Tag Archives: John Koenig

Autumn Sunset (part II): an Autumn Kasen Renga

turn of the tide
the mainsail catches
a fresh wind                                               (ld)

upstream
the tugboat pulls its own weight        (jh)

your iridescence
lures me
ephemera                                                    ( tm)

flashes of noon light in the forest
last of the plum blossoms                     (vp)

summer heat
so brittle
the fresh cut flower                                  (jk)

distant thunder
the hopeful croak of a frog                     (ck)

shortest night
hot in the storm
of your eyes                                                 (jw)

from beneath the rubble
the bloom of forget-me-nots                 (ld)

again
that memory of you
reading me to sleep                                    (jh)

ghost gum and evening star
alone in my back yard                              ( tm)

insects rise up
from the pasture
autumn moon                                               (vp)

the gleam
of a magpie’s beak                                        (jk)

sports carnival
war cries
high as an autumn sky                                (jk)

wrapped in your arms
the air hangs on every breath                 (ck)

from our tree
children
gather fruit                                                       (jw)

early sun                         
a lizard begins its thaw                                (ld)

as the season closes
azaleas open
white, pink, red                                                (jh)

moving forward
you light each lantern from the last       ( tm)

*************************

Started: April 3, 2011
Finished: May 24, 2011

Written between: Cindy Keong, John Wainwright, Lee-Anne Davie, Jonathan Hadwen, Trudie Murrell, Vuong Pham & John Koenig

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Autumn Sunset (an Autumn Kasen Renga)

As part of the recent Ginko Series I ran for QLD Writers Centre, I took on the role of sabaki for the group as they took on the job or writing an Autumn Kasen Renga. I am absolutely thrilled with the result and am very proud to share with you the first half of their renga, Autumn Sunset. I will post the second half tomorrow. Please enjoy!

Started: April 3, 2011
Finished: May 24, 2011

Written between: Cindy Keong, John Wainwright, Lee-Anne Davie, Jonathan Hadwen, Trudie Murrell, Vuong Pham & John Koenig

Autumn Sunset

autumn sunset
the glow of one
ripe cherry                                                       (ck)

ANZAC moon chills
the airman before dawn                              (jw)

fly over
swallows leave the sky
to the clouds                                                     (ld)

the rain finds me
I let each drop strike home                        (jh)

sudden chill
winter coat smells
of last year’s mothballs                                ( tm)

mist creeps through
the pines at dusk                                             (vp)

lost again
in the darkness
a mosquito bites                                             (vp)

a searching mouth
tastes the salt on my lips                             (jk)

first light
the morning dissolves
with aspirin and tears                                   (ck)

the percolator warbles
up the coffee                                                     (jw)

your image
painted on canvas
the view that remains                                    (ld)

from the lookout
the seagull stares down the waves           (jh)

moon on the rise
in winter everything
seems closer                                                     ( tm)

dandelions frozen
wind I wish you luck                                     (vp)

first frost
sharpens the senses
fire wood to be cut                                         (jk)

footprints point north
across the paddock                                       (ck)

sun comes
two lilies
propose spring                                                (jw)

new season spawns
a mackerel sky                                                 (ld)

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Hold Back the Water Fundraiser Update

Last night’s gig at Riverbend Books went off, with Pascalle Burton, Alan Wearne, John Koenig, Chris Lynch and Sheish Money playing to a packed Riverbend deck.

Alan Wearne

Pascalle opened the night, messing with the idea of reversible poetry, performing two new pieces over a backdrop of the reveresed voices of Nathan Shepherdson & David Stavanger. She was followed by Melbournian, Alan Wearne, who lifted the cover on the Australian Popular Songbook and introduced the audience to a handful of wild characters along the way. And then it was the launch of Brisbane New Voices II, with Romantic Rebel, John Koenig & Poetic Adventurer, Chris Lynch reading from their debut micro-collections. The mighty Sheish Money (who opened the night with a stunning new song, Let It) and I then closed the show with a performance of my poem, Meditations on a day when the river. And as the crowd walked out into the blustery Brisbane night, it was clear that the combination of artists had worked their strange magic!

