Posts tagged ‘2010’

Monday, 12 December 2016

Your Sea by Stuart Cooke

You’d say this grass is a slab of light green sea
and the myriad white flowers scattered through it
the tips of waves whipped up by the wind, or
it might have snowed with these flowers, most
of which have now melted
on a warm, grassy bed.

These are your modes, in which varieties are crystallised
into drops of perception.
My poems
begin as surrealist mess, you say,
which my conscious mind refines into sense.

It’s your world talk. We are specks
of pollen floating;
your poems trace the outline of two at the moment
of their collision (and
their gentle parting
is the closing
of the poem’s mouth).

You weave webs
of wispy glass, thin fingers
of light set against backdrops of heavier
material clusters: what
we all see
but never speak.

This poem, then, is a return
to the sight of the already spoken.


Date: 2010

By: Stuart Cooke (1980- )

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Spring View by Du Fu

The country is broken, though hills and rivers remain,
In the city in spring, grass and trees are thick.
Moved by the moment, a flower’s splashed with tears,
Mourning parting, a bird startles the heart.
The beacon fires have joined for three months now,
Family letters are worth ten thousand pieces.
I scratch my head, its white hairs growing thinner,
And barely able now to hold a hairpin.


Date: 757 (original); 2010 (translation)

By: Du Fu (712-770)

Translated by: Mark Alexander (19??- )

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Fusiturricula Lullaby by Gjertrud Schnackenberg

A visit to the shores of lullabies,
So far from here, so very far away,
A floor of sand, it doesn’t matter where,
And overhead a water-ceiling sways;
A shell is summoned to materialize—
The holy life, a spiral, hushed and pure,
Complete unto itself—a spiral shell
Is summoned from a substratum of wonder:
And all is well now, hush now, close your eyes,
Around a primal, ragged nucleus
Accumulated layers crystallize:

An embryonic seashell pulls itself
Through being-portals intricately placed
In seas of non-existence; caught; self-caught
In nets of pasts-and-futures synchronized
In present-nows: the Many and the One—

It doesn’t matter, really, how it’s done,
The how of it; the why; it doesn’t know
How atoms in the ancient paradox
Can pass from unseen particles to seen

Or why a chain of atoms interlocks
And manifests in blurry pink and green;
It doesn’t matter really, where it’s from—
Descended from an ancient nacre-dream,
Self-fabricating through genetic codes
Without an archetype to utilize,
As if the wondrous deed it’s summoned to
Were all that ever mattered, seam by seam
Volutions from a nacre-nucleus
Of violet iridescence: being-whorl
With everything in play, and all in play,
And all is well now, hush now, close your eyes—

A shell appears—Fusiturricula
And uses its inherited clairvoyance
To plot a logarithmic spiral round
An axis of rotation evermore
And evermore-forevermore unseen,
Through pre-existing numbers, one-two-three,

And shyly browsing algae as it ponders
Angular momentum; symmetry;
Successively self-generating curves
Projecting helixes, the axis fixed;
Then tilting on its axis; torsion-tilt;
Compulsion and desire mixed with toil;
An overhanging cusp becomes a spire
By pushing up and forward on the coil:

Irregularly oscillating whorls
Are flaring out in ruffled calcium;

Pure rhythmia;
Slow motion suturings,
With no one there to sew them, perforate
The apex, boring through: a water-vent,
Inhalant and exhalant;
knotted threads
Are pulled to fasten equidistant nodes
Along a helix-rim;
a clockwise twist
And twirling stripes through interrupted bands
Are darkly lit, through brilliant whites and creams,
Like lightning bolts in violet-tinted brown
That zigzag in slow motion, down and down
From node to node to node; a lightning dream
Descending ridge by ridge:
Sensation: Fizz
Salt water circulating past and through
The ruffled aperture—existence is
A taste of ocean water on a tongue—

And then Fusiturricula, intent
On browsing, sets in motion moving veils
Of sands that long ago and far away
Were magma rocks with twisted veins of ore
From which the sand was ground and empty shells
Like lightning-stricken spires, surface-fused
With used-up bolts of lightning, lie around—

Nacreous, in almost-silence, hushed
Among the lulling engines of the sea—

But hush now, close your eyes now, all is well:
Underwater ink enlarges, blurs,
In violet-brown across a spiral shell:
A record of volutions fills a scroll
With wondrous deeds and great accomplishings,
A record of a summons not refused:

Of logarithms visible and fused
With thoughts in rows of spiral beaded cords
As X goes to infinity; impearled;
Violet; and inviolate; self-endowed;

Itself the writing, and itself the scroll
The writing’s written on; and self-aware
With never-ever-to-be-verbalized
Awareness of awareness of awareness,
Instantiation; all in play; a sole
Immaculate example of itself;

And in the aperture, the remnants of
A Heavenly Question, lightly brushed across
With opalescent ore of consciousness:
The universe is where? Is hanging where?

And overhead a water-ceiling sways,
And all is done in play; in heaven above

The ceiling of the sea is drawing streams
Of shining answers through its question-sieves:
Is matter the enchanted lathe? Or mind?
But which one spirals from the other’s blade?

