Lotus

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Lotus

Gurgling sounds woke me — (perhaps I needed to pee?) —
the sink had filled with water abundant enough to spill
out onto the floor and flow
in a sacred stream under the bathroom door.
In this lucid dream
within a dream I rose
from your father’s bed and followed the trail
to you, my son, a lotus blooming
improbably from a golden yoke on the belly of my ocean —
and I knew, like queen Maya upon receiving
a visitation by the sublime white elephant
that soon you would appear.

And now here you are — yes, here you all are! —
little lotuses mired in my mud.
Tying your nooses around your necks each morning
strangling yourselves a little more each day:
obediently becoming (for me)
what I never wanted
you to be.

*First published in Bluepepper

My interview on The Australian Poetry Podcast

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The Australian Poetry Podcast is a new initiatave started up by poets Nathan Hondros and Robbie Coburn. When ABC’s Poetica series was closed down late last year due to lack of funding, these brave poets decided, Hey, why not fill the gap and start up our own thing!

Armed with some rudimentary equipment, a wealth of poetic knowledge, passion and a go-get-’em attitude, they set about chatting to poets — and the resulting interviews are relaxed, informative and, I believe, an important contribution to the Australian literary scene.

To date they’ve interviewed well respected poets such as Andy Burke, Jill Jones, Mark Roberts, Beth Spencer, MTC Cronin and um, me! How I got onto that list, I don’t know, but I’m very proud to be there, and the interview process (while initially a cause for terror) tuned out to be hugely enjoyable. At the outset I do talk a little too much about my kids and my cat (who doesn’t?) — but hang in there, we do eventually get to poetry!

So please have a listen to episode 5 of the podcast, and while you’re there, subscribe to the Podcast feed so you can do what I do — listen while cleaning the bathroom; it makes a dreary job almost a pleasure.

Stop

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Let’s leave everything be.
Let’s just stop fixing.
Perhaps if we let everyone settle
clarity will be revealed.

Today I entered the cathedral of the bush—
sought permission to walk the land; felt it granted.
Was buoyed by a chorus of cicadas ulullating
their adulation to the Gaia of this world.
(On Facebook a slowed down recording of cicadas—
Oh my, what exaltation! Beyond the range of men.)

As I traipse through the bush
in my rag of a dress,
great slobbery dog lopping
at my side, a dishevelled woman
with hands clasped behind her back
like some unhinged Confucian scholar—

a brown snake crosses my path.
It’s an intimate moment, as if
he has been waiting for me.
What does one do in such a moment?
Acknowledge, pass…

Let’s leave everything be.
Let’s just stop fixing.
I want to open like that naked flannel-flower to the sun.

*First published in Bluepepper. My thanks to editor Justin Lowe.

Verity La!

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Basic CMYKI’ve been remiss in not letting readers of this blog know about an exciting new developement in my writing life. Late last year I took over the reins of an exceptional little online literary journal, Verity La. How this came about, and what it’s all about, you can find out in this editorial, which I wrote when first taking on the role of managing editor. As you’ll see, I was TERRIFIED! However, so far so good: it’s been a hugely rewarding experience, and I haven’t run it aground — yet!

So please take a look. At Verity La we’re privileged to have some of the finest writers and artists in Australia — and the world — share their work with us. I’m also privileged to have an extraordinarily talented and passionate team of volunteers helping me make it happen. We publish only one very, very fine thing each week, and you can subscribe to receive posts by email completely free of charge. Enjoy!

Two Poems (and an interview!) published in Tincture Journal

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cropped-tincture_banner1I’ve had two poems published in the wonderful Tincture Journal – ‘Epistle to my Paedophile’ and ‘Dear Ottla’. You can read the first of these below, but if you want to read the second (which is a found poem sourced from the letters of Franz Kakfa), you’ll have to buy a Tincture. Tincture is a quarterly e-book of fine writing from Australia and around the world, and it will only cost you $8! In this issue (nine), I’ve also been interviewed by Tincture’s poetry editor, Stuart Barnes, and you can read that interview as part of their free content. If you like what you read, please support them!

Epistle To My Paedophile

Doubtless you won’t comprehend
my writing you this way;
for you are harmless
now, breathing

in laboured rasps, your body
neutralised
by the karmic stroke
of luck which all the girls
you might have met
don’t even know
they should be glad of.

I was not so fortunate.
I knew you when your limbs
still had the power to insinuate
themselves into Christmas lunch
and re-calibrate the trajectory
of uneventful lives.

(Strange, I never thought to tell,
the chest of smut beneath your bed,
the dancing doll’s skirt, lifted to reveal —
Or your pudgy hands which turned like moles
in the incestuous burrows of their pockets,
jingling coins that lured, and repelled…)

What a relief it was today to find them stilled.
Pale members, no longer in the service
of the perverse familial compulsion
which thwarted me, as it did you.

Instead, you have become the baby
you once must have been:
helpless (hapless?) in your cot,
as I was, legs akimbo;
and this is perfect, a perfect way of seeing
because the unsullied space of your mute
presence allows me to impute
whatever version of this I want to —

from your side, recognition, remorse;
from mine, forgiveness, love.

But I don’t need that now.
We are at peace, you and I,
our transaction complete.
There is no more fear.

Only wonder, at how one clot of blood
lodged within a flawed man’s brain
can assuage so much suffering:
what a wise solution, so elegant,
the vessels swollen to bursting
with compassion for us all —
surely that drop was placed, just so,
by the delicate hand of God.

a Christmas passing

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driving

 

a Christmas passing

travelling home on Christmas Day
full hearts and bellies straining
bush teeming on either side
of this glistening snake of humanity
from the front seat a few sighs
and then the benevolent curtain of rain parts
to let Great Uncle Tommy pass
through

 

 

*On Christmas Day last year my great Uncle Tommy passed away whilst driving home after a day spent celebrating with family and friends. This poem was first published on Justin Lowe’s excellent site, Bluepepper.

 

 

 

The Indomitable Spirit of the Film Maker: Michele Seminara reviews ‘Symphony of Strange Waters’ & ‘Don’t Bury My Heart’

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Michele Seminara:

symphony-of-stramge-watersLast year I had the honour of attending a film screening by friend, human rights activist and documentary filmmaker Saba Vasefi. Here’s a review I wrote of the evening, and the films – which deal with the important issues of the refugee experience, and the death penalty as it applies to children in Iran.

Originally posted on Rochford Street Review:

Symphony of Strange Waters and Don’t Bury My Heart:  films by Saba Vasefi screened at NSW Parliament House on November 19, 2014

'Symphony of Strange Waters' a film by Saba VasefiSymphony of Strange Waters a film by Saba Vasefi

Last November human rights activist, film-maker, poet and academic Saba Vasefi launched her films, Symphony of Strange Waters and Don’t Bury My Heart, at  Parliament House in Sydney to an appreciative and supportive audience. The event was organised by Greens Senator Lee Rhianon and Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council, Dr. Mehreen Faruqi. The audience were treated to speeches by author, academic and editor Michelle Cahill; Head Of Producing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Andrena Finlay; and musical performances by the Tara Anglican School’s Axis Wind Ensemble (conducted by Iain Hoy), and Minerva Khodabande, cellist with the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

First screened at The United Nations in Geneva, Symphony of Strange Waters is a…

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