NB: CONTRIBUTORS RETAIN ALL RIGHTS TO THEIR WORK.

CONTRIBUTORS:

Janet Jackson,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Jena Woodhouse,,,,,,,,,,,,,Janice M. Bostok

Jean Frances,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,Laurel Lamperd,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Yvette Merton,,,

John West,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Phil Ilton,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Maureen Sexton

George Anderson ,,,,, ,,,,Joyce Parkes ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Kevin Gillam

Caroline Reid ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,M.T.C. Cronin

Congratulations to Pixel poets who scored an entry in Les Murray's Best Australian Poems 2004, recently released.

Margie Cronin writes:

 

 

 

Imagine being the singer's wife

 

Imagine being his wife -

with that voice

singing for you, singing for the world,

with that passion, breaking

like desperate surf over the worn airwaves,

singing about old lovers in candid metaphor.

 

Imagine being his

satellite of love

with that black hair

flying, those leatherclad thighs

dancing onscreen. Imagine

knowing all his weak places, his many

fears, his shrieking poet's nightmares,

his illnesses, his madnesses, his love.

Imagine the power of that love.

 

But would you want it?

Would you?

Janet Jackson

 

Into the moshpit

 

cage

finger through bars

touch the rising nose

the blindness

open a gate, reach in, contact

the softness

lift, cradle, stroke

the softness

the blindness

 

The desperation.

Bars, barriers: streets and oceans,

walls and wires, cars and satellites:

desperation.

Touch is not salvation.

 

soft fur is not salvation

 

but the eyes are, the voices are.

Yes the voices are.

Janet Jackson

 

Top


 

The Rainbird

 

Calling up the rain at dead of night

you take me back to rainless summer mornings

by the tank-stand, watching as the light

blinked eyes and stretched to shake itself awake

and flung a drowsy arm across the stubble,

rolling back the eiderdown of shadows,

signalling the birds to a crescendo.

 

I heard those birds, your ancestors or cousins,

calling from the mulberry tree -

mid-morning - smoko-time;

no motors throbbed; the distant breakers

pulsed against the dunes;

and then your cry, each note evoking water,

made invocation to an empty sky.

 

The mountain lounging on its elbow seemed to hear,

but ventured no reply to your monotonous appeal;

now, some generations later in the rainbird family tree,

you punctuate the night's unnerving

quiet with that same cry:

is your pleasure in the formula for asking,

or is it in awaiting a reply?

Jena Woodhouse

 

 

Starlit

 

Across the plains of tussock grass

steals faint light of a quarter-moon;

multitudes of crickets sing a song of stars.

 

Out there in profounder dark,

tough trees, almost like olive trees;

wild goats, ancient, wily, wry,

like goats of Greece.

Jena Woodhouse

 

 

 

Spirit Birds

 

They colonise the spaces of the night,

chilling the blood to splinters of black ice;

on frosty flats they echo, formless, desolate.

 

What kind of creature utters such a cry:

is it the spirit's long farewell to life,

the transit of the unquiet sacrificed?

It is the nameless terror of the child.

 

They lie in wait to curdle silences; tonight

as other nights they take my breath; I lie

between cold covers, petrified: whose turn

has come, who will they summon next?

 

Once, I saw them stranded in the warm

sun of a winter's day, trapped

beneath a sapling in the carpark, watching

silently. Otherworldly spooks, a baleful

frieze, they stood at bay, plumed

basilisks with tawny eyes disarmed by light.

Jena Woodhouse

Note: It is believed by some indigenous people of Australia that the curlew's cry is a harbinger of death.

 

 

 

River Voices before Dawn

 

The river fills the well of night

with water-voices, cries of birds.

 

Barges pass with firefly lanterns,

motors throbbing, towards dawn.

 

Comforting in darkness, shoals

of ripples lap the shores.

 

A solitary curlew-cry

laments the passing of the tribes.

 

the current carries shifting patterns

of a day, a way of life.

 

In darkness, generations wait

for morning's covenant of light.

