Monday, 16 January 2012

In the manner of Paul Verlaine

Yes, with a delicately airy, delicately half-definite brush of a lock of hair from my brow, I present the next poem in my continuing, unfolding series for Irina...

Poem for Irina, January 14, 2012

When imagination lights a candle, an emotion,
aware again, I am remade.  Now shade, now shelter;
I drink your voice from the summer rain—
let this rhapsody know its living roots.

As you help me take off my much sullied coat
of many memories, I am young again, love is
intense again; yes, we both have maps, but this
new land, this new garden, flowers exotically.

Your culture, mine, blend; the taste is sweet rain.
I look up: rain has begun to fall, our thirst
for each other belongs with every
fresh, fleeting line I conceive.

I believe; belief has power.  Each cloud,
each shower is laced with your promise.

Monday, 9 January 2012

On a Very Warm Summer Afternoon

Summer in the tropics.  As at 2 p.m., it was 89 F, and officially it felt like 98.  I can only surmise that a Bureau of Meteorology official set up a card table on the pavement outside his office, sat there for half an hour, wiped the perspiration off his brow with a handkerchief, squeezed the handkerchief into a Petri Dish, and did an esoteric experiment on the resultant bacteria to work out the BoM's official feeling on the matter.  Either that, or he made it up.

Speaking of making things up, I have been creating, another poem for my Belarusian love.  I wish to share it with you now...

Poem for Irina, January 8, 2012

It is not about distance.  It is everything about closeness.
Finally, a destiny offered both of us, proof that fate
can fuse desire with justice.

A touch.  It has already happened.  An understanding, woven.
Rising from emotion, admiration, enthusiasm.

The day after Russian Orthodox Christmas Day all the clouds
swirling above the world have a beautiful tendency.  All music
is somehow beautiful.

Why does anything matter?  My walk is an easy achievement;
your French fragrance moves on your body, my mind.

Sturm und Drang stretch us, if we let them.  Romanticism
is where my blood estimates its worth.  Let us be wild,
cut through temperature.

A word.  A seed.  The word.  Toss away your diminutives,
reality dances like water under the summer sun.

Luminous is our awkwardness of speech; it will soften.

Nurse your conclusions, marry from them our future.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Relaunching My Blog

 Michael, January 1, 2012

January 1 of any year is the time people resolve afresh, and I’m no different.  I’ll spare you my list – someone, somewhere might be taking note, heaven forbid – except to say that I intend updating this blog weekly, every Sunday.

Fifty-two posts, all being right, in 2012.  When I put it like that, I’m already chronically daunted.  Take heart, I say to myself.  Cod liver oil, colonics, Collingwood Football Club winning the Australian football Grand Final this September; all these are worse prospects.  I can do it.  I will do it.  My teeth are comprehensively gritted.

OK, preliminaries aside, before the ghost of Slim Dusty comes back to attack my private parts with a monkey wrench and a blunt screwdriver, I’ll outline my literary plans for this year.  What’s on my plate other than sardines and rocket, in other words.

But before the (likely) boring housekeeping stuff, a poem.  A love poem.  Yes, I’m smitten again.  Life is good.  Life promises to get even better...

Poem for Irina, January 1, 2012

The hour ends.  My darling, the future is beginning.

Years ago, I wished to write a long poem about nothing,
using no words.  Now, that poem is your pure thought
before you sleep. 

I wish us separately one.  I wish Warsaw.  I wish July.

As you sleep, the sun splays here.  Plays our song,
ageless, a piano score for the years ahead.  Darling,
you are innocent,

I am innocent, the world gives more than it takes.

It is not the body, it is the wind upon your mind
blowing you to me.  In my night, a poem of your day
reaches my sleep.

Nothing except this.  Two entwined lives sup each other,
forevermore destined.  There is nothing except this.


Now, to my literary projects:

1.       Five Faves, Five Least Faves.

This book of one hundred individually dedicated poems for one hundred people is about half finished.  If you haven’t done so already, do e-mail me your five favourite and five least favourite words, and I will write a poem to order dedicated to you with all of them in it.

2.       The Incompleat Poems.

This book will collect what I can lay my hands on of my past, incomplete archive, including collecting all my accessible published work.  A middle-aged poet looks backward; concerned for his legacy.  Don’t worry, I’m not quite ready to curl up and die yet.


A collaboration with photographer Fairlie Sandilands, her pics and my poems, that may lead to a gallery exhibition in 2013, as well as an accompanying slim volume on photographic quality paper.


Another stint, presently being negotiated, as guest editor of Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure.


Another three-month stint, beginning on Thursday, February 2, as Poet in Residence for Townsville CityLibraries.


A launch here in Townsville for A Quadraphonic Whisper, being published this year by Virgogray Press.


Miscellaneous occasional poems, workshops, etc, etc, etc.


Quote of the week: “I fell like feathers, fishing for stars.” – Michael Haslam