Thursday, November 21, 2019

KA Rees #55 - morphology


MACARENA, malapropism, margin, mien, mission, middleman,

marry, marriageability, marrow, material, mascara, mate, mine, matter,

measure, mechanical, manual, millstone, metallurgic, meteor, Mercury,

military, militia, migraine, mark, magazine, mirror, mitigate, moat, misguide,

mordant, monogamy, monosyllable, mope, mire, misadventure, migrate,

meaningful, mundane, menu, morphology, messenger, missing, motive,

misfortune, mistake, multitude, motto, moss, misnomer, misuse, mutilate,

mortice, monopolise, murder, mutiny, mortuary, moribund, music, mystique,

multiplicity, monarch, moon, moonshine, mariner, map, moor, mahogany,

mouth, morose, mortar, mulch, mohair, model, mix, mishmash, molten.

Kit Kelen #1419 - sun tap

sun tap

beam in  

little bird

thing of childhood
as in the dream

tells nothing

cannot quite reach

white sails dot
blue for as far
have seen the harbour
dims to chug
and all these little lights were

vanish in
there was no writing then

take this
good for

arrows lean to show

yet there is a colour faded
there are these pale notes

truth to light
so fashioned

what’s that?
and why?

I hide a cloak
in mystery

when words were new
worlds inventing

cosy by
led from
dough stretch
and bake

let animals all in
we’re home

first of things

give me smoke in winter when
beside a steaming cup

nothing to put away

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

KA Rees #54 - Ocular


ORATION, ocular, optical, optics, ornithology, order,

ornate, ordinary, ordinariness, original, orthodox, ordain,

oscillate, octane, onion, off-hand, old, obligation,

obloquy, oblige, oblique, obey, obeisance, oaf, obdurate,

oblong, obscene, offer, occurrence, odd, oddity, odd-ball,

off-putting, ogre, obsequiousness, obsolete, obsess, obverse,

offer, operate, onslaught, opaque, onerous, once, opportunity,

optional, optimism, oral, orb, orbit, ordeal, order, obnoxious,

outweigh, occurrent, outskirt, outmoded, outlandish, outline,

outlaw, outcast, outcrop, outbreak, outcome, outsider, outpost, overrun.

Kit Kelen #1418 - underwriting


most of your houses won’t burn down

how long until there is intention?

some fall
and some are blown away

some are eaten
first sculpted by ants

light thrown down
again, again
would sinners lift their eyes to it

here’s age
and all the parts replaced –
the members of a house

a lounge of limbs
and lewd suggestions
not politely asked

most of your houses won’t burn down
but here’s a street alight
say alcohol has fuelled

all the violence of a home
won’t knock most houses down

were forest once
or mountain fast
have heft
are hewn

almost all change hands
or hand me down

let’s not forget flood
change of climate
continental drift

most houses won’t
some do

volcano and the quaking too

there’s electricity gathered
all fuels
what odds?
set actuaries on

many are so inhabited
one creature feeds upon the falling

some are simply bitten
plague till the place is condemned

a house may have been scrubbed to death
hoovered up and binned

wrapped in leaves
or a haunting dark
made dust

here’s fruit
say lemon gone bush
little wings attend

some were never on the map
or plan a subdivision
flat granny

little paws pass by
the guardian tree
and all the garden round

still there
say Sunday rubbernecks
ask how long will it stand

we’ve left it out in the weather
you memorize a shape – that’s it
rattles winded with the gate  

so secret to this having stood
and all these years to slam

there’s someone’s welcome in the walls
over we go

all the old ideas until
we’ve guessed home and here

think of a roof to catch
was someone else’s ground
forgive me
but I can’t go back

in moonlight
how the fires remind me
most houses won’t burn down

you room it
to contain an echo
walls divide the voice

come in out of
to the skin
and cosy up by
cup of it

much metabolized
long in digestion
taken for a smile

begins at a stretch
with a mouthful of nails
more hands and feet required

Jeffree Skewes #Sacred

Air grows acrid grey
throats are speaking less blue
spirits sniffed and tasted

if this breeze keeps up
tears may follow
right now blanket covers

smothering any way out
thoughts follow intuition
her power's in the moment

the land since before
the way way back
decides which way

mother the source and destination
nurturing the play-creation
respect is all we can do

smoking ceremony
clearing attention to 
who mother really is

welcome to country

image:     A Welcome to Country  / Invasion Day 2016 Aboriginal Embassy Canberra smoking ceremony  / JMS

