Thursday, 5 May 2022

In Love with The Bomb A Poem by Myron Lysenko











A friend of mine found this on the net yesterday and showed it to me. It's a poem I wrote in the mid 80s. Filmed in the ABC studios in Melbourne in the early 90s I think. 



Monday, 7 February 2022

Common or Garden Poets #13 – Angela Costi inviting Denise O'Hagan


The Apricot & The Lemon Tree

 

at the edge of the village

come to an oak much older than me

that’s where I’ll seek advice

      Kit Kelen 

 

tenant 1 planted the couple while tenant 2 and 3

nurtured their growth and here I stand, tenant 4

before their arthritic leaves & brittle branches

 

unlike the owl and the pussycat they are stuck

too close and deep rooted with a stubborn sense 

of belonging to a land they’ve failed to interpret 

 

once gardens were ballrooms of sweet & bitter

fruit throughout Melbourne’s Northern yards 

expecting Mediterranean weather to migrate  

 

now these replica orchards are starving for genteel

seasons, expecting to be washed with lukewarm 

hose each night, even when sky drizzles or sprays

 

with no strength to stretch their limbs, with no

plump, sun-kissed balls of juice for birds & jam

with no smell for dressed salads or fragrant tagine

 

they offer a time-warp of cravings & nostalgia

in the back yard, encircled by concrete and brick 

ignoring the bottlebrush with its bright red offers

 

 

by Angela Costi 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Common of Garden Poets #12 - Kerri Shying

 



Where the bees rest where the butterflies play


                                                                  “What we most need to do is to hear within us 

                                                                     the sounds of the earth crying..."

                                                                                     - Thich Nhat Hanh



from October the trees are all betrothed        each

to the gardener                        in nets  white gauze    

figs      peaches sequestered from the busy beaks

and teeth          of bats and birds

the day            sultry as a girl in her slip swimming     

waiting on the Southerly Buster

cicadas  heat from the city      a brown bubble popped

by flat-iron cloud-banks                      

high and sharp as the beaked head of a kookaburra

tall sky and 

gratefully I'm small

 

up the hill 

march the white

agapanthus                  forcing genetic breaks

onto our purple beauties          scrambling the misty blues

to hybrids        there is no 

            one garden       in my street

 

I see     the Ice flower

nipped out on a beach walk    mini red-fringed suns

succulents  rescued from places where old age gave way

to builders' aspirations            pieces of old friends

the Mentone red geranium that Gaagang saw from his pram

Hoya from the balcony           back at the flat           the boys had

in Drummoyne            your tree

  a pencil planted just before

you died

 

begonias like Mum's   pelargonium from The Redemptorists 

a fine piece of Menken's building   lotus out of farm dams

mingle a floral beer garden    with tin peacocks

and galahs                   turmeric  galangal  Vietnamese mint 

vanilla orchid                         mustard greens

are you hungry            thinking how to mow around 

the condiments                        and if you've ever seen a chicory flower

mauve and  delicate as tissue 

 

 

I see a garden built by birds by bats   

 bullrushes

flown in  yonder          from Ash Island 

White Cedar    loquat  air mail

in a sweep of feathers

    the odd drop of oyster shells           

beside the Jizo statue

bark     depends from gum tree           piling around roots

mandarin and finger lime        lemons            parsley

all engrossed with weed         with blue tongues

pushing up in pots       in tubs in cisterns

 

anywhere

these tiny         hair-drawn feet

can tread







Thursday, 20 January 2022

Common or Garden Poets #11 - Kit Kelen inviting Angela Costi

 



inviting Angela Costi

 

fragments revised from ‘the village is a garden’ at Mesana

Paphos District, Cyprus

 

                                                   and I have something to tell you

                                                   which not even I must hear

                                                                     – Yiannis Ritsos

 

1

such an honest morning

 

sun has washed white

what is that tiny bird swings through

under vines in a courtyard glimpse?

