Wet and muddy ground Winter chill is all around Warm fire must be found Wet and muddy ground Winter chills broken hearts Warm fire must be found Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
I cheat, I lie I backtrack, deny I obfuscate and complicate anything to hide the truth Misinformation I cowardly spread forwardly as ordinary as conspiracy to larceny as policy to conspiracy I function in complicity in social media anonymity Where I apply to truth misuse The risk to me individually that I can see is virtually small enough to be risk free to spread hurt mischievously to revel in power disproportionately Vengeful at my oversight my insignificance my empty nights my blighted existence, my trampled rights my lack of insight into doing what’s right I have devolved to taking what’s mine no responsibility, my time to shine. Basking in screen light I refine my hatred of others for having what isn’t mine No obligation to the social contract I make my way with abuse and hack I twist words and views - take that back! Take that back! Attack, attack, attack, attack! Deep, deep, deep down, do I know this is wrong? This never ending destructive ultra-self-interested song this perpetual wallow in despair this unrequited desire to belong begetting this relentless desire to bring everyone else down to my level My oppressed throng. Do I dare the admission? Will I take the risk? Aargh! The shame of it The pain of it The wrenching, gutting bane of it The creep, the dragging chain of it The cowering, snivelling, ever repeating refrain of it I am disdain, the disdain of it. Will I take the risk? The d'verse prompt for this week came from Tricia, a challenge to explore risk. Join us at https://dversepoets.com/2021/06/08/poetics-take-a-risk/ strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
Autumn sees the trees
Losing greenery with leaves
Winter strips them bare
Autumn sees the trees
Losing greenery with leaves
Winter strips me bare
Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
Today I saw the sun come out
From behind a veil of rain
But still the drops
Fell all about
As rain fell just the same
The sunlight formed
Into golden shafts
Vapour lit illumination
The earth shattered the falling drops
I watched with fascination
To live simply is to lead a life uncomplicated by unnecessary things.
Fallen maple leaf
Colour faded to dull brown
Winter is coming
Fallen maple leaf
Together we fade to brown
Winter is coming
Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
there are many shades of orange there are many shapes of orange there are many types of orange there are many flavours of orange every day is an orange day the routine is largely the same my wife, who is always up before me puts out the half blood pressure tablet and magnesium for the terrible cramps maybe she worries I won't remember and she will suffer once again for my negligence it is the half tablet I cling to that half tablet as a perverse talisman of health ho ho only half I guffaw and say plenty of life in the old dog yet I hope but don't pray I grind to mill groats while the kettle goes on for 80 degrees of green tea to be taken from a thin light porcelain cup well, mug really beautifully decorated delightful indigenous flora always a pleasure to see to raise to my lips ah the little things ..... there is skim milk to get from the fridge and sultanas come from the cupboard under the bench to add to the oated groats oats sultanas and water to add to the microwave 120 seconds then stir 120 seconds once again while oats and tea rearrange molecular speed and structure on my behalf I transfer everything else from kitchen to table I set up for reading news, photography, email, poetry whatever takes my fancy on a given day I look out the windows across garden and creek across craggy old swamp gums and wattles to hillside pasture and hilltop sky to sunshine or rain or fog or frost occasionally to snow and I say to myself, "Ah, there it is". then I walk back to the fridge transfer an orange from the bottom drawer to face cutting board and knife every day is an orange day but not all orange days are the same valencias available in the warmer months can be quite unreliable anything from sweet and juicy to horribly dry and pithy I top and tail slice smoothly into quarters or sixths depending on what I can get my mouth around evaluating the internal quality of the fruit giving rise to the first pleasure or disappointment of the coming day the navels of the cooler months are more consistent at their best oozing sticky zesty tart juice across the cutting board following skilful bladed removal of the sometimes uncannily human like navel bulk usually in promise of a very good breakfast finale I look forward to my orange start to every day Full of all the goodness orange juice alone will always leave behind full of the possibility of each new day some days have their disappointments to be relegated to the compost bin some days have their nuisances with more seeds and pith to deal with than is preferable most start sweet and juicy and stay sweet and juicy all day long strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
Today’s d’verse poetic prompt came from Kim. She introduced us / me to Imtiaz Dharker’s poem “How to cut a pomegranate”.I loved it! See the link below. The challenge was to think of a fruit, how it looks before and after it has been cut open, and how it tastes. Think about where and how it grows, and what it makes you think of. You may choose to write a poem in the style of Imtiaz Dharker, or you can explore the fruit in another way and in any form you wish. Whichever you choose, your poem should appeal to the senses.
