Tuesday, December 31, 2019

‘How good’s the cricket?’
--- With apologies to T.S. Eliot (1888–1965).  The Waste Land.  1922.

Summer is the saddest time, cracking

Gums fall on scorched land, yielding

Despair and outrage, starving

Koalas beg riders for water.

September gave us hope, covering
Earth in surprising snow, feeding

A soil with little life precious water.

Drought overwhelmed us, coming in from the distant outback

For showers of rain; they prayed in vain uncertainty,

And went on in sunlight, around the Circular Quay
And drank beer, and texted for hours.

And when we were children, staying with the great aunts,

My husband’s, they took him out to a shed,

And he was not frightened. She said, Mark,
Mark, hold on to the barrel, and fire

In the mountains, here we feel free.

We read, much of the night, but go east in the summer.

What are the roots that clutch, what buds shoot

Out of this black grief? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken promises, where the sun beats,

And the charred trees give no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry beds plead for water. Only

There is shadow around the red rock,
(Note this is the Rainbow Serpent's shadow),

And I will show you something tragic from either

Your shadow at morning obliterated by smoke

Or your shadow at evening rising like fireworks;

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Chrysogonus #last

after the tombstone
poetry continues
in patches of grass
in breeze, in between

in derelict gravestones
dreams and memory
taking over the poet’s pen

Kerri Shying R #- 603 - so fast becomes a prison

some part of sitting in the dawn alone round    
christmas feels ideal  I'm as unpacked   as any person   
who spends months running headlong into brick walls   
tantalising to recall the energy spent
madly building             how     protection
so fast becomes a prison

I study on the inside of my eyes             listen
your soundtrack adds    it smooths
off edges          adds in honey   to bitter juices
forced down     here     intention is to heal  
befriend           find flora          ever    grow

(The last poem on the blog 
Where everything happens oh my darlings) 

KA Rees #73 - The Art of Kintsugi

The art of Kintsugi

For my fellow 365ers

The pieces were swept up

and placed in a box. There they remained

till the dust came, the colours muted

the bone exposed, a white

gash of shin. This is how age

gets in—remembering the art of Kintsugi 

is an art of broken things, understanding

a piece that is broken and mended

is more than the unbroken whole,

watching how the last jacaranda

panicles cling to the branches

in a smoky six o’clock sky

this, the last day in December

on the last day of the decade.

Remembering the sound of bees 

in jasmine from long ago.

#Project end game

#Goodnight Bill. Goodnight Lou. Goodnight May. Goodnight.

#341 red cone- vanity


you would never leave
always be there

I am sad
up in flames

red sky
day light
floating orange
pushed by grey

no  one to  blame
but myself


Coalescence Part 5 # Claine Keily 145

Storms encroach then shrink away. The days are thick with smoke and dust. The river cowers from the embankments and blackbirds hobble about with gaping beaks. The wattles break with yellow flowers. Kangaroos move in closer, braver now, so as to drink the water in the cattle troughs close to the street. Beer cans rattle across the neighbour's garden. No one walks in the streets. The horses push their noses determinedly into the water, breaking the sludge of the surface thick with algae blooms.

I am contracted to this place for two more years.

Here I have become a witness. I speak truths to the fat eared children so as to evoke in them some dreams.

Jeffree Skewes #145 Oh pair

Without listening
hearts beat poetry
stepping through
par deux polarity
thickening clouds stir
irrigating veins and hairs
could this ever be known
had we not spoken


Sarah St Vincent Welch #above 370 or so - Just past Solstice

just past Solstice
sweeping my neighbour’s gutter
he jokes in his old white bloke way
'You're doing the street sweepers’ job'
we both know they're not coming
it is New Year’s Eve
he is cleaning his car
got his priorities straight
cleanliness is next to godliness
after all

there’s a lot of fuel out here
in our gutters

the winds are coming

at our corner a char 
small campfire in the dust
an enigma we walk past each day
maybe guys chatting in the night
when it's too hot
we speculate

a discarded wheelchair
we don’t understand

sixty new fires sparked overnight

I eye Ganesh at my open door
washed out Hanuman beside

we have a Sacred Heart somewhere
an Ouroborus around our fingers

I carry with me
grandmothers’ rings
it seems sentimental now in this heat
they will always be strangers

we’ve packed our prescriptions
a little water
a couple of changes

Frances Carleton #77- One Last Mango

tender bruises
tongue flicks flesh
ripe and soft
warmed by the sun
as you open to me

juice stains my chin
fingers sticky
licking lips
to cleanse and taste
you all over again

