Monthly Archives: March 2013

 

sea silk

 

Katherine Stuart

 

Raindrops spit and pit the perfection of the day
a greenish cloud hangs, healing-bruise-like
the grass damp and long and languishing with paralysis ticks

The weather’s playing brinkmanship and the sea’s rough
waves every which-way making puckelpist of the sand
under its foam carpet

Lost souls are quietly curving claws into redemption
around the picnic cloth this Easter Sunday
with Cheshire-cat smiles and tarnished wooden teeth

Simple friendship thrusts me a bodgy boogie board
and I bathe in warm sea silk
riding the imperfect waves like I’m 16 again

 

 

 

 

An Easter song

March dawn_

I wake early, put the radio on, Neddy Seegoon  

is constructing a ladder to save the world with buckets

of water. He’s just heard the news – the sun is on fire.

I look. It’s hiding under the sea’s skin.                                          5.40am

 

Ra’s resurrection is an engineering triumph with

another six billion years of performance. I hurry

to shore for the bleed, only the brightest planets

are sticking to this rubbery darkness.

~

Our rough garden out back is an attempt at a continuum                     1.50pm

into forest, dismantling line and arc for an ensemble

of complex forms, Banksia, Blackbutt and Bloodwood,

Turpentine and Tallowwood. Wombat and Sarsaparilla

 

vines energetically scramble through the butterfly factory,

dazzling white Black Jezebels flit /flash scalloped red

and gold brocade – literal enchantment. The track head

draws blood, it’s not the mosquitoes, leeches or ticks

 

but Acacia saligna, Willow Wattle, dune coloniser

from the west. I was brought up to celebrate Christ’s

sacrifice, but today is joyous, the sands deserted.

Brochures sell the Selkirk experience, but some

 

pilgrims prefer deferral to arrival, like Thoreau:

“We would fain to take that walk, never yet taken by us,

through this actual world . . .”

Rips run through the excitable breakers, currents spin

 

an incoming tide and slide slabs of sand around the

dance floor. We swim shallow, knowing deep-down

the sea is mortgaged to the stream of industrials

and that absolute meaning accumulates.

 

A Kite hovers overhead, a wonder of slender

angel-white wings with darkened tips working silently

behind sharp red eyes. Our acquiescence to gravity

 

is reasonable, but not our apathy to Glory, Bitou, Senna

or loss of Yellow-bellied Gliders and Koalas sleeping

here a decade back. A Square-tailed Kite brushes

the canopy, see? . . . Who can save the world?

 

 

Anamnesis

 

Philip Hammial

 

for John Watson

 

A memory that has me shouting “Sign of

ease(ful death)!”  I might not gone

but better had. Better had my mausoleum

elsewhere built – this garden NOT

to be spat in, provides garnish

for séance, a curmudgeon’s take

on taxi allegiance: “Free,” I say, “for one

& all.” Including Pedro What’s-in-a name

White? That fool. No, he’ll have to pay. And,

by the way, shouldn’t we point out

that we’ve taken curmudgeon from John Watson’s

Lee Miller poem? Ok, if you insist, but John might object

if we attach cables & a sky-hook to the director’s chair

that Lee’s sitting in, hoist it aloft, the gunship headed

for Fallujah. If anyone can convince those butchers

to put down their Kalashnikovs Lee can. If not,

c’est la vie. Speaking of which, Rrose Selavy, how’s

Pedro going with his Duchamp persona? Haven’t

you heard? He’s given up chess for art. Really?

What a shame. I was going to end this poem

with an image of Duchamp AKA Pedro playing chess

with Man Ray AKA yours truly on a Louis Quinze

table (gilded, lion-foot legs) in an Alpine meadow, cows

grazing, Mt. Blanc in the distance. Too

obvious. It wouldn’t have worked. How about this:

Duchamp as Rrose at the Taxi Club, his miming

of Doris Day singing How much is that doggie

in the window garnering thunderous applause.

 

 

 

 

beastie boy

 

 

 

Photo-Poem Collaboration – Berlin

 

Donna Pucciani and Bonnie Woods

 

 

Sidewalk and Ball

 

Far from the sea,

the unmeasured distance

of flower and sky,

a red rubber ball

sidles the cobblestones.

 

Some random thrust of foot or hand

brought stone and toy together

as evening caught its breath

while waiting for a burst of crimson.

 

Leaving the sidewalk unfinished,

sweat-stung masons have taken

their muscled hands home

to hold beer and bread.

