ANOTHER DAY... U.K. NATIONAL POETRY DAY 4TH OCTOBER 2007
Waiata Dawn Davies
Northwich, Cheshire. England
Tammara Or Slilat
Arbel, Lower Galilee, Israel
Edenfield Nr Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England
Chipping Sodbury, England
Wing, Buckinghamshire, England
Nunthorpe, United Kingdom
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Bremerton, WA, USA
I thought the morning colours
would be singing for this day
deep throated reds, high
voiced yellows choir like
on the skyline, but no
Morning is holding its breath
wrapped in pearl
waiting for our poems.
Morning on Poetry Day
I wake too early
my pup still lolls on my bed
my grandsons will arrive later
they’ll write and draw
on the big table on the cool verandah
at that table my family celebrated
my seventh birthday, then Christmas 1951.
Mum decorated the damask cloth
with grape leaves and cherries -
imitating red and green of English holly
this morning I’ll eat my porridge
at this blackwood table
listening to boys chatter
but now, I’m listening to birds
waking in my Macarthur palms
Rest day from work so am up early
and ready to set off to training session
Moving and Handling
sometimes I feel Like I am trapped
married to the job
her hands are all over me
"Darling, Rise and shine…"
My virtual lover wants me to cyber with him.
"It would be a shame not to make use of this lovely morning erection"
he coaxes me. I look at the screen. He certainly wasn't lying.
A warm tingling wave ripples on my skin, leaving goose bumps as it subsides
Like small shells on the shore line. Strange
How we've developed new ways of making love, creating
passion without meeting, attraction without bodies,
satisfaction without organs… but still
I'm dying here, dying to meet him face to face, body to body
to feel his warm skin, breath him deeply, taste his sweat…
No screen can give you that. Ever.
I have been awake a little while
dog walked and fed
now I'm just sitting
looking out across the garden
the trees still green
just starting to show
the first turn of Autumn
a breeze shifts the branches
sunlight mottles the ground
from the utility room
the sound of a fast spin cycle
and in the kitchen
the kettle clicks off
I think I may have
five more minutes
before I have to get moving
just time to read the emails
and to write a snapshot
A new day dawns
The grey dawn whispers to me
“Go back to sleep, your dreams
will have more colour than this day.”
“But I see a ribbon of pink
among your wisps of clouds.” I reply.
“I see summer flowers still blooming
a pine tree pointing upwards forever green
trails of an aeroplane comb your hair
changing your curls into waves.”
“Ah,” she whispers back “You only look east,
look west and you will see how grey I am
smell the dampness in my air and listen
there are no birds singing.”
Don Giovanni in the gym – a Walkman poem
The rapist on the rowing machine
eyes Zerlina on the bike. (Mazetto’s
in the weights room with Leporello,
who, tattoo’s flexing, is working on his pecs).
Donna Elvira’s tee-shirt (pink and sparkly)
says she’s going to try something different.
Mad – mad as you have to be
to work here, but Giovanni likes
the cut of her tights. Me –
I’m the Commendatore this morning,
turned to stone already, ready
for breakfast and my overdue revenge.
waking alone -
Woke up on the third call,
the clock won't do another dely,
so it screaches me awake.
The sun is breaking through
cracks in the curtains.
Spotlights of dust.
My head thick
with last nights wine
and getting late to bed.
Today is National Poetry Day
and I will be going
out later to hear some poets
in the coffee shop.
I have to drag myself awake.
Clear my head with a coffee
and a drag.
artist travelled to Ukraine
captured forever scrapped plans
because of silt join fight
a killer had not been heard of
taxis with special needs
are nothing like aircraft
the only exit is blocked
with yellow and green ribbons
missed the chance to be a hoax
a floating tree trunk created a stink
I kept asking after a crash
why the result expected
to open up a promised
a band of dust swirled around a star
I'm awoken early. Some passing noise
The glass milk being delivered to the doorstep
below the bedroom window.
I try to grope back into the dream
of friends, some pub somewhere
but the name of the pub and sleep eludes me.
Too soon the radio announces
Seven o'clock and the day rushes on.
The bed is full of boys.
The forefinger of my left hand is full of pus.
a three week old splinter or not even that
a fragment of a year dead bramble tip
that caught my hand. Should have done
something about it sooner. Throb.
Over breakfast I hold the throb in a bowl of hot salty water.
You lance it with the sharp tip of your Swiss army penknife
The children squabble. You tell me
to phone the doctors. Talk reassuringly about antibiotics. Throb.