The dawning was a slow one we were fledglings of fear victims of illness, Children of Lir Number 1 was long strong. Her job to protect. Strong for a long while, until proven imperfect. Number 2 was a mess, times hard as hard for that little girl, our fractured shard. Number 3 was me. Death to the fiddle! Hate for love. None in the middle. Number 4 was Baby, always our most precious. Watching and suffering, the indiscriminate malice. Mother was mad as mad could be. Inside we knew, outside, none could see. House to school school to house all running scared each quiet as a mouse. Freezing bath water, heads held down. Gasping for breath. No sound, lest you drown. Smothered in cereal, honey as glue, naked on the floor kicked black and blue. We lost our only friend. Older sister on the verge. Took flight literally. Our life and death dirge. To young to know. To young to do. I first noticed the down while cowering, we few. Necks stealthily extended, to get a better view of punishment to come, forewarned by cue. Heads tucked under wings, to avoid each other’s pain. Our wings were getting stronger unobserved by our bane. Three remaining cygnets together finding voice seeking strength together, a transformative choice. Reddened eyes were normal, the feathers came next. Black, as our experience lengthened our graceful necks. Then came time to speak with red bloodied beaks making plaintive warning sounds ugly ducklings began to sneak. Eventually, we broke out of bounds, braved an outside world, the hurt, the rage, the hopelessness, to unravel and unfurl And when we told our story, of years of abuse and neglect, no one knew a thing out of privacy respect. Together we remain fragile. Together we remain strong. Together we mourn our sister. Grief upon hope upon wrong upon wrong. For Sinead O’Connor. Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
Mountains old worn down by time and weather Peaks smoothed Summits rounded Rocks broken to new beginnings Stones to gravel sand to granules dust to mud growth to decay decay to soil Inclined to slippage Declined to fertility Treacherous nurturing home of the tenacious Boon to the potency of flood plains Mountains old are so much more alive than the hard sharp ridges and strewn craggy defiles of the young
strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography
When I’m suffering you are comfort When I’m gross you are delicate When I’m angry you defuse When I falsely accept you refuse When I’m tired you are energy When I’m stupid you think for me When I’m injured you like to treat When I’m messy you are neat When I’m hard metal you are gossamer soft When I’m the basement you are the loft When I’m cold you wrap around When I’m noisy you make no sound When I’m down you cheer me up When I’m timid you play rough When my boat is sinking you bail me out When my voice is weak I hear you shout When I’m dull you are sharp When I’m empty you fill my heart When I fight you patch my wounds When I’m near reefs you take sounds When I’m defenceless you fortify When I am passive you defy When I make sense you mark my words When I don’t you shoot barbs When I sketch you paint our world When I'm straight you are curled When I’m at bottom you are the tops When I am crime you call the cops When I’m sweet you are sour as lemon When I’m sour you are sweet as heaven When there's rocks in my head you are sphagnum moss When I am matt finish you are gloss When I’m woodwork you are craft When we struggle you find a raft "You complete me" seanmathews.blog strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry
“You complete me” from Jerry Maguire1966, is my chosen quote to write to for this week’s d’verse prompt. Mish challenged d’verse poets to select a movie quote and incorporate it into a poem. https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/25/poetics-go-ahead-make-my-day/
I’m still drowning in the water of you
My feet can’t find the bottom
I don’t know what to do
It’s like all we’ve done’s forgotten
I know it was a blind step
A leap into the dark
When straight after we met
I let you leave your mark
Now I wonder what that time was worth
Those years since spent together
Now I give a wide berth
To your dark and stormy weather
I still don’t know you, I never did
What is it that I was missing?
Disappointment of which I’m never rid
A deflating balloon, ever hissing
When I reflect on you as a person
You’re surrounded by a wall
As I watched our relationship worsen
You never heard my drowning call
Was your silence about making a choice?
Or were you incapable and you couldn’t?
Could you not hear my pleading voice?
