Tag Archives: David Stavanger

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]

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self-guided tour, making a note to learn how

(Chris Lynch)

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sunlit grass
my eye loses the way

(Roger Callen)

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on the shorebirds turf
a crab filters mud

(Andy Smerdon)

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pelican rising clk

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

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to kill the mosquito
he slaps my face gently

(Matt Hetherington)

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some tree species show every bump of the cyclist

(Andrew Phillips)

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stingless bee
the old man
picks a flower

(Jonathan Hadwen)

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crow poet clk

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

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after the poets leave the crow comes

(John Wainwright)

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daydreaming
further and further
off-track

(Cindy Keong)

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river mouth
my brother’s infected toe

(David Stavanger)

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Snake Weather: A Summer Renga (part iv)

Snake Weather has stretched its full length… it was a wonderful experience working with such a diversity of voices and watching how each poet shifted the energy of the poem. It is a renga that I feel deserves repeated reads, so I have included the links to parts i, ii and iii here so that you can take it all in. There is much to enjoy!

Snake Weather (part i)
Snake Weather (part ii)
Snake Weather (part iii)

Snake Weather
A Summer Kasen Renga
Started: February 10, 2013 – Finished: April 14, 2013

Written by / between:
David S, Andy S, Cindy K, Katherine B, Chris L, Trish R, John W, Helen R, Andrew P

Moon CLK

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

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gloves no longer needed
fingertips   cigarettes   pink

DS

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Easter moon
in one hand
a beer and a crucifix

AS

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raking red ficus berries
she considers a change in lipstick

CK

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cold wind
not noticing
her silences

GN

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inside the cavern
our eyes adjust

CL

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wooden beat
of her walking stick
missing

TR

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at High Copse the robin left him
cutting an ash sapling

JW

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A quick shower
cherry blossom petals
carpet the sidewalk

HR

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both of them arrive late
to the opening matinée

AP

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Snake Weather: A Summer Renga (part iii)

As I post this, Snake Weather is crawling off on its final leg… so for now, please enjoy this third phase of the renga written by David Stavanger, Andy Smerdon, Cindy Keong, Graham Nunn, Chris Lynch, Trish Reid, John Wainwright, Helen Ross and Andrew Phillips.

CLK Snake Weather

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

he wears shoes to bed
she finds bones in her shoes
Spring cleaning

DS

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bitter hands rip him
from the wedding photo

AS

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again and again
she strikes – the familiar
sound of thunder

CK

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the wild plum
rolls to a stop

GN

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more insects
at the kitchen fluoro
endless rain

CL

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frankincense dusk
just an oud and her voice

TR

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mercury rises
pommie bastards are wet
dreaming of EIIR

JW

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wine stains on the carpet
this broken heart

HR

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electrostatic therapy
shock jumps of laughter
with the nieces

AP

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Snake Weather: A Summer Renga (part ii)

The summer ginko group have now reached the half-way mark of their ginko. Here’s links 10-18 written by / between: David Stavanger, Andy Smerdon, Cindy Keong, Katherine Battersby, Chris Lynch, Trish Reid, John Wainwright, Helen Ross, Andrew Phillips for you to enjoy.

snake weather part ii

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

promotional sale
we buy each other white

DS

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passion fades
in the dune grass
still swimming

AS

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an incoming tide draws
closer the stars

CK

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winter’s bone
the city sleeps
beneath his pale face

KB

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the letter must be written
snowfield at dawn

CL

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expecting a call
from my sister
not feeling hungry

TR

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she waves her pony tail
flies away

JW

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naked
spring buds dress
the branches

HR

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one eye
of the submerged frog

AP

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Snake Weather: A Summer Renga

Our recent ginko through Karawatha Forest has spun off into a summer ginko. The group have been sparking off each other, resulting in some really exciting leaps. Here’s the first quarter of Snake Weather, written by / between: David Stavanger, Andy Smerdon, Cindy Keong, Katherine Battersby, Chris Lynch, Trish Reid, John Wainwright, Helen Ross, Andrew Phillips.

Snake Weather CLK

[photograph by Cindy Keong]

snake weather
he kisses his teenage daughter
on the mouth

DS

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storm clouds hide
an innocent sky

AS

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at the roadside
the empty arms
of a mother

CK

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cane fields watch
with a promise of fire

KB

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she bleeds out
in the back paddock
harvest moon

CL

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red flowers falling
they await the results

TR

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black parrots’ beaks
in the heliconia
skeletons rise from the woods

JW

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limbs entwine
love whispers its melody

HR

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she falls back
breathless into lounge arms
rolling credits

AP

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Summer Ginko: Karawatha State Forest

Yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure of hosting a ginko (haiku walk) through Karawatha State Forest. Ten of us gathered to revel in the beauty of the summer morning that awaited us and of course, share in the wonder of haiku. So after a pot or two of authentic Japanese green tea (thanks Andrew) and recitations of some of the groups favourite summer haiku, we all set off to walk, and importantly, find a place to be still, to become one with the surroundings.