Chris Lynch

And tonight, I am just home from The Back Room gig at Confit Bistro. Another strong crowd rolled up and the live sounds were bristling…

John Koenig

And importantly, we have now almost reached the $1000 mark in the Hold Back the Water Fundraiser. A massive thanks to Cindy Keong and Sarah Gory for selling tickets on both nights! The final event in the sereis will be the SpeedPoets 10th Birthday Bash, so make sure you are there to get yourself a ticket or three. All money will be donated to the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal.

Big thanks to Fiona for sending me the photos and for her review of the Riverbend gig on ‘Dada Doesn’t Catch Flies’.

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Riverbend Poetry Series: The Romantic, John Koenig

It’s only four sleeps until Riverbend opens its doors for the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series and the line up is set to crackle.

It has been wonderful featuring each of the poets, so it is with great excitement I present the final of the four feature poets, John Koenig.

John has been on a hundred wild goose chases in his time. He has however, never caught any geese, though once or twice he may have come up with some tail feathers. When not chasing wild geese, John hides out on a ridge north of the city of Brisbane, from where he ventures out for work, play and of course, wild goose chasing. After half a lifetime of venturing forth it turned out that he was a poet. Wonders will never cease. John admits to a romantic inclination towards life, and likes in no particular order: birds, words, people of all ages and love.

John will launch his debut micro-collection, Green Tea & Nicorette as part of Brisbane New Voices II on the night, but for now, here’s a new poem.

Viscera
 
When a boom time rises,
everything converges on the roads.
Pulsing through blue veins of bitumen,
incognito, trucks have run the track,
in the night that came before,
signposting a trail of carnage,
in various stages of decay 
and disarray.
Mammals and marsupials
rearranged to resemble,
blood stained blankets
that have been,
thrown away.
While wily Crows dine fat on
roadside service.
Blown out tyre treads remind me,
that you never see any dead crows,
just a murder of their own
making.

Tickets for the event are almost sold out, so be sure to book yourself in for what is shaping to be a fine opening to the Brisbane poetry season! Here’s the details:

Date: Tuesday 22 February
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/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2481

See you all there…

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Riverbend Poetry Series: The Sonic Mistress, Pascalle Burton

Brisbane is about to be flooded with words, as the first of three events raising much needed funds for those who have experienced siginficant loss as a result of the Jaunary floods or Cyclone Yasi, fires up on the deck of the beautiful Riverbend Books.

The Riverbend Poetry Series has been a highlight on the Brisbane poetry calendar for the last 6-years, and the opening event this year features the stellar line up of Alan Wearne, the launch of Brisbane New Voices II, which brings together Chris Lynch & John Koenig’s debut collections and mistress of all things sonic, Pascalle Burton.

Described as an avant-garde performance-poet musician-lady, her experimental manoeuvres with words and sound are an elegant dragnet. She gallivants across the theatrical tightrope between poetry, sonic art and music, and will be tied to none. Pascalle has performed in a ridiculous amount of venues and festivals over the years, both in Australia and overseas. Recent projects include The Stress of Leisure, Flight and ouTsideRs (with David Stavanger), and The Lavender Room’s Zine-in-a-Matchbox and Tortured Poet series. Her debut poetry collection, A Vast Laugh, was released through Small Change Press. She is currently messing with the idea of ‘reversible poetry’.

