Monday, February 29, 2016

burke: The Crash on 29th #

One day more - the sun
rose early as usual
and the dog demanded
her breakfast and a fresh bowl
of water. Nothing unusual
until my wife screamed
from the back study! I ran -
now that's unusual - and found
her dazed and bleeding at the door
with a small  mountain
of books behind her.
The shelves had collapsed and all
the heavy weight of the Poetry Canon
had fallen on her hand and arm!
Oh, I did not think that poetry
could undo so many - holding
my wife, I sneaked a peak:
all was okay, no blood
on any pages. Phew.

Béatrice Machet # 47-48 EARLY

Very early
I mean too early   shaken awake
Who was nudging me?

Soon after
the sky’s promises over the bannister ended
in a hissing downpour
causing the hail to be dotted
here and there
as if discreet moments had to be condensed
so as to fall and pound and drum
for emotion to bounce
to startling mornings
when the doorknob turned slowly
what to expect
was this a threat of the past
sneaking in
too well aware my new choices would change the way
I could look at it

Très tôt
je veux dire trop tôt     doucement secouée
qui me réveillait ?

Très vite
les promesses du ciel par-dessus la rambarde atterrissaient
une sifflante averse
éparpillant la grêle
çà et là
comme si les moments discrets devaient être condensés
afin de tomber marteler et tambouriner
pour que l’émotion rebondisse
en arrière
vers les matins de sursauts
quand la poignée de la porte tournait doucement
à quoi s’attendre
était-ce la menace du passé
trop bien averti que mes nouveaux choix changeraient la façon
de le regarder

Sarah St Vincent Welch #59 Ironing

Ironing board  cover design by Remo c1985

appalls, cleaning up
sucks into the maw of Dis
the job of the female there’s no Zen
to find, getting dirty over again, but in ironing is
redemption, sizzle spit on metal bubble slide steam
linen preen and fold to crease edge glide the kind
woman who talked to lonely children
as she worked wiry Mrs Fitz who
won the lottery twice she
did the ironing

Efi Hatzimanolis #28 'Inside Outside II: Summer of Spiders'

The old huntsman crept
into our house again, back
here to save itself

Lizz Murphy — Poem 60: Nobody's Child (after Robert Verdon)

afterMonday's Child by Robert Verdon

Susan Hawthorne #60 two minutes on a country road (inspired by Efi Hatzimanolis)

it takes no time at all
to aim the bicycle at the tree
it's a cedar

my brother and I have
played Tarzan and Jane
at every level of this tree

you get the bicycle face on 
pedal as fast as you can
heading straight for that branch

in the tree we have swung like apes
made loud Tarzan calls
leapt to the gravelly ground

at the branch you let go
raise your arms high and swing
watch the bike crash spraying dust

Carol Archer--Tree study #29

Kit Kelen - #59 Miró -- possible ending

possible ending

it takes some looking into
really though the work says
'see what happened to me –
decide on your colours
now is the time
(but you can always choose again)'

there are days you imagine
the animal come for it
in cloaks of some fraternity
tracks across the canvas map

smock of the job
and very occasionally
the body as soul's labyrinth
though even that's a seascape

etch with pencil
cause paper's to dig
and a smile might float away

my head is a clock
how's yours?

have you noticed the way clouds'll get stuck?
lead pencil makes the best bet
seraphim, cherubim, dryads to edge

mist comes in so many colours
today it is a flag
on masonite

shake cactus hands
with breast-head
you're a member of the board now

'the lark's wing and the diamond meadow'

cross the border and you invoke
'red of swallows
and the iridescent pink'
(his words)

a scratch at a tail
a pigment drift
some marks could be punctuation

with beachball breath

of course these are all instructions

words seeking for pure form at last
and lost to the quest

to make the map an accident
that's to do some truth

to scrub your brush
until it's dry
and let the canvas have it

invent paintball

in the end it's the juggling
decades pass
and still nothing is dropped

lines go where they will
they are the mind of its own
pass through zones of darkness and colour
darkness and colour and light

and between
drip, spray
everything but scratch
attend to functions as bodily
and when you spend time with a hero
have heroic thoughts 


#55 Kevin Brophy 'Sleeping crocodiles'

Today the playground crocodile caught
Two children too slow on the flying fox.

A sleepy frog was chased out of the grass
And under the wheel of a moving bin.

And one girl found a sleeping finch
And carried it, limp, to her teacher.

I sat with a child and read of a hungry caterpillar
Who ate himself into his own sleeping death.

It seemed a beautiful thing in the book.
‘Wings’ the child said to me at the end of it.

It’s important the crocodile is asleep when a child
Launches herself out on the flying fox of her life.

It’s important each one gets a turn in hope, in fright

At slipping past the waking crocodile’s clumsy bite.

