Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tuesday Poem - 20th day by Graham Nunn

20th day

on the couch we lie
heart to heart, as sleep
buttons you to my chest

and though my body
aches, I dare not move
this climate we share

so intimate: slow
synch of heartbeats
as our rivers converge

I heard Graham read some of his new book – The First 30 and other poems – at Geelong Library and it was quite something. Such tenderness, such sureness of tone. The First 30 is a poem a day written after the birth of his son. And what a beautiful cover! 

Available from Another Lost Shark Publications.

If you want to read more Tuesday Poems click on the quill icon at the top.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Ornithology by Natasha Dennerstein


In his tombstone hour she elevated him through
the radio, her fantail chirrups and twirbles.
All washed up he was, ready to check out
when an avian voice penetrated his fug. “This

is going out to everyone,” it sung; he
thought 'Does that mean me, too?' then put
down the gun, the can of petrol, the lighter
and ripped the note into a million pieces and

on his long-haul flight the soundtrack was Bic
(she kept the passengers blissful, quiet). In
France there was La M├┤me Piaf and here,
there was alchemy and a golden Bic and

from her wax eye did leak a platinum tear
and from her beak did pour a string of pearls.

Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne of a family originating in Poland and Russia. She is currently living and studying in Wellington. She has been a psychiatric nurse for twenty years, which has given her an interesting perspective on the human condition and has been writing creatively most of her adult life.
Dennerstein says: “I have always admired the singer Bic Runga: chirpy and dark simultaneously. I was inspired to write a sonnet, not in praise of her, but celebrating her sound and her aesthetic. Any nature poetry or poems praising beauty that I write end up having a can of petrol in them, or the equivalent. I can’t help it: I am made that way.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tuesday Poem - The Hard Shards of Class by Peter Lach-Newinsky

The Hard Shards of Class

Devising figments to temper his nothingness.
-          Samuel Beckett, ‘Company’

So much, he thinks, felling & furrowing,
blasting & wiring into the hard body
of this land till we forced out its food.

Now we’re fat as slugs or locust plagues
in a rainy spring, as the train speeds on
to Cootamundra. Why do the folks

milling on the platform fill him
with sudden sadness, taught awareness
of his lazy paunch? Maybe it’s just

the Beckett on his lap, the train lunch,
dun poverty, hardness of faces used
to yakka, biff & debt as he is not

cosy & looking out of smeary glass
like a class voyeur into hardiplank
yards filled with rusting cans & cars

flagpoles, a boat far from navigable
rivers or liberating sea. The train
creeps past. Trapped in bodies, history,

class & always some infernal glass
between himself, them, him, a mirror
refracting hard shards of inside out.

Next stop: Harden.

I got to launch Peter Lach-Newinksy's new book Requiem (Picaro Press) at Collected Works in Melbourne last week. And I chose to read this poem because I have travelled many times on the train to Melbourne from the Southern Highlands where Peter still lives, and between Yass Junction and Cootamundra is the station called Harden. My mind has played with that name many times. I also like the station called The Rock. You know it is coming up when you look out of the window and see the bloody big rock.