even as I beat these keys with my fist / they resist, spring springs back
I groan, hammer the veins in my head / as if effort would suffice
all winter’s rawness: the burnished furrow, the cornstalk wrecks
Delighted that my poem – The cyclist has been shortlisted for the South Coast Writers Centre Poetry Award competition – and to be in the company of such a fine group of poets. Many thanks to the judges Sarah Nicholson and Mark Tredinnick – and if you find yourself in Wollongong on Saturday 29 March, come along to the readings.
Also Tall Yellow Poem (a personal favourite) was long-listed for the same competition.
A golden shovel for Margaret Atwood quoting Rilke.Continue reading
Saint Jerome in his Study, Antonella da Massina c. 1475
On any screen my attention drifts
whether it’s girls online or the official denials
a reporter hunched in a bunker
or reading the accounts—I’m looking
Like a ruby held up to the sunrise. Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness? Rumi
take 3 fugitive seeds
between your teeth
the heat is off the east wall
so the spider gets busy
a scour of waves in the afternoon wind
the bright hard at our faces
the words fall away
until there is only light
then not even that.
Image: Picnickers at Wollongong City Beach (then known as South Beach) with Coniston Beach and Port Kembla Steelworks in background, 9 November, 1982. c/- Wollongong Public Library . A jisei is a ‘death poem’ in Japanese/East Asian tradition. Jisei tend to offer a reflection on death—both in general and concerning the imminent death of the author (in this case imagined – touch-wood🤞)—that is often coupled with a meaningful observation on life. Frank is hosting the bar at dverse asks us to write a jisei to celebrate the onset of the northern winter.
And here’s the wonderful Gillian Welch with Hard Times.