Jena Woodhouse

 

"The Rainbird" appeared in the collection "Eros in Landscape"

(Jacaranda Press); "Starlit" was published in "Antipodes" literary journal (USA);

"Spirit Birds" was published in "The Australian", and "River Voices before Dawn" was published in "The Sydney Morning Herald". All poems are also posted on my web-page at http://www.stihi.ru/author.html?jena_ne

Top


The Young You

 

the young you

did not open gates

but jumped fences

waded through swamp land

and carried heavy loads

on your shoulders while

struggling uphill

 

the young you

held me in the darkest

hours of the night

and revealed to me

the intricacies of the world

in the brightest hours

of day

 

the young you gave

and gave until exhausted

too exhausted even

for sleeping

 

the young you exists

no longer except for the

sometime twinkled in faded eyes

and the remnants

of a sense of belonging

now displaced

Janice M. Bostok

 

Walking On The Beach

 

to know the beach is there

and not to walk on it

seems to be a sin somehow

 

we follow

the outgoing tide as it slithers

 

like overland eels

returning to the dam

of life-giving resources

knowing their time on land

is short

relieved to hit

the cool wetness

and disappear

beneath its murky folds

 

I look towards the horizon

the sun behind us

silhouetting you in gold

its halo distinguishing

your familiar features

of the growing old

which has come to both of us

and makes

climbing the dunes

to safety

even more awkward

than the sliding down

was less dignified

Janice M. Bostok

 

 

Conducting a Workshop in a Foreign Land

 

there is no moon tonight

because

I do not look for one

 

would there be one

if fearlessly

I strode out into the night

and called to it

 

each day

black birds

skip across the great expanse

of lawn like the workings

of my mind

 

so far from home I can't

remember

my children's names

 

we speak of the birth

of others' children but

 

I have no recollection

of such days

 

stepping out from

a dry classroom

the wet handrailing

sends a shock

down to my boots

 

a connection is made

to this foreign land which

i am beginning to love

Janice M. Bostok

 

 

Meeting With A Famous Author

Linley Dodd &emdash; on the Haiku Pathway, Katikati, New Zealand

 

bird wings lift

from the cat food dish

 

(slinky malinki never had

it this bad)

 

on a nearby branch

the wind is relentless

unforgiving

the stolen prize is lost

to the garden bed below

 

the recycling

has already begun

rain slashes the windows

facing east

 

out walking

my body wrestles its way

along the pathway

being grossly overweight is

not enough to anchor me

in the ferocious wind

 

the umbrella

in danger of turning

inside out

is as useless as its

bare ribs would be

 

her curly hair is wet

steel grey

her eyes bright green

her overbite girlish still

 

i slant my umbrella

away

her body scent comes to me

heavily pleasant

in the dampness

of the afternoon air

 

we share a moment

of uncertainty

of knowing it will ever

be this one time when

we meet

on common ground

Janice M. Bostok

 

The Happiness Of Night

 

the screech of an unknown night bird sends me out

into a strange alluring darkness

alone

and unafraid as the contentment of one

who resolves the problems of survival is encompassing

 

happiness arrives at night

a cinderella's coach which will not dissolve

into despair at midnight when darkness folds around

my walls I see the landscape which I have won as one

might win a lottery

more clearly the blue and distant

mountains beckon to me and as the ancient peasants

took warmth from the milking cow I will nuzzle into

the grassy side of the mountains until morning

 

the stream reflects splashes of moonlight

a brightness which delights the visual sense of repetition

and the childish fun of learning by play

 

trees move to the rhythm of the wind

unanchored

by a freedom which we all seek by day

 

when morning dawns in a radiance which i no

longer find attracts me i will blissfully return

to my cimmerian darkness ever vigilant for the call

of that unknown night bird

Janice M. Bostok

 

Songs Once Sung, Janice Bostok's collection of tanka

poems will be released by PostPressed shortly.

 

janbos@dodo.com.au

http://members.dodo.com.au/janbos/

Amongst The Graffiti, Collected haiku & senryu, with a foreword by William J. Higginson

available from PostPressed: www.postpressed.com.au

Top


Madame Monet Speaks

 

He's out in the garden again

without his coat - at his age.

He knows the chill always

settles on his chest.

He can barely see now

so I can't think why

he needs to step outside.

 

And anyway

summer or winter

each time

he picks up a brush

he paints

more bloody waterlilies.

Jean Frances

 

 

Top


 

Moon Boy

 

The Department lady said

you can't see your father

until you are eighteen.

 

* * *

 

His father called him Moon Boy.

They watched the moon rise.