Everything about you said you wouldn’t
Did I simply miss you’re shallow?
Because I was always looking for the deep
Is it there was nothing to really know?
The wasted years make me want to weep
At the restaurants and footpath cafes diners drop what they are eating, push back their chairs and stand. Football supporters pour out of the MCG and troop up Batman’s Hill to the CBD in club colours, with streamers streaming, flags waving and an uneasy uncertainty about their walking out on the game. Blue singlet wearing drinkers abandon their beers to the yeasty, hop scented countertops, as pubs empty, spewing pot-bellied, stick legged staggerers and nicotine stained, leather skinned, emaciated smoker drunks into the gutters, the lanes, the roads and splashing back up onto the kerbs. Elegant wives, trophy wives and mistresses, high heeled, blow waved, coiffed, dyed and exquisitely buffed, pull down the hems of their brushed silk and linen form fitted shopping outfits as they rise from chaise lounges. They collect hand bags and shopping bags, then step into security guarded vestibules, before finally emerging from exclusive tailoring appointments to join a glamour procession down from the Collins St summit. Word has got around, curiosity brings out the inquisitive, the spruikers, the scavengers and those determined to report every experience to their co-dwellers in the virtual world. There is an irresistible pull on the minds of those interested in whatever might be happening and those interested in being able to say they were there regardless – something is going on. Whispers, tweets, messages and emails, texts, phone calls, video calls, even word of mouth, demand the attention of everyone in town. An unknown known compels complicity and participation. Worshippers abandon their God in the expectation of a religious experience, churches evacuate with pious clergy in tow fully expecting a miracle. Tourists disembark the free City Circuit tram, desert galleries and museums in droves, call taxis and Ubers for immediate pick up, sparing no expense on transport in an unfamiliar city, as long as they can get there ASAP. The toy shops spill small children out of their doorways, dragging parents bemused by this sudden passion for the outdoors, as the pitter patter of little feet turns into hard rain. Teenagers leave park benches and love bites half sucked, holding hands they cross the don’t walk on the grass lawns of springy spring greenery, hoping for a seminally significant event on which to reflect many years later in their relationship. Office staff lean out of windows. Those who have no window they can open press their faces against the glass to display flat fat cheeks and puckered lips full of teeth to the upturned faces of the ever swelling mass of onlookers below. As spectacles teeter on the ends of noses, computers whir away unattended while algorithms and AI action every last input before going to sleep in their very own digital dreamland. Politicians self-importantly stride down Bourke St from Parliament House looking like they know what is going on. And journalists wave mobile phones in the air, switched to record, in the hope of catching a bite for the evening news or the immediacy of online media, over the speculative hum and bustle of the real-world real-time growing multitude. There’s a poet reciting in Federation Square and they can’t stop him. He looks like an ordinary poet, but he hasn’t drawn breath for three hours and the laughter in the front rows has turned to weeping. His words and each inflection are overwhelmingly evocative, striking the perfect notes for heart felt emotion or humour, eliciting cries of fear, gasps of wonder, moans of misery or whimpering terror at any given moment. Listeners who can hear him are mesmerised as if by Sirens and someone calls the police for fear they might be losing their minds. There’s a poet reciting in Fed Square and they don’t want to stop him. The bookies are marking up a book on him and the TAB has various odds at when he will pause or cease. Gambling apps are rushing to find novelty angles to bet on like when will he make his first mispronunciation? The souvenir shops can’t understand why they aren’t doing a roaring trade in clip on koalas and water filled snow domes of the Melbourne Town Hall – where it never snows – and polyester tea towels depicting the coastal 12 Apostles that are hundreds of kilometres away. The police arrive in paddy wagons and on crowd control horses to find no crime has been committed. There is no disturbance. The city has simply come to a standstill. There is a poet reciting in Fed Square and they want to help him. They remove helmets, bullet proof vests and utility belts, down truncheons, scratch armpits, backsides and chins, gather in small groups, heads bowed toward each other and murmur speculatively about what to do. A police cordon forms organically around the poet so he can continue his recital without being crushed or disturbed by the ever increasing throng. They sit cross legged on the pavers in quiet communion with the people. The Commissioner offers his megaphone so everyone present can hear the phrasing waft through the air above their heads and feel it penetrate their very souls. Each stanza drops like a stone, soars like an eagle or infuses each being present with loving, soothing peace. Police disperse through the crowd to make sure everyone can hear. Hushing those too noisy, asking the more excited to please