satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-09-14 09:48 am

Bits and bobs

With the advent of a head cold, I cancelled nearly everything in my diary this week. So this is what it's like to make space. No wonder the writing well has felt dry for so long. I am usually so busy that I don't make space to rest, think, dream, and let my mind make connections.
Lo, and the writer is confined to the house. And lo, images and ideas start to intertwine, and hello, it's poetry.
Yes, Satya, all it takes is not running around doing stuff to 'feed your writing and mind'.
A new poem yesterday, and one this morning. Dunno if they're any good. Shrug. They can be bonsai'd into shape. Right now, what's important is that poetry edged its way out into the early Spring sunlight, and I'm very happy to see it.
Don't make too much of it, don't make too much of it, don't shine 25 spotlights on it. Let it be. Shhhh.

Anyway, so, head cold. Another one. Melbourne is germ-laden this year. Ugh. PizzaBoy and I are moping around the house, snorking and coughing. So far, TwentiesPerson is well.
Not much else to report, except that I finished reading 'Spoonbenders' and wondered what that big fat book was all about. I thought I'd lost my current journal, until I saw it again 5 days later, sitting on my altar, where I'd carefully put it with my mala, like I've been doing for the past several weeks. Brain fog is real, people.

Also, I'm taken with the idea of choosing tarot and oracle decks to suit the season and the Wheel of the Year, so I've had a brief flick through my decks and chosen a few that might match up. Margaret Peterson Tarot, Winged Enchantment Oracle, Belly Dance Oracle, Flower Reading Cards, Hawaiian Oracle. Some chosen for the colour palette, some because flowers or burgeoning life feature. I'll see if this method of playing suits me.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-08-08 07:59 pm

The Wholefoods Water Sprite

Wholefood Merchants in Ferntree Gully has a café attached to the 'supermarket', and serves quite nice food, even if the menu changes on a whim, and every single thing I've ever liked there eventually gets supplanted by something containing wheat, quinoa, eggplant, or something I simply loathe.
I like to go there for brunch, to read, to shop, to browse, and sometimes to write. For that, I go in the non-rush times from 9.30-11.30am, and 1.30-4pm.
The café has a large water feature that's treated as a wishing well. It's a low, square pool of water, with a metal sculpture acting as waterfall.
Today, I gave a two year old three ten cent pieces to throw into the 'wish' for me, as she'd already emptied her mother's purse of all silver, and one gold coin ("Go all out, and make it a big wish!").
Whatever the poppet wished for, shortly afterwards, I finished the short story I've been mucking about with, and decided to have another crack at the idea of a water spirit living in the water feature. Two aborted short stories, and this time, a poem.
Well, that came tumbling out of me, and I thought I'd never find an end to it. I returned, yet again, to the idea of a female discovering she has a link to the water spirits.
So, thanks little girl, whatever your wish was. I feared that poetry had left me.
I'm so unsure of myself re poetry that I'll need to give a couple of people a look, and then I'll be brave and send it somewhere.
I have grave doubts about this. Every time I access Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, I find 80% of the poems inaccessible. I just don't get them. And the remaining 20% are so sophisticated that I quail before their cleverness.
This poem I've just first drafted is very simple, and just says it. No obscurity, no high-falutin'. Both concepts are my enemy. Can't be doing with high-falutin' poems.
Anyway, maybe there's a home for it somewhere, once it's been tidied up. It would be nice to have one publication to my belt this year.
As for the short story, I'll also run that by a couple of likely suspects. And then see if the competition I aimed for is still open. I had an uneasy conversation with my muse on this story.
Satya: Here's the criteria: X, Y, two Z's, and a K.
Muse: Hmmm.... While you're in the bath tonight, riff on it to PizzaBoy.
Satya: But that's just silly riffing.
Muse: It's called brainstorming.
Satya: Oh.

Satya riffs to PB. PB gently eggs her on. Satya, as usual, takes it to weird places. Much giggling, and self-entertainment. Satya feels sparkly.

Satya: Um, Muse, how about that story....
Muse: You have the idea. The riff?
Satya: But that can't be the story, surely. It's...simplistic, silly. There's no logic.
Muse: Take it or leave it. That's what it is.
Satya: But Margaret Atwood is a judge. We've just finished watching 'The Handmaid's Tale'.... This isn't going to fly with her.
Muse: Want me to take it back?
Satya: No, no. It's just that....I thought our idea would be more....important.
Muse: You don't do straight importance. You go the Pratchett, Adams, and Asprin route. You use humour.
Satya: People don't take it seriously. They think there's no skill to it.
Muse: Must I remind you that those 'writer people' you're thinking of write shitbox clunky humour, and you don't. Now, here's a nice new notebook, and your favourite turquoise Lamy fountain pen. Get on with it.