It sat on the windowsill

like the orange beach ball

his father bought him.

 

* * *

 

The moon filled the window

of his mother's house

where he slept with his brothers.

 

He glanced at the door

his brothers locked

when the uncles came.

He whispered.

Come and get me, daddy.

 

His mother didn't hear from

Where she laughed and drank

with the latest uncle.

 

He stared at the moon

a frozen orb

in the dark sky.

Laurel Lamperd

 

The Ink Drinkers poetry and short stories By Laurel Lamperd and Sue Clennell

Posted $10 llamperd@wn.com.au

 

Top


 

Seven Whistlers

 

Dangling feet by the bow of a rocking boat,

drifting in its own time out to sea,

rusty boat, portals blink like eyes, lying sleepy

with the oscillating tides.

It creaks slightly, the boom judders and it lists

to one side as its carried on the crest of the ninth

wave but it survives, even when the equinoctial

gale puffs from its belly.

 

It shelters a flock of seagulls, their disheveled wings

taking a rough beating blow to safety landing

on its deck.

The mast bends with the whistling of strong winds,

even bumping through rocky chasms with jagged

edges it stays afloat.

 

This boat is on a mission it carries aboard a dead

sailor, he who scoured hungry oceans

hurling ships through raging storms.

On his last day while ploughing through roughened

swells like a Viking at war,

seven birds landed on the bow of his ship,

their cries shrieked an etchy epistle,

these birds known as the "seven whistlers" a bad

omen, warned of an end coming near.

 

On his last day the sailor watched the coastline

disappear into a blanket of blue sky.

The sky cleared, the wind hushed, the sun melted

under the skin of the ocean, its pinks and gold's

Smeared across a bed of mosaic glass.

 

This boat listing to one side aboard

with dead sailor is letting go, sinking slowly

with the splash of each wave,

lying sleepy collapsing into a watery catacomb.

Yvette Merton

 

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Why Did I Do a Bunk?

 

Alarm clock of pigeons

ten AM, hunched shoulders

of clouds, waiting for rain

first cigarette, how can anything

that tastes so good, be bad

Easily, sin is such fun

it's more than just

turning up for work

for a lifetime, Mass

more than going to bed

at Nine every night

the hangovers

the waking up

with a woman

who isn't your wife

it's all worth it

I keep repeating

53 in a couple of months

the cost though

the ringing

of your own doorbell

When have you ever

taken responsibility for

anything?! Well

never perhaps

Pat is observant

and arguments

over phone numbers

arrangements

to see my granddaughter

I sliced and staggered

if not cut and run

buy a $2 Scratchie

win $2, yellow torch

I've taken, salvaged

an almost agricultural

depth of dust covering it:

divorce is a bit like

reversing your car

down a narrow lane

with all the doors

open.

John West

 

For Darcy

 

You run from slide to swing

house to car, up Mount Chelsea

all of 15 metres but you try it

I did, two rests on the way

it's spitting rain, Just a little

like thus! And you make an atom

framed by your fingers

and so we run on in the park

Poppy, what are these?

It's where the footballers sit

Like Daddy? Yes, like Daddy did

C'mon Poppy, what's this?

C'mon, Poppy, run.

It's play equipment

it's new. No Darcy

it's really raining

How come?

C'Mon Poppy

I want one more go!

What was on your collar?

It was a caterpillar;

the man saw it and picked

it off. How come?

He was just being nice

How come? People

just are nice

most of the time

C'mon Darce

it's coming down

I'll race you to the car

OK

John West

 

 

I Wanted to Forget This

 

But it has kept coming back

like the acid from your stomach

after you've eaten curry

 

went to bed at eight last night

woke at eight, 12 hours sleep

but cannot fully wake

 

so many tasks to perform

get a new convenor

for the poetry readings

 

and I've lost my mobile

66 numbers, not 66 friends

businesses, doctors, police

 

separated from my wife

for two weeks now

a bag of dirty washing

 

drinking again

I wanted to get stoned

but had nothing to get stoned on

 

just a cat, creeping through grass

like a snake

towards a native bird.

John West

 

 

I've Got it Under Control

 

Resuming my interrupted drinking vocation

I repeat to myself, and to the few I trust

(no relatives, not my doctor, no-one from AA)

that it isn't a problem, no way is it

sketch the scene of me having

just a glass of wine each night

 

I don't say how I've held the great big goblet

out before me all day, my reward

for all this shit I'm going through

a hologram a foot in front of my nose

I wake each day hungover

I'm done with AA forever and I'm glad.

