A haiku and a meditation
In all places now
we hear the wind sing of war:
dust will fall for dust.
* * * *
I stepped briefly outside myself
– or so I thought when stepping –
reckoning much that's to be said
needs hearing, as plain as the facts
may seem, as straight down the line.
Pressed for time, a poet's convinced
to cut the chase – even though she knows
pursuit is poem. Eurydice must not surface.
The wolf must, ever-louder groaning, grow.
There are those, even in Canberra,
who would willingly block out the sun:
a slip-slop-slap for Armageddon;
a world that went out in lifestyle.
To them, the self-styled tragics,
I say, 'Your Christ died
on just such a day – so lift your gaze,
at least enough that you can see
your enemy stand, weapon in hand,
a lewd verse for a reprimand,
the one you'd defy – but know
you're in thrall to its every demand:
This is my biro; this is my gun.
This one's for killing; the other's a pun!
And now, the deed is done.
Canberrans know it: stock-still
the suited stand on Capital Hill,
their races run, overcome,
stunned by all the fun.
It's beyond funding, though.
'S bigger than all the glaciers
it shrinks, shatters, heaves, and harrows
– boulders tossed so casually
into chasms, turning, careening,
a squadron of sparrows, dancing
down an air-built thoroughfare,
screaming through countless snows
(below!) below's the answer.
So, too, your taxes, friend:
the chaos'll have those.
So too, our nutra-sweet national anthem:
words more meaning will destroy
what aspirational electors chose.
So, too, our suburbs bright and new:
the coming days'll make
each pneumatic drill-quake,
each dream to bulldoze, but a trifle
beside the force that now
and steadily, daily, gathers shape,
grows, grows – a living culture,
school for all fellows –
and anyroad, who (ever)
really knows how very little
doom a battler can find
in the earth, the air, the sea,
the seed a man sows?
Back inside myself, all's well
or not, as the ayes or nays
may have it. Love, a grammar
of family and friend, knows
no reason for this. My sweetheart
senses an ire that is tired
and forgives with a kiss.
blasts our Alberta farmhouse bed-
room, thundering, rise, rise!
Wipe the tears of all your
bitter dreams from bleary eyes!
Get up all chirpy North American
and greet your hosts so kind!
Bacon's cooking; coffee's brewing;
last night's newlyweds are
on their way. Praise (not to mention
my rays) be: this is a brilliant day!
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 91: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 90: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Submission to Cordite 91: NO THEME VIII
- Judith Bishop Reviews Phillip Hall’s Fume
- Bella Li on as Associate Publisher
- Alex Creece on as Production Editor
- Review Short: Diane Fahey’s November Journal and Carmen Leigh Keates’s Meteorites
- Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations
- To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic
- ‘The Rally Is Calling’: Dashiell Moore Interviews Lionel Fogarty
- Jackie Ryan: Teaser to Burger Force 3
- Dispatch from the Future Fish
- Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC
- 7 Portraits by Ali Gumillya Baker
- Selections from 3 Yhonnie Scarce Series
- Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room
- To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’
- The Wild Workshop: The Ghost of a Brontëan Childhood in the Life of Dorothy Hewett
- Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane
- On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited
- Letter to Anne Carson: Work of Remembrance and Mourning
- Translated Extracts from Chantal Danjou
- Translations from Old English
- The Poets: Pejk Malinovski Self-translates
- Carnage, Crosses and Curiosity: 13 Images by Yvette Holt
- Body of Sound
- ‘Eat’ from Horse
- Stereocilia for 2 Ears of 1 Person