Can I come in? It’s not safe out there

…it never has been, I thought

I read the news, have seen the stats

hear the doppler rise and fall of sirens

bouncing off the city walls insistent

on untrammelled passage

scrambling wits of locked in drivers

blocked in lanes unsure quite where

the blue lights approach from

or head toward, what they are

and who they’re for

.

May I? For a moment, until it clears.

Could it ever, I wondered after

weeks, months, years have passed?

Some still remember how it felt

to bump accidentally into friends

or brew a fight with a stranger

or catch the light in a smile

(while sharing a smoke at the cool side-door)

agreeing to something a little more intimate

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 6 Prompt, take a line from a story as a prompt, then write the poem, then

“Actually, one of them was supposed to come today, but because of the commotion going on out there they sent me instead.” 

From Samsa in Love by Haruki Murakami first published in The New Yorker, republished in Desire Vintage Classics / Penguin Random House (London, 2017).

~

CLP 06/04/2021

NaPoWriMo

On Water

Inundation flows

finds a level then settles

serene water fowl

~

n.b. Today a bitter northerly brought snow to the air and pushed the tide higher, so that the rivers spilled into low pasture, ducks, geese and swans followed.

~

CLP 05/04/2021

Herds

Based on ‘Words’ by Tadeusz Różewicz

(translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston)

Published by archipelago books (New York, 2007)

Herds

Herds are rounded up

treated as fodder

for innocent smiles

reduced to mere patties

sold by a clown

.

macerated with machined steel

compressed into packets

wrapped

conveniently for

shipping

.

distant forests

have been cleared

reduced to pasture

for consumers

who know not this work

.

soon

disposed of

through the human gut

‘though residual traces lie in wait

still living

.

converted blood

converted bone

converted to something

else we use up

converted from living

creatures to

foodstuff

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background Day 5 take a poem and convert its shape and sound into something of your own, using the first letter of each line from the original to start your own poem. I have taken the shape of a poem and used it as a template for my own, but using my own first letters. Not the original prompt, but as with all prompts, a starting point, not a proscriptive set of rules, (for me…). Also the original poem is not out online for you to cross reference, as far as I can find, sorry.

NaPoWriMo

~

CLP (05/04/2021)

Sixteen Ships

New Railway Pier / Princes Pier, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Photo: Christopher Perry 25th December, 2016)

Sixteen Ships

~

What dreams they carried off

those sons and brothers, fathers, uncles

twenty thousand hearts squeezed to fists

as summer unwound beneath the Southern Cross

they sought Heaven’s Light to guide them north

through Suez to Gallipoli

where even eucalyptus oil could not medicate

shattered souls, nor eradicate the pain.

~

n.b. April is marked on the Australian calendar by ANZAC Day, (25th April), a day set aside to remember the sacrifices made in World War One by Australian, Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal and New Zealand people.

New Railway Pier saw the first departures of volunteer soldiers in the Australian Imperial Force who travelled to Europe in October, 1914 to fight in that war.

This liminal setting then witnessed the hospital ships returning from Southampton, of which the last departure from England was delayed by the 1919 Spanish ‘Flu pandemic.

After those terrible events the pier became the arrival point for many emigrants from war-torn Europe, who saw more hopeful prospects on southern shores.

Now known as Princes Pier, this is indisputably an in-between place.

~

n.n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background Day 4 is all about liminal spaces; edgelands.

NaPoWriMo

~

CLP 04/04/2021

Do Not Alight Here…

…the sign on the platform read

provoking that bloody-minded reaction

he saw as proof of living a life

still worth it, worth everything

worth going to bed

with a stranger once more

here might be the place

that could throw things up

burn the throat, whet the tongue

revive, refresh, rekindle

the screech of parakeets

colonising plane trees in the park

after-dark sounds on full reverb

in daylight on streets

of colour, black to white all blood

everyone from anywhere

who’ll do something, anything

no more bi this

no more buy that

stop and search me, why don’t you

I’m game as road-kill

as smart as street crime

as sharp as a wife

given half-a-clue to step out

and start out anew

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background Day 3 here is how the cards fell when I cut the deck: whet, game. (For TC).


NaPoWriMo

~

CLP 03/04/2021

Flâneur

Less of a fork, more like a maze

Cul de sac, u-turn, or roundabout route

Chris-crossing cities, wandering wild

A rambling nose for amuse-bouches and side dishes

A taste for sharp turns, an eye for live mains

Which road is not travelled when most have been tried?

Still working the start menu, rebooting worn shoes

Still with a pulse and nothing to lose.

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background Day 2 prompt: A road not travelled…

CLP 02/04/2021

NaPoWriMo