John West

 

Top


 

Priority Green

 

I'm surrounded by metal boxes

cream, white, grey.

The only red one,

the Camira in the right lane,

demands attention.

The rears of the occupants' two heads

are not so riveting. The driver has

short back and sides, her waves

are permed and blonded. They don't talk.

Neither do the couple next to me.

Proximity informs they are in their 30s;

vacant kiddy seat, it's a day off.

Their dash of colour is Fred Flintstone

dangling from the rear-vision mirror.

The twin-cam Celica in front is

jostled by the adjacent Landcruiser whose

backdoor declares it has multivalves.

In the ute to my left the driver's shaggy curls

tumble over his neck, smoke wisps from

his window hand, his hood's ladder

and spouting speak days on roofs.

Mum in my rear-vision mirror turns

and reprimands two youngsters.

 

A bus swings from the intersecting road

its tilt and velocity a challenge

to any mathematician.

 

Revs chorus their focus

on strait-jacket lanes.

Phil Ilton,

 

 

Insight

 

Dust stirs from roadside gravel

a paper bag cartwheels the bitumen.

Branches bend to buffets which flee

to an unknown destination.

 

I am a current in the grass.

Diving, dodging, twisting

to an unknown destination.

 

The wind is seen only by its effects.

If I am seen

let it be me.

Phil Ilton,

Top


.This poem won the Lorikeet Poetry and Prose Competition 2003.

 

Question Mark

 

She crouches in the corner -

a question mark of silence -

darkness comforting her

prays there is no moonlight

to make her visible.

But still he comes and finds her

the darkness does not shield her from

his filthy hands

this little girl

alone.

No protection behind her mother's skirt

nor her own hands covering her mouth

her frightened giggle.

"She's very shy isn't she?" they ask.

Why don't they ask the right questions?

Is she alright? No, I am not.

She seems frightened? Yes, I am.

Does she need help? Yes, I do

please.

But too many times, the ones who

could have, should have

protected, helped her

did not.

Now, the woman

opens her hands with her writing

cradles her face as she cries

shields herself from the darkness

prays the moon will heal her.

And she crouches in the corner -

a question mark -

© Maureen Sexton

Top

 


Homecomings

 

Returning home

again & again

over twenty-five years

each trip back further complicating/

blurring the layers of memory;

death

& meaning

 

Each step conjures up

ghosts from the past-

from a multitude of pasts,

& at each step you are

open

& embrace that which is new

yet at each step,,,,you are fully conscious

of that which is absent-

 

of the silence

of the voices & faces

from the streets & buildings-

which,,once,,breathed,,life for

you.

 

 

Sitting With Alfred

 

I sit balanced on the concrete rim of your grave

trying to fathom the enormity, the finality

of it all-

my hands,,,,this page,,,now suddenly made clear,

struck by an ethereal glint of sunlight

this autumn day.

 

I sit & examine you more closely-

your head weeping black bile

& embedded with a thick bearded moss

your name barely decipherable.

 

I sit & eat my lunch

contemplating the ephemeral again-

your insides swelling upwards

shattering your concrete mantle

spitting upon ceramic tiles

in heaped piles like discarded cigarette butts.

 

You die now as you have once died before

 

Yet from the yawning orifice of the retched-open tomb

 

bursts a scrawny tall tuft

of wild green dandelion

emblazoned ,,,with,,,dark

yellowed,,,crowns

 

 

The Sensory Perception Room

 

Through the lens of a microscope

the chemical transmission amongst

healthy nerve cells in the frontal lobe

is a marvellous sight-

pink flowery balls

with long spindly fingers

over weaving themselves

in intricate interconnecting geometric patterns.

 

 

Uncle Thoreau's brain, however, is filling with liquid

& is collapsing inwards

from a degenerative cognitive ailment-

he keeps forgetting who he is

where he is.

 

He is recommended to visit 'the room'.

 

The doc carefully explains that our memories are like

the grooves on a vinyl record

& the sensory room is designed to reawaken

patients like Thoreau,,,,,,,,,,,,to relearn some of the 'grooves'

scratched out by disease.