I’ll revel later
in the memory
of your sweetness
as I pick
tiny hair from my teeth

Rob Schackne #1047 - "This is serious" (redux) - To All My Sister and Brother Poets…Fare Well, Fare Forward!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Rob Schackne #1 - "This is serious"

"This is serious"

This is serious. It knocks
At places I don't usually visit
Let it in. The machinery of the brain
I go deeper into my own nature.

The rain asks me to sleep
Dreams then ask me to come
With her. We'll fly. Let it happen
I'm serious. Nature is a machine.

Daytime so different. See it
Missing the components. But
That isn't really where we'll go
Let all the good air through.

Let it happen. We let nature go
Let the rain that's so indifferent
Supersede what is missing
Wet with tears again.

Kit Kelen #1460 - farewell my lovelies - a poem for the last day

farewell my lovelies

the last day
the fond farewell
the ‘friends, this has been…’

who’s counting?
I’m well slept for it
see some ache recede

‘the end of days’

(a body is always reporting back
and takes the messages as well)

still, worry I left the water on

and having not heard from some
this many a year
shall assume what I damn well please

last day
still no rains
but call the leaf to green

the smoke again
you stand through it
can’t see the fire from here

but you can feel the sunset claws

did we wake the world?
were we aware?

can you spare the time?
fancy meeting you here
and often

a little lime?
it makes the end bitter  
no need to keep up now
slough skin of words

here we are
this is it
a year runs out

we live in the wrong age
someone else should be in charge
we are making an example
being made of

one worries it will all be gone

today is the last day
time to shut down the system
call quits

poetry was the answer!

how many in a piece of string?
and what a ride it has been

archive me, won’t you?
and I’ll search for you

so many questions left

is batshit really crazy?
is it just a thing we say?

head only hurts if you think

it may seem like the end for many
but we survive for now
and will

the last day is a quotidian thing
here we are again, hard at it

we are always surviving something

they’ll never scrub the place clean
but paint the world so it can’t be graffiti-ed
light it so well no one hits up
special blues

then one day had to be the last

how many even notice such things?

I was like your parents
always at home
if you cared to call
‘treat me like your private hotel’

not for praise or blame
but it was sweet
we’ve sung together
must do it again sometime

if we can help the fire and fled
then can’t we help each other?

those whom we live to impress
are all gone

this is not the last word
break staff, bury
drown my book

a pretty pass things come to
here at Tether’s End

the only way to find the next door
is open a window and out

we are the vanguard of the species
waiting to be read

here’s one skin left
go on

remember please quietly close the door
if they have not woken yet
we must not stir them now

Monday, December 30, 2019

KA Rees #72 - Year of the Horse

Year of the Horse

Intrepid adventurer in the seventh
position at Buddha’s side
caught the sign of dare devil devil
may care all rivers
run through your fingers freedom rings glitter
on your hide
you do not speak but shout
the ride the rushing on
the river song, energy from
the sun, all
shimmer—fire in the hearth at night.

December 31, 2019

I sit in one of the dives
On Katoomba Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the political hopes expire
On a low dishonest decade:
Waves of smoke and fear
Circulate over the hazy
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obscuring our private lives;
The unmistakable odour of fire
Offends the December night.

Careful research can
Prove the whole offence
From Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin
Until now  a science driven mad.
What happened in Madrid
The great crime of delay
A psychopathic ideology.
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil and deceit is done
Will rise in anger and revolt.

Exiled Thunberg knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy and Science,
And what pretend dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic population;
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The air conditioning must always hum,
All the media conspire
To make this seem obvious
The fake prosperous future;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a burning wood.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The ignorant lie in the brain
Of the average person-in-the-street
And the lie of corporate power
Whose buildings grope the sky:
This goes far beyond the State
And no one exists alone;
Climate allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love the Earth or die.

