Spent

Now it is spent and lying limp

and placid at my feet —

a contentment of inky blue

but the other day if you

could have seen it bucking

with energy , flailing its

wild hair and arching its back

[ sea mountains surfers abseiled

down ] you would not have been

surprised to see it thrust

its loins again and again against

the soft white dunes nor after

to see the body of the foreshore

bruised and torn nor its rump

so foam wracked .

pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels

Forrest Gander

If I were to change my name

I would change it to something

light and leafy like Forrest Gander,

the name of the poet whose poem ‘Pastoral’

I am reading now: ‘swarms of midges

bobbed up and down like balled hairnets

in the breeze’; nothing blunt and earthy,

like his nearest namesake, Forrest Gump

would write; but ethereal; I see he has a degree

in ecology and was born in the Mojave Desert,

all part of the grand design; his photo

portrays him, smiling, upstanding, arms outspread

as if ready to take off on another flight of whimsy.

photo courtesy of Ulle

Bee Music

I am sitting down reading to the drone of bees.

A copy of the TLS lies open on my knees.

We must get a frizzle on, my partner exclaims

Apropos of nothing then goes off again

To attend the roast, while I attend to the Times.

There’s a lost poem by Hardy which clumsily rhymes.

A frizzle or two? Whatever can she mean?

I scratch my head then read once again.

I take another sip of my beloved cab sav

While she takes a pee in the outdoor lav.

Berating a Barramundi

We were talking about Milly, Bev’s cat

who had just butchered a baby blackbird

when Rob went feral.

I have never liked cats, he said. They should be locked up. Murderers all.

Go easy, I said. You ever eat at a restaurant?

Of course, he said.

Ever ordered a barramundi?

Often.

Ever sent it back because it was too fishy?

No, of course not.

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi

for being a fish

as to castigate a cat

for being feline.

Out-Foxed

the nefarious cat

is taken back

the nest so

cleverly concealed

in a thicket

of thorns

& prickles

there is little

she can do

but sigh —-

and eat

humble pie

  • photo courtesy of Ulle Haddock

How to Catch a Seagull

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My grandmother taught me

how to catch a seagull .

All you had to do, she said,

was to sneak up

behind one and sprinkle salt

on its tail .

How this was supposed to work

or what to do with it

when you caught one —

she never explained

but I tried it a few times .

I went down to the beach

with a salt shaker

and sneaked up behind some gulls

squabbling over chips

but one of them

always saw me coming .

It doesn’t work, I told grandma

but she always stuck to her story

but now I take it with a pinch

of salt .

 

 

john malone

Out on the Moors Again

ilkley-moor-yorkshire-england-uk-1487442596omS

She’s reading the graphic novel Donna had accidentally left from her last visit. It’s Wuthering Heights. She’s unfamiliar with the format but rather relishes the art work that captures the violence and energy of the original.

Outside in the garden she is listening to the wind picking up, whining and whimpering like a dog that’s been shut out in the cold and she’s out on the moors again with Cathy and Heathcliff, her wild grey hair escaping from a loose bun.

 

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?

 

The Cat and the Canary

canary

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.