 

This first sounded a load of hippy shit to me.

I mean CDs have been around since 1982-

but we were willing to try anything.

Thoreau was like a broken record himself,

every 15 minutes or so he would yell out spontaneously:

 

My wife's coming soon & she's got a new hat!

* * *

The room is clinical

sparse

a large screen

4X4 metres

& a dozen or so seats-

 

A film immediately screens as we sit down:

It is without sound about clouds

endless,,,,,,,,,,,,white ,,,,,,,,,, cumulus

clouds,,,,,,,,,,float,,,,,,,,,,lazily

across,,,,,,,,,,the,,,,,,,,,,screen-

in flashes,,,,,,,,,,superimposed

with

faces

images

of real or inanimate objects:

a cow ,,,,,,,,,, an icy pond ,,,,,,,,,, a baseball

diamond,

an attic ,,,,,,,,,, ,,,a ladder

blueberriesÉ

 

Staring at the,,,fluffy,,,procession of,,,clouds

is a pleasant, seemingly innocuous therapy for me-

at first, I think of nothing at all,

& then, inexplicably-

a whirlwind of memories return:

 

there is a drive way a bed Thor eau & hiswife Lillian

slee pingnak d dru nkin the su n rm we lift thesof a

straining thru doorwa ysseveral metres sunlight to

the sid of the h/way cack ling m adly they s lin ki ng-back

to-the house

* * *

At the end of the session Thoreau perks up & says like clockwork:

My wife's coming & she's got a new hat!

 

Aunt Lillian eventually arrives smiling

without a hat,,,,but sporting a new perm.

 

Thoreau sits there closely staring at but unable to recognise his wife.

 

Thoreau says to the woman as she gets up to leave:

 

My wife's coming & she's a hat!

 

 

 

The Disembodied Head

 

He formed a rock band called the Slavophiles in tribute to the writings of Dostoyevsky although the allusion will certainly annoy you- they played a racy, dissonant style of improvised rock which required the indiscriminate popping of pills

& the downing of vast quantities of alcohol

One night Young Jimmi D in lead guitar was exploring the textual ambiguities of

the standard 'My Baby Went to Reno' when suddenly it was as if his head had detached itself cartoon like from his lanky body & he was staring down at himself & the band in that large anonymous hall- there was no pretence, no gimmicks just his playing,,,,just a sweet outpouring of notes on notes,,,,a flurry of improvisation exuding from his memory,,,,his experiences the technique speaking for itself his guitar like a piano scroll rolling downwards in an invisible hand licking & wailing,,,,establishing a complex,,,,,pattern of chord & harmony,,,,miraculously interconnected,,,,whole,,,,the crowd ,,,, really into it

He glanced down again & there was his disembodied head on centre stage-

The sweet springs of his imagination,,,,singing joyously

 

 

me

 

thirsty

in the brink of night

I guzzle long & cool under the bathroom tap

 

in the moonlight

I briefly glance at my face in the mirror-

it is like a gaping hole

smeared in darkness

 

frightened,

I edge closer

& view a gleaming

watery eye-

 

the head-butted

mirror shatters

& drops,

splintering

on the rim of the sink

 

the light comes on

 

I see multitudes of me

& of my younger & older selves-

a bleeding mask

within the shards of glass

in the sink, on the floor

& in my weeping hands

 

is,,,,,,,,are

this,,,,,,,,they

me

mes?

 

Top


Cups, Cushions, Claims

(For J.P.)

 

In a new home with a new

room of her own, ex mother-

in-law toiled over her meals.

Only the uppers of her machine-

made teeth could be found,

despite a search of old and new

grounds. Her room, a field of

 

cups, cushions, claims, proffered

the prism to write a play of her

own. Perhaps one cloned from

certain stages shared with Thurs-

day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Monday painted her story instead.

Red, orange and yellow flowers,

 

soft-green stems and leaves,

an off-white background.

Six months into her new home

she left the dining room, the

dinner table, feeling fatigued.

Shuffled to bed. Perhaps slept.

Was found dead in the morning.

Joyce Parkes

 

 

South Perth Probes

(For N.C.)

 

Almost encircled by Perth's inner

cities, inside a flat, before the river

and its swans, the window of

 

a car, just standing there, repeats

images of city lights and ledges

blinking in the evening warmth.

