Category Archives: poetry

Spring Breeze

To celebrate the changing of the season, I have been collaborating with Rose van Son, Gary Colombo De Piazzi and Meryl Manoy on a Spring Junicho. Here’s our offering to the new season…

marmalade

[photograph by Rose van Son]

spring breeze
we raise a kite
into the sound

(GN)

*

hands on my face
the sun’s rays

(RVS)

*

the flush
on her cheek
first kiss

(GCD)

*

a bee caresses
the rose blossom

(MM)

*

dawn light
I slip between
two waves

(GN)

*

a shell on the beach
unknown

(RVS)

*

butterfly
its last spiral
to the ground

(GCD)

*

leaves fall
and the forest catches fire

(MM)

*

yellow bursts
from the crocus bulb
washing day

(GN)

*

season’s end
marmalade jars fill the bench

(RVS)

*
through the glass
the sun’s orange glow
traps a moth

(GCD)

*

higher still
clouds scud a waning moon

(MM)

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Haiku in Translation

Got some exciting news today that a second haiku has been published in translation (in Chinese) at NeverEnding Story, by poet, publisher and translator, Chen-ou Liu. To know that this poem will be read in more than one language is a great honour. Here is a link to read the poem and the translations (yes, there are two).

And as you may know, it is a tradition of mine that with every haiku published, I compose a new one to celebrate. This one is fresh from rolling around my head …

Buddha_stone

stone buddha
the thought of myself
at peace

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It’s show time here in Brisbane… one of my favourite times of year. So to celebrate, here’s a new haiku capturing a little bit of the Ekka experience.

ekka-ferris-wheel

into the lights
of the ferris wheel
the smell of cow shit

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winter sun: a haiku sequence

This morning, while thousands pounded the pathways of the City Botanic Gardens as part of the Brisbane Marathon, eight of us walked, sat and opened our minds to the lush green landscape, the chorus of birds, the emptiness of sky. This was the third in the QPF ginko series, and while it was officially the ‘winter ginko’, the sun had a sneaky bite to it. I will be posting a handful of poems from the eight poets who joined me this week, but for now, here’s a handful of poems I collected today.

brisbane-city-botanic-gardens-482x298

winter sun
the ball in
the collie’s eyes

*

shooing the ibis
she lets the toddler
cry

*

V of gulls
in love with the shape
of the river

*

finish line
the marathon runner drags
his shadow

*

crows
in the bamboo grove
the wind rattles on

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Nocturne for Eleanor

her face next to mine and
we are kissing so deeply
we unlock the soft darkness
inside each other

its naked endlessness
blood and wonder

 

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Eleanor prepares

Blood-Orange-sliced-in-Half-iStock

a blood orange
slit like a magician’s trick

two cheeks of light
so beautiful

a passing bee
loses itself in

the unkinking
scarf of juice

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National Science Week Ginko: Sunday August 11

As part of National Science Week, the good people at QLD Writers Centre have asked me to host a ginko and haiku workshop on Sunday August 11. Science and haiku… it’s the perfect partnership, as writing haiku is all about activating the senses to inform your poetic voice.

Here are the full details of the event and how to book a spot:

Date: Sunday August 11
Time: 10:30am – 4:30pm
Venue: QWC Offices, Level 2, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Brisbane
Price: Full Price – $160, Concession – $144, QWC Members – $110, QWC Member Concessions – $99 Book Online here or call 3842 9922

And it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t leave you with a haiku…

 cockatooburst

fire season
a blue gum explodes
with cockatoos

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TYTO Wetlands Haiku

Almost two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with a handful of poets exploring the art of haiku in the immensely beautiful surrounds of Ingham’s TYTO Wetlands. Our ginko produced some fine poems, and Cindy, as always, took some incredible photos so that you can share in the beauty. I want to say a big thank you to all of the poets involved.

***

lining up the perfect photo
birds move
to the other side

*

june wind
the flap
of duck’s wings

[Cindy Keong]

*

ducks flap clk

photograph by Cindy Keong

*

memories burst
manda’s in the hot sun

*

woodland ducks here and gone

[Helen Stanton]

*

woodland ducks clk

photograph by Cindy Keong

*

yellow grass
stroked by the wind
butterflies dance

*

calling water
bubbles rise to
the surface of my heart

[Pam Lane]

*

water bubbles clk

photograph by Cindy Keong

*

storm clouds approaching white herons

*

ibis
darken the sky
awake again

[Barbara Horsley]

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My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

It’s time for one last remix of My Aching Back… and with this post comes the news that the original poem will be published in Kokako, a fine journal of Japanese forms published in New Zealand. It’s wonderful to see this poem reaching a wide audience. So now, it’s over to Lyndon to give it one last spin…

*****

My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

Side 1 – jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

cold night
our words
left hanging

(Cindy Keong)

Side 2 – ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

stuck up a tree
winter moon

(Andy Smerdon)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

not even the radio
tonight
a bus passes

(Jonathan Hadwen)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3 – ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom

along the edge
of her grave
a row of daffodils

(Cindy Keong)

Link #8 (2 lines) – spring

shadows shrink
sun cannot warm the air

(John Wainwright)

Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

behind teeth
a storm gathers
I cannot swallow this

(Nigel Ellis)

Side 4 – kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse

all that remains
broken on the shoreline

(Cindy Keong)

Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse

incoming tide
waiting for
the next wave

(Cindy Keong)

Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

nothing matters
after sunset

(Carly Jay Metcalfe)

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My Aching Back: Chris Lynch Remix

Time for another remix of the epic, My Aching Back. This time, Chris Lynch leaves his fingerprint on the poem.

*****

My Aching Back

Started: 15 May 2013 – Finished: 8 June 2013
Written between: Matt Hetherington, Lyndon Norton, Ashley Capes, Lee-Anne Davie, Chris Lynch, John Wainwright, Cindy Keong, Simon Kindt, Andrew Phillips, Chloë Callistemon, and Carly-Jay Metcalfe

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

in the shed
removing a dropcloth
from old paintings

(Ashley Capes)

gravy smears the dinner plate
winter moon

(Lee-Anne Davie)

I regret
the light switch
cockroaches

(Chris Lynch)

deep breathing
in a library of ladders

(John Wainwright)

along the edge
of her grave
a row of daffodils

(Cindy Keong)

roots slide in deep
an earthy spinal tap

(Simon Kindt)

aaaahhhh
a receding tide
scurries across the mud flat

(Andrew Phillips)

your bite
wrapped in my scarf

(Chloë Callistemon)

morning in bed
between us the glow
of smartphones

(Lyndon Norton)

nothing matters
after sunset

(Carly-Jay Metcalfe)

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