Here’s something new to give you a sample of what Pascalle has been up to:

Staghorn
 
hold on, host
sucking water from clouds
getting your fill, you don’t see me
watching you flirting
I’m lurking
 
winding my way like a
shark assassin or
tentacle terrorist
ready to take the next few years of this
hoping if it won’t kill me, it’ll take care of this
 
we’re all thieves
they’re all hosts
 
birds under threat will peck your accessories
real estate law will provide measures for these
prime property squatting
sharpening beaks and images
blink when they’re lying and frown when you’re serious
 
this intolerable heat
cinnamon ice cream hits the incinerated
like snow in the tropics
or sin in a tight spot:
regenerated
 
they’re all thieves
we’re all hosts
 
metho cocktails sipped inconspicuously
insidiously
McLennan’s lyrics score the way for intineraries
tattooed men drag their feet on the pavement
and women hold children on hips well rotated
 
hosts:
the trick’s not to get roasted
live ‘til tomorrow and
you’ll get promoted,
you just know it
just need a contract to show it
 
we’re all thieves
they’re all hosts
 
and the past keeps stealing into my sleep

You can read and listen to more of Pascalle’s work at:

www.myspace.com/pascallemaiden  www.thestressofleisure.com  www.myspace.com/flighthq   www.lavenderroom.etsy.com

Details for the event are:

Date: Tuesday 22 February
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/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2481
 
These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

And don’t forget to get yourself a ticket in the Hold Back the Water: Disaster Relief Raffle. The prizes are well worth the entry and the cause is more than worthy.

Hope to see you there,

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Riverbend Poetry Series: The Adventurer, Chris Lynch

One of the (many) things I am looking forward to about the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series is the launch of Brisbane New Voices II. And as many of you would know, local adventurer, Chris Lynch, is one of the featured poets in this exciting new collection.

Chris was born with twelve fingers in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. To this day, he has also lived in Australia, the USA, China, and Japan. Prone to crazy ideas, he has run off and joined the army, survived Clarion South, walked the length of Japan, eloped, started Tangled Bank Press, and climbed volcanoes. His poetry has appeared in Blackmail Press and page seventeen and is forthcoming in Islet. He recently edited The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder, and Evolution, an anthology of speculative fiction, poetry, and artwork about evolution.

Bashed Flat by Heaven is the title of his debut micro-collection and I recently posted his poem Homo Domesticus as a taster of the work to come. This time around I have been lucky enough to snare a new poem, Bloodbuzz Brisbane, inspired The National, floods and those Sunset Sounds.

 

Bloodbuzz Brisbane
Sunset Sounds, 5th January 2011

Did you hear the dams are full? It’s flooding out west
but this is Brisbane and in the Botanic Gardens among
fig trees and shaggy palms the crowd has mostly forgotten
raincoats. Everyone’s drinking—I’m sticking to water.

You’d think this was deep north, but above slick branches
silver towers light the storm clouds lining up to drench us.
A flying fox ghosts overhead as The National take the garden stage.
One of the brothers says we’re excited to be here and the crowd agrees—
people are in the trees.

And then: guitars, keyboard, drums, brass, vocals. One, two,
three songs, and with every cold raindrop life gets better.
You must be loving your life in the rain. People laugh and hoot, raise
plastic cups. This is Brisbane—the dams are never full.

Last song now, and the band sings Terrible Love. The sky opens:
It takes an ocean not to—it takes an ocean not to—
down, down, down it comes, bringing the singer with it,
our shoes sloshing in inches of water among the golden
fig trees and the silhouettes of people drowning in sound
and light and voices cracking with pleasure as the stage   
crew mop and the whole crowd knows the words,
new suit soaked but so what and so wet and tipsy we spill
out onto Alice Street and all the streets
are rivers no really all the streets are rivers and the sky is open.

This is Brisbane, and the dams—the dams are full.

You can read more of Chris’ work at www.chrislynch.com.au.

Hope to see many of you at the gig. Full details are:

Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The February event features the sonic experimentation of avant-garde poet/musician Pascalle Burton (A Vast Laugh, Small Change Press), the multi-award winning words of Alan Wearne (The Popular Australian Songbook, Giramondo Press) and the launch of Brisbane New Voices II, featuring the debut micro-collections of local poets John Koenig (Green Tea & Nicorette) and Chris Lynch (Bashed Flat by Heaven). And to help raise much needed funds for those who suffered great loss in the recent floods, the Hold Back the Water raffle will be held on the night with all proceeds donated to the QLD Govt’s Disaster Relief Appeal. There will also be a select reading of poems written in response to the floods by Graham Nunn & Sheish Money + other special guests.

