Blunt pencils, rose-sprigged cup

Ravening through the persistent bric-a-brac

Of blunt pencils, rose-sprigged coffee cup

Postage stamps, stacked books’ clammed and yawp,

Neighbourhood cockerel – all nature’s prodigal backtalk,

The vaulting mind

Snubs  impromptu spiels of wind

And wrestles to impose

Its own order on what is…

“On the difficulty of conjuring up a Dryad”, Sylvia Plath

Where did you think this scene was set? Initially I thought it must be a desk in Islington, overlooking one of the squares, and then I thought of the mid western prairies…

The still explosions

The still explosions on the rocks,

the lichens, grow

by spreading, gray, concentric shocks.

They have arranged to meet

the rings around the moon, although

within our memories they have not changed.

And since the heavens will attend

as long on us,

you’ve been, dear friend,

precipitate and pragmatical;

and look what happens. For Time is

nothing if not amenable.

The shooting stars in your black hair

in bright formation

are flocking where,

so straight, so soon?

— Come, let me wash it in this big tin basin,

battered and shiny like the moon.

Elizabeth Bishop, “Shampoo”.

You flew

Lynette #1

you flew once
over mount taranaki

and landed
on fanthams peak
before the snow fell

all over your city
and when they looked up
they thought they saw an angel

but it was just you on your way home
from the supermarket and your feet needed a rest

(Faith Wilson)

Awakening of the insects

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar was divided into twenty-four solar terms (jieqi), and like the strict rules governing the seasonality of Japanese haiku themes, each one had its own mood, poems and sayings. In early spring, usually early March, there is the awakening of the insects, a time of life and hope:

Spring approaches, bringing timely rains

Early thunder, erupting from the east

Hibernating animals, hidden but shocked awake.

Plants and trees, across the land, slowly open up.

Tao Yuanming, 4th century

Regal of tempo and temper


Troppo Allegro

Remember seasons? Seem to recall those once were easier
Reasonably sequenced, regal of tempo and temper,
Reliable change flipped heads-over-tails each quarter
Recovering the hemisphere with four fine suits, knock-off designer.

Recently, someone shuffled, cut the deck into disorder:
Relapse, tic, hiccup, snap, weeks issued like hipster
Rediscoveries…join the club! No closer
Reading required to diagnose this crazy weather…

The start of Christopher Spaide’s “Recycler” and a kitchen sink drawing by Lucinda Rogers. I quite like non music things that reference music; here “troppo allegro” means too fast. I think the kitchen sink anchors it.

At the lounge of everything

When we arrive at the lounge of everything
with our bags
handfuls of earth   the lives of our grandparents
in our memory devices
we expect an exchange of sorts, that is what
we expect
and I think everyone deep down expects
that we will not turn back
Through a high window we will connect stars
like line drawings
translate the sparkles of the poet
we will
sign the fascinating mouth of the speaker
we will sing
lyrics that someone thought were pretty good
we will sing them
and we will not turn back   we will not

Anne Kennedy’s The Arrivals