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

KA Rees #53 - colonoscopy prep

colonoscopy prep

It may
I’m mostly
full of shit.
In this
that would

Kit Kelen #1417 - why must all this be taken from us?

why must all this be taken from us?
for godsbother

others live with
crawl the walls
they climb, slide, hear them
we give where

all orchestras of leaflight
birds as they go to name
Marslanding, such rehearsals  
things, obviousness

the kisses descending
this touch – maybe
the blood, the bone
tiny pawprints

till love, the image reads
skies for praise
and creatures less departed
it’s appetite despatches

one day the weather will be ours
waking is a premonition
meanwhile attend to what will be taken
we will be gone by then

under these covers lie
half asleep with a question
tin, all array of shelter
heights, streets

and view from the saddle
downhill apace
days led away, names never knew
winds to which caution has thrown

lines echoing of all before
this word forever meaning gone
sweat of the job that it’s done
why must all this be taken?

and immortality goes on
having thought
a trill and trip the wire
go down

truth, the white lie
queue of abstraction
fact of I was and you
days of smoke see it so

hardness and shy cleft
breathless wonder
all such habits of the poem
old ideas and new

you know it to go
and with this last gasp
will have you noticed
there is no one to ask

why must a ghost give up

Monday, November 18, 2019

KA Rees #52 - In which the boy realises the hero isn't on this page

In which the boy releases the hero isn't on this page

In this poem he’s a baleen feeder full of fingers and nails,
he’s a wonder of keratin and hairy fringes, product that
twists curls to ringlets – a power socket full of Eraserhead.

In this poem, he’s a jailhouse of Presley sideburns, black
and white stripes— a uniform, swinging air guitar, musical notes
staves and bars. In the next stanza he’s coming undone, pasty

in eight minute old light from the sun, he’s carrying
glasses and squinting at cosmic radiation; it’s
a long way to find his type of atmosphere and blue sky.

He's realised the limitations of this situation, that
a mouth full of fingers and nails, an excess of facial
growth and his particular set of windows are sub-optimal.

In the next poem he's asked to swap out this
kingdom for a horse. Can't say I blame him.

Kit Kelen #1416 - closer than you think

closer than you think

one gets used to a scarcity
it spreads

here’s the last leaf
I say salad

gulp for air
clutch at belongings

not enough grease to turn the wheels
no tiger for the tank

I kid myself
where the joke runs cold

turn on the tap
for the fairy dust

one has to love hoof made paths
the dew falls for a fact

books when there was only one
someone else had to read

dole temperatures out
till something like warm

or breeze to other end the year
like a sun forgetting first thing

sky lost to rain
mnemonic for what?

track ends then here we are
so quietly and listen, eyes shut

who’s that in the garden then?
time is the telling thing

Jeffree Skewes #135 Breath

the air 
up sky high
slow it right down
put your feet on the earth 
shut down turn it off look away 
the drip grows louder so hearts grow
we don't know why it doesn't matter
no way to think this through
they're all calling you
receive this gift
breath it

image: Empty (arriving)  detail / synthetic polymer paint on canvas on board  / JMS

Sunday, November 17, 2019

KA Rees #51 - Pattern for an Arsehat

Pattern for an Arsehat

Arsehat, colloquial term given to Australia’s highest order of political achievement. Previously
referred to as Prime Minister and currently worn by the Liberal Party’s Scott Morrison - Urban Dictionary.

The pattern required for a bat wraps says,
preferred size 45 cm X 45 cm, use 100%
cotton flannelette and poly-fill stuffing.

Koala mittens are needed for burnt pads
of furry marsupials, they held onto bark
of their engulfed homes; they had no place left

to go. Rest the koala template onto a piece of cotton
fabric and trace four times, cut out the mitten
shape and sew together 2 x 2. Leave bottom open

so that a burnt paw may be placed inside.
Attach woolen tie to X so tie can
be wrapped around the base to tighten.

Repeat steps to create second mitten.
Repeat again, and again, but not
too many times as koalas are functionally

extinct, their habitats lost to land clearing,
killed by cars and dogs, and the policies of
successive federal and state governments.

