Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Lament of a couch revolutionary

You are the new dangerous class, it is said.
Bah, you are whining pups
sucking on the paps of Mother Consumer.
You have the vision of a myopic meerkat,
balls of a gelded goat, solidarity of a cess pit.

‘Occupy!’ you cry. Que?
If that’s your mantra, you are truly clueless.
Where is your Manifesto,
your strategy for the long march,
your handbook of hand-to-hand?

Where are your precariat peons, your shirtless,
your barefoot, your les misérables?
Making shirts and shoes in sweat shops,
planting Monsanto’s seedless plants,
paying the mortgage, that’s where.

You picket buildings, but fail to spike the spokes
of those who peddle in your penury –
the poverty-trap profiteers,
the political-party pocket-liners,
the income-gap insouciants,
the bloated banksters and flash boys,
the obscene salary-packaged CEOs.

So, mobilise your brigades of bloggers,

your troops of tweeters, your para-hackers,
your financial system saboteurs.

Storm the trust funds and slush funds

of the feckless, taxless, cartel carpetbaggers
and their coat-tailers and gravy-boaters.
Siphon their vaults, hack their accounts,
unemploy them, evacuate their credit cards,
benefact their bonuses, perforate their perks,
axe their automatic cost-of-living adjusted,
non performance-related pay rises.

Sentence them to twenty year’s detention

in a slum landlord rental

doing crew work (plus two other jobs)

on a zero hours contract

all for the minimum pittance.

It’s time to sound the clarion,
beat your brass razoo cymbals,
exact your pound of carrion!

This poem is from my just released new collection, Felt intensity (Submarine poetry).

Felt intensity is being launched by Dinah Hawken at the New Zealand Poetry Society's Conference on Sunday 15 November (details are on the immediate past post).

Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry. This week features the poem That girl, by Heidi North-Bailey from her first collection Possibility of flight, which is being launched at the same time as Felt intensity.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

IP Spring Poetry Season 2015: Wellington, 30 September, 6pm, Wellington Central Library

Presenting an evening of poetry readings hosted by Dr David Reiter of Interactive Publications (Brisbane) with Auckland poet Jeremy Roberts and featuring Wellington poets published by IP: Mark Pirie, Keith Westwater and Tim Jones.

You can join the Facebook event here: 

Watch out for events in other centres too - full schedule is:

28 September: Poetry Live, Auckland, Thirsty Dog Café, 469 Karangahape Rd, 8:30pm
30 September: Wellington Library, 65 Victoria Street, 6pm
1 October: Lyttleton, Freemans Dining Room, 47 London Street, 7pm, with Sugu Pillay and Karen Zelas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Three Memoir Haiku

Living with addiction

Waiting for ever
outside a pub -
Dad is booking his bets

Masons Avenue, Hamilton

Green enamel gas oven
tick-tocking Grandfather clock -
our grandparents' house

Out of the blue

A new home
with Aunty Jo -
State House, Papatoetoe.

The title says it all. Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Friday, August 21, 2015

National Poetry Day, Friday 28 August: Poets of Place: Landscape Poetry - with Open Mic in Lower Hutt

There are National Poetry Day events all over New Zealand on Friday 28 August, and I'll be taking part in one in Lower Hutt. There is a great line-up of poets plus an open mic - I hope you can make it along. Here are the event details:

Poems of Place: Landscape Poetry and Open Mic

Where: St Marks Complex, 58 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt, opposite the Lower Hutt Library

When: Friday 28 August, 7.30 - 9.30 pm.

Admission: Free. Open to all ages. Sign up for the open mic on the night.

We live in a land of hills, river and sea. We experience wild changes in our weather and our remoteness affects who we are as a people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Much of our literature and poetry reflects our unique landscape.

Come and hear writers reading their landscape poetry and reflecting on what this means for them.

Featuring Anne Powell - Kerry Hines - Keith Westwater - Tim Jones - Keith Johnson - Adrienne Jansen - Kerry Popplewell - Harvey Molloy

Followed by Open Mic - Everyone is welcome.

