To the Avocado Who Swam the Good Fight

 

While sleeping, the river
crept into Rocklea
entered cucumber coldrooms
and banana gas chambers.

A waterproof Haas treading
the warehouse swamp for days
kept its head up like an instinct
sensing rest in an elbow of steel racking.

4000psi shuddering skeletons
a billion bees drumming the rest
of life to silence.

Through mist, dank light
a cold room wall
brought back to bone.

4000psi shuddering steel racking
stripped of pallets, flesh
of fruit and vegies steaming
in a pile of January sun.

Another avocado trapped above
my head, the forgotten dead
hanging just below high tide.

4000psi shuddering
this hanger back to 4 deg
in a few days, filling
with new fruit.

This is the poem I read at the Ekka and at the open mic at QPF recently.  Let me know what you think.  I’m still not completely settled on it.  Happy National Poetry Week to all.

Queensland Poetry Festival – Spoken In One Strange Word

My head is still buzzing with their words.  Cracking poets (and musicians) graced the stages of the Judith Wright Centre over last weekend.  Here are a few of my highlights.  Before I do, this is my 100th post, which is some kind of milestone and also means I’m a bit irregular at blogging but the QPF marks 1 year since I ran into the poetry community here in Brisbane.  I’ve met amazing poets, ridden a steep learning curve about all things poetry and it felt like a bit of a celebration to read one of my poems at the Ekka recently.   I also read at the open mic event at QPF last Sunday.  Stoked is this Pied Hill Prawns.  Anyway (some of) my highlights:

Max Ryan -It was great to see Max again and here him read from his work.  I particularly enjoy Journey of The Beatles fan about a trip down to Sydney to see JohnPaulGeorgeRingo.  Everytime I hear it I’m on that bus with all the anticipation.  Check out an interview with Max over at Another Lost Shark

Aidan Coleman’s sharp images had me frozen in my chair and wanting to jump up and yell ‘Yeah!’ at the same time.  He read some pieces from his first book Avenues and Runways and work from his new book Asymmetry to be released next year.  The new work covers a particularly heavy period in life when Aidan had a stroke.  One poem that stood out (and I hope I have the title correct) was A prayer for my right hand.  I can’t wait for the release of Asymmetry.  There is also an interview with Aidan over at Another Lost Shark – well worth the read and a good place to look out for Asymmetry.

It was great to meet Ashley Capes after some online contact over the past year.  I really enjoyed him reading some of his haiku which just so happens to be on video over at his blog – check it out: Ashley Capes

Sawako Nakayasu wowed us with hamburgers and ant poems.  Yes ant poems.  Here’s a youtube reading of two ant poems.  I hope she records some more or releases a cd with her book coming out soon. 

There are so many other poet’s work I have bouncing around in my head including the political poems of Australian poet in residence  Sandra Thibodeaux, Qld’s poet in residence Jacob Polley (loved hearing him read Smoke) and WA poet and celloist Kevin Gillam.  I will never forget an impromptu performance by Marissa Allen and Kevin playing violin and cello to finish off Marissa’s reading. 

I’ll post the poem I read at the Ekka and open mic soon.  A flood poem I’ve taken some time to work on since January.  In the mean time I have plenty of purchased poetry from the event I need to attend to.  Cheers QPF