Wildlife pouch tutorial, please note that
liners should be 100% natural fibres
no synthetic fabrics or anything plastic

No thread that glitters. No bullshit brinkmanship
or pushing out platitudes such as ‘thoughts
and prayers’, no raising of empty palms

pressing flesh to the greased wheel, no
having a cold one for photo opportunity
with a quiet Australian quietly sobbing
for all that he's lost on the nightly news.

That pattern is too well known.

Rob Schackne #1029 - "Controlling fire"

Controlling fire
water is on the way
there is entropy, but
then you have to see
how gale wind makes
the big trees grow
gusting with a fury
machine guns spit seeds
fighting for my heart
heat enters my home
in the thick here & now
smoke nowhere to go
I was some place else

Coalescence Part 2 # Claine Keily 141

Here the streets blur in the dust. Cars rot in my neighbour's yard. I see it all. There is only chicken wire between us.

He is young and already divorced, I have been told there is a child also. He is new to the mines. We are both new to the desert. He cuts down trees then waters his rooftop to stave off the sun. At night I hear his beer cans fall from his outdoor table. They rustle in the dark beside my new planted saplings which are already burnt despite my attention. Our airconditioners groan, worn out, asked too many times to allow us to sleep softly while they murder the heat.

Kit Kelen #1415 - on fire - be water

on fire – be water

from a dry place
a poem for Hong Kong

I thought of you again today
your autumn
how it cannot end well

here more and more aware
of the weather
a fear of lightning now
someone has turned the planet for money
and now they hide from the fact

but it isn’t all about me
stand up

it’s right to be water
in a house on fire
is that what we’re throwing now?
oops, I forgot
and how do you tame your dragon?
it’s only in imagination

there’ll be chimes times up
seen this sort of thing before

am I a superhero?
is this a game?

a walk of life from everyone
I have an amazement for you

dragons aren’t tamed
they go down in the dust
then another dragon gets up

we are all Chinese after all
except for language, skin
and there is no religion

never thought it was in you
under attack must defend
better be water though
do what you must

better to die on your feet, is it?
nice theory but I’m worried for you
likely I’ll be wrong again

I can smell the smoke where I am
can’t tell the tricks of the wind though

I had thought it was all about money once
that someone on a ledge leans out
someone’s about to jump
that’s your graph
and glorious

somewhere west ones of a difference
are chained to a desert to die

stand up

we are wronged
there is no doubt
who is it tricked us to here?

another island’s floating off

how may I separate your empire?
mustn’t call it that
must not say emperor
or stir up dust

all of this for fear

show no mercy they say
stand up

pretend that I’m American
liberty goes down in a heap
always had a gun this
but I’m the one defenceless

aim at me
make martyr

is it for freedom?
is it for right?
for something we caught on TV
diseases of fine print

never underestimate monster
vanish for nothing, will it be?

a bottle of fire is thrown at the smoke  
the world turns
and will the world see

over the border
read only lies
all of the lies about me

stand up
stand up
walk into their fire

place bets
it’s all about who to be

it’s right to be water
in a house on fire

am I a superhero?
is this a game?

hear crackling through the static
that is the past
and it’s coming again
the future goes like this

imagine the dragon
you’re born to tame

there are so many questions

what’ life worth?
mine? yours? anyone’s?

all bets are off

is it too late say
step back?

all that won’t be forgiven goes on

there is no umbrella
for so much rain

all the rain is fire

will I be hero?
and who will I save
when no one comes to save me?

don’t catch us in a corner then
apologies, must flow!

in a poem it’s not so simple as life
it’s right to be water
in a house on fire

Kerri Shying R #593 - In the water

In the water

the bats fell  like ash
across the five am grey sky
in silence always cars
waiting birds not fooled by
alterations to the clocks

mosquitos take a full hour
to waken I've time
to tend to beets to trees
and listen to the air

on my pillow    eight to twelve
large spread paw prints
in dirt four toes
a fat pad I see it
treading in comfort while
I slept then notice
the daddy long legs
on the end of the pen

my nature is in the mornings
before this brain   blows itself up
into new order rightness
before the spies of commerce
whistle and click
along the lines

Saturday, November 16, 2019

KA Rees #50 - 50 wahoo!

50 wahoo!

Now early to bed
off you go, toodle-oo
a poem for another day.

