Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thirty Summers # 139 Claine Keily

I removed the understory today with instruments blunt with age. I sweating and green. I cannot help but see the saplings as my minor characters and wonder about what it was that they dreamed. When you are the queen of your own green city and you are trapped amongst the Wait-a-While, you wonder who will visit you here in this dark castle of the wilds.

Kristen de Kline #230 I didn't want (for Rob. S.)

I didn't
the pure
the shiny
shoes, her
acid rain
dropping through
lower branches
as the hundred
suns caress
still waters

I wanted
to throw
a party
a tantrum
an axe
but by the third turn
I didn't throw doubles
five spaces
I must move forward
write another poem
pay the $50 fine
fall in love (again)
drip hot wax
onto flesh
no longer
just visiting

Lizz Murphy Poem # 374 Does the Sky Bleed


Do stars tremble in the face of the wind
does the wind roar in the face of the star

if you fall upon a star
what if you land on a point

who decided a star had five points

who first drew a five-pointed star in one continuous line
do you remember how hard that was

what if the sky was granite
what if it was galvanized leaky tin

what if all the birds took to the sky at one time
would it just be a traffic jam or would they eclipse the sun

what if the sky was a crow’s wing
‘raven’ (it’s not the same bird) always sounds so much nicer
the sky would be a satin shelter

what if you dream your room has separated from your house and is spiralling 
up into the black sky and now the walls are disappearing and your bed is going to slide 
out into the night into space would you be singing twinkle twinkle little star

what if you are in your pyjamas on the stairs and they separate from everything
and fly up into the sky and you are sitting on the edge of the first step
and the bannister has gone
is reaching for the sky an unachievable unrealistic goal

why do they say reach for the stars
that’s a big reach
it’s not like getting a dish off a high shelf

who washes God’s socks
is that when it rains

is falling through space like almost drowning
is falling through space like drowning only faster

if the sky fit
would you wear it
midnight blue

a wattle bird nests in a drought-thwarted tea tree
when I walk past it flaps its way out
cuts a line through space to a higher point in a nearby gum tree

does the sky bleed when a eucalypt pierces it
is that why the sky turns red as the sun goes down
does the sun get a sinking feeling

Kerri Shying R - # 522 - Mr Christ - the opening address

Mr Christ - the opening address

Mr Christ  correct me   if
I'm wrong   but aren't
all your people  just

God's own
therapeutic flat-pak
Ikea  self-help

kit dolls  made
to show off

knuckle joints and
ball and socket
sweet spots

that God up there
he's the Allen key
of the cosmopolis

like ontologically
I guess  what a
blowhard   of a Dad

now yep I've got
this round
be sweet

Rob Schackne #765 - "Intrepid creature"

                   Intrepid creature
                   across the road
                   high wire walker
                   missing a string 
                   feels like home again
                   the windy days
                   will you look at that
                   riding a single strand
                   of spider silk
                   but then again 
                   it's only a magpie
                   as I am only a poet
                   the seymour push
                   looks like spring

Kit Kelen #1003 - universal declaration or someone is saying spring

universal declaration
printemps avant le lettre

somebody is saying spring
still chill first thing
they tendril tell it

over fence
a prance of calves
and through, as if there were none
someone is out of the pouch
runs rings around all care

you can hear the dew drip mornings
suns says
day is stretching out to its full length
and graze and rotate ears
and stare

till now I am these words alone
and in a garden of them glisten

frogs have called off night
sink deep

so someone of a silence
because of no one knows
(science for an afterthought)

