I am very happy to have my first publication in India.

The poem ‘Canberra’ appears in the book Capitals, edited by Abhay K.  The anthology contains poems about nearly all of the world’s capital cities, and is published by Bloomsbury, India.  I came across this YouTube film of the book being launched recently at the Jaipur Literature Festival, by Ruth Padel:

Canberra is represented by two poems; the other one is by Michelle Cahill, which I am hanging out to read.  So we’re really writing above our weight division in terms of population, particularly as Oceania is merged with Asia in the book.

I am very much looking forward to receiving my contributor’s copy.  Here is the cover, which is stompingly cool:

cover-image-of-capitals-3

I responded to a call-out for poems for the anthology on the Australian Poetry website, and feel honoured to be included with my mild little poem about Canberra.  Poets in the anthology include Ms Padel, the late Mahmoud Darwish, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva and Derek Walcott.  Just shows that you should always submit a poem if the project interests you. You have nothing to lose but your quatrains, as Marx didn’t say.

Most of all though, I’m delighted to be published in India, which is home to the world’s second largest number of speakers of English.  It makes a welcome change from Oz or the USA.  My poems are becoming much more well-travelled than I am!  (I’m usually beyond rapt when I do a reading in Melbourne or Sydney.)

The book can be ordered through Amazon India, from late April, according to that site, or from Bloomsbury, also in April.  No doubt it will be available elsewhere as well.

UPDATE: I just I just found out that the Jaipur Literature Festival is coming to Melbourne!  Exciting stuff.

Poem from a hammock

January 2, 2012

It’s perfect weather, about 30 degrees. I’ve been swimming twice today, and saw dolphins, black cockatoos and Brazilian tourists; all very pretty.  Tomorrow a new Test match starts.  There’s always a new Test match at this time of year, and then there’s tennis, or should I say Tennis, in Melbourne. This poem relates to the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, and was written as India came out to bat.  (I’m a quick poet, so I finished this before their innings was over…)

I know there’s still a world somewhere outside this huge brown hammock of a country, but in the middle of Summer, at the beach, that seems like an unlikely dream.  Here’s a lazy sonnet from a currently rather lazy country:

Every Summer

The flat green bird, flecked with white,
squawks all Summer in the corner.
Clarke, Ponting, Hilfenhaus, Warner
versus Dhoni and Dravid (the one to dislike).
There’s a shadow plays just behind this match
for something odd occurred at Bellerive,
concerning Kiwis, still hard to believe.
So in case something else weird should hatch,
there’s a certain anxiety beneath our banter.
India’s chasing two hundred and ninety-two.
(Difficult, but not impossible to do.)
But I think we’ll win now, in a canter.
And when it’s over, and the song is sung,
silence pounds out its ghostly runs.

P.S. Cottier

Seams? I know not seams.

Best wishes to anyone active enough to be surfing the net.  I’ll be back in full hardworking poetry-factory mode soon enough.  When I extract myself from the comfortable myth of perfection.  Happy new year to everyone.

(And after a lot of thought – for they still pop up in Australia in Summer – I can’t mention New Zealand in a light-hearted poem without at least acknowledging the new earthquakes that happened over the holiday period.  I read the ugly words like ‘liquefaction’ and have no idea what that would really mean, except that it must be terrifying to be in Christchurch when these tremors/quakes occur.)

Update: I realise now, having visited some news sites, that as I was drafting this entry, another major tremor hit Christchurch.  I hope that the damage was minimal.