Lizz Murphy at the Hub

July 28, 2014

That sounds like an ad for a jazz singer, at a club drenched in twilight like cheap cologne, where the sax wails like a lonely cat.

But it is not. It is purely informative, telling you, dear reader, that I edited the hub post for Tuesday Poem this week, and that it features the said Ms Murphy with a most beguiling poem. Press this feather and read:

Tuesday Poem

Here is a photo of Lizz Murphy and myself in front of some wool, which bears absolutely no relation to the poem. She is the one who looks intelligent.

Lizz and me at Yass

Tuesday poem: iPsalm

July 24, 2014

Sweet god of Twitter
keep me succinct
but not too avid.
Deliver your goat
from all foul trolls’
machinations.
May the words of
my blogs,
the firstworldproblems
of my speech
be acceptable
to your on-line policies.
O great moderator
#amen

P.S. Cottier
Jacques_Daret_001

So here’s a poem partly about Twitter and Facebook by a person who resolutely refuses to do either. Twitter seems to bring out the inner thug in too many people, and Facebook, with its voluntary marketing of each person by each person as a commodity, is just sad. Although one of the books I have been involved in has its own Facebook page, admittedly. But that is a commodity, albeit a poetic one.

Blogs, of course, are inevitably saintly…

The following feather, dropped by a visiting angel, will take you to New Zealand and you can contemplate the wonders of technology as you fly there. Or not. That is entirely up to you.

Tuesday Poem

This poem is appearing on Thursday, rather than Tuesday. Sorry for that.

By rights I should be in Sydney, recovering from the launch of The Stars Like Sand, but I was too sick to go. Rest is what I need right now.

I hope those who attended enjoyed the launch.

A nice surprise!

July 21, 2014

I just heard that I have been awarded second prize in the Hector the Lump of Coal Picture Book Competition. I wrote a story in verse called ‘Hector and the Bully’.

Such a pleasure to rhyme and to have a narrative, and a group of characters, I must say. It was a very different type of poetry from that which I usually write, which tends to be free verse.  I tried to make the poem quite easy to read, particularly aloud, while avoiding overly clunky rhymes.  (It is about a lump of coal, though, which is a fairly solid addition to any poem.)

I wanted to raise the issue of bullying without making the work too confronting for a potential audience of young readers (some of whom might have the story read to them by parents, should it be published).

Hector became more like a real presence to me as the piece progressed, as those close to me noticed. What started purely as a bit of fun became a tad more serious. Hector began popping up in the conversation all the time.  I began imagining him in all sorts of scenarios.  As is usual with me, I became a little obsessed.  First time it’s happened with a coal-shaped mascot, though!

To say that I am surprised to win a prize is actually an understatement, given that this was so far from what I usually do.  Although I have secretly been working on a different children’s book, it must be said…Here I am dreaming of publication.

This current award does not necessarily mean publication of the story, by the way. It is a cash prize.

Thank you to the organisers, DBCT Pty Ltd. I only wish I could meet Hector some time.

I had a poem prepared for today, but this most unexpected news intervened.

Tuesday poem: (haiku)

July 16, 2014

sick at the beach
lungs sandblasted
holidays towelled
beach

Continuing the slightly whingey tone that my usually vibrant and witty blog has exhibited lately, I had a week at the beach and I was too sick to swim! I am still sick and on actual medicine! I have not been able to go to the gym for ages! You can’t keep good Aussie germs down, it seems. They are positively marsupial in their popping up when least expected.

I dragged my benighted carcass into town on Sunday, and ran into photographer and person about town Geoffrey Dunn, who asked me to open an exhibition he is having at The Front Gallery here in Canberra. Intriguingly entitled ‘Two Tens and a Tomato’, it includes work by Geoffrey and visual artist and poet Marina Talevski. They have mixed poetry, photography, sculpture and installation into works exploring the written word and visualisations of poetic elements.

I am popping down to the Gallery tonight to check it out, so that I can hopefully say something coherent tomorrow at 7pm.

Hanging out in town with a sign saying ‘Will launch for drink’ has finally paid off…

Here is a photograph of me taken by Mr Dunn. Unfortunately my magic parasol did not keep the germs at bay. Must ask for a refund. From the makers of parasols, not from the photographer.

parasol

For comparatively germ free reading, click this feather:

Tuesday Poem

…it’s on Wednesday the 23rd July, 7.30pm at Don Bank House, 6 Napier St, North Sydney.

Hopefully my health will have improved by then, as I am currently sounding like a moth-eaten walrus with a two packets a day habit. Here I am looking a little dumpy:

bigstock-Walrus-family-haul-out-26072654

I will try and haul myself together over the next little while, and magically transform myself into a cultured creature who can read. North Sydney is not my usual part of Sydney; so it will be interesting geographically as well as offering an opportunity to meet more poets. I tend to stay in Glebe when I go to Sydney. Or Newtown.

The launch is being held alongside poetry readings organised by Danny Gardner, so there is a small cover charge for non-contributors.

Do come along, dear Sydney persons. Unfortunately, Tim Jones is poetically ensconced in New Zealand and will not be able to make it, but I’ll be there, as will David Reiter, the publisher.

SLS_Cov

Here is a link to the Facebook page with lovely photos of the previous launches, and you can navigate from there to a dedicated Sydney launch page, should you so desire.

Or better still, just come along.

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