Seen first, a parabolic etching
sun-seared against sky.
At the tree’s skirt, a promiscuous spawn.
Possum and wallaby will do for them.
Best not to mourn.
On higher ground snowgums school,
each affirming each huddled other.
But here, on this fluid sweep of plain,
the principle is splendid isolation,
majesty, serene disdain.
These leaves are rounded innocence,
Swirls of bark, unpatterned, flow
sinuous, strips of soft colour,
pinks, greys, creams on modest show.
This is a world of water;
of frost and eternal water.
It slides through root and rootlet, effortlessly
drawn through bole and branch
to bleed sweet and red; honey from trees.
Last week I read a poem for RN (Radio National), a pre-recording to be broadcast in the Friday 8-9am timeslot. I read the second section of ‘Regret’, the less abstract part of the larger poem, that which considers the poignant interaction between an anonymous male Aboriginal and the equally anonymous French sailor, Piron. (Well, Piron was ‘equally anonymous’ at the time I wrote the poem, though I’ve been told that subsequent scholarship has supplied much biographical data.) It was a portentous engagement, and I’ve always preferred this section of ‘Regret’ to the more abstract first part of the poem. ‘Regret’ is to be found in the third group of poems in Physick, ‘Metaphysics’. What I can’t tell you, however, is on which upcoming Friday the poem will go to air. Sorry. But tune in. Continue reading “Listen out – I’ll be on RN! And did you notice this is a new site?”
I can and should report on the launch of Forgotten Corners, and only a case of the aw-shucks has stopped me from reporting earlier. Despite a massive swag of apologies (pre- and post-launch), a full house turned out at the Hobart Bookshop – now, sadly, on the market, though likely to trade on cheerily for some time yet. Geordie Williamson, sans-notes, gave the most extraordinary launch speech. Continue reading “…And there’s no rest… Here are three more not-to-be-missed events”
I’ve neglected you, dear friends, for an unpardonably long time. There’s a reason, though. I’ve been preparing a book of essays for publication and it’s primed and ready to go. The marvelous Ralph Wessman of Walleah Press has put it together, and as usual, he has done a brilliant job. Matt Newton, who features in my pages more than once, took the cover photo – that’s me in the window of the late and sorely missed ‘Joe’ (Jeff) King’s shanty at King’s Run on the Arthur Rive coast. Forgotten Corners is the main title of the collection, and its sub-title is Essays in Search of an Island’s Soul, which is more than a tad saccharine, but certainly conveys the sense of the book.
This is my first book-length publication since Physick: Catharsis and the Natural Things, and I want it to have just as much impact. It’s 17 years’ worth of published essays Continue reading “Forgotten but not forgotten”
Back so soon? – well, the fact is I held a couple of items back in my post the other day. It seemed to me that I’d already hit you with too many words, and I hold the view that, in this didgy world, the ‘too much’ limit is reached sooner rather than later. So I cut it short.
Anyway, here follow the items I held back the other day. Continue reading “A few more things that have happened/are happening”
… since I last posted. There have been two more performances of Indignados!, one in the inner-Hobart Latin American cafe, Yambu, and the other in the very beautiful Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall. Each was a triumph, and in both cases we had a full house. As I’m about to go to Greece for a month Continue reading “A few things have happened …”
What would a geographer-turned-poet do when he’s not writing poetry? Well, in this case, he has turned his hand to local history. With my good friend, Tom Dunbabin, I have just had published, a sumptuously presented book, A History of the Midlands Tree Committee, 1983-2014. Continue reading “A History of the Midlands Tree Committee”
Everyone is talking about story. In Hobart, story events are all the go. In a recent Tas Weekend piece Amanda Ducker surveyed the landscape of story events in Hobart. But she missed some of the history. Continue reading “Colour-coding Tasmania’s future”
Exciting news – I’m about to hit the road again, with Paul Gerard and his inimitable guitar. We’ll be performing a sequel to our popular show Evening in Andalusia, featuring another poem from Girl Reading Lorca – ‘Madrid June 19, 2011’. It’s called Indignados! Paul has written new music to accompany it, and we’ll also perform one or two other new poems from Girl Reading Lorca. Continue reading “Indignados!”
(On tenacious proposals to erect a cable car on The Mountain)
This mountain now. Assume it rich and slippery
of mood. Let it nudge the morning talk abroad.
Let it slip within the old town’s skirt. Continue reading “Nailing Pooranateré”