Friday, March 28, 2008

Kanomi (Nth Keppel Island) poetry wokshop in paradise, do you fancy that?

Kanomi (North Keppel Island) is a truly beautiful and eco smart environment off the coast of Yeppoon, Central Queensland, and unlike its sister island Great Keppel, is not an open tourist Island, as much of Kanomi is classified for use by Queensland Education Department,(which includes other stakeholder status).

The workshops are very relaxing and the environment is outstanding: shared community huts facing the foreshore and ocean; numerous eco smart projects; full internet access and office facilities; great catering and many walking tracks (don't bring the hairdryer).

Last time I was on the Island, dolphins were visable daily, and even followed the boat from the Island well past the half way point towards the mainland on our trip home. The workshops cater to all levels of writing skills and mixed genre, poetry is always well catered for, even if you want to skip the bulk of workshop process and just write, worth thinking about?
Here is the blurb from the Uni, and when it's up on the website, I'll post a link and a picture...

Footprints in the Sand: Writing as a Journey

Idiom 23 Magazine’s workshop on
Creative Writing and a Sense of Place
North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre

September 12-14, 2008

Writer in Residence Dr Lynda Hawryluk
with Kristin Hannaford, Louise Waller and Steve Butler

Cost: $160 includes boat trip, share cabin accommodation and meals.

Transport: Departs from Roslyn Bay Marina for North Keppel Island at 10am on Friday and returns approx. 3pm on Sunday. (Saturday morning departure can be negotiated for visitors travelling long distances).

Inquiries to: Dr Liz Huf
07 49232573 or 07 49383746

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How to be a poet

how to be a poet

in the mornings
leave the dishes
they will get done - later

go outside
dream a little
listen to the trees talking
the air whispering
birds gossiping

let your words slide
drop off the page
cluster into twos and threes
let them dance
forming their own rhythm

in the evenings
leave the dishes
they will wait till - later

go outside
taste the darkness
savour smells
jasmine, woodsmoke
eucalyptus after rain

let your words discover
small silences
let them drift
pooling in shadows
bubbling into poems

© Heather Matthew 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

how to be a poet

read everything and everyone
over and over
ignore the naysayers
all the time
pull the knives out
one at a time
look in the mirror
face the image
and don't moan
if you don't like
what you see
ask yourself 'so what'
about everything you write
don't just want to be a poet
don't just try to be a poet
and if you are still writing poetry
don't expect to be published
don't expect anything
not everyone is a writer
not everything is worth reading
life is more important than dreaming
about life and writing about dreams that
are replacing living your life
and for goodness sake, don't
think that just because it seems
like a good story, that if you write
it down, somebody else will think
it is great, there is no great
just the slog and the life and the
poetry and the chance that
you might get it right

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Spectare’s thoughts absently

caressed his anger
like a suppressed familiar cat,
half-forgotten as myth. Its threadbare
fur prickled. Its claws bit,
for company, and he felt
imagined pain his owned, his very,
and went out into it, the story,
donning a voice like a coat,
to stand before the self-sure,
feeling as absurd as a man
with a cat on his head,
in the bared town-hall square

like a box orator shouting
at enmities of air:

There are still stars unnamed to us, and more.

(I've been nudging this around in the past week - David Bircumshaw)

Launch of Indigo Journal #2

For all WA poets, or WA visitors
Out of the Asylum Writers' Group with Christchurch Grammar Centre for Ethics invites you to the launch of Indigo Journal Volume 2.
Featuring Frank Sheehan in conversation with Les Murray
Friday 28 March @ 7.30pm
Christchurch Chapel Queenslea Drive Claremont. RSVP by Friday 21 March to or 9335 3736

