Tag Archives: writers

August Round Up Part 2

Now that August has officially ended, and Spring has knocked politely on the front door I can wrap up the last of this month’s pieces.

And now, as adults, at a family gathering around a meal of spaghetti bolognaise, abbreviated as ‘spagbol’ – one word, not two – we each cut our children’s spaghetti; fragmenting sentences into phrases, clauses and syllables caught between the tines of forks and uttered between lengthy pauses while conversation pools in puddles of sauce.

The temporality of whiteboards and their content, known to me as a teacher, also makes a great canvas or notepad. I can write on it, amend, and take a photo to preserve it then erase it as if it never existed.

I rub the scar tissue on my knee, the geography of brothers
a reminder of when I had pieces of gravel scrubbed from my flesh
after you had pushed me onto the bitumen
the playful violence having given way to silence in later years
because we never found the words to replace our actions

I’ve had this used drum head for a while and I loved the texture that happens when a coated drum head deteriorates and I wanted the texture to reflect the tone and content of the poem.
I finally got around to finding the right words. I’m not happy with the penmanship; maybe I should have used a different handwriting style. However, I like the content.

1 Object/2 Poems

tongues of flame above our heads
descending to our mouths, our lips
duplicating another tongue withthe anticipation of consuming
tongue-twisted ecstacies of abandonment
unto one another
burning twice, existing briefly

 

tongues of flame
the revolution of the insolent
indolent
insouciant
ashes in the wind

fragmentary colour/blooms quickly then disappears/a father’s anger

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after emily dickinson

after emily dickinson

the batteries in my torch died out early
in my teenage years when I tried to
illuminate myself so I fell to writing
epigraphical epithets in the moonlight
with a label maker, affixing them in lines
of chapter titles to catalogue myself
before others blacked out letters
leaving the white space like stars
new constellations to navigate the unknown

Drought

the rain begins falling on the footpath,
a polite smattering of applause
before the crescendo of ovation

rises, peaks, slackens and fades
watering the seed fallen on stony ground
while the petrichor rises in wisps
then dissipates
the incense to your leaving
and the beginning of the drought

Graffiti

 

to erase me is to wipe
away the graffiti as though
it can make up for the 
late night tags written
under cover of darkness
where I wear the smell
of spray cans as deodorant 
and the rattle of the ball bearing
the music of our minds

This came about because my daughters had this whiteboard in the lounge room when they were practicing dance and Physie routines. The board was clean and next to it was the whiteboard marker and eraser. I debated getting the black whiteboard marker from my pencil case (I am a teacher after all) but stuck with the purple and wrote this up on the spur of the moment, tapping into the impermanency of the surface and the content of the poem. Tonight the girls are using the white board to play games of Hangman.

As a side note, does anyone else have trouble spelling “graffiti”? I always mix up the number of “f’s” or “t’s” but thankfully I wrote it correctly.

Kinetic Energy

the time I spilled Hundred and Thousands
on the kitchen floor trying to make
fairy bread (because mum said we
weren’t allowed to have it)
I blamed it on you

as they scattered, we collided
with one thousand reasons
ricocheted off a million pretences
and you swept up the mess
collecting the coloured atoms
of our relationship

and the sugared balls hitting
the plastic bag of the bin
sounded like rain

Cups of Tea

throughout our lifetime
over cups of tea
we told each other the same stories
as elegiac etiquette
an oral tradition where repeated
narratives were whispered
turning them into myth
a stain at the bottom of the cup
and in the retelling became gospel
a chip in the enamel
until we were finished and
we rinsed the cups, washed them
and put them away to reuse
tomorrow.

The Overripe Plum

I ate an overripe plum
on the afternoon
of my father’s funeral
eaten a day or two late
piercing the skin, tight and purple
the soft flesh a mushy pulp
first the sweetness
chased by the sharp, acid tang
digging the stone from the 
centre with my teeth
while the juice dribbled down
my fingers, a puddle in
my palm

 

Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.