With apologies to W. H Auden and ‘September 1, 1939’

Kit Kelen #1459 - choosing not to see

choosing not to see
a swim for it

it’s often in the mirror so
Dark Ages!
thinking day a cave

a face erased
no either feet
a wisp of blow-me-down

bearded with wisdom
so told

in the all-beyond of borders
how I’ve fenced me in

all around, just things
and I, a motion, among
note only the extremities

other elephants in the room expire
something must be done

time is brittle till
do it anyway

climbed into the highest branches
but couldn’t bear
don’t look

o Gorgon’s head
and tell it on a mountain too
in clouds have called to touch

I bury the head so it’s mine
a continent discovered
a waving field of grain
to loot, it wasn’t there
not me

and tails you bet they dance
hearts of the savages, scones the same

a good look
I chose not to see

the emperor’s new car
grass greener where this Jones kept up

where I have filed myself away
under just these few… possibilities

raise a beaker to thee, eyes tight
a blind man in the buff goes better

ignoring the forecast as well
how far down in the bottle we are

around an idiom
pathology reports by
say nothing meant by it

hide under a bed in dreams
talk pillow peekaboo                                   

it always was a choice and darkly
shut up shop
and can’t see me

can’t look
was the short straw mine?

still all aglow with spark within
a fuse lit to begin

Sunday, December 29, 2019

KA Rees #71 - Native Pastures

Native Pastures

The under-storey is a compass
of leaves, variegated
browns caramel joss sticks
of dried grasses in kicked-up
passes, windrows of trampled loam lie
as combs
of exposed soil.
Year long grazing of cattle
and sheep has changed
the soil profile. Bruce Pascoe
wrote in Dark Emu
European explorers chose not to see
the evidence of Indigenous cultivation
even thought they wrote in their diaries
of grasses in fields like gardens.
They spoke of accidental beauty, accidental
gardening, wondering why fertile plains
were devoid of trees.
In this dry continent grass
perennials can act as annuals in dry
years and perennials in wet.
Annuals bloom till the frost sits still across the spine
of earth, then they fold across it, returning
again to the soil their smaller tighter leaves, die back—
cast to the ground
to bloom again. Lilies, daisies, sedges,
grow next to Kangaroo and Spear Grass, Poa, rushes
and Red Grass. A native pasture will see out
changes to the seasons and stresses of the weather
it was known by those who cultivated it.

Rob Schackne #1046 - Crazed Glass

           Crazed Glass

                                        What are you looking at? Fuck off!
                                          - An old saying

            The window happened
         then the seat beside it
         waxed paper to glass

         whether street or hills
         the moment it was clear
         they might see inside it
         frosted, cleaved, opaque

         both ends, the crazed
         glass will remember
         the rainbow prisms
         (but prison happens)

         the stay-side says
         mirror the way back in
         the go-side says
         keep the window open

         the seam each one works
         what can you believe
         of the hooded glass in
         the directions of self

         the shards of pain
         bullets and the rocks
         the sharp broken pieces
         you don’t expect

         the cave-house window
         was feathery, mixed 
         with the colours of air

         this fancy modern glass
         bevelled as an ice ring
         translucent as a popsicle

         I've found the cracks
         I didn't see before
         seven years lean
         and a new coat of paint

Kit Kelen #1458 - continuing not to fall

continuing not to fall
a summer piece            

green spark
I thought it in a shade
of future bright        

busy with a stillness
how quickly wilt
love calls
in the birdbath
a visit – sip and wash

no news between years
radius of gardener
circumference of day

imagine for winter
fire in a bottle
fire in a box

but in a leaf twirl
tinder now
for fear of smoke

he she hose held
tethered to get green
says where?
once waited
till the opera tuned
what I dreamed is gone

it is a Sunday after all
bent on conversation
to wear the evening on 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Rob Schackne #1045 - Picasso Is Having A Bad Day (redux)

Picasso Is Having a Bad Day

Why just the other night
listening to wine and sipping music
nursing the shadows and the light
I say to a beautiful woman

Your face looks like half of the world's most perfect ass

After which she slaps me
throws wine at me and walks away
some people have no imagination
some people are angry all the time

And today needing some small fingers
to crack a few dozen quail eggs to make paint
I go down to the local playground
to look for some experienced children

Let’s see your hands. I’ll show you how to crack my eggs

Suddenly all the mothers are howling
they throw sand at me and chase me away
later back in my car pants down getting the sand out
a police car pulls up and starts asking questions