Kit Kelen #1414 - about the darkness (a quick grope)

about the darkness
– a quick grope

for fear of abstraction
we both know

because of niceness
had to get away with

the cheerful keeping of the shop
rakish and will be boys

wink and you’re away
free smile

even advancing in age
because love was unconditional

came with the faces assigned
business as usual

the baggage
and a notching up

better left unsaid
could not keep it in

we both know

how often asked
forgot the permissions

because of not mentioning
a thing went on

this kiss caught
a misdemeanour

everyone knows
never told

minor omission
wondering what

and how far back?
the breathlessness

in justice and out of it
blame the drink

idea of damnation
building of new hells

their renovation
imagine born this way

that’s the theory
get a travel guide for the fairytale

there isn’t a curse but forever
there are no gods to forgive

Jeffree Skewes #134 Sea of numbers

after & for Kit Kelen #1413 watch and act 

image: Sea of numbers / synthetic polymer paint on cotton paper on timber sheet / 114x166x3 cm / JMS

Friday, November 15, 2019

KA Rees #49 - Migraine


Whispered a splinter dug
into two hemispheres light a throb
threatening to swamp lurid
chemicals, scintilla. Lost
to deluge, jangle display nausea.
Raise you a scarlet heat for a sudden grey,
long suffering distress echo for a moment
in dark of the darkest shade.

Kit Kelen #1413 - floruit


past certain things and still
alive awake aware
this bloom!

you look for a sign
and you’re it
an out-peering
fresh of breath

weary with just hearing the scores
but here’s a view from the top of the game
fall for me
we go down together

do the mortal coil shuffle off
to be the sunshine let
rain for a need

cloud carrying member of the poem
and often unseen influence
unacknowledged for a lack of laws
come creeping onto a next page
there’ll be the daisy pushups later

timing is all

even especially in the dry
and likely to light

it was here they’ll say
this part of the century  
a kind of map
thought something not thought heretofore

of course one is remembered wrongly
then not remembered much
and then there’s not at all

there’s nose to arse by whiff
by half a head
by drool

sit down with the words like this

the words and we were always there

see how she/he is blooming now
just follow this simple prescription 

Jeffree Skewes #133 Koala there

Matilda looked down
a moment before the cracks
sent more trees to ground
too late too far all around
running not Koalaforte


Thursday, November 14, 2019

KA Rees #48 - Bug Plinks at Varuna

Bug Plinks at Varuna

Hat tip to Gerard Manley Hopkins

The leaves on veined branches long sweeping shuttles of light
A gust flusters the canopy with gestures of flight—white cockatoos
charge and tumble combs a mess, light, shade, and pattern dance
across grain of the desk. Bugs plink the windows, a massive correction
of velocity. They slingshot to green intensity, leaves rustling
the canopy. Outside, a woman quietly uses her mobile phone, crown
bowed. So much the attitude of prayer. This light and the other—
half-blind; of being and not being. Neither here, nor there. Electronic
communication / electronic communion. I’m surprised
there’s not more bug juice over everything.

Rob Schackne #1028 - A Modern Prayer/Time Will Tell

A Modern Prayer/Time Will Tell

Now I lay me down to sleep

car packed check gutters check 

branches and debris cleared check 
hoses ready check children OK check 
animals inside check food check

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

it's hard when the elected so-called 

leaders of the country haven’t got 
sense enough to see the world 
how it really is the silly bastards

And if I should die before I wake

don’t plan on it someone has to stay 

open-eyed fires only ten kilometers away 
the wind’s dropped now but who’s 
to know what will happen

I pray the Lord my soul to take

everything else clean it all up 

and dress us in white see if there's 
enough souls to go round and if it 
comes to that we’ll find out soon enough

God bless mummy & daddy & little sister

farmers their farms the children and 

the critters domesticated and wild 
and only time will tell keep us from hell 
may the bush may all fare well

Kit Kelen #1413 - watch and act

watch and act

the numbers

roughing in

a little poem of hard facts

if our coal doesn’t
someone else’s will

kill, I mean

creatures flee the forest
everyone’s behaving strangely
might as well rake in

imagine there isn’t any global warming
scientists fancied it
like smoke – what is it really?

they’re only other animals

some things really are nothing at all
some nothings really are things

let’s put that in perspective

ignorance is best defence
possession is nine tenths

is it only four and a half million
who die from air pollution every year
or is it seven million?
people, I mean
the WHO figures confuse me

feed the fire and will it stay away?
throw crumbs
dance around it
will you

who knows?

better just
watch and act
no need to hyperventilate
go shrill
take a pill
how can smoke be a thing?
rake in

Priestley may have discovered oxygen in 1774
but Empedocles proved the existence of air
all thumb and bubbles
fake news of old

we’re only the world’s biggest supplier of coal
we only make up 30% of world supply
a mere thirty per cent
why get worked up about it?
when we can all rake in?

there is the sudden popularity of the birdbath
blue wren, bower bird
everyone visits

Newcastle is only the world’s biggest coalport
keep your shirt on
our biggest export

wallabies for dawn
smoke rise

they say a rake is essential firefighting equipment

how many civilians died in our Afghanistan and Iraq invasions?
so far away, how could it matter?
and why did we go there?
why are some people pissed off with us?