no time at all from here

now leaves are too busy to fall
flowers come to their naming

the insect air
now mainly bees

though there are unknown others
who can’t tell green from blue

and all for a first time
never before

mere admiration
soaks up
moments, hours, days

all of us precious
belonging this once

and all this while
someone was climbing
out of this blue
into more

it’s secret
and true
and it won’t come again

no one can hear it
but everyone knows

someone is saying

Tug Dumbly # 25 - The Way we Made Play From Industry

The way we made play from industry 

tube from a tractor tyre lashed under a door
made a raft for the creek,
slingshots sliced from the rinds
of those same guts of tyres,
billy cart knocked up from a fruit case
swivel crucifix and pram
to get you rolling on another  
childhood nostalgia jag
of making your own fun with
a bit of help from bungers and slug guns …
All those joyous ways to get hurt.
But I’m not speeding down 
that sheer suicide concrete driveway
into the lack of traffic today,
no siree, nor will you catch me
skipping through bindies
and sprinklers and patches of
maudlin mustard gassed lawn,
dead grass covered by a tarp too long …

Rob Schackne #764 - "I wanted"

I wanted
the pure
instrument too
it shined
in my dreams
I see it in
the top branches
the waves
at the seaside
a bird
stopping by

her laughter
I wait
this poetry
a light or two
it goes

Kristen de Kline #229 And again (nth time)

it's a thousand and one days now
kisses trail off down Lawless way

she gestures up at the skies
puts her hand on my shoulder

we watch one hundred suns
drop like acid rain

(I don't know how I got this way)

another hundred kisses
fly away, our hips

sway closer

as the thousand and first day
breaks,    we chase    (you stroke)

the dragon (the nape of my neck)

paper cuts
wings burn

what am I to do

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Thirty Summers # Claine Keily 138

There is nothing more deathly it seems to me than arguing about grammar in the office, outside the classroom. Inside the classroom, I refuse to die, to instead infuse this necessary practice - which steals me from my garden - with a love stem-like. There I can see inside the covers of books, where the children hide their writing, and bud with knowing, that it is something far from the struggle for domination so often in their speaking.

Rob Schackne #763 - A Man About A Dog

A Man About A Dog

Some things have 
minds of their own in
what sense they wheedle
the dust bunnies 
beneath the bed
comfortably numb
pups in the alleyway
all that has to be done
bomb disposal experts
always super polite
(bless their hearts)
one shoe isn’t worried
the other one's missing
what we rub against
a man about a dog
we will clean up after

Clark Gormley #46 Double Demerits

the point is
you lose the points

Danny Gentile #74 - Malfa Walk (draft)

Taking the steep walk
Down the Via Scalo
To Spiagga dello Scario
Past lemon groves
Past Malvasia vines
To the ocean’s jewel
And the rocking boulders
Of that beach

And picking some stones
The memento mori
For a distant shelf
For a future inside
A room removed
From the vivid green
Mountains of Salina
And distant plumes
Of Stromboli
Those fires those fires
That bloom consistently
Against a soft horizon

Kit Kelen #1002 - aubade


where winter was

too hot, too cold
bedded between seasons

till the roof
beyond the walls

the shift is changing
bats pre-dawn flit, birds begin

voices only yet
and they will sing a sun up

by radar just missing
veranda-head me

all minded of windows
for first to see

till the roof
beyond the walls

outlines a little breeze
all their world out of this Zeus head

sprung with shield
tell tunefuly

summer of the coming day
must make own darkness now

till the roof
beyond the walls

my kingdom
and call

in other words
to which I wake

fashion here
for home

Tug Dumbly # 24 - Haruspex [pt 3 of 3]

Haruspex (3)

They take the set, these Autumn evenings –         
Currawongs lob the rising moon
fruit bats rap battle in the figs like loons          
razzing the mystique of this lambent scene. 
But it’s as close to Gothic as we’ll ever be. 

Call this tennis match a tie.

Call to me all my sad captains  
tell how my children will be swallowed
like blackbirds in a pie …   
No, our poor rhymes not a patch 
on Antony & Cleopatra.
Our Tragedy ersatz, burning low,  
a slow percolating play, a drip-filtered show.

We evenly match the Tragic Great
in fortune and karma,
but are mere mock understudies
of their exalted Fate,
model citizens assembled
in kit-form dioramas.

