Tag Archives: creativity

Handwritten Pages #17

 

Standing inside the phone booth, its panes of glass crumbled to hail stones on the concrete floor, with the receiver cradled against my ear, I pretend to put coins in the slot while listening to the dial tone. The static drone a soundtrack to the anonymity of pain. Stabbing the numbers in a sequence I have never forgotten, hoping to call the ghosts of the future to tell them not to wait up for me.

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Handwritten Pages #16

 

Autumn of Cheeseburgers

I walk through the autumn of cheeseburger wrappers drifting on the updraft of car exhaust with only enough change in my pocket to buy you and me an ice cream cone.

I Am… a poem

I am…
husband
father
brother

I am…
teacher
writer
drummer

I am…
pen
paper

tabula rasa

I am…
a mirror
a window
a picture frame

I am…
a magpie
an orchid
the creek

I am…
afraid of dying,
spiders
failure as a definition

I am…
teaching
learning
enquiring

I am…
lost
searching
finding

I am…
hoping
hopeful
hopeless

I am…
random notes
an unfinished manuscript
a story untold

I am…
a dog-eared page
a folded corner
a bookmark

I am…
a comma
a semi-colon
a question mark

I am…
The Joshua Tree
Vivid
Dogman

I am…
Genesis
The Psalms
Lamentations

I am…
a believer with doubt
doubt disguised as faith
faith seeking understanding

 

I was tagged by a friend to explore this statement, “I am…” and to compose a poem based on it.
It reminds me of YHWH’s declaration to Moses, “I am.” It’s a name, and with a name comes a declarative  statement of intention, purpose, identity.
And this poem explores aspects of my own identity, how I see myself, or how I want to see myself. I think I could have go on for quite some time with triplets of statements but I stopped myself.

Try it for yourself and see what you come up with. There is no form you have to follow; I choose triplets but you could use couplets or quatrains. Nor do you have to start each section with “I am…”. I chose to separate the individual triplets as independent images/ideas/thoughts. You may want to simply compile a single list. It’s up to you.

Tissue Paper Frailty

 

your tissue paper frailty
folded seven times
a simple origami of valleys
turned into mountains
tucked into your breast pocket
a shield over your heart

– tissue paper frailty

My Shopping List of Regrets

if i collected
all my shopping lists of regrets
i would take a permanent marker
erase them all
and make a black sky
to populate with stars

To Become A Whale – Book Review

“To Become A Whale” is the debut novel by Brisbane-based author, Ben Hobson.

This is the blurb from the publisher, Allen & Unwin:

To Become a Whale tells the story of 13-year-old Sam Keogh, whose mother has died. Sam has to learn how to live with his silent, hitherto absent father, who decides to make a man out of his son by taking him to work at Tangalooma, then the largest whaling station in the southern hemisphere. What follows is the devastatingly beautiful story of a gentle boy trying to make sense of the terrible reality of whaling and the cruelty and alienation of his new world, the world of men.

The novel is coming-of-age exploration of masculinity; one version of Australian masculinity that the reader is presented with. But no judgement is given. The reader determines how to understand the parameters and boundaries of 1960’s masculinity and how it measures up in the new millennium now almost two decades old.

Walt is a man respected on the flensing deck for his hard work, commitment, while his solitary nature isolates him from the company of other men. One of Walt’s crew, Phil, is a man who wants to play guitar but works the whaling station only as a job. He is another whose belief in the strictures of masculinity are limiting on the perception of himself.

The brokenness of Walt’s understanding and perception of his masculinity is as blatant as his mangled hand and framed by the nature of his work: deconstructing whale carcasses into constituent parts, unable to see the beauty of the whole through the nature of his work. Unable to understand and come to terms with the nature of his own grief. It’s this framework that he wants to impose upon his son.

Death is an ugly reality for young Sam: that of his mother, the work on the whaling station, his understanding of masculinity and his emotional self as the novel progresses. But through death comes rebirth. 

For me, the distance of the novel’s setting from current events is what allowed a range of questions to be asked about the role and nature of contemporary masculinity. It is a definition that is particularly complex yet rigidly defined in parts of Australian culture where normative masculine behaviours are exemplified through sport, violent behaviour, stoic emotional retardation. As a high school teacher, I could see this novel having a place with Year 9 and 10 boys.

The novel has drawn comparisons with Tim Winton and Favel Parrett, and those comparisons are warranted; there is not a wasted sentence. This is a nuanced novel. There is a beautiful sense of space for the reader to inhabit within the descriptive style. You feel the prose move with the tides and the heaving carcasses of the whales.

This is a remarkable debut novel and I thoroughly recommend it.

Zentangle #30 A Secret

A Secret

a secret 
is how everything
might have been
the alarm clock
on the windowsill
wanted to find out
Is it morning?

 

This piece is for sale $15AUS (inc postage to anywhere in the world). For an extra $2AUS you can get a set of zentangle postcards.

If you wish to purchase this piece, leave a message in the comments and I will get in touch with you via the email address you use when posting a comment.

zentangle-postcards

Calico tote bags featuring “Coloured Pencils” and “Stupid Question” and postcards are available for sale HERE.

You can also view the Gallery of zentangle poetry HERE.