Thursday, April 16, 2009

zen and poetry hand in hand?

who'd have thought that enlightenment could fall like that
a series of answers as a surface with question marks

provocation flows on through the first
as a self begins and becomes itself a selfless

as a jolt mid line it falls
the unmarked the intuitive

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

real estate odes


someone does something with poles elsewhere

a path stops its neatly placed concrete
at stage two the developer bankrupt

off the pathway's tangent
grass meets mangrove edge and jetty spot

the tasteless rape of a lowland finally ends


in the wetlands in an un dredged lake
as reenactment from the african queen

barely at my knees
on sanded banks
movie vivid
further years back
waist or shoulder depth
depending on tide


why build these monsters here?

the way the jetty edges out
is house enough

the undeveloped
an intact hope

Monday, April 13, 2009

real estate odes


what some need
(and what they can't do
for themselves)
is rip it out take it off strip it back
to bare and pristine lines
what it is then all exposed
is not just a place where time is spent


so this is your home?
a rare concept
something to hold
your heart says


it's on display an owner's taste
(and so many with none)
bad carpet a cluttered domain
the less than verdant lawn
takes a practised eye for
the place place place
(it's everything) they tell us
starting with the view
and the land?
it stays faithful if you do
if you love the land
a home comes next


inside the circa
the sturdiness of cedar and pine
(you hear it clear) how "your furniture
would look good there"
(even if there is presently
an other's place)


lotto fails and fails to convince
it's no good counting on luck
when luck is always what it is
no luck today but
not so hopeless
another chance


did i pray once?
(don't make me admit
the unbelieving side of my brain
will sneer and offer a cruel quip
a blatant snark)
in my boots i have
yes i've prayed for it


so settle settle for less
just doesn't cut
change is afloat
and what change is
is something
less complicated
walking away from
what should be
almost enough
change keeps things in flux
it's perspective and timing
(more than anything else)
if it would help
on my knees again
to have that


it's the nature of me to favour risk
toil with a purpose touching the ground
the seedlings look good in the garden
herbs and rising colours in rock beds
fragrant flower heads climbing everything
that's upright or curved or bent on a fence
romanticism not lost in this post modernist
prism (and you don't want that? really?)


feeling out weather
what weather conveys
once spent a whole day walking
in a cold climate town
shooting image on image of chimneys
the houses abut and these rising
in a clear blue paddock
brick and stone monuments
told me more than a quick check on bom
weather knows itself differently where i am
structures have tin slant rooftops
the blue has only sky rising and sun

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Some Shoalwater

In 2007 artist Dieter Irving produced fifty limited edition prints of five of his 1996 Shoalwater Bay residency paintings. Dieter developed this project as part of the 2007 Peace Convergence in Yeppoon. A local protest during the military exercises held every second year in the pristine Shoalwater area. During this period I purchased a set of Dieter's prints (all the original paintings were sold for hefty prices to local art collectors) - and I was lucky enough to get set 50/4 (with 50/1-50/3 being allocated to Dieter's and partner Penny's three children.)

I have known Dieter and Penny for as long as I have lived in this area, participating with them in many cultural events and sharing much in common with them in our varied areas of creative interest. In 2008 I received a small grant to develop poetry based on the Shoalwater area.

During the time I was writing about and visiting the area, a coal port was being suggested as a further burden to deplete the natural value of the area (this would be on top of the military presence and much more damaging) - and before I completed my series of poems, the coal port was vetoed by Peter Garrett, who is also a staunch supporter and campaigner for Shoalwater Bay's environmental significance. During the mid/late nineties he assisted in campaigning to stop sand mining in this same area.

I find it just as difficult to write overtly political poems as overtly nature poems , and the on again off again nature of the coal port proposal made it doubly hard to refine my own terms for creating work I would be happy with. I made many notes, visited the area and wrote many lines, some will not be published, but they did assist me to refine my own terms eventually.

I had, prior to starting my project, asked permission to base some of my poems on Dieter's paintings. The first of these poems to be published is in foam:e #6

A slide show of all of Dieter's Shoalwater residency paintings can be viewed here bottom right of the main page.
no ground holds

it's almost an aspect
insects sting and timing
a level of attitude
steps on the chartless

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

it falls into place

it's a blessing
dim in the cold wind
roof off the place
some notes change up
progress clouds and above
the sun where it has always sat
(the sungod from a primitive past)
clouded up (a modesty
not wanting to blind who
gaze on)