Hilik Mirankar #30 tree

Mikaela Castledine #60 Word for Word

You are lady artist yes
I see you 
before but too shy to speak
because of language
I see your work and think it looks
like Russian orthodox    
oh they are beautiful
you have business card?
we keep in touch
my name?  they call me Adrian
your name I read it
it is Eastern European with an H
I not hold you up you are busy
goodbye goodbye thank you

Anna Couani #59 medusa

a squall comes up
at night
narrative can start like that

but actually
it starts raining about 10 am
a quick shower
enough to humidify the air
some more

the mysterious medusa
propels itself horizontally
in the murky harbour

there are flashes of sunlight
across the oysters
submerged on the rocks

the images are
woven into our conversation

up ahead
photos are taken

Red Cone- Day 59-Leap day

leap day

a leap year day
lost for three
good day for
an endoscopy
clear the decks
have a check
no panic
if something
it is all ok
the innings
have been good
though more fun
would be good
if I could

reflecting now
will suffice
doesn't matter
if I lose the dice
been good to me
this life
or at least
not dull
many risks taken
not much loss
certainly no dross
twenty more years
I reckon
play the cards
throw the dice
pay the price

I am fine

Michele Morgan #54 liath

grey evening casts long
shadows on
my day, bleak regret

Robert Verdon, #65, opponents of transhumanism



the irreligious, who have spent their lives 
fearing death, now fear immortality more

29.2 #59 Uplifted by Myron Lysenko

a rose petal drifts off a drooping stem
the footbridge sinks into muddy waters
a twig falling in between three ghost gums
a magpie dies with a worm in its mouth

a joey sags in his dead mother’s  pouch
a tea bag dumped in the compost heap
my smile drags down at the gaps in my teeth
a full stomach hanging over my belt

a raven’s feather falling on the road
another piece of cliff adrift in the sea
a chicken’s egg falling down off the nest
a wet piece of grass on the mouse’s fur

a blackberry squashed on the dry footpath
arms in a jumper sagging from shoulders
my long cotton socks around my ankles
the elastic gone from my underpants

a cigarette doused in the empty glass
my brother sinks further into his grave
my dead sister’s bones collapse in cancer
traffic lights dropping red onto the tar

a sheet with a stain flapping in the breeze
the doctor’s sudden  fall in demeanour
an ingrown toenail for summer’s last day
an air balloon deflating in the pool

tree fern in the garden craving water
a family reunion where no-one comes
the best friends I’ve had now drifting away
the tired sun lifts darkness off the sky

Mark Roberts #29 Slide 28 The Last Beer: The New Ivanhoe Hotel, Blackheath, October 1995

the last beer

My father put off his heart surgery for a month
so he could attend Mildred’s funeral. There had
been an issue with his heart value for two decades
but it had recently become worse. The doctor
advised against delay while also saying  there was

no great risk. He drove up on the Wednesday.
I couldn’t get off work until Thursday, the day
of the funeral. An afternoon funeral I caught
the train that had once been called the Central
West Express but was now just called the Dubbo

train. It was running almost an hour late by the time
it got to Orange and I had to get a taxi straight to the
church. Dad was already in the front row looking tired.
I sat with him and talked quietly for ten minutes. He hadn’t
slept well - ate something that didn’t agree with him.

The funeral marked the last connection with his parents,
his mother’s sister, the farm that was his second home
growing up. I could sense his grief, silent but consuming.
Through the service he followed the process, familiar
as the drive over the mountains. Afterwards we went

to Carol’s for tea and cake. Dad and a few of the men
had a few scotches. I talked to Carol about how I remember
coming to their old orchard as a kid and watching the apples
being packed in the large old shed. There were always
fresh crisp apples back then - another time.


The next day we leave the motel early, after a big continental
breakfast. Dad drives the first leg down the Mitchell Highway
to Bathurst. We drive past the Lucknow Pub, no need to stop
these days. Out of habit I count the number of times we cross
Rocks Creek - the new road has cut the number by two.  We
don’t stop at Bathurst but Dad does turn right and does the obligatory 
ap of the race trace. For the first time I remember he keeps
to the speed limit over the top of the mountain. We stop
at Lithgow for fuel and he keeps driving. Up Mount Victoria, the car
struggling, I begin thinking in metaphors - one mountain too many.
I suggest I take over the driving, soon he say, we’ll stop for a drink.   
Finally he pulls into the car-park at the The New Ivanhoe Hotel.
Of all the pubs between Sydney and Orange this is probably
the only one I can’t remember stopping at with him. But today
he is out of the car and stretching and waiting for me so he can
lock up. Inside the bar is smoky and he orders a scotch for himself
and a beer for me. He asks for the water, measures a little
into glass and settles back on the stool. I sip my beer slowly,
he finishes his scotch and looks at my still almost full glass
and says he might might join me in a beer. We clink glasses,
to you health I toast and we finish our beer. I won’t be the same
now he says looking around as we turn to leave the pub. I get
in the driver’s seat and drive down the mountains into Sydney.


A month later he goes into hospital for his operation. I walk
next to the trolley as he is wheeled into theatre. The last words
I say to him when I am told I can go no further is that I will
buy the next round of beers. He does not regain consciousness
after the operation and dies two days later.