Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Blackberry Eating" by Galway Kinnell

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry-eating in late September.

by Galway Kinnell
For more information about poet, Galway Kinnell, see:

Image result for eating blackberries

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "The Sofas, Fogs, and Cinemas" by Rosemary Tonks

I have lived it, and lived it,
My nervous, luxury civilisation,

My sugar-loving nerves have battered me to pieces.

... Their idea of literature is hopeless.

Make them drink their own poetry!

Let them eat their gross novel, full of mud.

It’s quiet; just the fresh, chilly weather ... and he

Gets up from his dead bedroom, and comes in here

And digs himself into the sofa.

He stays there up to two hours in the hole – and talks

– Straight into the large subjects, he faces up to
It’s ...... damnably depressing.

(That great lavatory coat...the cigarillo burning

In the little dish... And when he calls out: ‘Ha!’

Madness! – you no longer possess your own furniture.)

On my bad days (and I’m being broken

At this very moment) I speak of my ambitions ... and he

Becomes intensely gloomy, with the look of something jugged,

Morose, sour, mouldering away, with lockjaw ....

I grow coarser; and more modern (I, who am driven mad

By my ideas; who go nowhere;

Who dare not leave my frontdoor, lest an idea ...)

All right. I admit everything, everything!

Oh yes, the opera (Ah, but the cinema)

He particularly enjoys it, enjoys it
horribly, when someone’s ill
At the last minute; and they specially fly in

A new, gigantic, Dutch soprano. He wants to help her

With her arias.           Old goat! Blasphemer!

He wants to help her with her arias!

No, I ... go to the cinema,

I particularly like it when the fog is thick, the street

Is like a hole in an old coat, and the light is brown as laudanum.

... the fogs! the fogs! The cinemas

Where the criminal shadow-literature flickers over our faces,

The screen is spread out like a thundercloud – that bangs

And splashes you with acid...or lies derelict, with lighted

              waters in it,

And in the silence, drips and crackles – taciturn, luxurious.

... The drugged and battered Philistines

Are all around you in the auditorium ...

And he ... is somewhere else, in his dead bedroom clothes,

He wants to make me think his thoughts

And they will be
enormous, dull – (just the sort
To keep away from).

... when I see that cigarillo, when I see it ... smoking

And he wants to face the international situation ...

Lunatic rages! Blackness! Suffocation!

– All this sitting about in cafés to calm down

Simply wears me out. And their idea of literature!

The idiotic cut of the stanzas; the novels, full up, gross.

I have lived it, and I know too much.

My café-nerves are breaking me

With black, exhausting information.

by Rosemary Tonks

For more information about poet, Rosemary Tonks, see:


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "The Track Less Thrashed" by Alain Frost (alias John Clarke)

Two tracks leading nowhere in the bush

Miles from anywhere, I rolled the window

Down and had a look up the first one, 

Considered the position briefly and 

Said I preferred the other one. My father

Looked up from his form guide and asked me why, 

I said because it's not this one. You talk

To him, mother, he said. I can't deal

With him, the boy's a bloody idiot.

There's no need for language said my mother. 


While the matter was discussed I climbed

A very large redgum out over the river

And in a sense I never quite came down. 

The great thing about being up a tree

Is that you're not going along a track.

by Alain Frost

Photo Courtesy of The Lumiere Reader

For more information on satirist, John Clarke, see:


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Good Bones" by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

by Maggie Smith

Photo Credit: Studio127 Photography

For more information on poet, Maggie Smith, see:


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Five Ways to Kill a Man" by Edwin Brock

There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it.
To do this properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.
Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.
In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation's scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.
These are, as I began, cumbersome ways to kill a man.
Simpler, direct, and much more neat is to see
that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
by Edwin Brock
Photo Credit: Chris Skilton Smith

For more information about poet, Edwin Brock, see:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "The More Loving One" by W. H. Auden

Moon over Burwood Copyright: Andrew M. Bell

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

by W. H. Auden

Credit: www.todayinliterature.com

For more information about the poet, W.H. Auden, see:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Master Chef on Sealy Range" by Stephanie Hacksley

Silver upon silver
Low cloud teases the tired eyebrows
of the Tasman glacier
Icy blue Frozen Time
grits its teeth
into inevitable oblivion

Silver too
the great icy bath water
roaring unplugged over fallen boulders
Tumbling ever on
Adding murky milk
to turquoise lake Pukaki

And now
Light beings to dance
behind the low hanging cloud
Beyond the veil
the gods are preparing a feast

The kitchen is still closed
but the energy
is in the wind
in the mist
tucked tight under the wings
of tiny white-breasted birds
free diving to valley below

They already know
what lies behind the curtain
but we
the trail of human ants
snaking up the Sealy range
only Gasp
Whoop with wonder
as a thousand stories high
the master chef
throws Open the doors!
and with a cloud napkin lingering on his outstretched arm
and dustings of flour hanging in the midmorning air




Aoraki Mount Cook

A wry smile tugs at the corner of my mouth
as I wonder what the gods are preparing next

From A Necklace of Moments – Poems by Stephanie Hacksley