Tag Archives: Helen Ross

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]

*

gloves no longer needed
fingertips   cigarettes   pink

DS

*

Easter moon
in one hand
a beer and a crucifix

AS

*

raking red ficus berries
she considers a change in lipstick

CK

*

cold wind
not noticing
her silences

GN

*

inside the cavern
our eyes adjust

CL

*

wooden beat
of her walking stick
missing

TR

*

at High Copse the robin left him
cutting an ash sapling

JW

*

A quick shower
cherry blossom petals
carpet the sidewalk

HR

*

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

*

bitter hands rip him
from the wedding photo

AS

*

again and again
she strikes – the familiar
sound of thunder

CK

*

the wild plum
rolls to a stop

GN

*

more insects
at the kitchen fluoro
endless rain

CL

*

frankincense dusk
just an oud and her voice

TR

*

mercury rises
pommie bastards are wet
dreaming of EIIR

JW

*

wine stains on the carpet
this broken heart

HR

*

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

*

passion fades
in the dune grass
still swimming

AS

*

an incoming tide draws
closer the stars

CK

*

winter’s bone
the city sleeps
beneath his pale face

KB

*

the letter must be written
snowfield at dawn

CL

*

expecting a call
from my sister
not feeling hungry

TR

*

she waves her pony tail
flies away

JW

*

naked
spring buds dress
the branches

HR

*

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

*

storm clouds hide
an innocent sky

AS

*

at the roadside
the empty arms
of a mother

CK

*

cane fields watch
with a promise of fire

KB

*

she bleeds out
in the back paddock
harvest moon

CL

*

red flowers falling
they await the results

TR

*

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

JW

*

limbs entwine
love whispers its melody

HR

*

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.

***

lizard
in a shadow
the kookaburra misses

Helen Ross

*

crossroad
i want to go both ways
again

Trish Reid

*

Rusted Bark CLK
Cindy Keong

*

heavy sun
crow pleads
with the rusted tap

Katherine Battersby

*

cicadas suddenly silent, all the burnt gum trees

Chris Lynch

*

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

Andrew Phillips

*

Roots CLK

Cindy Keong

*

flashing sunlight at my eyes     butterfly

John Wainwright

*

stubbing my toe
I mimic the crow’s call

Cindy Keong

*

Quartzite Man CLK

Cindy Keong

*

under a black wing
ants feast
the sky moves on

Andy Smerdon

*

snake weather
he kisses his teenage daughter
on the mouth

David Stavanger

***

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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Doorways

On Thursday night I had the privilege of launching issue #2 of Doorways: Earth People. Doorways started out as a magazine dedicated to presenting the stories and poetry of people living in boarding houses as a means of challenging the negative, stereotypical views so regularly presented in the media. For issue #2, the net has been cast a little wider… As chief facilitator of the writing group and all round champion of the project Tamara Lazaroff says in the welcome:

Some live in supported accommodation, others in Department of Housing houses. Some live in a private rental. Some have recently been homeless. Others live in institutions. We’ve lived in a lot of places in our lives: in huts, tents, caves, under bamboo thickets, in luxury apartments, army barracks, motels, hotels, backpackers, in Australia and all over this earth. We are a mixed crew. But at the end of the day, we are just people, not the places we live in.

And Doorways is buzzing with the voices of this ‘mixed crew’. Voices that rarely (if ever) find their way into the wash of literary journals and other media. Inside these covers there is an untapped energy. A richness of story and unflinching simplicity.

I had the pleasure of working with the group and sharing my story in August so it was a great rounding out of the circle, to be able to take their stories home with me on the night. There are many fine pieces in the collection, but I will leave you with two snapshots… One haiku by Robert Wilson and the opening lines of The Junction by Helen Morris:

          love
          candle flames
          the desert

                      Robert Wilson

 

                                          Can I endure life’s frailty?
                                          It’s microscopic chaos?

                                          The stick in the guts fear of knowing what I am.

                                                                                          Helen Ross

To get your hands on a copy or to find out more about the project, contact: taas(at)newfarmneighbourhood.org or call (07) 3358 3951.

And you can listen to an interview with Tamara Lazaroff on 4ZZZ’s atthelocal.

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