LoungeLizard

 

 

 

the guard

 

Mark Roberts

 

 

just here  past the bend

i stop

ordered to retreat by two lizard eyes

 

staring

from  a moss covered rock

our eyes lock

 

he has

fought this battle

many times

 

and lost….but today

he stares

I take a step forward

 

he spins  suddenly

leaping

off the rock

 

disappearing in a quiet rustle

i feel him

watching as I pass

 

a temporary defeat

he will reclaim

the rock and forget me

 

 

 

 

 

 pencil

 

 

 

On a Cruiser En Route to Yangshou (Guilin), Guangxi

 

Papa Osumbal

 

 

This is the great Li River whose winds

are a splash of refreshing ice-cold summer lemon-tea,

its currents are as primeval as the origin of time.

I put down my Langston Hughes book

on the table in such same measured manner

a priest would rest the Holy Writ at the tabernacle.

The waitress, half-asleep, half-awake,

approaches, and speaks in soft friendly voice,
“What do you want to drink, sir?”

She scratches her forehead,

emphasizing the current state she’s in.
I go with my rehearsed reply in tattered Mandarin,

“Beer. Tsingtao, if you have. One bottle.”

She looks at me, pauses, thinks, and then leaves—

there must be a puzzling question on her mind.

Near the door one man is drowned

in whatever he is reading, his book

is a mirror that makes his soul visible.

 

In one corner, a man stares at a wall on which hangs

a huge tribal painting— fisher folks

who look more like rainbows in their clothes

on their bamboo boats that aim at going

to where man have never gone before.

And this man’s sight, too, goes

as far as where only dreams go,

where rainbows are born or made.

Ah, who can rule this man

who now doesn’t live where we live?

 

The River Li has a thousand faces—

faces I know quite well, faces I might soon know,

faces that I only have seen in my dreams.

I always associate water to reminiscence and the future.

 

Up in the sky an airplane mutely whizzes by.

I know it is going somewhere

but whereto exactly shall remain a mystery—

it just disappears from my sight

as soon as it enters into thick silver summer clouds.

A journey becomes sacred

when the destination is mysterious.

 

An abrupt impatient gust of fresh wind

suddenly dishevels my hair.

Like a motherly hand it touches my cheeks.

I lift my head, gaze around, and take a deep breath, amazed

and overwhelmed like a baby taking its first taste of air—

the air smells of salt, of unknown flowers, of poetry, of life.

 

.

.

.

 

 

(in Tagalog)

 

Sakay ng Bangka Patungong Yangshou (Guilin), Guangsi

 

Ito ang taniag at dakilang Ilog Li na may hangin

na tila tilamsik ng malamig na tsaa sa panahon ng tag-init,

ang mga alun-alon nito ay kasingtanda pa ng pinagmulan ng panahon.

 

Inilalagay ko ang aking aklat na akda ni Langston Hughes

sa mesa gaya ng maingat na paraan ng isang pari

tuwing inilalagak nito ang Banal na Kasulatan sa tabernakulo.

Ang waitres, inaantok pa, o tila natutulog pa,

lumapit sa akin, at nagtanong sa tinig na malamyos at tila hikab,

“Ano po ang kanilang iinumin?”

Kinamot niya ang kanyang noo,

ipinahiwatig ang kanyang tunay na nararamdaman.

Sumagot ako sa aking balubaluktot na Intsik,

“Bir, Tsingtao, kung meron kayo. Isang bote.”

Tumingin siya sa akin, napatigil, nag-isip, bago siya tumalikod—

tiyak meron isang nakakalitong tanong sa isipan niya.

Malapit sa pintuan ay isang mama na abalang-abala

sa kung ano man ang kaniyang binabasa, ang kanyang aklat

ay isang salamin na nagpapahayag sa kanyang kaluluwa.

 

Sa isang sulok, isang mama ang nakatingin sa dingding, kung saan

nakasabit ang isang napakalaking larauan— mga katutubong mangingisda

na tila napakaliwanag na mga bahaghari ang mga kasuotan

sakay ng mga bangkang gawa sa kawayan, naglalayag, papadako

sa kung saan di pa nakakarating at kailanman di makakarating ang tao.

At ang tingin din ng mamang ito ay nagagawi

sa napakalayong banda kung saan panaginip lamang ang nakakaabot,

kung saan ginagawa o isinisilang ang mga bahaghari.

Ah, sino ang makakapaghari’t mangingibabaw sa taong ito

na hindi naman dito umiiral sa kung saan tayong lahat ay umiiral?

 

Ang Ilog Li ay may isang libong mukha—

mga mukha na kilalang-kilala ko, mga mukha na maari kong makilala,

mga mukhang akin lamang namamataan sa aking mga panaginip.

Palagi kong inahalintulad ang tubig sa mga alaala at sa hinaharap.

 

Sa may kalangitan, may isang eroplano ang tahimik na dumaan.

Alam kong ito ay pupunta sa kaniyang dapat puntahan

subali’t kung saan ito pupunta ay isang malaking hiwaga sa akin—

bigla na lamang itong naglaho sa aking paningin

sa sandaling pumasok ito sa maputing mga ulap.

Ang isang paglalakbay ay nagiging banal

kung ang pinupuntahan ay isang hiwaga.

 

Ang balisa’t nagmamadaling ihip ng sariwang hangin

ang walang-bahalang gumusot sa aking buhok.

Gaya ng kamay ng isang ina hinaplos nito ang aking mga pisngi.

Tumingala ako, tumingin sa paligid, at huminga ng malalim, nagtaka

at nasindak gaya ng kauna-unahang singhap ng kasisilang na sanggol—

maalat ang hangin, may amoy ng di-mawaring mga bulaklak, ng tula, ng buhay.

 

.

.

.

 

 

 

(in Capampangan)

 

Saque ning Bangcang Pamasial Papuntang Yangshou (Guilin), Guangsi

 

Ini ing taniag at daquilang Ilug Li a atin anguin

a balamu ining pilisic ning marimlang tsa neng panun ning capalian,

dening alun-alun na casingtua ra pa ining penibatan ning panaun.

 

Bibili que ing aclat a quinudta nang Langston Hughes

quening lamesa balamu ining maingat a paralan ning pari

neng bibili ne ing Banal a Casulatan queng tabernaculo.

Ing ueitres, mitutundu ia pa, o balamu matudtud ia pa,

linapit ia canacu, at quinutang ia queng siualang casinglamius ning uiab,

“Nanu pu ing carelang buring inuman?”

Ginamus ing caiang canuan,

pepabalu na ing caiang taganang daramdaman.

Mequibat cu queng balid-balid cung Isic,

“Bir, Tsingtao, nung atin caiu. Metung a boti.”

Linaue nacu, minatna ia, minisip ia, baiu ia guinulut meco—

queng pilubluban na atin metung a cutang a asnang saquit paquibatan.

Malapit queng pasbul atin metung a lalaquing abala

queng nung nanu man ing caiang babasan, ing caiang aclat

metung ia uaring salamin a mibubuniag queng caiang caladua’t diua.

 

Queng metung a suluc, atin lalaquing macalaue queng dalig nung nu

macasabit ia ing metung a larauan— catutubu lang manasan,

balamu pinanari la reng carelang susulud a imalan

macasaque lang bangcang gauang cuaian lalaiag la papunta

queng nung nucarin e ia pa mecapunta at capilanman e macapunta ing tau.

At ing laue na nining matuang lalaqui mipupunta mu naman

queng maraiung banda nung nucarin paninap la mu reng macapunta,

nung nucarin magagaua la o mipapanganac dening pinanari.

Ah, ninu ing manguibabo quening taung ini

a e man macatucnang nung nucarin tamu ngan pacatucnang?

 

Ing Ilug Li atin iang libu-libung asque—

asque ra reng taung cacung caquilala, asque reng maliari cu pang aquilala,

asque reng taung acaquit cu quen mung canacung paninap.

Pane queng paquiapus ing danum queng alaala at paintungul.

 

Queng alapap, atin metung eroplanung taimic dinalan.

Balu cu ini papunta ia queng dapat nang puntalan

dapuat nung nucarin ia papunta metung iang maragul a palaisipan—

cabud ne mu limbug queng canacung panimanman

dusuldit milub ia carening mangacapal a maputing ulap.

Ing pamaglacbe maguing iang banal

istung ining pupuntalan metung iang palaisipan.

 

Dintang ia ing balisa’t mamalaguang marimlang anguin

at cabud na ne mu guilgul ing canacung buac.

Calupa ning gamat ning malugud a indu, inapis no reng canacung pisngui.

Tinalanga cu, linaue queng macapadurut, at menguisnauang malalam, megtaca

at mebigla anti mo ing pecamumuna nang singap ning cababaiit pang pungul—

malat ia ing anguin, casingbau re reng pambiirang bulaclac, ning cauatasan, ning bie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Tang . They are watching us

 

They are watching us! 

They are floating in the air, looking over us.

They are not threatening, they are kind and calm in nature.

They have always been here on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

higgs boson

 

 

Vaughan Rapatahana

 

what hideous apotheosis is this?

 

a circumferential paradigm

that abnegates itself                                   tetris

as abstruse

adiabatic

tetris –

so far up

its own                                                          tetris

arse

that it gloops out

b   e   y   o   n   d –

an apercu –

a pseudonymous doppelganger –

pretending

to                                                              tetris    

exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for Rain

 

Judy Johnson

 

Humidity has the weight

of a cumulative poison.

