Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Till life do us part

Till life do us part

A warbling note, suspended in air,
Gravity its prepaid fare.
Veins expanded, twinned cells green,
Blue lids blink blind at nature's scene.

The verse is written (now) and seems
Emboldened by the spotlight's beams,
Above reproach, beyond reversal,
Ordained, as death is, universal.

And what must come is washed in brine,
Mottled by discordant time.
Vulgar, vital insatiety -
A broad riposte to mute sobriety.


Harmonics, incidentals - friends
will dream of meeting lovers' ends.
Pallid, exposed and gone to seed,
We come to rest a breakneck speed.

With poems, gingerly, we entreat,
Then with petitions, then receipts.
Our dream selves stand aloof, aloft,
Smiles duplicitous, organs soft.

Denying endgame, we begin.
I kiss the scar across your wing,
Forgetting already what we have begun,
Drawing our strength from the same guileless sun.

Cameron Birnie

(Another from my son Cam.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

9 sleeps

ta ta te ta ta te ta ta in august (high as kite on the ...) i'm not sure i ever knew all the words, but the tune's there and it just keeps slipping out when I'm not looking. I'm heading off to the other side of world. Nine sleeps to go. I think about it and I'm happy. I don't think about it and I'm still happy. My son, when six or seven years old, coined the term joy fit (as in: "i'm having one".) And now from time to time, I get attacks of same. I don't kick the blankets about with my feet, but I do other things: sink my knees a few inches (a curious one), flick my thumbs up when my hands start to rise, sing snatches of old songs, and only when I catch what I can of the words, figure what I'm feeling: very very good. The coming occasion is the wedding of my niece Susannah and her fiancee Patrick, who will marry in a tiny ancient church in the Dordogne, France. And I'm going.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday Poem: angel

she undoes her hands shows him how

tendrils of corn hair lie plaited in her palm

it’s angel hair she says in a cool

cool voice but her heart is telltale beating

her cheek slips into shadow no one looks

as her hand closes back in the fold of the other

at night when he is asleep she opens

her eyes and waits for the wing to descend

Pam M

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A quote I am liking

"We may talk our whole life away, without speaking anything other than interminable repetitions that fill the empty minute, but the steps of thought which we take during the lonely work of creativity all lead us downwards, deeper into ourselves, the only direction which is not closed to us, the only direction in which we can proceed, albeit with much greater trevail, towards an outcome of truth."

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Word has it

The opening poem at a poetry evening, held in Dunedin to celebrate poetry day last Friday, was an artful reminder of the weird stuff that goes on in people's heads at poetry readings. We - well certainly I (and she seemed to know it) - make use of such events to take a wander inside my immobilised body. I un-focus, drift in a meandery way, let the images brush me, poke me, hum gently, run me over. There are periods of time where I'm sunk deep in the cushion of my head, oblivious to the offerings. Others where I'm off and running, triggered by a turn of phrase, writing my own soon to be forgotten first line of a poem. It's gorgeous, and no-one asks me where I've been.

Then there's the odd occasion where the weird and wonderfully unexpected takes place outside of my head. The following poem was inspired by an encounter at another poetry reading here in my city.


Word has it that she’s 70

But the woman on my left

Is bah phooey

The way she lives it

We’re starting out

So we go for topics

That sit safely

Between us

I say: this bag

Is a cow’s stomach

And I open 1,2,3,4 soft black

Openings in evidence

I am elbow deep

Foraging for glasses

She says: look

It’s like a vulva

Glee takes hold

flickers without a sound

(It is a poetry reading after all)

Our mouths ripple

My complicit arm comes out

From the dark folds

There in hand is a

Firm ripe tomato

The G spot! we splutter

There's no holding back

We are simply delicious

Decorum is undone.