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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Middlemarch Stone House (poem)

Struggling through waist high
reeds by a small creek
on wild paddocks in
Middlemarch outside of
Dunedin in New Zealand

to tramp our way
to a derelict deserted house
built with irregular sized stones
stone on top of stone to
weather the storms
and as shelter from sunshine.

Oh generations of sheep
have sheltered here,
their pellet-size poo
melting and binding together
to create a soft flooring
and a rich aroma. Hessian
hangs tattered on what's left
of walls, so history sends
its own vibes down the years,
sheep bleating in the fields.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Waitangi Day, Wellington, NZ

Waitangi Day - NZ - celebrating the country's treaty with the British in 1840.Today they were celebrating less with the Australian cricket team winning an ODI in Wellington. You win some, you lose some. We saw the first rat-eaten pages of the original in the Government Archives, air conditioned and under glass. It's a public holiday here for Waitangi Day yet volunteers ran the archives in their own time. All peoples represented here among the archivists.

Here tonight in fair weather we had a barbecue with our host's friends. We struck such a rich vein of dialogue with a poetry-writing psychologist and his poetry-loving wife ... so we read and shared poems and favourite poets quoting poems and stories for hours. Oh isn't it wonderful the way people are placed in our path as we stumble along!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Situations Vacant: ABR Internship

ABR Jan-Feb issue cover smaller for online

Australian Book Review seeks a highly motivated Editorial Intern to fill our seventh paid editorial internship (worth $45,000 p.a.). This is a full-time position over fifteen months (until the end of June 2017) – a rare opportunity in the industry. An editing/publishing degree/diploma or equivalent publishing experience is essential. We seek applications from those with professional editorial skills, energy and initiative. Applicants must be confident and adaptable in using digital technologies and programs. The Intern will participate in all activities of the magazine, with a particular emphasis on ABR Online. Some experience in publishing or retail is advantageous.

Applications close Monday, 29 February. The Intern will start work in March 2016.

Visit our website for more information and a detailed position description

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

poem #33 (i think)

“everything has a meaning, or nothing has” Roland Barthes


As I was spreading sand beneath the tree, I noticed a small nail hammered at an angle into the fork. It was a flowering jacaranda and I worried for its growth, so between my fingers and my toes I felt a twinge, like a nail went in, hammered by a young boy practicing his carpentry skills. My mind played with this image as I swung the next spade full of sand, no longer humming a tune.


And now a soft paw of my dog walks on a crossing snail - so another snail about 5 centimetres away went into his shell. It seems everything has its effect on something else.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Villanelle at Bridgeguard Blog - Jane Williams


I simply wished to look upon a face –
you paused mid-sweep and gave me back my smile,
a simple thankyou doesn’t make first base.

Distracted by the pull of thing and place,
of church and bridge, of endless greening miles,
I simply wished to look upon a face

and there you were, presenting yours with grace.
This path you’ve cleared, I might yet walk awhile,
a simple thankyou doesn’t make first base.

Though history leaves fine lessons in its trace,
the changes on the human map beguile.
I simply wished to look upon a face

and so you let me, nothing left to waste.
Such beauty in your unassuming style,
a simple thankyou doesn’t make first base.

You held my hand and then you held my gaze,
a photograph to store in memory’s file.
I simply wished to look upon a face.
A simple thankyou doesn’t make first base.

Alwyn Marriage at Mattie Furphy House (Western Australia)

FAWWA and WA POETS INC present
with Alwyn Marriage

Please join us on Wednesday 3 February for a night of poetry with visiting UK poet, Alwyn
Marriage. Alwyn will be sharing some of her work, as well as her insights on the UK poetry

There will also be a showcase of local poets reciting their chosen works. Wine and cheese

Alwyn’s poetry is widely published in magazines and anthologies, and four of her eight
published books have been poetry collections. She has won and been placed in a number of
competitions, held Poet in Residence posts with Ballet Rambert and with the Winchester
Arts Festival and been awarded an international Rockefeller scholarship in Bellagio, Italy.

Alwyn is currently Managing Editor of Oversteps Books, holds a research fellowship at the
University of Surrey, and gives readings all over Britain and abroad. Previously she has been
a university lecturer, chief executive of two international literature and literacy NGOs and
Editor of a journal.

Visit for more information.

Venue: Mattie Furphy House, cnr Clare Copse and Kirkwood Road, Swanbourne
Entry cost: $10 FAWWA and WAPI members, $15 non-members

Thursday, January 28, 2016

News that stays News - poem 28

If you donate blood every day, you may feel weak.

I pinned her down like a rare butterfly, but still she flew.

Live and free, January 28.

The more water there is, the more danger of the virus spreading.

"... The US is calling for urgent action."

Love and life and death – themes of our daily bread.

Our Daily Bread - poem by AB

What ingredients mix well for a good poem?
To whip up a froth I open Windows, pour myself
a coffee, and listen to jazz on the player.

A little spice more. Her bra hangs on the door,
all lace and silk. Super realism catches in my throat

– it is a Monk turn of phrase, the same old 88
but sung so many ways! We have tongues and talk

in 26 character clusters, rhythm section
from our hearts to the roof of our mouth.

Love and life and death – themes of our daily bread.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bee's Tit

Life is a concept album
As summer breezes dust off
the holding yards,
North stays steady in a storm.

We rarely complete our plans.

It’s a game of millimetres,
of a bee’s tit.  Where
you came from

takes you to where
you go: from dust
to dust.

to us with confidence,
is the undertaker’s slogan.

When they dropped Father’s coffin
Father would have liked that.
He was good at pointing out
mankind’s failings.

The undertaker’s man
had a corked thigh
from footy. But

the show must go on,
etcetera.  Let us
speak in the present tense.
(Now is a loaded word.)