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written at Life Before Death,  Poetry Workshop with Paul Collis, 17 April 2019

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

 

Dead possum

Dead thylacine

Dead people

How to be alive

even when dead

How to continue

with no story

no land

How should I bury

the dead possum

in my front garden

How to show respect

How is it that today

this very day

there is death at my door

and on the radio

a program on

environmentally appropriate burial

listening while on my way

to Life Before Death

a poetry workshop

 

We need to change everything

The way we live

The way we die

The thylacine

could not change

trapped by invasion

The koala

cannot change

trapped by deforestation

We are trapped

By coal

By corporate greed

By subservient politicians

We are trapped

But trying to break free

 

Young people on strike

Urging us to escape

To do so requires change

and the changelessness

of indigenous cultures

who lived

with the land

with the animals

with the plants

with the rivers

Too late for that

But we must break out

And go back down

Down down

into the deep past

Embrace the deep past

For a renewed future

 

I do not know how

to bury

the dead possum

in my front garden

Perhaps I will learn today

The thylacine will teach me

Thank you for the lesson

I hope I have learned

Dead possum found in my front garden

 

Musical instruments from Kenya

Post script:

I did bury the possum

I read this poem.

I dug a hole in my front garden.

I used music makers from Africa

to send the possum on its way.

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

Please check out my other blog about the

novel I’m writing.  https://familyandfiction.com/

Thank you!

 

 

 

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Thank you for your generosity to let me read your poems and take delight in your photos and sketches.

 

You have the sensitivity and ability to catch the moment, in sparse words and sparse strokes.

 

I understand it is a joy to have  these gifts, like having a secret drawer in your desk.

 

Eva

Sweden

 

 

 

Silence Spoken is available at a discount on http://www.lulu.com

or full price on Amazon.

Thank you Eva and all the people who have given me feedback.

Much appreciated

Greetings!

Welcome to feedback on my book of poems and drawings, Silence Spoken.

 

I am enjoying reading your poems and I like your sketches very much. You have experienced so much in your life. Your words are an eloquent expression of your suffering, joy, awareness and appreciation of the natural world. The book is very attractively designed and printed. Congratulations on publishing it!

Anne, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

You can purchase Silence Spoken at http://www.lulu.com (discounted price) or on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  Thanks!

22 September 2017

Poetry on the Move, the festival of poetry sponsored by the University of Canberra ended yesterday.  A week of poetry and poems and poets… Delicious.

In between poetry readings, I wrote two very short poems. The first one was just after I left an evening session and was walking through the campus back to my car.  The second was right after a poetry reading.

•  •   •  •   •   •   •   •

talking to myself

walking to myself

thinking to myself

looking to myself

watching to myself

singing to myself

jumping to myself

leaping to myself

speaking to myself

asking to myself

learning to myself

telling to myself

forgiving to myself

•     •     •    •    •   •   •

Pamela at Boodoree National Park, ACT, Australia

•   •   •   •   •   •   •

time jumping

space splitting

heart thumping

mind shifting

head shaking

breath escaping

word singing

poetry emerging

 

Cleaning house

expecting guests

Finding

drawings

under the bed

in the closets

Drawings from

Beijing China

bamboo

mountains

crabs

fish

Ink Drawing fish 228

Ink drawing bamboo practice 227

Ink Drawing Crabs 226

Oakland California

boats

buildings

Lake Merritt

Ink Drawing Oakland port 239

Lake Merritt Pen drawing 232

Mendocino California

sea

rocks

trees

Mendocino 243

Shidu China

cliffs

train tunnel

bridge

Shidu ink drawing

Drawings saved

yet lost

to memory

If no one sees them

do they exist?

 

How is it that

I have been drawing

and writing poems

most of my life

and yet

I don’t remember

I keep them

but don’t show them

to anyone

Did I draw that?

Did I write that?

Surprise

 

•   •   •   •   •   •   •   •  •

footnote:

Before finding more and more drawings and poems, under the bed, in closets, in cupboards, I recently published a selection of poems and drawings, entitled Silence Spoken. Available on www.lulu.com 

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.44.14

Bike riding at night

from the cinema

through the summer

warmth radiating

from the road

from the ground

Bringing smells

latent in the day

powerful in the night

Smells of

grass growing

leaves decaying

night jasmine

Remembering

the joy

the peace

the security

of night riding

while a child

 

My bike

My bike

I stand watch

in Australia

waiting for a reply

from Nairobi

Relaxed and tense

all at once

Tense from the

pain of empathy

watching a film

about Alan Turing

The murder of a great mind

Murdered for being different

Murdered despite ending a war

Murdered despite saving millions of lives

Different in his thinking

his communication

and his sexuality

 

I stand watch

Drinking wine

Reading Poems from the Chinese

Love and the Turning Year

Greedily drinking down the wine

and the poems

Inebriated by the emotions

the images

the poetry

More than the wine

I stand watch

Poems from the Chinese

Poems from the Chinese

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