Tomorrow, I start trying to transcribe my handwriting. Not as easy as it used to be. My handwriting is even worse, and my eyesight...well, I can see I'm in for a 'squint at the page, then type a few words, then squint at the page' session or two.

But that's tomorrow. Right now, I can tell you that all this chipperness is a smoke screen for The Sad, and The Exhaustion. I didn't sleep well last night, so fibro symptoms are rolling through me, namely joint and muscle pain. The Sad is nagging to consider images of hanging and being shot in the head. The Exhaustion wants me to lie down and die.
Yeah, well, not tonight, thanks. Now that I've realised that I'm on to my second World War II book, and I've been listening to another WWII book in the car, I've ceased 2/3, and am applying 'The Utterly Ultimate My Word Collection' by Frank Muir and Denis Norden. That should make me laugh, and I can forget about Nazis.
Full Moon in Aquarius, plus a partial lunar eclipse. No wonder my brain is messed up.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-07-17 10:11 am

Finding My Long Way Back To Poetry

I've not written poetry much at all this year. I've been deep in memoir territory, and I feel dry, used up, a leaf in winter scraping on cold bitumen. So, I toddled over to my favourite poetry inspiration place and I'll try to do something with Brendan's prompt.

Knife through butter
to measure out half a cup
for this new recipe.

A good sliver off the Larsen Ice Shelf
loosing itself into the ocean.

Sugar weighed out into metal bowl,
white and silver.

Snow and ice gleaming,
deep within larimar-blue.

Crumbled almond meal,
the tang of vanilla essence.

Icebergs melting, salt biting deep,
the smell of krill
from a minke's mouth.

Apply heat.

The cake rises.
The land bares itself.
One more palatable than the other.

That felt like grinding dry concrete. But it's a start.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-05-18 09:50 am
Entry tags:


Poor sorting: I like that: that it all gets dropped, the big stuff enmeshed with the grainy soft stuff. The indiscriminate mess. That it forms a long train, so that seeing it all, one can trail events back. Guess at them. View time. And by way of the whole scattered and shifting pattern, by the gathering eye, make something of these loose details, collecting. - from "Glaciology" by Lia Purpura.

Imagine the bride down the aisle,
white train leaving behind her old life.
Along the curated carpet:
a Barbie here, a skipping rope there.
Over by the doorway, a tiny engagement ring
given to her by a boy desperate to fuck her
when she was eighteen,
the diamond speck scarcely visible
amongst light refracting off the rock on her finger today.
Her life revealed,
like a shock of ankle,
or a glimpse of 1913 stocking.
Heaven knows, now anything goes,
as old bikinis,
and a school uniform are kicked
by the mother of the bride
into a spare aisle at the back of the church.
And oh, over there, the body of her first dog,
old Aldo, who endured her toddler love.
Everyone pretends they can't see
her history sediment roughed up and exposed
by the glacier-white of her dress.
She streams past, hands trembling
ever so slightly,
and face frozen in a smile she's practiced
for years.
The groom, at the front of the church
yet to be ground down to rock flour,
as she approaches.
New territory open for both of them;
climate change, and going-away outfits.
The rubble is left behind
on the floor of the church,
as she looks ahead,
as though she knows what's coming.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-05-15 01:29 pm


"By August, the young geese are strong fliers, and the parents take them from the ponds down to the marshes and the shore, where some of them will spend the winter near the salt water. Others fly off, looking for new homelands." - Mary Oliver, UPSTREAM.

High summer,
we're lolling on the verandah,
stripped to bathers,
or underwear,
and each of us eying the others,
wondering who'll be first
to make that noise.
"Mum, Dad, I'm going to-"

Leave home.
Who will it be?
It's holidays now,
school's done.
Dad's joked for years:
"Out you go, the lot of you."

What's the signal,
the moment unspoken,
when the urge to fly
lands on some,
and not others.
Who stays, who goes?

High summer,
and we're waiting for the
honking-goose moment
for one of us to ruffle feathers,
spread wings,
and lift into heat-laden air.

The hours tick,
a sun-burnt tin roof,
cooking our brains,
until we don't know
what the future holds,
except that some of us will
go, and not come back.


I don't know who's speaking here. Someone part of a large family, it seems. It's certainly not my own experience. It feels American to me, perhaps the Mary Oliver influence.
Who are these people, that so many young adults around the same age, are thinking beyond high school to the world beyond, and either reaching for it, or shrinking away?
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-05-15 12:48 pm


The following are poems typed out from Jacquelyn Mitchard's excellent book THE MOST WANTED. The poems are by Sharron Singleton.
I have wanted to store copies of these poems for many years, but have never found a permanent home for them. This seems like as a good a place as any.

To Dillon For Our Wedding Day

Love is a season
for the migrant
heart to rest in.

Love is the wild
wind the heart
rides home on.



In some dumb wisdom your mama named
you, not after a person, but after a place.

Darling, you are all the lonely hometowns
in Texas, brown and sun-burnt, a little wild

a little sad. You are the high meadow
streaked with shadows of quick-moving clouds.

You are that narrow valley outside of town
where flowers bloom after a few drops of rain.

You are the place I am always moving toward,
the yellow light that spills from open

doorways, a darkened bedroom
with a dress thrown over the chair.


Every bride

holds the future
in her mind
on her wedding night.

Here is the future
I want - enough
time to grow

ordinary and dull,
that settle

like moths,
you and I
on the porch stairs

in the dark, the glow
of your cigarette,
the smell of the first drops

of rain in the dust,
nothing to look forward to
but tomorrow

and the day
after that.


The Sound of Bells

I'll always remember our first night
together, you so flushed and sky,
me knowing what I know but
scared too because you are the first one

I loved. We poured our loneliness
into each other and filled the emptiness
and dark corners of this place with joy.
Seeing you naked made me feel so tender.

I think of your long straight back,
your strong legs, see your hair on the pillow,
your dark eyes close, and say your name
over and over. Arlington. It is the sound of bells.


The Terrain of Love

I thought love would be something so large
and bright I could not contain it, like an armful
of exploding firecrackers. I see now

that the terrain of love is small scale. There
are the fine golden hairs on the backs
of your hands, your voice as it thickens

when you say my name, your thumb
on the pulse of my throat, the day we first
stood together, not touching, just knowing.


What's True

The hardest thing is to say what's true. You
aren't the first or the only but girl, when I think
of how you came to me, how your long dark hair
fell across my face, your skin rippled under

my hands, water-soft and water-cool, I am washed
clean, like Jesus said, and it seems to me
that if this is all I ever have, it is enough.



This love sucks at me
like the Texas wind
that wants my clothes
that unbraids

my hair. It plucks
here and there
with strong fingers
pulls at the cords

of my wrists til
like a harp they
ache and sing
This love teases

unravels and loosens
til untucked
and love-struck
I open to you.


Cell Dreams

Late at night: I am dreaming, something wind
pushes me along like a pebble in the path
of a dust devil, something unbroken in me -
or too much broken, crazed they say. My life
is a walk through an electrical storm - each hair
stands up, each cell is charged with this current;
there is nothing behind me and nothing ahead.

Later: cheap whiskey redemption scalds my throat,
brings peace in the night.

Later yet: headlights (now I'm dreaming
of you) and a thousand miles of highways, the night
juiced up with music - lonely cowboys, angel girls,
and death, a 2.00am country preacher,
testifying, rocking in the spirit (we have to),
stop at the motel, tear back the sheets, tumble
and tangle together, call out, "Oh,
Lord!" while above us stars burn
holes in the black night.



Now I lay you down
my sweet, downy
head beneath my cheek,
to sleep your deep
and dreamless sleep.
The angels keep you
safe, I pray: my little one,
my Desiree,
and I will watch and I will wait
and rock this bough
that will not break.
No one will take
your soul this night.
I'm here.


Chasing down more of Singleton's poetry, I find the following links:
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-04-24 10:51 am

Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month

Three yellow leaves
on a black windshield.
Which one will the glass eat,
to sustain its revving self?
The pooled raindrops
as saliva,
wipers as tongue.
Autumn nourishment
for a winter mouth.
satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
2017-04-22 04:15 pm
Entry tags:

The Crone's Tale

There are not enough of us to go
those who chose to age,
to concern ourselves with tribal future.

We wise wimmin
travel the land along ancient lines,
healing with story, herb, bony touch.

Children explore our faces with wonder
for they do not know wrinkles,
the crevasses of the dark.

We are too few,
and needed too much.
Our stories are demanded,
but put it on the computer,
where I can read it later,
Old Woman.
Don't tell me truth
face to face.
The mirror of your eyes says too much.

So, we travel to where we are needed
but not wanted.
The adults hurry us on,
while children reach out their hands,
their mouths round O's of more.