Our elder son practises keyboard in the front room.
The TV is switched off but will soon come back on.
I leave the house before my usual deadline.
A flurry of goodbyes. Kisses.
'Hope your finger gets better'. Throb.
I drive to work surrounded by autumn.
Trying to notice trees and the stuff
that inspired Keats but even the sunlight
isn't helping. The day rushes on.
If only I'd done something earlier.
Used a sharp needle.
The line of Rowans greet me on my way into the office.
Must remember to ring the surgery
fuzzy liquid crystal wobbles
vaguely in the darkness
while a battered brain deciphers
three sixteen, oh god
but the bladder bids me
to the bathroom
where I sit and watch
a wedge of light
arc across the carpet
as the door slowly closes
a weak beam
looking for the Luftwaffe
though it only finds my toes
curled up like baby bears
I flush and shuffle
back to bed
Wake up and cough the smelly
as the particles of consciousness
come back to me in random pattern
an explosion in reverse
they settle in and take their rightful place
as bit by bit the mind makes sense
of all these disparate elements
that form a sort of logic
although it takes a while
it all comes back to me
the who and where the hell I am
the things I have to do today
the phone calls and the meetings
and the hundred other
time consuming details
of a busy life
but all I really want to do
is get back to the arms of Ingrid Bergman
which is odd because
I don’t remember dreaming her.
The Fridge Poems (on National Poetry Day 2007)
are yoghurt pots
I could crack apart
peel a lid and taste
cool smoothness, a flavour.
In the lush cherry purple
I lick the shape of a poem.
7:30 a.m. pittsburgh pa.
the sun hasn't brightened yet
pale at the end of my street
it moves slow
i match it
heating leftover coffee
cutting a slice of bran bread
cutting a pill in half with a pill splitter
the blue matches my robe
NPD 07 AM
muted dawn slips on fog
no trumpets blow as inertia
seduces one to lie on leaves
sliding into melted gold
but errands must be run
agendas honoured, help granted
as morning falls into urgencies
while I regret my coffee is cold
but it’s not about the coffee
it’s the mist that pillages
words which weave vibratos
along the boughs of my harried mind
there is no connection this morning
no way to tell if there was an earthquake I did not feel
to access damage from the hurricane
that blew away the neighbor’s umbrella
to check whether I won a contest
I did not enter
to receive poems written earlier
I one of the last before
the vast uncharted Pacific sea
nothing to do but
and the same news
as nearly every other day
The sun should be overhead but
all I see are silver clouds above
grey stone banks and green
pasture where five hundred
dairy cows line up ready to
stroll to the milking shed.
They are noisy to-day because
their calves have been weaned,
heifers to the feeding tray while
bull calves wait for the stock truck
to take them to the works.
Returning home from rock-climbing
a movement in the sink catches my eye,
as movement attracts the eyes of predators
It's too dark for a gecko
It's too long for a gecko
a perfect miniature monitor -
Meerten’s monitor, newly hatched
attracted by the smell of raw pork
tiny jaw gapes wide
an attempt to bluff me
dorsal skin starred like the Milky Way
underbelly spotted with tiny dark flowers
My grandson releases it into our garden
to hides under coconut debris.
How did this beautiful goanna
get into my kitchen?
Cinnamon, curry, black pepper and ginger,
The slow-cooked chicken pronounced its fragrance clearly,
the pile of steaming rice, rich with scented moisture,
orange carrots and green peas wallowing in its golden luxury,
a once-in-a-life-time salad concocted by my nephew, who studies to be a chef,
made of lettuce, herbs, pomegranate, blue cheese, zucchini and I have to check
my recipe book for what else, the proud smile of my brother, the happy faces of all,
my tummy purring with satisfaction, the dogs gobbling on the leftovers,
outside the afternoon breeze fluttering the leaves and the Arbel cliff, 400 meters above
the Kinneret looms out against the pale turquoise sky, melting past and future into the Now.
beaten my way through the traffic
ready to record an interview
but in the silence
before the phone call
take a few minutes to read
a few more pages
I left George and Lenny
on the hillside again
I know what will happen
I have trodden this road
with Steinbeck many times
I want to leave them there
on that evening before they move
down to the ranch
sometimes I think about that camp
the inevitability of what will happen
the way they are held captive
to the writers will
lunch menu 1.30
the long kiss goodbye
I watched geena davis killing
bad guys on tv last night
one tough cookie
I watched the boob tube
3 hours yesterday
so figured I’d better
crank this out
one aging acquaintance to another
how lovely to see you in the flesh
the day is grim and grey
even the sun is pale
when it sheepishly
emerges for its requisite
behind a cloud
I fell like a ton of bricks
at your feet
you stand red with fury
in the middle of the road
gio told me he panicked
sometimes at the thought
roya came for a ticket
to the antiques fair
she’s as highly strung
as my piano
fabiola came with my keys
she complains that her husband
I try to write in between visits
try to push through the old words
I want to get out
It is early afternoon, the sun smiles
and mocks the dawn’s mutterings.
