Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tuesday Poem: Another Flash Fiction: "Blind Date"

            Barry Armstrong woke early, shivering. It was not solely due to the increasing bite of winter. He lay in bed, staring ruefully at the Marsha-size vacancy the seeping daylight revealed.
            He almost couldn’t face the day. The awkward questions his girls would ask at breakfast. But he knew if he did not rise, his mind would lose traction on the famous slippery slope to self-pity and depression.
            Barry had always taken people at face value. He liked simplicity. He had never given it much consideration, but he supposed his love of simplicity had drawn him to engineering as a career. With machines, you put them together or you stripped them down and everything made sense. Machines didn’t have secret places where parts were hidden. They had blueprints where everything was laid out in plain view.
            Barry had met Marsha at university. She was studying to be a doctor. He considered that an admirable pursuit. She was learning to decipher bodies just as he was learning to decipher machines.
            Their lives together had followed a common pattern. They graduated, moved in together, did a few years of OE and returned to New Zealand to embark upon sensible adulthood.
            They had been married thirteen years and had two healthy daughters, Hayley, eight, and Rose, six. He had considered himself blessed.
            Their coterie of friends was mostly couples. When Marsha introduced Judy to the group, Barry teased his wife in private about “rescuing lame ducks”. He assumed that Judy had been unlucky in love.
            When Roger joined Barry’s firm, Barry saw his chance to play Good Samaritan. Roger’s divorce was a distant enough memory that he was ready to start dating.
            An intimate dinner for four seemed a perfect idea. But Barry hadn’t reckoned on Marsha falling in love with a woman.

POET'S NOTE: It was so much fun writing flash fiction stories for the National Flash Fiction Day competition, that I decided to post another flash fiction instead of a poem this week. Mix it up a little bit, keep things interesting.

Don't forget to visit my fellow Tuesday Poets in the sidebar for lots of good reading to brighten your day.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tuesday Poem (but really Flash Fiction): "Aiguo's International Incident"

Dear Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
            I do not wish to trouble you because I am just a humble merchant and you have a vast and prosperous country to run. I know that you are making huge technological strides to improve the lives and comfort of your people and to keep the capitalist running dogs of the West at bay.
            In the People's Republic of China, we look on with great admiration as you advance the power and prestige of the international Communist cause.
            Although the Great Devil, Obama, and his sycophants mocked your recent satellite launch, was it not our own venerable philosopher, Lao Tzu, who said: “A journey of a thousand li starts with a single step.”?
            These decadent Westerners do not know the infinite patience of the Asian peoples. In the land of the Great Satan, everything must happen instantly.
            I know that such a trifling setback will not deter a Great Leader like you.
            Unfortunately, your setback has had repercussions in my humble life too. I live in Shanghai where I operate a factory trying to keep up with the insatiable demands of the great capitalist, Steve Jobs. Although his company puts food on my table, I spit on his grave.
            None grieves your unsuccessful satellite launch more than me, but some of its debris came down on the newly painted roof of my factory. Now the space debris is stuck in the fresh paint.            
            It will cost me thousands of yuan to have the debris removed and the roof repainted. I know you are a generous leader who cares for the plight of the little man so I am confident that you will honour my claim for compensation.

Yours in glorious socialism,
Zhang Aiguo

WRITER'S NOTE: Today many of us on the Tuesday Poem blog roll are posting Flash Fiction instead of poems to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day. I invite you to read lots of other wonderful flash fictions on the other Tuesday Poets' blogs.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tuesday Poem: "Playing with Thomas in Hagley Park"

We are immigrants in our own country,
lifestyle refugees
frolicking in this crisp, alpine weather.
Although you’re dressed like a miniature Inuit,
no amount of padding
can hide your delight
at play in the fields of the CCC.

Thomas, you connect me to the moment,
to the real,
with your joy so palpable
that it surrounds us like an aura.
Through your eyes I discover the world anew:
how the oak bark feels with its pattern
of vertical runnels, God’s reticulation;
how leaf mounds half-dried by a pale sun
unglue and fly
when prompted by tiny basketball shoes;
how daffodils spring like magic
from the thawed turf
to be sniffed in mimicry of the kitten
in your boardbook.

As twilight approaches,
I scoop you up in mid-adventure.
You protest loudly as I wheel you slowly away from
this place of life and breath and freedom
to merge into the slipstream of choking commuters.

POET'S NOTE: The recent snowfalls in Canterbury and the impending possibility of another soon made me think about when we first moved down to Christchurch from Wellington and how we had to get used to a very different climate. Also, from time to time, I shamelessly indulge in a bit of parental nostalgia because my oldest son, Thomas, was only 15 months old when we moved to Christchurch and now he is thirteen and embarking on that journey towards independence, the unravelling which is inevitable in all parent-child relationships.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I've only just realised that I have posted this poem before and I don't like to repeat myself, but it was back in July 2011 and, I guess like songs on the radio, the odd repeat play never hurt anyone. And I'm particularly fond of this poem.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tuesday Poem: "Three (slightly more scurrilous) Limericks"

A lass who was brought up in Wagin*
went off to the city for ragin’,
but back home she did flee
with a rare S.T.D.
and no doc could cure her contagion.

A woman who came from Kalgoorlie
said: “I love you deeply and truly.”
“If it was the fashion,
I’d return your passion,
but the hair on your face is unruly.”

There was a young lady called Bliss
who thought intercourse rather remiss.
“Though my chances I’ll ruin,
I’m so tired of screwin’,
I’d much rather cuddle and kiss.”

* Wagin is yet another country town in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

POET'S NOTE: Penelope, one of my fellow Tuesday Poets, is right, of course. The Limerick is supposed to be a form with a degree of scurrilousness. In that spirit, I offer these slightly more risque limericks than those posted last week.