 

Cicadas are clutches

of castanets.

 

The plee-erks of a dozen

dark knives

 

of black cockatoos

 

prise open a dozen

swollen window frames

in the sky.

 

The cat cuffs its ears

with a paw

feeling the ache

of building pressure.

 

But tonight

the yard is still

 

a battered silver platter.

 

The spider embroiders

the hot plate of its web.

 

Outside the pub,

in the still-steamy midnight

 

drunk men howl

with the full moon

in their throats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes for Rooflines and Two Sirens_cecilia white

 

breathing space: notes for rooflines and two sirens_cecilia white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is unacceptable

 

Rae Desmond Jones

On their mobile phones
The authorities pass judgement

In the darkness of his truths
He waits for morning

There is no message
He repeats again & again

Shadow words form
Through the stone walls

There must be a text
The universe is not empty

He no longer speaks

& waits for the sun to rise
Above the stunted hills

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Bellamy pictographic poem

 

 

Dog three bones has

Susan Hawthorne

 

Text Box (a pictographic poem) by Suzanne Bellamy, porcelain and oils on wood, © 2011.

 

moon : crunch time : three bones : dog : has

 

fence :  (    )  : (       ) : centred : crescent moon : howling dogs :  throw : is juggled

 

woman : dilly bag : carries : full moon : fish : swim : encircle :  (   )

 

moon sets : mountain : path : sees / follows :  crunch time : comes

 

 

dog three bones has

moon time crunch time is

(what) is thrown is juggled; dogs howl (under the moon)

crescent moon centred fence (is)

fish swim (and?) encircle full moon

woman dilly bag carries

crunch time comes

she (?)the mountain path sees/ follows : moon sets

.

.

.

 

dog three bones has

dog has three bones

in the crunch time is moon time

dogs howl under the moon in transit

juggling time

above the fence the crescent moon rises centred

fish swim encircling the reflected full moon

a woman in transit carries a dilly bag

she follows the mountain path

the moon sets

crunch times comes

.

.

.

 

Discussion

moon  (nominative): crunch time (locative absolute) : three bones (accusative plural) : dog (nominative) : has (verb indicative)

fence (locative – above surmised) :  (  ?  )  : (    ?   ) : centred (gerund, completed action) : crescent moon (nominative bahuvrihi compound) : howling dogs (dual nominative with adjectival compound) :  throw (idiom: time and throw are used interchangeably) : is juggled (passive)

woman (nominative) : dilly bag (accusative) : carries (indicative – note parallel structure to first sentence) : full moon (accusative) : fish (nominative plural) : swim (indicative) : encircle (gerund) :  (   ) (surmised: reflection of moon on water)

moon (nominative) sets (indicative) : mountain (adjectival form, accusative) : path (accusative) : sees / follows (wide semantic arc, can have both meanings) :  crunch time (locative absolute) : comes (indicative)

 

The problematics of translation across species worlds: translating  Ooss

As is clear from this translation there remain many gaps in our understanding of Os (or Ooss).  While somewhat ossified, the language does have some transparency and a number of difficulties. The first thing to say is that the language while partially pictographic has a number of indicators for complex tenses and verb structures. Like other ancient languages it has three persons: singular, dual and plural. One strange element is that only the feminine gender is found (with a few archaic terms in neuter).

This short poetic fragment is suggestive of ritual time in which the behaviour of dogs as the keepers of time is unsurprisingly given prominence. The only non-canine actor (the woman) is setting off on a pilgrimage of some sort (crunch time?)

The difficulty with the word reflected is, I surmise, due to the lack of smell in a reflection, so the reflection’s unreality is a conceptual lacuna. If the subject of the woman sentence had been a dog, the wide semantic arc would have extended to the word ‘smells’ as well as ‘sees’ and ‘follows’.

It is clear from the original sentence structure that what is before the snout is of prime importance. Furthermore, the moon, the dogs (three so far) and the woman are in some kind of triangulated relationship with the fish, the sea and the reflected moon. Perhaps one indicates the mundane world, while the other has esoteric meanings. The question is which is which?

 

This translation was produced while staying at Suzanne Bellamy’s Mongarlowe Studio in December 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

SISTERS

 

Lizz Murphy

 

 

I was very tame

I was very frightened

I was backed against a wall

I was a rabbit in the stupid headlight

Running forever in front of the car

The car hit but not me

My head was up my own arse

I made up a song

It had three words

My big sister said it was very good

That’s when I said I wished I could write

I didn’t actually say it that way

Someone had done something clever

I said I wished I could do that

She said but you wrote your song

I was singing it in bed in my lying-in

I was still quite small

I wasn’t satisfied

I knew it wasn’t good

I wanted to do something more

Both our backs were against that wall

Looking up the barrel

She doesn’t speak to me now

I am her trigger

 

 

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