The day has dried like a clean sheet
blown dry in autumn’s glow.
Still the birds are silent but my dogs
lounge in the warmth.
Slowly brightness is filling
the room where I write
words flow instead of rain
Make my eyes seep into shadows
and my cheeks wet.
They knew, that unnamed gang who made this camp,
how much an edge can give you. Height
to look down from, backs against the hills,
as though to brace your spine. Distance
to see beyond the land you know, to where
things turn misty, Welsh, uncertain.
Did Tyndale, clerking a living here, see
how far he had to go, the fire in the end?
Those six who left for France, they must have known
that he – or he – or he – wouldn’t come back.
And yet they did, to this fortunate village,*
one of the few with no memorial to the fallen.
Gowen, Grivell, Leach, Taylor, Warren, Weare:
(oh, what a lout the Gowen I tried to teach!)
commemorate their place – here – on the edge
The poets read their poems
and left me a bit cold
words for the sake of it
but here at the computer
it all seems to have a purpose
I am going to the cafe tonight
to read a poem
when everyone has gone
falling equipment covers up crossfire
unseen pictures set out beliefs
let people pass judgement
resolve their issues
uncontested relationships deteriorate
acrimonious break up remains common
counter criticisms not grounded in family life
are vastly underestimated
from witness accounts
orgy in bushes limits cuddling
there was no evidence failed asylum seekers
were cleared of false imprisonment
lots of populist measures under the bonnet
turn it into a hundred day marathon
On the roof
I've escaped onto the roof garden
leaving the sad people eating sandwiches at their desks.
No one comes up here. The door
is supposed to be locked.
After a cleaner tried to jump off.
Probably a cry for help.
Only the toughest plants survive on the roof
Sedums bleached to a pale yellow
Sweet pungent scent of sage
and a sea of pebbles reminiscent of a beach.
The day rushes on. Soon I'll have to go
to my meeting. For now I'll sit.
Well it’s NPD in Britain
and Cultural Heritage Day in Europe
Serbia has the chair
and wants to emphasise
they celebrate their cultural diversity
how times have changed
where the posties are on strike
and the jury watch ten year old video
of Dodi and Di
pissed as farts in a lift
in order to decide
the final verdict
it’s 50 years since Sputnik
Nigerians are busted for the biggest
internet scam ever
and school uniforms cost too much
I’ve just written a scene
for a movie that will never be made
but you have to do something
In the fridge tray I feel
the lettuce's crisp words
a firm yellow pepper
and my pen a knife
poking around the fridge
opening cupboards and waiting
come back to my keyboard
a bit more political blogging
too full of baloney
not hungry anymore.
NPD 1:00 PM 07
leaves exude toast aromas
luxuriate wantonly on pathways
through the park lit by fall expectations
tail twitching signals
two grey squirrels streak
carelessly around the sentinel fountain
in the yarn store colours
sing eden harmonies
urge outpourings of giddy arias
street cacophony clamours as omnipresent hues
celebrate exuberantly and in fenced shaded
gardens impatiens loom complementary waves
on the deck in the sun
a squirrel runs
along the fence
of peach pits
his quiet harvest
can’t disturb my nap
My neighbour's chimney smoke
blows east above the newly
clipped pine hedge. Her yellow tulips
nod to the pansies, like celebrities
condescending to urchins.
The scent of woodsmoke
lingers because the farmer
has burned an old hedge
without a thought of
global warming or carbon footprints.
The sun shines through
my windows at last. Between
the grape vine and my porch railing
glistens the biggest orb web
in the world.
it’s past 8 o’clock
are all those boys in their beds
it’s past eight o’clock?
Well two are in their beds
and one in mine.