There is a Facebook page for this event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/667972266672138/

Contact: Viv Ball for further information:
viviennemayball@gmail.com, ph 027435-8543, 5895-868

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Sticks, trees

rocks, stones
old stumps
birds’ bones
slimy stuff
and mud
to squish
and squash
with our toes
a track
to slide down
on our bums
ponga fronds
to build a hut
(bracken for
a floor) then
make a dam
or boats of twigs
and folded leaves
walk the plank
fly our flag
bury treasure
in that cave
(not too far in)
sail a raft of logs
lay a bridge
across the creek
tickle eels
catch tadpoles
pan for gold
have a swim
before we
dawdle home

I wrote this several years ago and thought it would fit my poetry memoir project.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Turning over stones

The dream with the dark halo
has returned -

it is dusk     in a foreign country
a small boy     is asleep on a bus
he wakes     looks out a window
sees a tall building     in shadow
atop a hill     it is not a house
nor a church     nor a shop
it has wires     coming in    and
out of it

The dream dissolves
but re-appears unbidden
over the years -
          always the boy
          always the bus
          always the building

At some point
the man who was
once the boy
drove north
searching for
traces of his mother
          under stones
          on the shores
          of his memory

He is drawn
to places
where the boy
had beach holidays -
          with his mother
          with his father
          with his brother -
                    Waipu Cove
                    Martins Bay

On the way to Mangawhai
he sees an electrical substation
perched on a hill by the road

The dream never returns

A memoir poem - one of many to come.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Eruption

volcanic, pyroclastic, cataclysmic, of lava,
toxic gas, lahars (flows of plastic mud),
magma (molten rivers), plumes of pumice,
ballistic boulders (as big as cars and trucks),
floods of acid water (from broken crater lakes),
petrified trees, from domes, cones, calderas,
explosive, massive, dramatic, with warning
from a mountain's rumbling stomach, flare up
of spots, pimples, acne, anger, protest, temper,
of sentiment, a break out, recrudescence,
effervescence, on the ring of fire, activity in
slumbering volcanoes and others not yet extinct,
Taupo, Krakatoa, Popocatapetyl - which kill with
catapulting rocks, asphyxiating ash, burial alive.

Another poem in my 'Mortal perils' series.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Slip

slump, subside, slew, skid, sideways, slow
downwards slide of whole hillside (Abbotsford)
of rocks on road, earth in gully, scree on slope,
in (unnoticed), cordon - first, second, third,
down, or up (badly), over or out (surreptitiously)
below decks, beneath the radar, round the
corner (for a quick one), of a girl, of paper,
on some clothes (or a banana skin), away,
one's mind, out of sight or reach, of the tongue,
through one's fingers, grasp, into something
more comfortable, the clutch, a stitch, a latch,
half, pillow, knot, the leash, 'twixt cup and lip,
pad (for launching ships), life's moorings,
gently (or not), into the quiet of that good night.

I wrote this poem last year as one of a series on 'Mortal perils'. Inspiration for the series came from the poem 'Fault' by Joanna Preston.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Poem: The parentless child

On Mothers Day
and Fathers Day
septs of orphans
slip thistle sepals
through their lapels,
tally the days
since partition,
taste the halite
in their lesions,
till the sepia past
for lisles that bind,
but find only silt, ash,
septal defects, pistils,
spathes and stipes
of withered lillies,
and haspless staples
with which to tile
their hills of hell
on Mothers Day
and Fathers Day

A 'sound' poem. Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Poem: The poor child

had she shoes they would have holes
had she a satchel it would be plastic
had she sheets she would have shelter
had she a closet she might have clothes

oh the state it wrings it hands
oh the state it contemplates its navel
oh the state it blames its predecessors
oh the state it shames her parents
oh the state it prevaricates
oh the state it waits and waits
oh the state it denies that she exists
oh the state it feigns to care about her fate
oh the state it shuts the gate

oh the state it wants the waif to go away

sometimes she goes to school to sleep
sometimes she goes for heat
sometimes she goes to school to eat
sometimes she goes to school

Poverty, inequality, and a lack of political will to do anything about them are still needling my writing skin. Visit Tuesday Poem for more great poetry.

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