What Happened Out There, Out in the Garden?

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Stephanie was out in the garden, chasing chooks out of the vegetable patch. She was some way from us, out on the back porch, so I was surprised that she responded to something I said.

“Yes. I remember when …” and then her voice seemed to get swallowed up.

”What’s that?” I said.

But she stood there helplessly waving her hands as if signalling to us to disregard what she had to say and to carry on our conversation. We did and when my friend left, Stephanie came over and sat beside me.

“What happened out there?” I asked. “Out in the garden?”

“What I was about to say got swallowed up,” she said.

“Like in a sinkhole?” I said. They had been in the news lately.

“Like in a sinkhole.”

“It’s all right,” I said. “Tell me when you remember.”

Another Failed Dragonfly Poem

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I used to go down to the pond at the end of our street to write poems about dragonflies the way Monet would go down to his garden at Giverny to paint water lilies.

 

The only difference was that dragonflies didn’t stay still like waterlilies did. They dashed and darted about the pond at 100 ks an hour. Even when they had sex they had it on the wing coupling like planes fueling mid- flight. You had to admire them though they were devilish to tie down.

 

I almost got one once when a dragonfly dawdled on the front doorknob one drowsy afternoon, after summer rains, then saw me and took off, its gossamer wings flashing rainbows.

 

Too Much

 

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It’s a good day, I said, the sun angling through the red gums hooking our attention.

I don’t know, he said, Friday was pretty impressive too  [referring to the hailstorm]

then he looked at me, knowing I’m a poet, and said, you gunna write about it?

& I said, without thinking, when I get time, Mark, when I get time

& I thought about it afterwards, how you could write about almost anything at all

even the least bit startling — a rock maybe metamorphosing into a frog, the hurtle of creekwater rounding a bend, a screech of cockatoos tearing up the sky

there’d be so many you wouldn’t know where to stop. You’d be writing all day

& the night would hold some surprises too — a spider abseiling down a branch,  a fuchsia sunset or a blood moon, the soft sounds of love —-

everything offering itself into words: there’d be no end to it; in the end you’d have to

avert your eyes, close your mind, do what you were told never to do and NOT listen

to the Muse; only then would you get some peace, the world so ablaze with glory

the problem is not too little but too much.

 

is that the problem with your writing — too much to write about?

or is it writers’ block?

how do you deal with it?

 

I Never Heard It Coming

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We’d just got back from the beach.

I pulled out a book, she put on a CD.

Peaceful, floaty music.

Music to paddle-board to.

But then it changed.

The tempo picked up, the violinists

Played furiously

Like The Two Cellos playing AC/DC.

It was ‘Winter’ by Vivaldi.

I thought, what’s there to get worked up about

With Winter?

Spring, yes, but Winter?

Sluggish, soporific Winter.

But those violins were working up a storm.

You do get storms in winter —gusts, gales, blizzards.

I wanted to get up and fight someone.

Bloody Vivaldi.

One minute I was paddle boarding, the next

I was tumbling in the wild surf.

You just can’t trust classical music.

 

have you ever come across a piece of music, rock or classical, that changes stride suddenly and drastically?

 

 

The Cat and the Canary

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The cat had just killed a canary.

Bad, bad cat, said the bird lover who was staying at my place for the weekend.

Easy, I said, Remember what happened at the restaurant last night when you ordered barramundi for the first time and complained it was too fishy?

Yes. So?

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi for being a fish as to castigate a cat for killing a canary.

Sexual Predator

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“No rest for the innocent”, she sighs —

As she looks out the back door.

 

“Looks like he’s raping her again.

He’s as randy as Harvey Weinstein”.

.

“For fuck’s sake, they’re blackbirds,” I say.

.”How anthropomorphic can you get?

 

And anyway, all things being eventual.

The act might well be consensual.”