 

The children have been called in

for dinner, their sticky fingers

now soaped under a faucet.

Children prefer happiness to milk,

but the red ball holds the memory

of their gleeful games.

 

Tomorrow promises a finished

pavement, cemented in small squares

inch by patient inch. The jot

of red joy flung on concrete and curb

is rediscovered, thrown hand to hand

out of the laborers’ way, dancing

into the middle distance,

 

while stars hide their bright heads

in the pillows of morning,

and another day comes bounding

through Berlin.

 

PoemSidewalk_and_Ball_6033

 

 

 

Red Canal

 

 

The nightmare so unshakeable

descends even in daytime, subtle

as a dove:  the canal below the window

brightens into blood, the banks

on both sides smeared with crimson mud.

 

Thirty years ago, a woman

stood at the kitchen window

looking out at a cluster of sparrows

and barbed wire. Her hands

were floury with the day’s labors,

her heart heavy with hidden lives, lies,

the deaths of swimmers in the canal

at the hands of soldiers who used to be

her neighbors’ children playing in the street.

 

Could she roll out death

like a pie, serve it for dessert,

with coffee and steamed milk

disguised as hope? And now,

how can she face the scarlet waters

coursing slowly through Berlin

with all the old invisible sadnesses

in tow?

 

Some day the canal will lighten

into pink. The landlocked night terrors

for those gone for a swim and then

to an early grave will subside,

leaving only whitewashed buildings,

windows sparkling with sunlight, geraniums,

and the pale faces of those who cannot endure

even the sparest of memories.

 

What will she do now

with the gift of a gunless life?

 

PoemBerlinRedCanal_3271

 

 

 

 

Winter Willow Graffiti

 

As if the snow that fell yesterday

were not thick enough, ready

to become slush over mud and under boots.

 

As if the cold were not cruel enough

to frost windows and the chilblained

elderly filling hot water bottles

and drinking endless cups of tea.

 

As if tortuous gusts would never cease

their insidious assault on cracked walls

and shuttered balconies.

 

What’s left of the willow

waves listless over a concrete barrier,

whispers to the black-on-blue graffiti,

 

the crimson music notes

edging down the wall, thin green hearts

that once felt love, dribbled sea shells

that never knew a beach.

 

Looking for humanity and finding none,

the willow drifts yellow over a landscape

crammed with the violent creativity of the young,

 

whose bitter dreams

have claimed this corner

with a sprayed scream.

 

Too tired to think of Miami or Rio,

perhaps too old to remember spring,

the willow reaches down to pluck

 

a little of life, or anything,

from this grey winter afternoon,

seeking and finding new ways to weep.

 

 

PoemWinterWillowGraffitiBerlin_5981

 

 

 

 

Some days

 

light dawns by inches

and stays in the netherworld

all day, the low sky

pressing snow into mud,

the mud pressing roots of trees

further underground.

 

Last spring a leaf clutched

the barberry bush on its way down

from heaven and clung there

for months, unnoticed until today

 

when I sought something good

to think about. Yesterday I stocked up

on sympathy cards and get-wells–

I always keep a few in the drawer

with stationery and other obsoletes,

feeling guilty that this paper used to be a tree.

 

But friends are sick,

and as the gray limitless clouds

sit closer overhead, we all recognize

the brevity of this too-mild winter,

the lovable strangeness

of thunder in February,

 

of the physical therapist

who makes conversation while pulling

one’s knee, of the neighbor

for whom one buys multi-colored

hats for chemical baldness. Today

I select a pair of Easter socks,

hued in spring pastels and foolish rabbits,

to mail to an old friend in West Virginia

who made it through heart surgery,

scarred but reborn.

 

PoemSome_days_Berlin_5972

 

 

 

 

Bonnie’s Street Never Moves

 

The street awaits footsteps, bicycles, cars,

the vehicles of those who pursue loneliness

in continual transit.

 

It observes my arrival,

bringing the fevers of summer

to their inevitable end.

 

Apartments link arms,

peer over a canal ringed with graffiti,

watch the intrusion of a small boat.

 

The welcome of cobblestones

is like no other, meeting me

above the languorous glance of the water.

 

Someone on the fourth floor

sips wine, surveying cloud,

leaf and sky, watching

 

students with backpacks, a cyclist

turning a corner too quickly, an elderly soul

bent over a bag of cabbages for dinner.