calm down. People up the back, hanging from light poles or too short to see are assisted by police to positions of access and comfort, reorganising the crowd into a tiered human amphitheatre of enthralled faces, ranked human shoulders and chests so full of heart each one feels it could burst. There is a poet reciting in Fed Square and he is finished. The poet bows his head once to the stilled crowd, gives them a smile of thanks, takes the one step necessary down from his reciting stool, picks it up and folds it flat against his knee. With stool gripped in his right hand he raises his left toward the east and the crowd parts before him as he walks, untouched, through silent lines that close behind him. A police officer raises an eyebrow in his direction, but he shakes his head. He is an ordinary poet who needs no escort to safely leave the place of his work and his work is done. The absolutely ordinary poet blends into the crowd, many see him fade, they try to follow, but he completely disappears. strathbogie poetry
Laura’s d’verse challenge was to select a favourite poet and write a poem either about them (indirect voice) or addressing them (direct voice). Here is the link if you want to give it a try: https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/18/poetics-poems-to-a-poet/
I chose to write a poem about the remarkable Australian poet Les Murray. I hope I honour him by adopting something of his style. Sadly, Les died last year.
Soft touch Soft lips Hug held Soft hips So precious So fine So perfect Sublime
I was asked to read the letters With my father and my sisters Written by my long dead mother Lost words faint as whispers He will struggle to see and read So sharing seems a good idea I will struggle to read and see There's hurt combined with fear Her pony tail her loving arms My sisters in her face - and me What will I learn of her aspirations All the things she wanted to be Sad blue of the paper blue of the pen Blue in each letter written back then There's blue in thinking about her again When will I recover I don't know when 51 years later grief can rise be real Camouflaged it waits in ambush The loss the pain once more I feel I have no trust in life Maybe one day I'll let this blue sadness go Release it to an infinitely clear blue sky I'll stand tall throw back my arms and head And no longer suffer what if or why
A response to a d’verse challenge from Sarah that coincides with an often unexpected recurring sadness / blueness https://dversepoets.com/2021/05/11/blue-tuesday/
I use writing to try to interpret the world around me and understand it better.
I use photography to try to see the world in new ways.
I knew fear
When the bully turned his attention to me
When his sneer settled into a satisfied smirk
Accompanied by a condescending glare
Comprised of evil glints behind the blackest of eyes
and a palpably hot internal furnace of anger
He knowingly appraised me
He looked into my very soul
He asked himself the unspoken questions
only I should have known the answers to,
but he determined in a instant
What vulnerability lies here?
What weakness can I exploit
to the point of causing immediate pain
terrible ongoing hurt?
I became a victim
I let him use my own low self esteem
as the leverage necessary to do me harm
To render me powerless to resist
To enable me to damage myself even further
To punish myself for allowing
the damage to be done
I became complicit
in my own degradation and misery
With no one to blame but myself
The curve and swing of shapely hip
Inclines my eye to stray aslip
Invites a touch a lover’s grip
That pulls you in for ear lobe nip
My hand upon your rising chest
Tells me how deep you are at rest
The rate and depth of rise and fall
Is enough to tell a lover all
The fingertips that stroke my back
Are fingertips with lover’s knack
For tantalising or powerful pressure
To change a mood for love or leisure
My lips upon your upraised mouth
As tongues flicker lightly about
Full and soft moist and wet
I cannot forgo I’ll ne’er forget
The foot that strokes my leg in bed
Before we sleep each night has said
With this caress I love you each night
A touch confirming love’s delight
The cheek that absorbs teardrops weight
Is the cheek I brush for comfort’s sake
At the pleasure of our love’s great joy
At grief’s sadness when loss employs
My response to Lillian’s d’verse challenge to write a poem in a modern form called the Puente. The first and third stanza must have an equal number of lines and be connected by a second stanza bridging line demarked by the tilde. https://dversepoets.com
We dreamed of a bridge to adulthood
When we bought a house looking good
We’d settle as a family
My wild days behind me
Having scrimped and saved all we could
~the bridging finance broke us~
The deposit we mustered and paid
The lender suspiciously delayed
We were soon out of pocket
Bridging costs on the docket
Lost the house and felt quite betrayed
When the last butterfly flutters by your seat on the grass When the sun moves overhead in one more timeless pass When the creek’s empty water flows by and on When the creatures of the bush all around you have gone Will you sit and reflect on what could have been When you knew it was coming it had been foreseen Will you ask why you didn’t when there was time and you could While you sat on the grass thinking I must then I should
It was the idea I loved. But, first came the words. The words were, “A winding track.” The words became the idea. The idea developed.