37,800 people work in coalmining in this country
less than 2% of the workforce
more of us in arts and entertain you
what would the Bureau of Statistics know?

numbers with questions
I’ve never seen a kookaburra take the slightest sip
there’s nothing to dive for

right now
how many fires are out of control?
how many governments?
how far are they away?

numbers are changing all the time
and numbers are in dispute

I’m not doing all the work
you’ll have to look up some numbers yourself
but I can give you a few

let’s compare underemployment
take a peak under the poverty line
then again there are deaths in custody
life expectancy differences
are you with me here?
keeping up?

rake it all in

maybe only half of the air pollution deaths are down to coal
that means the Australian stuff is only killing
just a few more than 100,000 people a year
a drop in the ocean
which might not even be rising after all
just a thing experts imagine, predict, observe

they’re only other humans

let’s put that in perspective
it’s about the same as the road toll in China
it’s about the same as China’s death toll from industrial accidents
anyway, they’re other people and they’re somewhere else

how’s my blood pressure going?
how’s yours?
cholesterol as well?

just a hundred thousand!

ignorance is best defence
possession is nine tenths

have we got the numbers on the floor?
round em’ up
count them to sleep

how much are those oceans really rising?
I mean because they’re probably not
how much hotter actually is it?

thanks very much
not at all
not at all

only 3000 people die from air pollution in Australia each year
a mere 3000 I should say
hardly keeps up with the road toll
well actually it’s a long way ahead
but who’s counting?

only 1.35 million people died on the world’s roads last year
you don’t want to get rid of your car

one point six trillion on military spending
that was in 2016
I hesitate to say the world spends…
because the planet itself does no such thing

angels and ministers of grace defend us!

but please try to imagine six trillion

thirty billion a year to end global hunger

since 1971 eighteen people have died from terrorist attacks on Australian soil
(six of them were the perpetrators)

have you noticed the hourglass?
more and more of them about
Empedocles did it with a clepsydra
how they measured time back then
and that was a while back  

you run the numbers!

how many dictatorships today? 
how many more than last year?
who’s funding them?

how many lies has Trump tweeted today
keep raking, keep raking, keep raking it in

trust things to keep standing
because they once did

graphs still point up
we can stake
for the low hung fruit

only two hundred homes gone in the fires
that’s so far this season
only three dead
look how they voted

how many animals do we kill and eat each year
70 billion, not counting the fish
(fish are so hard to count)

quite a small number considering the seven billion of us
humans I mean

you see how it’s all done with numbers?
they’re magic
some are sacred
some are irrational
still we’re counting on them
fingers, toes, claws

how many koalas down?
how many are left?
how long until last koala?

how much more unsafe are we now exactly?
will we be?
it would only be an approximate figure
can’t really measure these things, can we?

and if we can’t measure them
then why worry?

how many of them died in our war?

feed the fire to keep it at bay

how many species gone this week?
how many languages extinct?

who’s counting?
do we know how to count?
whose figures should we trust?

perhaps I should teach about numbers?
poets aren’t very good at this sort of thing
but somebody has to count

how much holier than thou am I?
how much of a hypocrite too?

we can only give you rough figures for that

if we keep going at the current rate
our coal will run out in 2130
(a mere hundred and ten years…
how much damage could it do?)

of course our days are numbered too
ye know not the hour and all that

how much to fix global warming?
sorry, forgot, it isn’t a thing
like every god you cannot see

everyone’s behaving strangely
creatures flee the forest

if our coal doesn’t
someone else’s will

kill, I mean

though there are the five billion years
but I think that’s a very rough estimate

as I said before
we’re not good with numbers
hard to get past fingers and toes

still, fine to stand up and be counted
the main thing is to watch and act

you can even do it in a poem
just don’t get all agitated
move along
take a deep breath

nothing to see here