After an hour and a half of walking, contemplating and sketching from the senses, we gathered again and shared our experience… and some fine haiku were composed as a result. I am excited to share a selection of the group’s poems, along with some photographs by Cindy Keong.

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lizard
in a shadow
the kookaburra misses

Helen Ross

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crossroad
i want to go both ways
again

Trish Reid

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Rusted Bark CLK
Cindy Keong

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heavy sun
crow pleads
with the rusted tap

Katherine Battersby

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cicadas suddenly silent, all the burnt gum trees

Chris Lynch

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after the storm
one root of the grey gum
my broken toe

Andrew Phillips

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Roots CLK

Cindy Keong

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flashing sunlight at my eyes     butterfly

John Wainwright

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stubbing my toe
I mimic the crow’s call

Cindy Keong

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Quartzite Man CLK

Cindy Keong

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under a black wing
ants feast
the sky moves on

Andy Smerdon

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snake weather
he kisses his teenage daughter
on the mouth

David Stavanger

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The group will now compose a renga, leading off with David’s ‘snake weather’, which was voted the most resonant poem by the group on the day… Am looking forward to sharing that with you in the coming weeks.

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Brotherhood of the Wordless: Launch Speech

Yesterday’s gig redefined ‘uplifting’. Seeing the Brotherhood on stage is transformative… so the opportunity to launch their latest collection, Air for the Birds / Big Thoughts From the Frightened Well was truly an  honour. Here’s what I had to say…

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 Launch Speech: Air for the Birds / Big Thoughts from the Frightened Well

In writing this launch speech, I found myself pondering a question that has stayed with me since I first heard it posed in the song ‘Devils Tongue’ by Australian band, Big Heavy Stuff, more than a decade ago. That question,

‘Will you drown if you’re perfect?’

Thankfully, as my family has always reassured me, I am far from it, perfect, that is, so am able to stand here today, head above water, trusted with the great honour of launching the dual collection, Air for the Birds / Big Thoughts from the Frightened Well.

Perfection as a concept has great weight. Quite possibly, as the song questions, weight enough to drown us. For all of us here today, we can be thankful for our imperfections, as it is these attributes – our quirks, our idiosyncrasies – that make us unique. And today we are in the presence of a truly unique group of writers, The Brotherhood of the Wordless.

A group of writers, who, without speech or the muscle coordination required for handwriting or unassisted use of a keyboard, have found a voice that is both profound and powerful.

The writers that make up ‘The Brotherhood’ are extraordinarily attuned to the hidden and intimate details of the world, which they reveal in ways that are vulnerable and sensuous, tactile and true. They capture moments of mystery and beauty and (as is the job of poetry), they restore our vision to let us see the world anew.

The poems in this collection revel in the magic of the everyday. We experience:

–    dandelion flowers bursting into summer noise
–    waves coming into shore like jam
–    the auditory taste / not red / but tomatoes in the mouth
–    limitless boundless light
–    wrinkled flabby guts going two for the price of one
–    the fire engine, beetroot full of fluid and colon

These images both arrest the reader and welcome them into the moment. There is indeed, a sense of generosity and inclusiveness in these poems, a sense of warmth, life & freedom.

Together we experience many epiphanic moments.

the day of the words
and the words sang and the words
blew on the sails of my boat
off I went on my journey to universe.

(Michael Russell)

I am in the last faze of time / in this body.

(Peter Rowe)

Learn sight from our touch.
We are the tentacles of thought.

(Lucy Blackman)

And if we too, are willing to open ourselves, these moments change us.

I have experienced the joy of The Brotherhood on stage and on the page and know what it means to be moved by their words.

Before I close, I want to acknowledge the editorial and curatorial work of David Stavanger, who has worked with and championed the work of The Brotherhood of the Wordless since 2009. David has played a vital role in both the publication of this book and the production of today’s performance.

Today, there will be no drowning, no fear of perfection. Today is a day for celebrating what is a remarkable collection of poems. So open your hearts and join me in welcoming The Brotherhood of the Wordless and David Stavanger to the stage.

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Find out more about The Brotherhood of the Wordless and pick up a copy of their books and DVD’s here.

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