Tag Archives: Before the Sky by Max Ryan

Riverbend Poetry Series II – Max Ryan

It’s only a week away until the second event in the Rivernbend Poetry Series is here, so if you haven’t got your tickets, check the details below and make sure you snap one up. This is a poetry line up that is bound to light up the deck – Vanessa Page, David Stavanger, Julie Beveridge & from just across the border, award winning poet, Max Ryan.

Max Ryan’s collaborative CD with musician Cleis Pearce has received several music industry awards. He has twice won the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Poetry Prize and been short-listed for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His  first book Rainswayed Night won the 2005 Anne Elder Award. His latest collection Before the Sky won the Picaro Press Poetry Prize.

His words sift deep into life and are full of power and insight.
                                                                                      – Judith Beveridge

Here’s a recent poem from Max:



leaps out from behind a tin awning everywhere I look baba I no find you

he says stealing me a sweet from a vendor’s barrow here baba all thing

shine together as I follow his stop-start shuffle down kolkata alleyways

out to chaplin square where a wedding band oomphas round the corner

and a stray dancer twirls on dusty sandals and laughs into the hazy air

laughs till a beggar takes my arm whispering long life too much money

in three week many thanks ten rupee holding me by the arm hissing his

mad mantra all the way down to chor bazaar closed now except for the

lights of a chai stall where a man with a trolley for legs rolls out from

under a table and points to where krishna sits against a wall come come

krishna calls this ground my home baba this my mother krishna one day

shining in saffron robes saddhu beard and trident next day rough-shaven

a tilted fez hawaiian beach shirt and trousers krishna face swollen blue

from one more police bashing come come baba you want charas very

cheap come come very best I find you krishna leading me through smoke

of evening coal fires along to mirza ghalib street where two young

ecstatics sit cross-legged on a blanket wailing to the dim city sky willing

their bodies away from this world of men made of straw bismillah they

sing may the lord deliver us tonight bismillah take us into his final sweet

flame do not trust this krishna a washed-up sailor tells me through the

mist of his steaming chai do not trust this man


Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Sky won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

Get your tickets this week!

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