for one, and this time I have moved forward with Mal’s ‘dreaming dog’. This means that the call is now open for Link #7. We are now looking for 3 lines, that bring us a unique spring blossom image; something that really slaps the senses!

So leap boldly into the warmth of the season.

*****

My Aching Back: Shisan
Started: 15 May 2013 – Finished:
Written between: Matt Hetherington, Lyndon Norton, Ashley Capes, Lee-Anne Davie, Chris Lynch, Mal Keeble

Side 1jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

in the shed
removing a dropcloth
from old paintings

(Ashley Capes)

Side 2ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

gravy smears the dinner plate
winter moon

(Lee-Anne Davie)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

I regret
the light switch
cockroaches

(Chris Lynch)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom
Link #8 (2 lines) – spring
Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

Side 4kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse
Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse
Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

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Shisan: My Aching Back (Links #5 – #6)

My Aching Back is gathering momentum… that sense of community and playfulness that I had hoped for, so thank you again to everyone for participating as a writer or reader. Your energy is exhilarating!

It was again a true pleasure to read the nine poems on offer for Link #5, and again, the decision has been incredibly difficult.

Without a season to reference, it has been wonderful to see the way each poet has leaped forward from the gravy smeared winter moon. For link #5 there are visions of cane toads and cockroaches; passing buses and green men; rolled up trousers and backyard games; piles of marking, aphids and something just out of view…

Such riches to move our poem forward.

And while each of these poems would lead us down a unique path, there is one poem that has had me transfixed since reading, so it is with no regret, that I have leaped into the light with the cockroaches and added Chris’s poem to the shisan.

This means the call is now open for Link #6 – 2 lines without seasonal reference. I am already excited to see which way the poem will move, so leap boldly! This is the final link in the development stage… after link #6, we will be journeying into the darker side of things…

I will be back on Monday to make my decision for Link #6.

Happy weekend to you all,

*****

My Aching Back: Shisan
Started: 15 May 2013 – Finished:
Written between: Matt Hetherington, Lyndon Norton, Ashley Capes, Lee-Anne Davie, Chris Lynch

Side 1jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

in the shed
removing a dropcloth
from old paintings

(Ashley Capes)

Side 2ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

gravy smears the dinner plate
winter moon

(Lee-Anne Davie)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

I regret
the light switch
cockroaches

(Chris Lynch)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

Side 3ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom
Link #8 (2 lines) – spring
Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

Side 4kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse
Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse
Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

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Boondall Wetlands Ginko

On Sunday, ten of us embraced our haiku spirit and the natural wonder of the Boondall Wetlands as we set off on our Autumn Ginko. The sky was endless blue and the wind had a crispness to it… as did the poems that were shared after our time spent walking / sitting / dreaming. There is such a warmth and sense of kinship amongst the group… a sense of togetherness and discovery that is truly inspiring.

I hope that feeling shines through in these poems and that they give you the same inner sparkle that I get each time I read them.

Thank you also to Cindy Keong for her always stunning photography… already looking forward to our winter walk at Slaughter Falls.

wetlands grasses clk

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

*

self-guided tour, making a note to learn how

(Chris Lynch)

*

sunlit grass
my eye loses the way

(Roger Callen)

*

on the shorebirds turf
a crab filters mud

(Andy Smerdon)

*

pelican rising clk

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

*

to kill the mosquito
he slaps my face gently

(Matt Hetherington)

*

some tree species show every bump of the cyclist

(Andrew Phillips)

*

stingless bee
the old man
picks a flower

(Jonathan Hadwen)

*

crow poet clk

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

*

after the poets leave the crow comes

(John Wainwright)

*

daydreaming
further and further
off-track

(Cindy Keong)

*

river mouth
my brother’s infected toe

(David Stavanger)

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