 

At night, bare windows change

to crowded mirrors, correspond,

with the city and its bridges built

 

for speed and access, accruing

traffic in abundance, yes, across

what was a soothing stage along

 

the waterfront. For a sip of silence

and for safety, dwellers close their

windows now, curtains often drawn

 

as well, rely on form, and fuses,

inside each dwelling, to trace the city

with its stirring cells of inferences

 

and instances; adult-children,

please do not die before your

parents do, and O that bell.

Joyce Parkes

 

 

Where I Walked to Wonder

(For B. and J.; B. and P.; J. and N.)

 

'They have eaten me alive,'* the mother

in the poem said to the wind, looking

at her clothes, her day, while a former

love made his brisk way, past her

bench in the park, where her small

children fought, cried, harked, to fill in

their time, until they've learnt how to

play, shine. Poor Gwen, I remarked,

remembering my days in the park,

with my youngest daughter, after her

 

father and I altered our saunter

through the summer of our encounter.

Recalling earlier days in the park, where

I walked to wonder why my mother died

when she was twenty eight, when I was

unable to relate this loss to her years

without cheer. Did I help to make her

feel so unwell that she refused the lust

to linger with tomorrow's yesterday;

telling stories, reading poetry,

 

proceeding to distil the where, why,

when, from today's clouds and ken,

with the pen of particularity, within

the bond of similarity. Motherhood,

childhood, doting, daunting dense,

demanding, discerning, duteous, dear,

dear Ben & Joan, Barbara & Philip, Jody

& Nick, how could I've begun to cherish

the unstructured hours that came my

way, without your help, hands, heys.

Joyce Parkes

 

* With many thanks for Gwen Harwood's poem 'In the Park'.

 

Top


creed

 

now you are all slim hipped,

high heeled

in the country.

now you are all slim hipped,

 

chair pose,

body a church.

now you are slim hipped,

rainbow lorrikeets

thieving your colours.

now you are all slim hipped,

hemispheres buckled,

bleeding unseen.

 

now you are all slim hipped,

serenity

one scratch deep.

now you are all slim hipped

stoned on moment,

denial.

now you are all slim hipped,

anyones

but not your own.

now you are all hymn slipped,

ethics?

mouthing the words

Kevin Gillam

 

 

Top


Goldilocks

 

Gone are the days of bears simply shouting

OUT OUT OUT! at fair-haired intruders -

LORD KNOWS she'll be taught a lesson next time!

Down in our dungeon we have the finest

instruments of torture &endash; needles and pins to prick,

leather and hot steel to thrash - - -

 

Of course once she's broken and crazy-eyed we will let her go,

cruelly watch her crawl on those once-pretty

knees to the dark heart of desert, where, on sand

stiff with pigs blood, her tears are nothing

Caroline Reid

 

 

Tunnel Princess

 

Photo mag splash of Royal Incident &endash;

Night vision tunnel vision

Caught for Television

Shutter the camera shut-shutter the camera.

Caroline Reid

 

 

Highway Princess

 

Perhaps a prince is what I need,

riding bareback through the heat and rain,

an interesting prince, nude and fair,

caressing my hair in Eneaba &endash;

Sir, you're here now,

will you stay forever?

Caroline Reid

 

 

What he said on the open road &endash;

 

this is my country

warts n all

strange box days

I let go

when the wind says

So &endash;

Anything new underfoot?

 

My feet are warm.

The tar is cold.

Some wizard let the stars loose

one by one

Down South

boom boom

follow me.

Caroline Reid

 

 


The Lifetime of Clouds

 

Every cloud's face is an early face.

Their views mean wind.

A cloud remembers nothing from habit.

Perennially a fish out of water.

The small one the unbroken one.

The scattered now snow

And then snow and snow to come.

Sword-shaped horse-dead

And sculpted from the moon.

A dream ripening the length of sky

Into what is called

From both sides of the bridge

And heard from neither side.

Best spot stumbling imperturbable.

Haven't been bothered

Since they left the ocean.

A cloud might not know

The watercolours or acrylics

But does the terrible metaphor

By losing its accent over and over.

Wholesale drowning.

Standing in the centre of the room

With no idea of relationships.

Ursine nuancish annular.

Once upon a time just a cloud

When someone didn't try hard enough.

Raining out quicker these days.