Date: Tuesday 22 February
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/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2481
 
These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

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Riverbend Poetry Series: The Lovemaker, Alan Wearne

QLD Poetry Festival’s relationship with the delightful Riverbend Books has entered its sixth year… and it is only getting stronger.

On Tuesday February 22, the Riverbend Deck will welcome poetry lovers, to soak up Brisbane’s summer ambience and some mighty fine words from three of this city’s hottest voices – mistress of all things sonic, Pascalle Burton alongside John Koenig & Chris Lynch who will launch their debut micro-collections as part of Brisbane New Voices II.

And joining them, is Victorian ‘Lovemaker’ Alan Wearne. Alan has been part of Australian Poetry since 1967. Specialising in dramatic & narrative verse, often in the vernacular, his latest volume “The Australian Popular Songbook” received the prestigious, if obscure, Grace Leven Award. 2011 will see his company Grand Parade Poets publish 4 books by other writers; more will follow. Since 1998 he has taught poetry at the University of Wollongong, although he still regards himself and his poems as very much Melbournian. His late mother spent her first 25 years in Brisbane, so he lays some claim to being part Queenslander.

If you have not happened upon Alan’s work, here’s a recent Ode.

 

ODE

for Johanna Featherstone & Fiona Wright

Australian Poetry Ltd is a new organization due to be launched in 2011 as a merger between the Australian Poetry Centre based in Melbourne and Poets Union based in NSW. It will be the peak industry body for poetry in this country with a charter to promote and support Australian poets and poetry locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

     from a communication, October 2010

Industry Body, Peak Industry Body,
Deleting detractors and shaming the shoddy,
The word having gone out here come delegations
From locale and region, this and all nations:
‘Have you heard?’ ‘Can it be?’ ‘Don’t believe…’ ‘Oh my god-ee…
Our verse has attained a Peak Industry Body!’

Industry Body, Peak Industry Body,
Thou mentoring magus like Big Ears to Noddy,
As philistine ill winds grow keener and keener
O’er  villanelle, sapphic, pantoum and sestina,
Now slice like a scalpel, now whack like a waddy
You scourge o’ th’ wowsers, Peak Industry Body!

Industry Body, Peak Industry Body,
Whilst some are smart-phoney and others ipod-ey,
On all fours we lap up the springs of the muses
And our juice of creation just oozes and oozes,
Deserving much more than a tepid hot toddy
Your top shelf awaits us, Peak Industry Body!

Industry Body, Peak Industry Body,
Though crooks may be crooked and coppers be ploddy,
Law-breakers/enforcers will quiver and quake
For little beats Passion when Art is at stake:
And we’ve dumped our trifecta having gone for the quaddy,
You’re the winner we’re backing, Peak Industry Body!

And don’t forget, you can also get your hands on a ticket (or three) in the ‘Hold Back the Water’ raffle at the gig to help raise much needed funds for the QLD Disaster Relief Appeal and win yourself some amazing prizes!

Here’s full details for the gig:

 
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The February event features the sonic experimentation of avant-garde poet/musician Pascalle Burton (A Vast Laugh, Small Change Press), the multi-award winning words of Alan Wearne (The Popular Australian Songbook, Giramondo Press) and the launch of Brisbane New Voices II, featuring the debut micro-collections of local poets John Koenig (Green Tea & Nicorette) and Chris Lynch (Bashed Flat by Heaven). And to help raise much needed funds for those who suffered great loss in the recent floods, a raffle will be held on the night with all proceeds donated to the QLD Govt’s Disaster Relief Appeal. There will also be a select reading of poems written in response to the floods by Graham Nunn & Sheish Money + other special guests.

Date: Tuesday 22 February
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/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2481
 
These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

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