 

The street will be there

in November, long after I leave,

when the trees flinch

 

naked in the wind, and in January,

when ice floes dot the canal

with the bitter remembrance of July.

 

In the distance, the hunched granite city

of Berlin crouches small as a fingernail,

a cluster of berries visible

 

on this tree-lined street where window boxes

fringe the vacant eyes of flats,

the last vestige of warmth caught

in the arms of a red geranium.

 

PoemBonnie'sStreet2012

 

 

 

Writing Poetry

 

Kenneth Hudson

 

 

A long green caterpillar
undulating along a tree leaf
reaching an edge
cautiously stretches out
into the space ahead
swaying
bobbing up and down
weaving side to side
many legs moving gently
probing
for the next solid place
to put its feet
the next step to take.

 

 

 

To look, just once, for 30 seconds, into the eyes of Marion Cotillard

 

Philip Hammial

 

 

Bang on a can get her attention. Get

real! Get real? That time I crossed a hare

with Dale Evans, a fox with Roy Rogers, was that

real? If only you could hear them – the instruments

of an orchestra as they float through air, the musicians

dead & buried six years ago: 2005, the year

of the Kitchen Sing, the walls of which

were covered with pelts, nailed. Over

the oven the one with the horn

symbolizes hirt (just for fun I’ve spelled

hurt hirt; in German it’s shepherd). The hunter

with his game bag; in the other hand (right)

he holds a palette – greens, reds, browns, yellows:

A Unicorn’s Death. A glut

of vision, am I right? Or is this just the sentiment

of a vegetarian (recent convert)? Is that

a wolf’s heart? And the hand

that’s holding it up for us to see, whose

is it? A hirt’s? Poor wolf. Poor

hungry wolf. If you’ve come in sheep’s wool

you’ll get an injection, truth serum, no

exceptions (as such we come, as such & go). So what

do you want – a pope’s benediction – for the evil

you’ve done unto yourself (never mind the others,

they had it coming: you pay your money

you enter the fray – you’re either a Josh

or a slide barrel). Rolled/lived as what, an Israelite

when the sea parted that orchestra we heard, what

if it was just a marriage of trombones, & that horn

it could have been a rhino’s? And, more to the point:

those walls covered with ex-votos, pinned. Might as well

bang on a pillow, get her attention – Marie Antoinette’s.

 

 

 

Landscape Ganges

by Paulí Josa

Mixed media on canvas
200 x 200

 

 

quadres 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

MarinaWu_JennyLo_HazelTse

 

 THE ROAD TO UTOPIA

 

Richard James Allen

.

backstage

go backstage

draw the curtains

turn out the spotlights

take off your make-up

& turn back into a pumpkin

jump into a television

& ask the actors who they really are

unedit the movie

& show the world backwards

put the apples back on the tree

the fish back in the sea

the carrots back in the garden

the icecream back in the cow

or a least the carton

unnail your house

& send the wood back to the forest

pour the honey back in the hive

the silver back in the mines

let out the bathwater

throw the food out of the fridge

the feathers out of your pillow

the fillings out of your teeth

the rotor out of your car

unbottle the wine

unroll your cigarette

unwind the clock

unlock the doors

& get undressed to go out

pick up Finnegans Wake

& put the words back in the dictionary

cut each entry out of the encyclopedia

each country from the map

& throw them to the four winds

mix up every name & number in the telephone book

so nobody knows who’s who

unthread your bedclothes

take the cartridge out of your printer

& print out unreadable invitations

asking the in-laws over for dinner

& if they come

& they always do

put on your pajamas

don’t shave

rub the dandruff back into your hair

put the ice-tray into the oven

& roast the chicken in the freezer

fry your underpants

& put the pancakes in the washing machine

unmake the recipes

& serve the ingredients separately

unmix coca-cola into six wine glasses

marked carbonated water, sugar

caramel colouring, artificial flavouring

phosphoric acid & caffeine

tell funny stories

about how you pegged up junior to dry

& sent his clothes off to school

or kicked grandma

& kissed the cat goodnight

then put the dirty dishes

straight back into the cupboard

& throw the whole party out

with last week’s dishwater

beat your machine gun into a plough

bring back Martin Luther King

& Marilyn Monroe & Lenny Bruce

& if that’s not possible

get back into the womb

& ask to be born in better times

or turn yourself inside out

& jump off the Empire State Building

screaming

I’M SUPERMAN

.

& FLY

.

.

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