And all the waves at the beginning-end
Of all that comes and goes and takes and gives
And all in play and all that dies and lives
Materializes; dematerializes;
Five, and four, and three, and two, and one—
And all is brought to being; all effaced;

And all that could be done has now been done;
And all is well and hush now, never mind;
Fusiturricula slowly withdraws
Its being; self-enfolding; self-enclosed;
And all it toiled for turns out to be
No matter—nothing much—nothing at all—
Merely the realm where “being” was confined
And what was evanescent evanesced;

And then a spiral shell washed by a wave
Is carried forward in a foaming crest;
But that was long ago and far away,
It doesn’t matter, really, when it was,
And close your eyes now, hush now, all is well,
And far from here, so very far away,

A wave sets down an empty spiral shell
And draws away, it doesn’t matter where,
Among the other waves that come and go,
And other waves appear and disappear
And hush now, all is well, and far from here

All heaven and earth appear; and evanesce;
A self-engulfing spiral, ridge by ridge,
That disappears in waves that come and go
And all that could be done is done; and seven;
And six; and five; and four; and three; and two;
And one…and disappearing…far away…
Enraptured to the end, and all in play,
A spiral slowly turns itself in heaven.


Date: 2010

By: Gjertrud Schnackenberg (1953- )

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Third Verse of “The Chess Game of Love” by Bernat Fenollar

Mercury, always ready in his ways,
Painted the board with hues clear and dark:
And made it Time, split into days and nights,
A box to bring the first enclosures.
Crossing it, he divided it into four natures
Of times diverse; and then, in following his guides,
Of each part he made four equal parts.
By dividing in this mode the rest,
The list adds up to four and sixty.


Date: 1475 (original in Catalan); 201? (translation in English)

By: Bernat Fenollar (1438-1516)

Translated by: Josep Miquel Sobrer (1944-2015)

Friday, 28 October 2016

Second Verse of “The Chess Game of Love” by Narcís Vinyoles

Venus, to exercise her glory,
Desired for her Rooks cautious reserve;
For Knights, disdains of deserved return;
Her Bishops, glances of delightful sight;
For her Lady she took most pleasing beauty;
And her King, following the tale of love,
Was Honor, his life ever in danger;
For faithful Pawns he took courtesy,
All armed and clad with ostentation.


Date: 1475 (original in Catalan); 201? (translation in English)

By: Narcís Vinyoles (c1442-1517)

Translated by: Josep Miquel Sobrer (1944-2015)

Thursday, 27 October 2016

First Verse of “The Chess Game of Love” by Francesc de Castellví i de Vic

As Mars met Venus in a temple,
While having Mercury in their presence,
He devised a game of chess, with new example:
Taking Reason as King without preeminence;
Will for Queen, with great potency;
Thoughts he deems for his Bishops;
His Knights, praises of sweet eloquence;
Rooks are desires to flare up one’s memory;
Pawns are servers striving to Victory.


Date: 1475 (original in Catalan); 201? (translation in English)

By: Francesc de Castellví i de Vic (14??-1506)

Translated by: Josep Miquel Sobrer (1944-2015)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Temple Hymn 15: The Gishbanda Temple of Ningishzida by Enheduanna

ancient place
set deep in the mountain
dark shrine frightening and red place
safely placed in a field
no one can fathom your mighty hair-raising path
the neck-stock the fine-eyed net
the foot-shackling netherworld knot
your restored high wall is massive
like a trap
your inside the place where the sun rises
yields widespread abundance
your prince the pure-handed
shita priest of Inanna heaven’s holy one
Lord Ningishzida
his thick and beautiful hair
falls down his back
O Gishbanda
has built this house on your radiant site
and placed his seat upon your dais.


Date: 3rd millennium BCE (original in Sumerian); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE)

Translated by: Betty De Shong Meador (19??- )

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Steps by Michael Kindellan

            After Paul Valéry

You are not the clutch of silence,
placed gently against the blessed,
as towards a knowledge that sleep
is the patina mooting its practices.
Nor clear with sacraments’ shade,
that are soft but like unrestricting!
Good in everything I can divine
comes to me at bases like these.
If, in what manners you’ve tread,
you are prepared for some relief,
as at home in my own beliefs
the fare of which our kissing is,
do not hastily tender this act,
delicate in what it is, not to be;
because I have you attended so,
my heart moves under your feet.


Date: 2010

By: Michael Kindellan (19??- )

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

This Zinc Roof by Kei Miller

This rectangle of sea; this portion
Of ripple; this conductor of midday heat;
This that the cat steps delicately on;

This that the poor of the world look up to
On humid nights, as if it were a crumpled
Heaven they could be lifted into.

God’s mansion is made of many-coloured zinc,
Like a balmyard I once went to, Peace
And Love
written across its breadth.

This clanging of feet and boots,
Men running from Babylon whose guns
Are drawn against the small measure

Of their lives; this galvanised sheet; this
Corrugated iron. The road to hell is fenced
On each side with zinc —

Just see Dawn Scott’s installation,
A Cultural Object, its circles of zinc
Like the flight path of johncrows.

The American penny is made from zinc,
Coated with copper, but still enough zinc
That a man who swallowed 425 coins died.

This that poisons us; this that holds
Its nails like a crucified Christ, but only
For a little while. It rises with the hurricane,

Sails in the wind, a flying guillotine.
This, a plate for our severed heads;
This that sprinkles rust

Over our sleep like obeah;
This that covers us; this that chokes us;
This, the only roof we could afford.


Date: 2010

By: Kei Miller (1978- )

Monday, 25 January 2016

Our Survival Day by Raylene Campion

Another Australia Day has arrived
Celebrations across our land
Guess they don’t think what we’ve been through
Our ancestors tried to hold our land
Keep us together to protect our clans
Barbecues burning and sweet tasting wine
The white man’s celebrating what belongs to us
But we’re here in the background
Being proud of who we are
Our red, black and yellow unites us all
Saying we have survived another century
Of white man’s invasion.


Date: 2010

By: Raylene Campion (1946- )