Ha! Squirm at your absurdity,
baste in this sorry farce,
then take solace in history and laugh
at all those fops, fools and queens
in their silly tragic masques   

laugh at your pissant part – too low
for the highbrows, too high for the low …
It’s all just chaff and corn, you know,
so punch on and validate your life
like a parking ticket, redeem it
like a pawn, then sink smiling 
into a warm bathos of ass milk Milo.

Plough in this old pathos,  
find a new ball, new bird,
new eye, new moon … some new phase
is bound to occur soon, like Picasso
moving from Pink from Blue … 

or here’s hopin’ … when the pupil
is ready the eye will open.
But for now – thwock, glock … smash!
game, set and match

and the court’s put to bed –
at least the play at hand,
if not the play in your head.
Those bloody birds are carolling yet …

their choral coaling forlorn
cocooning you warm in flanalette fur,
faintly mothy, motherish musty,
clinging you close, burred little ball,
holding you soft as moss to a wall

as everything frays and falls
and goes to some soft hell
like ashes of moths dropping
to cinder blocks,
and - plop plop plop -
that last pattering ball

and you blink at the stars  
and moon’s yellow bird eye
in body of night, with a trace of tail white
as Currawongs call triples from afar

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kristen de Kline #228 The thousandth day

I missed the thousandth day
what was I thinking

the poem was half-formed
struggling, too many words

that couldn’t be spoken
at dusk I watched one

hundred suns falling
across the man-made lake

replaying Chester Bennington
talking about: this place right here

signalling at his skull:
that is a bad neighbourhood ...

a shooting star burns up
the Gods peer down

I'm a day behind
forgive me

Clark Gormley#45 Film Noir part 3

With their line of enquiry

you’ve been asked to assist 

the pesky Policeman

who stands at your door

it’s the line up with other

unusual suspects 

where unfortunately 

you stand out somewhat

It’s the end of the line now

the words about justice

and sweet revenge have

already been said

it’s the line about murder

and one being too many

you can’t stop from rattling 

around in your head

Danny Gentile #73 - Untitled

Punctuating a song
In the Sicilian tradition
A battle of voices
With rising accents
An intake of breath
Then a tune fighting
The Voice 

Then back


Kit Kelen #1001 - to country

to country

and after all the wrong 
 a welcome 

the country is
where it is
will be

(well, in an age beyond us shifts
so science says
and that’s how we know
who and how long)

someone once paddled
(everyone actually
came on a boat
except first
someone swam)

it’s as if you can’t undo the country
a bad taste now and then
flood drought and ice again
creatures larger than life go

somebody sails past
and make ourselves at home

after all the theft
this giving

someone has welcomed me
here to my place

(I say mine
but I acknowledge
the others before
hands of the making
spirits still with us)

to those who’ve come
who take
you’re welcome

after the blinding
our skins are these
tongue tangles up
and gods go with

things traditional
and tribe, say nation
bring back words that are gone

to be welcome

all objects are the least
of dreaming

come cliché come!
sit up to beg
or have it your own way home

(some secret writing
sacred to the paint
say sunshine)

all are welcome to

along a track
old fashioned
where pals

someone with a little spear
is frozen to the neatest lawn

can’t live in a house
turn us all into desert
the voices!

(it’s as if all
were possessed)

those voices
are with us
but not our forever

someone has to live on a coin
the beard can barely fit

and you’re remembering now, aren’t you?
I see it in your eyes you see

after the wrong
and will we forgive?

it’s echo
I am
to be here
you’re my treasure

we are in the heart again
let me hold you

after the evil
a smoking

(let me bot one off you brother
a dollar won’t get me away, not this time
just a swig in the park)

after the wars we won’t mention
there is a little matter of facts

(here and how and who and why
and all because)

who built the gaol?
and who’s it for?
say police
and you must mean
how history inhabits

truth works upon us strangely
like habits

after all the wrong
a welcome

inviting me in or what?

