Tuesday, 31 January 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, 24 January 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, 17 January 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, 10 January 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

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Broadcaster's Poem" by Alden Nowlan

I used to broadcast at night
alone in a radio station
but I was never good at it
partly because my voice wasn't right
but mostly because my peculiar
metaphysical stupidity
made it impossible
for me to keep believing
there was somebody listening
when it seemed I was talking
only to myself in a room no bigger
than an ordinary bathroom
I could believe it for a while
and then I'd get somewhat
the same feeling as when you
start to suspect you're the victim
of a practical joke
So one part of me
was afraid another part
might blurt out something
about myself so terrible
that even I had never until
that moment suspected it

This was like the fear
of bridges and other
high places: Will I take off my glasses
and throw them
into the water, although I'm
half blind without them?
Will I sneak up behind
myself and push?

Another thing:
As a reporter
I covered an accident in which a train
ran into a car, killing
three young men, one of whom
was beheaded. The bodies looked
boneless, as such bodies do
More like mounds of rags
and inside the wreckage
where nobody could get at it
the car radio
was still playing

I thought about places
the disc jockey's voice goes
and the things that happen there
and of how impossible it would be for him
to continue if he really knew. 

by Alden Nowlan

For more information about the poet, Alden Nowlan, see:

And this was always a good song by the late, great David Bowie: