Old plastic puzzle pieces itchy to fit,
An unpacked jacket tangram Tetris in a gale,
Chalk cat’s game, reset and go again.
Tumbled down red mat recombinations,
A solid grace neatly reabsorbed,
Fingers sounding mumbled alterations.
Incredible all-at-once, do-it-now obvious,
The Tower of Hanoi’s hop skip traverse,
Arms unfankled into two warm sleeves.
A remarkable assemblage of verse, prose image and visit from ‘Hill to Sea’ !
We could eat this sky.
Stretch up, scoop out
handfuls; smear our faces
and taste the fanfare
Out of red earth
lines of olive trees, vines
and quarried stone.
Centuries of building,
the land, goats
Another cyprus tree – rooted
in tangled narratives
and shadow play.
No neatly packaged hay bales in the uncanny rural. Creatures of twilight, sit hunched in the corner of smallholdings, backs turned. In fading light, walking past these halo-skewered field dwellers: was that a lengthening shadow? a sigh? a suggestion of movement?
They would appear in the adjoining field at around 7.00pm each evening. A symphony of bells heralding their arrival. We never did see where they came from. They would feast in the field for around half an hour, a clanking cacophony of movement. Occasionally, one would come over to eye us up, usually the smallest with the highest pitched bell. Curious young eyes…
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This piece (words, sound, image) was made in response to a New Scientist article by Jessica Hamselou about studies by researchers at the University of St Andrews, and the University of Western Ontario into the phenomenon of déjá vu.
You read more about the science in Jessica’s fascinating article online at New Scientist.
My reading and the poem are below, click on the wee tiny thumbnail for a larger version of the image.
‘Ocean Beat’ by Sorrel Wilson and Jay Armstrong
Reading Elementum is something of a subtle sensual overload. This new journal ‘of nature and story’ is a beautifully judged amalgam of photographs, art, narratives, poems, design, paper craft and ink. Everything about it seems set to put a brake on the swish-swish-swoosh mode of browsing engendered by too much shiny screen time. The matt surface of paper itself gives the eye traction, and the words on the page offer a firm growing medium for thought. This is rich soil. And, like a healthy loam, the book – it’s fair to call it that, as it is a decent index finger think – has it’s own intoxicating scent. I’m reading while basking in the fertile tang of printer’s ink. Contributor and editor Jay Armstrong has made a marvellous thing! Continue reading
A fine poem by John Grey…
WATCHING THE MONARCHS
On a meadow at wood’s edge,
June floats in on black and orange wings,
completes Spring’s promise,
fuels Summer’s largesse.
My eyes have their wish –
the monarchs have arrived.
Such a will to live.
Scraps of creature
cheating the wrecking ball of weather
from far down south
all the way to my doorstep.
What is sadness compared to this?
Deft as a ballerina’s toes
or a deaf man’s fingers,
they find, in air, a secret language,
writ from buttonbush to aster.
Beyond prevailing platitudes,
delicate purpose becomes beauty.
Instinct rivals even love.
Copyright © John Grey 2016
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.
A marvellous poem, and a valuable post.
This year we have two gorgeous
yellow warblers nesting in the honeysuckle bush.
The other day I stuck my head in the bush.
The nestlings weigh one-twentieth of an ounce,
about the size of a honeybee. We stared at
each other, startled by our existence.
In a month or so, when they reach the size
of bumblebees they’ll fly to Costa Rica without a map.
“Warbler” by Jim Harrison from Dead Man’s Float. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016.
* With a wave to kind reader Usha who, during the Spring, offered this as one of her favorite poems, shortly after Jim Harrison passed away (March 26, 2016).
Usha’s suggestion led me to learn more about Harrison. Reading more, I learned that Linda King Harrison, his wife of 55 years, had passed away less than six months earlier (October 2, 2015) and that Mr. Harrison had “died a poet’s death…
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