The idea of a two wheel dirt track ahead. It winds up a wooded hillside in the golden hour of late afternoon. This romantic winding track, no destination in sight, no point of origin, beckons. It’s mystery entices.
So, I now find myself travelling this track. I’m leaving things behind and I am excited by the unknown destination ahead. I am savouring the journey.
Savouring, now there’s a word! A word to savour. A word begets an idea, begets a reality.
Ah, here is the real joy, the savouring. The pleasure in the journey, the exciting anticipation of getting there. Wherever there may be.
I sit on my green cane chair The best chair for thinking It is outside It has the advantage of being in a good place A verandah from which there is much to see Even if the weather is cold it is in the right position because the wind slides past laterally In this chair you can avoid confronting winds of change You can sit here for a long time confident you won’t have to move or make way for someone or something You can watch all sorts of things unfold from this chair Insects birds animals people the day the night the light Seasons pass you by I unfold from this chair This is a sitting for thinking chair It gives access to great scope for thought A matching cane table stands by this chair It is for all the paraphernalia I choose to utilise for observation and thinking for research recording and writing Endless cups of tea Vegemite and salad rolls Fruit nuts stacks of books Pens paper Camera iPad and phone Background noises surrounding this chair are soothing Creek water tumbling over rocks An irregular breeze wafting at leaves Morning song birdsong evensong Another nice sound I often hear from this chair is children playing Always happy to be outside In cooler months running along the bush track In summer swimming in the waterhole by the bridge or excitedly calling to each other as they splash about amongst the cascades You need to wear a brimmed hat sitting in this chair regardless of the season This is to shade your eyes from the northerly and westering sun To balance the glare against the shadows on the surface you are working on This chair has soft cushions for the seat and for the back They rest against its structure of bent cane It is a very good fit You can sit for a long time before needing to move However, the arms of this chair are narrow They may confine you to a limited range of positions This has the advantage of forcing movement This state of affairs is conducive to constructive thinking by prompting physical activity around the house along the verandah in the garden along the creek Such activity can be necessary to continue to be effective A mental activity reset New approaches come with a reset Quite often they are so new you get a pleasant surprise This is because you didn’t know they were there within you beforehand Another way to reset is change the scene move this chair to the edge of the verandah or reorientate A different outlook New space New thinking You have to remember to take the cushions in every evening to stop them getting damp They get tired and worn They are due for a new skin Just like me This chair is exposed to the elements One day it won’t be there I wonder will another chair be so generous?
Breathe with the moment
Focus the eye
Tune the ear
when poems are nigh
To experience afar
Adventure and romance
Illumination of stars
Poems are companions
For very good reason
For poets are adventurers
Beyond bounds of the seasons
Beyond bounds of the earth
No measure of their worth
Can keep words from welling
Can restrain the work of telling
They convey feelings through
the art of painting with words
Not read before not seen or heard
Beautiful weavings that awaken our hearts
To the emotions of others who cannot impart
Anonymous poems from times immemorial
Modern poems with layers to peel
Poetry is the magic carpet
Flying to places unknown
Ride on the carpet and know you have grown
These characters are buffoons.
Full of laughter they rail at you.
Carping and harping blaming all.
Innocent of everything when the law calls
Dangerous in their own special way.
Ready to trick and seize the day.
Yet by their pompous humorous demeanour.
You’d think all would have seen it sooner.
The vile attempts at undermining.
The rotten values they’ve been hiding.
Self confident enough to infect the masses.
Rich enough to corrupt all classes.
Replete in vanity self-declared divine.
So full of shit they make shit shine.
Larger than life with seismic crows.
Ready (not) to be the one big (side)show.