Thursday, March 13, 2008

strangling heaven

How do you know that
you're strangling heaven?
Taught to irrelevant
standardized scales
Taught to be standardized,
Christian White Males
or wherever you're placed
and timed
Taught to believe the sublime
is but an affectation,
drug-induced hallucination,
not to be relied upon
when creditors come to call
demanding payment
for providing you with life.
Selling your soul for nickels and dimes,
the working-class creed.
Giving in to everyday crimes,
habituated to need
secondhand pleasures,
pirated treasures
that never succeed in
destroying the pain,
the long season of Hell
you strive to explain
"it's his fault" "it's their fault"
"it's my fault"
all victims of blame.
And you're strangling heaven.
You're making it impossible to survive,
denying your passion to thrive,
denying your worth,
the blessing of birth onto
this mortal stage.
You pace in your cage
as if castrated of will.
And heaven so wants you,
surrounds you, offers
your most deeply hoped for love,
boundless happiness, life eternal,
every pocket of your soul
exquisitely fulfilled.
Heaven offers you her open arms,
and you, in your hellish nightmare,
strangle her

(c) March 12, 2008 Laurie Corzett/libramoon

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

International poem of the week

I loved this poem of the week that came through my email via poetry international.


Will it stretch that far? Will it go round three
Continents or four, three hearts or more,
And still slide through a ring ?
Worn and unravelled night and day without
A break, past two time zones, retain
Its sleek, original shape?
How many machines can we put it through,
How many phones, planes, taped voices
And still find it wearable?
Is our love elastic, or some finer,
clinging, skinlike, inward-breathing weave
To make all this bearable ?

© 1993, Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita is a poet, editor, translator, academic and activist. Her book of poems, Play of Light (Penguin India) was published in 1994. She is Professor at the University of Montana, formerly Reader at Delhi University. She was founding co-editor of Manushi, an influential journal about women and society, from 1978 to 1990.

William Baylebridge Memorial Prize

It seems that I've won the 2007 William Baylebridge Memorial Prize for my book A Letter to Egon Kisch. I'd always thought that this prize was for a first book (and it clearly states on the cover that this was my eleventh), but anyway I've quickly spent the prizemoney in case they discover the mistake and want to take it back. Does anyone know enough about this to put my mind at rest?

Wollongong reading

Rocket Readings featuring guest poet David Brooks
+ Open Mic readings from local poets

David Brooks is the editor of Southerly, and author of poetry collection Urban Elegies and novel The Fern Tattoo. This event will also feature open mic readings – sign up on the night for your three minute slot.

When: 6.30pm, Tuesday 18 March, 2008
Where: Music Farmers cafe, 5 Crown Lane, Wollongong (laneway opposite the western entrance of Crown Street Mall). Please note that the Music Farmers cafe will be open, BYO if you are dining at the cafe, coffee and softdrinks also available.
Bookings and information: SCWC 02 4228 0151 or
Cost: Free event. Your donation gratefully accepted.

All the places of possibility
open to my scrying eyes
I am the universe of time and space
awaiting birth
Your eyes draw me
they fill in the lines
with infinite perspective
I have breath and depth
heartbeat and color
You draw me outside the lines
I am your forever love,
your fatally flawed hero
In the ethers where we touch
magical manifestation shines
the singularity collapses
a new universe
comes to life

(c) March 5, 2008 Laurie Corzett/libramoon

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On being a Poet

(I'm soaking my necklace in coca-cola)

I thought it could be
the tilt of my hat
or the way I held my glass
but the words kept interfering
trying to tell me something else

even when I gave up wearing black
words did not give up on me
& my fishnets have long
been hidden in a drawer
along with my feather boa

this flamboyance once needed
to be a part of the act
as if these props & the bottle of Chablis
were all that kept me writing

now I notice lines of determination
etched into my face, drawing down
my mouth into mean & ugly
or tilting my eyes to laughter
joyful, derisive

& the words keep coming
spilling over the pages
create their own life
ask their questions, like
where are you taking us now?


Monday, March 10, 2008

March Project

on being a poet

the wonder of it all
shaping language to hatch
& re-hatch the pallor of a sparrow,
bush turkey compressing leaves

to see the poem just right, to catch
the underbrush of a metaphor
before it is lost in uncut grass

the ancient burning patience
one needs to track a poet’s last winter,
or hold summer voices in your
hand. bundle them into your backpack

to be stung by words like a bull-ant,
staying in the woods to feel the shape of it

or perhaps dwell in the oval of a new phrase,
where your children used to play, their tiny spirits
whirling round, running out of a last stanza

they circle round and round
throw their wishes down. hear a gifting
sound – ah-tishoo, ah-tishoo?

then suddenly it all takes shape,
holds court, sparrows out, kingfisher rare.
it could be a forest call, or as loud as leaf fall;
a fine thing like cornucopia

unforgettable lines
sunning themselves as bees
in forsythia


light-trap press - edition one announced

light-trap press have announced their first publication, holding Job's hand

This is the first of several editions planned by the press.
I'm so over the moon about it, and I (almost) can't wait to feel the book in my hands.