He’ll be too heavy to shift
so I guess I’ll be sharing
with a small boy, and that exhausted pup
who now dozes, dreaming of catching up,
her sweet muzzle on my clean feet
the glass lantern with its tiny candle light
flickers on the chest, carried in
from the pool, where it supplemented
the meager light of the Milky Way
arcing the gap between dark palms
a balmy breeze
lightly stirred the trees
in the most romantic way
as boys played water rugby.
Where on earth do they come from,
Climbing up the Arbel we saw a group
(definitely tourists – light complexion, knee length trousers, excited smile)
hurrying up the cliff with long strange parcels. Never seen anything like it, so
we hurried in their wake. At the top of the cliff, the Kinneret lying calmly 400 meters down,
the Golan heights pinking away in the sunset, they spread brightly colored wings and
started fluttering them, I was sure they would vanish into the thin air the moment
I reached them, but they kept on swaying their flags and explained with a smile
of Christian compassion that they were praying to God. Indeed,
they couldn't have Found a better spot to get closer to God.
finished for now
seven schools in four hours
anonymous school halls
countless children packed in for
hundreds of children's faces
but no time to stop and chat
always getting on to the next one
maybe touched one or two
enough to make it worthwhile
the man from the education
who drove me round
said he though it went well
My cheeks are dry now the sun
is sinking westwards.
My eyes have cast their shadow
on the old bruise of sunset.
EPlanes still scratch the pale blue sky
their vapour trails criss crossing
bleed into a lather of clouds.
Now birds chirp as the day shortens
fly from the dull grey of a slate roof.
There are echoes of stars
in this early twilight,
the rustle of dead leaves along
cobbled paths, and on the slope
of the hill one black sheep
grazes among the white
as day and night begin to mingle.
Under floodlights, they run the daylight away.
Despite all jokes, this is serious stuff,
to do with faster, higher, stronger.
Perfectibility’s the name of this game.
See Jo, married a fortnight, dragging a tyre;
see Greg and Darren, the sculptured brothers,
faster than looks possible from where I stand.
See Tom. Is that determination in his eyes
different since his dad’s heart attack last week?
I was never like these children – hated sport,
but longed to understand. Well – too late now
for more than talking a good race over beer.
Dark now again, and I hear
I need to write something
but I also need to get out to the chemist
it is hard trying to
write "in the moment"
as my guru said
when life is what is happening
and every moment has its
Tam will be round later
will want to get into bed with me
there will be no time for poetry then
just sweat and grind
and that thing he does
today I bought a book of poetry
this is the first I have ever actually owned
since I was a child
and I desperately want to sit down and read it
I have had library books over the past few months
and gone through lists of poets
people have suggested
but this was something I bought
it was liberating, that's the word
as liberating as writing poetry
but for now its the chemist
and William Carlos Williams
will have to wait just a little longer
Voice of Evening
Come home to a house tick with dust
Forgotten a French friend was fitting windows in the front room
Radiators blaze heat though the open door
Children run up and down the stairs
Ask if we can keep the old window to build a den
Their father says yes.
Boggling number of poems
can’t do them justice
but remarkable that
in the world
where we are
wherever we are
we are in touch
at the touch of keyboard and mouse
I find that comforting
so now to the pub
for another dose of verbiage
masquerading as art
Although I can't see you
you're the words that are in there
on packets, yoghurt pots, milk cartons,
and does the light come on
and you select yourselves
to make and arrange on each shelf
a deep, who will read,
ever so cool gleaming poem.
early evening late afternoon
makes no difference
we are 10 years behind time
here in our little fiefdoms
city states bound by
2 rivers that flow
time goes by
the evening crickets are early
dinner will be late
it makes no difference.
a cardinal squawks at the feeder
he hops impatiently on a branch
as black gold of sunflower seeds pour
into his grail while the squirrel twitches
I leave them to their gourmand rivalries
breathe in heady sweetness of still warm air
welcome but not often expected in October
but I can sense frost that lurks just behind
heavy ruby hips of the rose that trembles
thorny branches arc wantonly over the gate
as if to welcome the lover that comes not soon enough
or comes only in mists of pendulous memories
on the way along the shore road
to visit a friend
whose father passed last night
I’ve never noticed
where simple family homes stood
new streets for super-developments
patches of forest
for houses made of ticky-tacky
where will the squirrels live
where will the peasant call
the deer trail?
