Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Boys Own Annual by Rhyll McMaster

Boys Own Annual

What a shame
girls aren't more like boys.
Girls want to change the rules.
What a shame
they don't ever play the game.

In a Boys Own Annual view of life
the punch, the grab, the shout are haute couture.
The moon-about is paramount.
Boys need never realise, need not be clever.
Boys need not mature.

Girls don hats and gloves their mothers wore
and play at Houses under trees.
Girls are bossy.
They seem to like responsibilities,
don't love the mystery of scraped knees.

Boys like the smell and sometimes-touch of boys,
their stop-start world, well-debated challenges,
hatched plans never carried out,
the detached stare.
Boys like it when they never have to care.

Boys know girls are the enemy
because girls keep calling in the debt.
Girls block the light that's shining
straight down on Boys Own Mighty Heaven,
that glazed place where time's ephemeral, yet set

where boys can rest their case
without entering a plea
and wander home at sunset
for their tea.

This poem is from Rhyll's newest book – Late Night Shopping – published by Brandl & Schlesinger. The book is such a delight. Sharp and funny and eloquent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Two Short Poems by Luke Beesley

Peacock peacock

In Tagore's last poems he imagines words popped of
loose, in the sky, nonsense syllables, pure colour

At the post office I watch a man for an hour
sew my parcels with a large needle
a purple full stop on his thumb

I never saw the Taj Mahal.

             I write I never saw the Taj Mahal
             but write 'sew' instead of 'saw'
             I never sew

Short story

His ear lit up like a daffodil

He found four bees in his car

It was a leap year. February rushed
past like formula one
a twist of tomato
in the alcohol

Luke Beesley lives in Melbourne. These insidious little poems are in his recent book 'Balance” from Whitmore Press.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday Poem - In The Voice Of A Tree by Michelle Leber

for Georgina King (1845-1932)

Do not marry if you wish to develop your talent
                                                          George Bennett

Her warm curve on my spine―
it’s like this each day. She’s reading
with her little sighs, pressing a book
to her hillocks, as if absorbing my ancestors
by way of brooding osmosis.
No one knows what she reads.

Some days she writes letters,
packing faultless flowers between paper
and lets the laughing dove take them
across meadows, over mountains,
to enter Mueller’s chamber as he sits
with Termination Lake specimens
in the drafty acreage of his esteem. 
No one knows what he reads.

A dandelion seed has taken sentry
in her hair. For the view. For companionship.
Ants devising better ways to reach honey,
by-pass the flighty blooms of her sleeve
that puff like batwings onto her page.
No one knows what she reads.

If I could, I’d insist she reconcile
her natural beauty. When her head
turns to a bee, rises on its tower to meet
with clouds, she is more than kindred:
how shall we commune, together admire
our mandate with petalite, tuff beds, fern allies.
I am bending my branches.
No one knows what she reads.

Note: First published in a different form by Westerly 57.2: Nov 2012 

Michelle Leber lives in Melbourne and is writing a series of poems about women naturalists. Each one I come across, either in journals, or when she reads them to us at various poetry events around town, or when she tables one at a monthly workshop at my place, I am entranced by their delicacy and pungency and cogency.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Promise of Storms by Graham Nunn

Promise of Storms

Always, in the late afternoon,
when the air is rusty with wattle blooms
the town gathers in its quietest corner

lining the road like a mob of roos.
In the front, women's knees flash
like winter apples split in half

between skirts and stockings
and men lean their arms against the coffin
ever so gently.

With their free arms
they brush pollen from black suits
clothes worn only for weddings and funerals.

And later that night they hang them
to be cleaned with vinegar and brush
unsure as to when they will be worn again.

I wonder what remains
after a small town funeral?
Not much hope, not much longing.

Maybe only pollen and the promise
of a storm, carrying its blessing
of new growth.

I came upon this poem in the latest issue of FourW and liked it a lot. In fact there is a lot of 
great stuff in the latest issue of FourW.
Graham lives in Brisbane and is currently raising funds for an indigenous literacy programme 
which is sorely needed. Sad but true. Check it out on his blog - Another Lost Shark