M.T.C. Cronin

 

 

 

Frogs Tip

 

Frogs tip the day into their throats and chewing

don't speak till night.

The night is blue.

I'm crystal around my children. I'm wax.

I'm tears and light that sculpt the upturned

milliseconds of their nose, the point without stillness,

without movement, of their boating lips,

the curled fingers of every fate

they dream alone.

Sky, &endash; that glow;

the river, closer, further then where it bends

away from hunger, cannibalizing the hardness

of the land with the soft sand of its lifting bed;

the tree, arm'slength, bird-full and beaks

filled with closed oysters, the series of bells

as they cry.

The bush turtle knocks in the black

of a country restlessly

preparing its dusk, the mangoes crash

to the roof and violently enter my chest.

The juice of the fruit trickles down the smooth trunk.

What never enters the stone.

What never enters the stone.

Where a bird falls to the ground, time opens.

I'm scared of the world, which more than anything

is the world.

The night is blue.

I'm crystal. I'm wax. As I talk

only the dark windows are left,

the bird-tipped trees propagate sky.

Frogs crack the dark from silence and force

down sleep so there is less energy in me

to hold the earth.

M.T.C. Cronin

 

 

 

Days Like These

 

The day, shattering and blue;

the battle of my outline with the world.

Through cracks I see bears;

bean leaves;

butterflies in every interval of air

between the trees and their silence.

 

Days like these, I know home.

I can use the stairs as if blind; the corners

unfolding to welcome and recompose

the story of my back.

Humanity and the whole of time

are trapped in my floorboards.

In the smallest space

or discontinuity

I meet the governor of my own cowardice.

 

Days like these, are a revolution

in difference.

The daughter is born of a father

who would paint her portrait, a father

she cannot imagine.

 

Days like these, living approximates everything!

The carpet creeps to the door

and soon is onto the footpath

in front of the house.

My friends and neighbours are turning up.

As the circle we form grows

all gets closer together!

 

Days like these, I nurse the son I never had.

His hand grips the wind;

his body inexplicably bruises.

In this thirst we are alike.

Tears forming not in the eyes,

but at the edge of the mouth.

In every distant window a face

grows into its own narration.

 

Days like these, I open my gate

and let in the dogs and children.

The say the stars are lies.

That the night will never come.

M.T.C. Cronin

 

 

Margie Cronin writes:

dear friends and colleagues

 

just wanted to let you know that i now have copies of my new book

 

<MORE OR LESS THAN> 1-100

 

which is a 140-page single poem, published by shearsman books in the uk

(www.shearsman.com).

 

if anyone would like one - or more! - they are available from me at the

contact details below.

 

they are $27 with postage inside australia and $30 with postage to go

overseas.

 

many thanks

 

margie

 

***********

 

PETER PORTER'S COMMENTS ON THE BOOK

 

These hundred slices of poetry are admirable and bewildering in equal

measure ­ a remarkable collection, but also one difficult to describe or

encapsulate.

 

Poets have always enjoyed close relations with oracles.and oracles are fond

of dazzling us with numbers. M.T.C. Cronin's new collection of poetry

counts the mystery of life, love and literature up to 50 by addition of

lines, and then proceeds to the full 100 by subtracting them. Throughout the

verse is precipitously oracular - filled with strangeness and yet abidingly

concerned with everyday experience. It is indeed A Book of the Dead and a

Journal of the Living.

 

Here is a passage from Section 48.

 

"they are exiled by every act

they are the juvenile

the mysterious private god who walks

in the dark to learn how to walk

in the dark with the help

of little modelled hands

little modelled eyes

the roughishness of walls

unnoticed desire

they stay with their poetries"

 

This amounts to a new departure by one of Australia's most admired younger

poets ­ an extrordinary vision overall.

 

 

 

**********

margie cronin

3 cedar grove court

maleny

queensland

australia, 4552

ph: 07 5435 2605

fax: 07 5435 2605 (ring first)

email: margie_cronin@hotmail.com

 

available books:

my lover's back ~ 79 love poems: $22 with postage ($24 overseas)

bestseller: $22 with postage ($24 overseas)

everything holy: $17 with postage ($19 overseas)

beautiful, unfinished: $22 with postage ($24 overseas)

<more or less than> 1-100: $27 with postage ($30 overseas)

 

 

 

 


 

 

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