 

it's an all-day rooster

proclaims from tin shade

 

tiny lizards

to whom I've had no formal introduction

are faster than

call their colour 

 

a breathless hill's

good for the heart

 

I go a little way on

at the edge of the village

come to an oak much older than me

that's where I'll seek advice

 






 

2

the olive

 

abundance, peace and glory

 

what lives in the olive

is just this season

 

a certain flit of feather, fur

say opportunity

 

wide boll of gnarl

our ages blur

 

flutter adjustment

in the branches

 

what lives in the olive

a thirst set aside

light throws itself at us

 

the old ones

writhe themselves around

 

all cleft

and strong with standing

 

like a dare to wait

and taste the fruit

 

it's bitter now

but you can have my patience

 

let the blade be with the branch

let the shape be minded

 

sing

and leaf

is song too

 

a hill lives in the olive gnarl

whole skies have gathered 

 

rain fell

 

let this bark be shot of sun

twig fall to winter fire of night

 

the tree so many lives

it's accident and cause we're here

 

a wrestle with itself

frozen yoga seems

 

because we can't see time

tree's made of

 

bend with the breeze

as often laden

 

think calmly as the tree

 

 






3

a picture of the stillness

 

a gnarl of stump

could be alive

points its all directions

 

saw my first snake today

dusty black yay long

 

add this to the list

of those on the way

 

flies to me gathered

as movement as sweat

 

do I deny them hope?

surely I will lie down to die?

  

a breeze lives in the shade

flutter and the tree takes off

 

I walk like a ghost through this knowledge

nobody knows I am here

 




 

4

rising to all occasions

 

pigeons explode from an ancient tree

this happens now and then

 

there are other days

over the skysill

 

other worlds

deep in the heart





Saturday, 1 January 2022

Common or Garden Poets #10 - Jan Dean inviting Peter Wells

 



This Festive Season

For Peter Wells

 

                   ‘you will always be/ that sole cigarette ember

on a summer night/ blending into the wilds of the garden

       you planted behind a sentinel of spiders’ — Morgan Bell

 

 

Top heavy, agapanthus, heralds of the season

kiss the ground at the front of our house

after so much unseasonal rain and seasonal sunshine.

 

Next door has blue ones and ours are mauve

both virginal, reminding me of my husband’s late aunt

who gifted the flowers over thirty years ago

 

when the house was new. She was the one who shocked

her granddaughter, uninitiated in religious life

when she lay prostrate at Christ Church Cathedral.

 

On the western side Christmas colours of green and red

abound, including firecracker or cigarette plant.

Grown taller than I am, there’s money plant

 

if you’re superstitious, or jade if you romance.

A burgundy crepe myrtle my best friend gave as a miniature

thrives, something my friend couldn’t manage.

 

Along that side there’s grevillea robusta, bottlebrush

native frangipani, macadamia and multiple tibouchina, masking

the view of Munibung Hill. Recent weather caused

 

the Havana cigar plant to creep horizontally on the path

impenetrable for the aged and unstable. There’s a place

for us though without leaving the house to partake

 

in shinrin-yoku, the Japanese art of ‘forest bathing’.

From my kitchen chair I look across a covered deck, a walkway

and melaleucas that fold and unfold to acreage of eucalypts, so tall

 

they dissolve the horizon. This year a poinsettia glows in a bulbous

terracotta pot. Following the sun’s path throughout the day

allows a sharpening of senses and calm descending.

 

Left alone, nature carouses. Scruffy needn’t equal ugly.

Sometimes heaven touches earth and when it happens here

it’s a blessing for randomness, since the contrived are unfavoured.

 

                                                                              Jan Dean

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Common or garden poets #9 Morgan Bell inviting Jan Dean

 



The Grave

For Jan Dean

 

“the zucchinis are King Midas

withering in their own liquid gold”

 

Magdalena Ball, ‘False Promise on Petals’

 

a backyard is a cemetery.

there are tiny bones down there.

bones of birds and mice and skinks.

each year they subside further

into the sandy soil.

 

if you were buried there,

the way you wanted to be,

all that would be left of you

in one hundred years

would be your teeth and some nylon thread.

 

you will always be

that sole cigarette ember

on a summer night

blending into the wilds of the garden you planted

behind a sentinel of spiders



Morgan Bell



Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Video premiere - December 19th...

To mark the soft launch of this year's 8 titles and to give fellow poets and poetry lovers a taste of the work contained within we have timed the premiere of 4 videos (and any others received between now and the 19th) on the Flying Island Youtube channel for the evening of December 19. Details of the Premieres are as follows:


Anna Couani                     "Glebe Local"  (from 'local' )                                              5.45pm

Sarah St Vincent Welch    "Topographies" (from 'chalk borders')                      6.00pm

Brian Purcell                      "Westerly at Bongil Beach" (from 'The Leaving'       6.15pm

Alan Jefferies                      "Only spring" (from 'in the same breath')                6.30pm


Please be sure to tune in and as always... Like, share and subscribe!

Flying Islands Youtube