Graham Nunn (Another Lost Shark) led us on a ginko (a haiku walk) on Sunday. Here are some of the local Brisbane poets and our haiku here:
Those good people over at Stilts have featured Graham Nunn, a few of my friends and myself so if you have a moment click over there to check it all out. Stilts
Make sure you check out Chloë Callistemon’s poems and have a listen to her read her piece [If we could speak between. Chloe
Here’s a link to my poems Wagtail and other poems
Have a great Friday.
With his enriching sequence The First 30 Graham Nunn continues to mould a place for his own form of optimism. In contemporary poetry the big ticket trio of family, love and innocence have become surprisingly difficult terrain in an ever-knowingworld. Harvesting the thoughts around his firstborn, Nunn approaches this ‘trio’ with natural sincerity underpinned with a hint of undamaged irony – mixing gravity and amazement in the right measure. He builds a shelter of words around the central hearts in his life; leaving enough space to welcome the reader as an intimate witness.
That zero year is the publication of work Tiggy and I have collaborated on over the past year. It deals with all things parenting and kids, hits raw nerves in places and I’m stoked to be placing it out there for readers to enjoy. I love what these three brilliant poets have to say and feel truly blessed to have their words donning the back cover:
From the sudden weight of Thirteen weeks to the biting complaints of Fishing, That zero year screams with joy. These poems form a dialogue of love and loss; unpicking stitches in the family weave to welcome us to the bedside table of these most private moments. Here, we witness breath-taking devastation – the missing knee in the chest, the remembered rub of a belly – and wide-eyed wonder – a smile wriggled through to the toes. That zero year is an unflinching celebration of breath and blood. Phillips and Johnson know what it is to be alive and we are richer for it.
This collection is like an unsuspecting orientation manual, uniting what appears to be uncomplicated materials, recognisable motifs, familiar situations and mapped out structures but, in all reality, holds the weight of ten sinking cities and leads me back to that Talking Heads lyric, ‘how did I get here?’
As reflections on domestic life and the intimacy of family, these are fine poems. But as portraits of loss, love, and grief, and of what happens in the months and years that follow tragedy, they are vivid, unflinching, and beautiful.
The home midwife
She pulls up in a hatchback,
carries her leather case swollen
with years in and out of waters
a little vial of rose oil
and herbs transferred through bellyskin
to help the body yawn.
She walks down a hallway
to brew a pot of raspberry leaf,
fennel, singing nettle
and chats between the heavy breaths,
makes a joke about stir frying the placenta
but doesn’t laugh.
No phone code or knife sharpening
for spine on spine, head up bottom down
or umbilical wrapped around the neck
she has whispering hands;
chinese point massage to coach
an aquatic half somersault
and unfurl the ribbon.
She reads faces too
guides a father’s hands
to be in on the magic of catching skin
slippery as water
it’s a black art
to let a baby happen
in your living room.
the brisbane eye turns
with the tide
I’ve been a Pied Hill Prawn. Not all business, some pleasure, and holidays. More on that later. Speedpoet’s went well. I think. I wasn’t in the audience so hard to say. I had a ball anyway. It was fun reading my poems and the haiku/senryu set with Sheish was sweet. Sheish played harmonica between each ku. A cleansing of the palate between images. Loved it. Thanks for those who came out especially to support and there were those Speedpoet’s regulars in the audience who were very encouraging. Cheers.
I’ve been participating in Ginko walks for the past few Sundays. It’s put on by the Queensland Writers Centre and lead by haiku poet Graham Nunn of Another Lost Shark. Check out this link to the group’s haiku from Kurilpa Bridge. Hop around Graham’s recent posts to see some anxious poetry about waiting for their baby to decide to head out.
Here is a poem from my recent time with the family down at the Tweed Coast.
The car park is a long piece of gravel
feet are light and the nylon line
must be cast for them. Patience catches
nothing half way through a tide
that encouraging nibble
would be nice. Their fish is given up
for casting stones into the river. Heavy
sinkers are found at the bottom
of the box. Another hour of biting
complaints and the car park is a long piece of gravel.
Confit Bistro buzzed last night with Jack Kerouac’ poetry and haiku read by Graham Nunn and Julie Beveridge, Cindy Keong reading her own poetry from her Tanzania trip last year and Sheish Money and Jane Sheehy playing their own brand of poetic riffs on guitar and keys. Here’s a haiku I wrote during one of Sheish’s songs:
could have been under the sink –
Some poet friends of mine have been participating in ginko (haiku walks) with Brisbane haiku poet Graham Nunn. Sadly, I’ve not been able to join them but Graham has posted some of their work up at Another Lost Shark Ginko – Vuong Ginko – Lee-Anne. Check it out.
For the month of October I am developing my poetry skills at a Queensland Writers Centre workshop with Brisbane poet Graham Nunn. As part of QLD Writer’s Week Graham is featuring emerging poets on his blog and so here I am on Another Lost Shark . Please head over and check out my new poem ‘the jasmine fence’ and my discussions about writing poetry.