You can read more about light-trap here.

foam:e Issue 5 goes live

With great pleasure, I declare foam:e issue 5 is launched - happy reading folks!

There's a plug in the editorial for poneme and our new blog.
Some great reviews and interview, heaps of local and international poets who sent outstanding work for this issue. I'm really happy to have been along for the ride...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

sweet dreams

I fall asleep with the smell of sugar
sweet cloying, it fills my nostrils
sticks gritty at the back of my throat

outside the mill’s siren thrum
presides over flatlands of cane
broad rivers, lakes of overflow

at night it becomes a lighted ship
twin funnels pluming smoke
I wake to warm rain and molasses


some news on lou-waves

I hope fellow poneme bloggers don't mind me putting a plug in for my long overdue news post on lou-waves but it didn't seem right to post the whole thing here, and I will have some follow up announcements and posts, which I'll include here and on my own blog shortly.

Friday, March 7, 2008

PressPress Chapbook Award

If you could pass this on, I'd be grateful:


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hope and Sandals

shuffling yours and hours
you come to a sudden cliff
hot autumn winds make
nerves and skin erupt

take the easy way out
and lie down or
walk to the letterbox
in hope and sandals

today's snail dries out
in the letterbox oven as
the driveway burns your feet
no news or cheques

no matter tonight
is the third episode of
that gangland series
just the ticket to

take your mind off

Andrew Burke

And the winner ...

will be announced right after the words from our sponsor.

How to be a poet

A new idea and inspiration for this month's project.

A poem posted by Andrew from Wendell Berry

How To Be a Poet
(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

by Wendell Berry

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday crows

I do miss the sounds of roosters crowing in the mornng. 

Andrew's crows do the same thing.

Here's his Wednesday lines:

Every Wednesday
they string-up

all across
suburban skies
four black lines

before the blue
of a startling
clear sky

then birds come -
twenty-eights to crows -
to perch and


Andrew Burke

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Feels like a red gem of a day.

A poem or two:

Tuesday morning wind
has blown the birds away
and plants sweep
the garden back
and forth.

He is inside his head
as usual
wind whistling in one ear
the other leeward
and nostalgic for

childhood holiday camps
by the Indian Ocean
dogs' ears pinned back
all eyes
on the horizon.

He leans
and turns the hose off
hand over hand
he wends it around
the half wheel rim
screwed to the porch.

Andrew Burke

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday, Monday

Love that song with Mamma Cass's distinctive voice.

Monday on poneme...mmmm. More great offerings.

Monday means nothing
in China where
you work seven days a week.

Monday means nothing
much when
you're unemployed
in Australia.

This Monday I bring
the washing in from
Sunday and wake my wife

Monday's mudlarks play
flying leapfrog over bins
out for collection
on brown summer verges

Andrew Burke

monday's wet notes

# in the furtherest place from height

discussion lower than everything else
so still now whatever wounded grunt
was ever free for all the talking
political tally doesn't catch the
message from the gun (a low day
then) talk lower than everything else
so still in the ground

# thought the poet had a pure heart

for all the rabid iniquity
thought a calm breath
filled need found hope was a willing
motivation towards relinquishing

thought the poet has her own perspective
thought that was clean thinking wiped assumptions
wiped the generalisms found a pure heart
only worked in first drafts

Louise Waller

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday reflections

Its Sunday and the church bells are ringing. Well they are if you live near a cathedral or church which still tolls the bell.

The start to the week, this day of the sun. A time for reflection on the week past, the week ahead.