No moon to-night,
a warm fire,
a hot drink,
Schubert on CD
a new detective story
But you're not here.
finally, I understand what
So now that the last guest has given me the final hug, the fatal kiss,
I remain, sole ruler of my beautiful new house, to reign over
the empty rooms of my daughters: the eldest called me from Nepal
yesterday, my youngest is busy organizing a field trip in the youth movement,
and the hollow look on my dead son's face
as he watches over me, calling the dogs in, closing the shutters, hoping
for a dreamless night.
the house is growing quiet
in another room the TV is on
Charlie follows me
through the kitchen
out into the garden
the sky is clear
the stars and planets visible
I think of all the poems
today shining in my mind
like stars across the sky
all the people who wrote them
some I may never meet
I think about the last time
we did this
Charlie rubs this head
against my hip
looks up at me
his eyes full of
I walk home from my son's house
This night is a black curtain
so strong not even stars can pierce
the coarse fabric of sky
and from the half faced moon
not even a flicker can be seen.
There is mist hovering on bare
branches, clammy twigs
are dead men’s fingers
groping in the hedgerows.
I feel a dampness in the air
as if the sweat of the day’s sun
had opened every pore of soil.
Night creatures will scurry
in the wasteland of my sleep
but it has been a good poetry day
and angels will lighten the darkness
where no stars shine.
National Poetry Day
A day like any other? No, not quite. Book read:
‘Sick Puppy’: Carl Hiaasen. Music listened to:
Mozart, Shostakovitch, ‘Jacky Wilson Said’.
A day Descartes would have understood,
when poetry and physical effort both
made the running. Exercise and brain.
The sun shone, and the Cotswold edge
was lovely. Edward Thomas must have walked
that way. Tyndale too. And those six volunteers.
Meanwhile, my friends demonstrate the body’s frailty.
Roger dead two weeks ago. Bill and Joan,
both heart attacks. My best friend, Tony,
in that distant hospital, half his blood spilled,
leg hacked, re-made – please providence –
made good by surgeon’s skill.
So how to sum it up, this Poetry Day?
I ran and walked, fashioning language
as I went, and knowing I was not alone.
Food cooked and eaten with love in sunshine;
streets, fields and lovers, the pleasures of life
poured out all day to follow the sun.
Night. No words. No
thank God for KY Jelly
and William Carlos Williams
and a life that starts to mean something
I don't want to write poetry like I heard
at a cafe today
I want to write it well
not the quick rhyme
fell in slime
anything goes if you have the time
rubbish that means nothing
I just read
the Road to the Contagious Hospital
and The Red Wheel Barrow
I am listening to the PK CD
and I have been reading over poems
from all round the world
and now I can't stop crying
because it has been there all my life
and I didn't know
Vikings were here
I can't stress strongly enough
pathways are turning into rivers
on the second day
the move will bring end
to our commitment
into treatment of witnesses
of a psychological thriller
hangs in the balance
contrasting but related
a wonderful part of our heritage
that I took as a joke
forgotten and neglected
not life threatening
the journey began
the book is here
in the shoes or sleeping bag
all are welcome
Night - 0.43 - Liverpool
missed the deadline
story of my life
for the chilli con carne -
will it swell into a poem?
11.00 p.m. pittsburgh and
3 chicken wings and
2 rum and diets
seven of us
as the evening wore on
the music loud
easy drive home
striped silk nightshirt
and all of you.
to kiss goodnight.
I am high on words
on poems read
on poems yet to be written
and yet to be read
and this I know to be
true before I sleep tonight –
exhilaration is reading a blizzard of poems
no one I know has quarrelled today
happiness can be an extraordinary lingering summer day
tomorrow is my twins’ birthday
celebration is love
love is celebration
10/4/2007 Bremerton, WA, USA 2130
headache and chills
early warning the misery looms
three weeks before flu shots available
too under the weather
to care about CSI’s gore
Mad Men’s manufactured nostalgia
or poetry shot round the world
tomorrow early enough to post
to pen the final
comments beyond the horizon
a wash of words
from many places
even the "other side of midnight"
I'm sitting on my sofa gazing
pages already yellowing
overlaid by today's scandals
still bleed and grieve and laugh
post poetry day
In the night, maybe,
I dreamed I wrote
a poem then woke
to find I had.
Other Single Poems
|Jonathan Shaw||M.V. Pozar|
Observations upon some Words of Mr Sean
O'Brien, Poet, on his Receiving
Inside the aircon's
hum, outside the westerly's --
Ahead, brittle leaves dancing
behind a blue car's tyres --
A plastic bag full of wind
springing green branches
half a news-spread
crossing the bitumen --
34 degrees on the dashboard
Sky tinged purple with haze.
A fall from the shelf