Tag Archives: Jonathan Hadwen

Winter Ginko: City Botanic Gardens (part ii)

As we head into the weekend, it’s the perfect time to slip into that haiku headspace… here’s a few poems from John Wainwright, Tamara Fletcher and Jonathan Hadwen to help you on your way.

*****

44th k.
the iPod has no song
for this

*

suburb of sailboats
neighbours
compare masts

Jonathan Hadwen

Ginko Group

[photograph by Andrew Phillips]

length of her pink tongue
a standard measure of happiness

*

magenta t-shirt
a Sunday caricature
of himself

Tamara Fletcher

City Botanic Gardens

[photograph by John Wainwright]

one curlew
alone
the widow learns to walk again

*

bird of paradise bows to the noisy mynah

John Wainwright

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My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

It’s time for one last remix of My Aching Back… and with this post comes the news that the original poem will be published in Kokako, a fine journal of Japanese forms published in New Zealand. It’s wonderful to see this poem reaching a wide audience. So now, it’s over to Lyndon to give it one last spin…

*****

My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

Side 1 – jo – 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)

cold night
our words
left hanging

(Cindy Keong)

Side 2 – ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

stuck up a tree
winter moon

(Andy Smerdon)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

not even the radio
tonight
a bus passes

(Jonathan Hadwen)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3 – ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom

along the edge
of her grave
a row of daffodils

(Cindy Keong)

Link #8 (2 lines) – spring

shadows shrink
sun cannot warm the air

(John Wainwright)

Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

behind teeth
a storm gathers
I cannot swallow this

(Nigel Ellis)

Side 4 – kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse

all that remains
broken on the shoreline

(Cindy Keong)

Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse

incoming tide
waiting for
the next wave

(Cindy Keong)

Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

nothing matters
after sunset

(Carly Jay Metcalfe)

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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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Light Up Your Sunday at The Back Room

This Sunday, The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley) showcases some fine local talent, including live poetry from Jonathan Hadwen, the circus stylings of performer Ellen Grow, visual art from Samantha Norman, the sweet jazz of Sarah Collyer and the debut live performance of some of the work from the Friday Night Lights Project, including the live sounds of Sheish Money and an exhibition of photography by Cindy Keong. So if you are looking for something to light up your Sunday afternoon, look no further!

Doors open at 4pm and if you have a poem or two, fold them in your pocket, as the mic is Open!

Here’s a hit of what you will experience!

**********

Route 199
by Jonathan Hadwen

You can fall in love
on nights like this
delayed and distracted
on your way home from work
too long since you last ate

sitting in a daze
crammed on a bus
next to a girl with Scandinavian skin
a girl so beautiful you might think
she floats across the top of life

There are nights when you expect strangers
to throw kisses not punches
those kisses buzzing in the air
in your ear
filling the space left by non-existent conversation

There are nights
saved for cities and crowds
and bus rides
in which you might fall in love
and then out of love again
before you’ve even reached
the next stop.

**********

Ellen Grow in action!

**********

Creature by Samantha Norman

**********

Image by Cindy Keong

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Just before I go…

If you are anywhere near Brisbane next Wednesday night, The Back Room at Confit Bistro is keeping the QLD Poetry Festival love flowing with a showcase of artists from the 2011 program.

The night will feature Sheish Money, Jane Sheehy and Nick Powell premiering work from their new show, Shift; Jeremy Thompson, who’s poem, First City Christmas at Grandmas was shortlisted in the recent, 2010 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize; and readings from three members of the QPF Committee, Jonathan Hadwen, Lee-Anne Davie and Zenobia Frost. Each will read a selection of their own poems as well as a poem from one of the international/interstate artists on the QPF Program.

Confit Bistro is located at 4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley and has a sensational tapas style menu and wine list. Entry is free!

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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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New Farm Park Ginko: Jonathan Hadwen & Cindy Keong

                                                          grandfather’s roses
                                                          a spot growing
                                                          on each leaf

                                                                         *

                                                          family barbeque
                                                          teenager texts
                                                          from a separate bench

                                                                         *

                                                         wedding in the park
                                                         only half
                                                         a string quartet

                                                                        *

                                                         dishwasher can’t clean
                                                         the lipstick from the glass
                                                         things you left behind

                                                                        *

                                                         garden bare of flowers
                                                         one curling leaf

                                                                        *

                                                                         poems by Jonathan Hadwen
                                                                         photograph by
Cindy Keong

 

                                                                at the edge of
                                                                the rose bed
                                                                lavender stalks

                                                                            *

                                                                roses in full bloom
                                                                the bride sucks
                                                                in her belly

                                                                             *

                                                                crowded park
                                                                two plover’s
                                                                clear a space

                                                                             *

                                                                 play date
                                                                 dogs teach their owners
                                                                 how to fetch

                                                                             *

                                                                  blisters of burnt paint
                                                                  the summerhouse gone

                                                                              *

                                                                             photograph & poems by Cindy Keong

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Sandgate Ginko: Jonathan Hadwen

 

                                               the sun disappears behind a cloud
                                               a lone gull
                                               stamps its memory in the sand

                                                                         *

                                               pool of water
                                               underneath the tap
                                               ibis drinks its share

                                                                         *

                                               I tread so lightly through the rock pools
                                               still the fishes flee

                                                                         *

                                                tide comes in
                                                children and dogs
                                                rush to say hello

                                                                         *

                                                restless night
                                                the light is tired
                                                of being switched on

                                                                         *

                                                                          photograph by Cindy Keong

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Why Poetry? The discussion begins…

Avid Reader (193 Boundary St West End) have declared September, ‘Poetry Month’ and to celebrate they are putting on some mighty fine events. The first of these is a discussion / reading taking place this Thursday night. To pick at the seams of the question, ‘Why Poetry?’ they have assembled Bronwyn Lea, Nathan Shepherdson, Ross Clark, Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence Emily XYZ and this Lost Shark.

Full details of the event are:

Date: Thursday September 9
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Avid Reader, 193 Boundary Rd, West End
Cost: $5.00
Bookings: Call 3846 3422 or book online at: http://www.avidreader.com.au/index.php?option=com_registrationpro&view=event&Itemid=0&did=80&shw_attendees=0

Avid’s monthly magazine is also brimming with poetic musings, reviews and other articles. You can download a copy of it from their website: http://www.avidreader.com.au/ but I thought I would post my article answering the question ‘Why Poetry?’ to get the discussion started…

Why Poetry?

Brisbane is definitely a bright star in the poetry sky, hosting major events such as QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word (August 27-29), The Australian Poetry Slam and the annual Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence Program alongside a number of regular events, including Brisbane’s longest running poetry/spoken word event, SpeedPoets. And now, Avid Reader are throwing a month long poetry party in September, featuring a panel of established poets (incl. Bronwyn Lea, Nathan Shepherdson, Ross Clark, Graham Nunn and 2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ) talking about the importance of poetry in our lives and readings from some of the bright new things currently setting the Brisbane poetry scene on fire. So why all this interest in poetry? Well, to give you a short answer, I couldn’t go past this quote from ‘poet laureate of the down and out’, Charles Bukowski:

Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.

For me, what Bukowski is getting at here is poetry’s ability to embrace and elevate all that makes us human. When you hear it, you should be able to see, as if in a flash of lightning, the words crystallise, and if you are open to it, the poem will contain more than images. Poetry invites us to cast off habit and reconsider life with new eyes and at its best, as Emily Dickinson put it, can take the top off your head.

I strongly believe that enjoying poetry is as natural as drawing breath. As a boy I spent many summers sitting beside my father watching Australia’s great fast bowler, Dennis Lillee tear through various batting lineups. Each time the stumps would buckle or Lillee would throw himself into his trademark appeal, shouting ‘Howzat’, my father would look over at my brother and I and say, ‘that was poetry’. Of course my father did not mean that it was literally poetry, he was simply pointing out that Lillee’s bowling had the qualities one normally expects of poetry – grace, surprise, beauty, rhythm. My father was not much of a poetry reader, but he, like all of us, had an idea of what poetry is and should be.

We know this because poetry is not firstly in the words; it is there to be discovered in the current of the river, the rush of the street, the strange angles of a spider’s web, a home cooked meal. Our senses are bombarded with literally thousands of stimulants on a daily basis… poetry is about stripping this back and getting in touch with the things that really matter; finding the truth in the everyday.

When I tell people that I write poetry, a common response is, ‘I don’t really get it’, but the truth is, that is just a reflection of society’s needless mystification of the art. A poem is not an obscure code or linguistic puzzle, if it works, it will speak to you. But remember, it’s a matter of chemistry. Not every song you hear or film you watch will speak to you, likewise, every poem you encounter will not hit the mark, but don’t let that deter you, there is an infinite number of voices and styles waiting to be discovered and when a poem hits, it will cast its spell and make the mind sing; it will engage your imagination and draw you into its universe.

As there are a myriad voices writing poetry today, I thought I would ask a handful of the poets participating in the Avid Reader Poetry Month festivities to get their thoughts.

One of Brisbane’s new voices, Jonathan Hadwen offered this:

“…it’s the way thoughts line up in our minds, a way in which we finally make sense of experiences and situations that have been difficult to understand.  The real power of poetry is in the sharing, as by doing so, we pass on this understanding. Poetry has been around in one form or another since we have had the ability to think and communicate those thoughts, and will be around until we lose those abilities.”

2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ responded with zeal:

“Poetry, like all art, is part of the human condition.  The reason people say they ‘don’t get poetry’ is because we are not usually called on to use our minds that way.  Quite the opposite:  ‘daily life’ generally requires us to dumb down and stay in the lower registers of what is possible for the human mind. ‘Why poetry?’ is a question that must be answered anew every few years, and yet the answer never really changes:  because it is resistance to misery.  Because it is a swing against dehumanization and an affirmation of freedom and possibility.  Because it makes jailer-minded people uncomfortable—and that really is something that can (ultimately) (maybe) change the world.”

And, John Koenig answered with a poem of his own:

“trembling under a love blue sky the thesaurus tree bears alphabetical fruit ripening and falling to be caught by slender feminine hands of faith held up in front of inquisitive gun smoke eyes with intriguing lashes curling over the words of sweet sorrow and joyful redemption making darkness and light fill the flowering iris with colour overflowing to flood the optic nerve becoming a raging river running along neural paths synaptic sparks jumping high and igniting the fire of imagination framing the question what does this mean poetry yes that’s right it’s magic”

The one thing each of these responses has in common is the passion and belief in which they are delivered. That is the power of poetry… when it hits, you are never again the same. So why not get along to one of the many poetry events happening in this fine city of ours or to your local independent book store and embark on your own quest to answer this question. The journey could just be life changing.

Look forward to reading other people’s responses to this question,

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