Here's two reflections of Sundays past: 

The Old Methodist Hall 

I went looking for the old Methodist Hall. The one with the stage filled with boys and girls. The one where Eden’s apple could inflame; Jonah being washed by a whale; no rickety old ladder for Jacob’s climb. In my Father's house are many mansions. As a child, I knew mansions of the doomed, valleys of the shadows of death. I could recite the Psalms, and knew the songs of my father's religion. Give me that old time religion. It was good enough for my grandfather. It was good enough for my mother. It was good enough for my brother. No handclapping or dancing in the Methodist Hall, only Sunday School, catechism, the young layman's guitar - a modern hook for boys and girls. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits. I learnt the Gospel, according Matthew; recited all the names of books of the bible. I would to go to Galilee and stand on that shore. I would walk my feet sore in the bosom of Abraham, if I could see his face. If I could see his face. Jesus was a mystery man who never had a face. I remember his soft hands, ginger beard, long flowing robe. He walked amongst thieves, murderers, tossed gamblers from a sacred temple. Yes, Jesus loves me. The bible tells me so. I went looking for the Methodist Hall, couldn't find that old time religion. It was late Sunday, no tolling bell, no organ, only a wagtail on a missing spire. Church supplanted with a section of shops. Old choristers and angels held in the body of wayward lotions, massage oils. Some keep the Sabbath in surplice; I just wear my wings, and instead of tolling the bell for church, our little sexton sings, wrote Dickinson. Gran used to say, "God lives behind our eyes, and all they see." I went looking for that old Methodist Hall, and found that little girl, still down on her knees.

Helen Hagemann

Presbyterian Sundays

My father strode briskly to church every Sunday
psalm book in hand, money for the collection plate
securely licked into a printed offering envelope.

My mother and I in matching straw hats
short white gloves and little handbags followed.

His was a family tradition of ministers and missionaries
where children and wives walked behind in duck formation.

I have photos of them all in hats sweeping along
the Presbyterian streets of Camberwell
not a smile between them.

Heather Matthew

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A retrospective Saturday poem

Like Julie Christie at the Oscars this is a little bit 80s

Saturday horoscope with Crystal
(a good day for family activities)

now, as four, we travel
taking the 210 bus
over-full with race bound gamblers
we stop short of the race track
to indulge in the school gala
each of us tracking
our favoured activities
a kind of gambling
with different odds

returning home
with our winnings
three chickens
two bottles of wine
a pie plate
not to mention
one shied coconut
there is room
for conversation
on a less crowded bus
advice from an older woman
on how to make stuffing
recalling past experiences
of boiling rice in the outback
where no bread was available

we had bought bread
with lunches in mind
marmite sandwiches
& cheese on toast

this conversation
changes our plans
stuffed chickens
with fruit juice
& cheap wine
make their contribution
to family dinner party
while on TV, David Lange
our Prime Minister, gives
the best Oxford Debating Speech in years
& receives a standing ovation

Judith McNeil

Sunshiny Saturdays

Its a sunny Saturday morning. A day for eating pancakes and doing the Saturday wash.

Here's our Saturday poems:

American style,
Saturday pancakes with syrup
you fashion ears and limbs,
dough menagerie shapes.
Pancakes hot from the plate,
children swoop, as hawks wait
for prey to emerge from grass.

You spear one or two
for the plate, drizzle the maple
and look at me, our children.
Mention in passing that
the coffee tastes like cigarettes.

Kristin Hannaford

Saturday wash

up to my elbows in suds
doing the Saturday wash
dreaming of Mrs Beaton

all her some days finally realized
with the mechanical washing machine
no handle necessary

but the general principles of washing
set forth in her chapter on laundry work
naturally apply to machine washing

first the linen is examined for grease spots
damp stains, fruit stains, ink stains, tea and wine stains
removed according to the chapter on household hints

then each article is entered in the washing book
before soaking in a tub of lukewarm water overnight
to which a little soda or borax is added

early on the following morning fires are lit
hot water procured and the washing can begin
experienced washerwomen rub one linen surface against the other

I plunge into buckets and scrub with soap
doomed to turn all my clothing yellow
no bluing, bleaching or starching will improve their colour

outside the air is fresh, a good drying wind blows
I string out a line of smalls and socks doubling the pegs
sniff the sheets and towels, watch the shadows dance

Heather Matthew