I could murder a cup of tea

don’t worry
right now
as I live and breathe
and as we speak

I’m working on a thanks

James Walton #119 by a suburban rear lane

every Sunday he cuts a rabbit’s throat
but not the time the Christmas goose
overfed but not wanting to be stuffed
B52’d its way up onto the roof
honking at the peerless empty sky
wanting the ancient formation of brethren
to pick up the burlap straggler’s call
a furry one held by back legs
the squeal of fear and protest
escaped to a week’s reprieve
while his ninety-two-year-old wife
scaled the cyclone wire grape support
for a drumstick and breast that needed seasoning
when she wasn’t next door over the back
her wheelbarrow full of bricks
the building crew had stacked wrong
relaying in perfect herringbone
a pattern from beneath the canals of Venice

Tug Dumbly # 23 Haruspex [pt 2 of 3]

Haruspex (2)

They softly wound, these Autumn evenings, 
do something funny to your insides,
like a clown with a feather duster
tickling your intestines.

Currawongs cry to the darkening park,               
their echoes roll from soul to soul. 

Tennyson, anyone?

Thwock, plack, glock …
we play tennis on this afternoon
spliced seamless with evening – call it arvening –  
a crisp benison: sky a dying hotplate,
horizon butterscotch, pink gin …
whole larder of images to raid

these pictures arbitrary,
like our lollipop play,  
like this fragile serenity
                                                     just so                                
                                                                like a water skiing spider 

like a daddy long legs
                                                        in a laundry window.

We’re suspension bridges
of disbelief. Elk horns
buttoned to the
face of a cliff
of images
in this
ised sky, this
caramelised glow
this all that is lovely                         
only because it must go.

And the lovelier the more urgently. 
(Oh, must you, must you really go?)

So tight knit these borderless states  
that hedge our mixed doubles game 
between ancient mates. We laughing
leap tramlines, swat air, swing like gates.  

Beauty placidly plaits our fate.

But how should my friends see what I see?
These tendrils of evening a melancholy of mine,
happy-sad fingers matrimonially knuckled
to racquets, under the hang of an old gum tree,
white as a wrist, peeling bark like stripper’s gloves. 

Thwock, plack …

Court lights flicker on.
The park gone sepia.
But light enough yet to see
the tree’s striptease,
that figure on a swing,
old couple with a dog.

A soccer game dies on a foreign field.

And distant sounds,
where you can’t tell if the kid
is screaming with joy, or terror.

Closer, the patter of a boxer
at her trainer’s pads, pony tail abob
in time with the snicker-snack
of beaks, as a Magpie fends off
a picket of striking Mynahs

thwock, plack …

Lorikeets strafe the court.
Mustangs on a tank bust.
Put a bullet in the side of the dying sun.

But the sun’s a lost ball 
down the back of the sky.

Or has it slid like a pie 
down off a slapped face?

Dime a dozen, these images.
So your call as the sun falls
like a flipped coin 
down a crack in the horizon

gone, like a brilliantined eye,
like the bald white faces of our children.
They also serve who only sit and wait
courtside, playing devices, chasing our mistakes

slice, cut, lop …

She’s over the fence and into the rough 
to join her brothers in thickets
of hoppers and crickets, at rest at last
in the long dark grass, playing pass the past
with all those suns hit to eternity
into the fading universe of the park

lying lost and low 
where the mower don’t go
through all our lives
                                 our lives …

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Rob Schackne #762 - "I roamed for years"

                    I roamed for years
                    a dreamscene film
                    I woke up in a cell
                    what happened
                    to the light

                    always the trouble
                    with black & white
me and my shadow
                    give me more light
                    this slow gumshoe
                    a dangerous broad

                    what did I smoke
                    retired don't have to eat
                    sleep he wasn’t there

                    what's the shadow
                    getting darker