Sunday, October 19, 2014

You Know Who You Are

Coming at me sideways
from an unexpected source
We quickly struck a chord
of shared experience
Across the web of bits and bytes
A cyber friendship
In the making...

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Attention Rebel Poets: George Elliot Clarke on Spoken versus Written Poetry

What the Spoken Word poet knows that the page-poet has forgotten is, POETRY is meant to be performed. In the Western tradition, it descends from Ancient Greek performances of sagas and plays. EVEN IF a Spoken Word poem LOOKS simple–TOO simple–the only way to know its real power is to read it aloud, for oneself. Eliot said, “No verse is ‘free’ for a poet who wants to do a good job.” I say, “No poem is ‘good’ UNLESS it can be read aloud.” - toronto poet laureate george elliot clarke

This quote sums up why spoken poetry is so powerful and often threatening to academic poets. There is a raw edge to performed poetry - a theatrical component that doesn't sit well with the aridity and extreme objectivity of the academically trained and lauded poet.

The interview that this quote comes from can be accessed here:

It is a thought provoking discussion, suitable reading for any outlaw poets out there...
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

So good to be back

Even as I flew over
the patterned fields
the love returned.

Ancestral home
Point of departure
place of places.

Green fields not paddocks,
meeting with friends.

We left Heathrow,
Mark and I,
my younger brother by hours
not days,
and dallied by the Thames
at Runymede
home of the Magna Carta

Friends are what makes
life bearable, memorable
and fun.

Thanks Mark
my friend
and fellow traveller...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Qatar Poems - Eid Number 1 Twice

Ramadan is over,
Eid al-Fitr is here,
The Feast of Breaking the Fast,
The Sugar Feast,
the Sweet Festival,
the Lesser Eid.

The first time it came,
All was new and strange,
but the second brings
with it the
understanding of
a blessed time,
in the world of Islam.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Houses Away from Home

In my world I have one home,
Made up of many houses.
Dispersed In Nelson, 
and Doha.

But Amberley Downs 
is home of homes,
Snuggled on the
peat filled fields
of Newstead.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Qatar Poems - Gondolas

Under the painted Villagio skies we rode the gondola,
Steph and I.
Not Venice,
But a Qatari similitude.
With eyes half shut,
One could almost
Be in the Merchant's city,
City of dreams,
Of Shylock and Portia.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Qatar Poems - Sitting with my eLibrary

It's very different,
I'm not sure how it happened,
But here I am,
In my Leather Armchair
And my library is sitting on
the arm of my chair.

Not as impressive
as my physical library
Packed up half a world away
But here in Qatar
my book lust has to
be satisfied with my
Kindled iPad and me.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Galoush for Stephanie

Life is fun and then we die
But on the way we share our
hopes, our aspirations
and our recipes.

Sitting in the cool of the afternoon
my daughter, Stephanie, peruses
her mothers recipe book.
A new family dish is invented,
The contents the same but the name has changed.

From now on we will eat
Hungarian galoushes
No pedestrian goulashes for us.
The galoosh, or galoush is a cunning dish
Renaming it will let it know
We are onto his devious ways..

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Qatar Poems - Leaving Friend

He sold the idea to me
Come to Qatar
Great place
Great people.

I left the green land
of Aotearoa
and came to Qatar
dry desert
with it's own charm.

Now he is going back
he has had enough
Leaving for Australia
Home of the kangaroo
wattle and gum tree.

Go well my friend
remember us
in our hour
of need.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

The Qatar Poems - an explanation

Poetry is a very evocative reminder of ones life and adventures. I use this poetry blog as an electronic poetic journal. During my three yesrs in the UK I wrote many poems (see blog posts from 2008-2011). Back in New Zealand I wrote a series of outlaw and experimental poems as well as some regional poetry describing the Waikato around Hamilton. I am now on contract in Qatar and I am writing a series of Qatar poems that I will publish when I leave.

Apart from a short stint in Thailand, Qatar is the place that has been the most culturally different from my upbringing in New Zealand. I found that working in the US, UK and Australia was very close to living in New Zealand, but Qatar has been a complete change and cultural challenge. The first 3 months were very strange but after 7 months I found myself feeling at home. My wife joined me after 6 months and she is still going through the I hate Qatar phase. She is a country girl and I have taken her from a farmlet in the country to the deserts and dryness of Qatar. The adjustment has been dislocating for her but I recognise the cycle she is going through.

I'm sure I will look through these poems in years to come and they will strengthen my memories of my time here.

As I learn more Arabic, I am feeling more at ease. You will know this has infiltrated my mind when Arabic phrases make their way into the poems.



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Qatar Poems - The Whanau Returns

From home they came
in the sky waka.
Wife and daughter
Back to the deserts
of lovely Qatar.

Leaving Aotearoa
with roimata,
Arriving in Doha
with roimata.
Tane whispered,
E whanau mā, haramai rā,

Note: waka - canoe, Aotearoa - New Zealand, roimata - tears, E whanau ma, haramai ra, haramai - Family, Welcome, Welcome

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Qatar Poems - Winter End Blues

I never mourned
the passing of winter
in years gone past
but here in Middle Eastern climes
The cool respite
Is a welcome interlude
From the unrelenting sun
and heat.

So farewell my quarterly friend
I will remember you
as the mercury rises
and the sweat drops
in the country of
the Desert bloom.

Note: I moved to Qatar in 2013 and survived my first Summer. I thought I would never be cold again and the heat in mid summer was relentless. You can hardly walk 10 steps without becoming drenched in sweat. The last 3 months have been very pleasant but as we enter Spring the temperatures are slowly rising, but I now have a different kind of Winter appreciation.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

To Do List Found Poetry

This poem was constructed from taking every 3rd word from the To Do list found on my desk today. Enjoy.

Issues templates Physician
35 Action Medical
Next Issues running
What Owens April a Analysis.

Weeks forward Surgeon retreat
CCC State One SME Manoj
Hyperion of match a out a clinicians
HR program to access 210

Is it poetry, I think it is, but feel free to differ. Experimental poetry is fun.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Combine - Enemy of True Education

The Combine - Enemy of True Education

The Combine
crushes and destroys
the spirits of our young
Learn to sit to stand
to take orders without
thought or conscience.

The Combine furthers
its grips on peon
humanity educating
them for its own interests.

Extinguishing the flame
of true learning
of creativity and
the interests of all
people on the earth.

From the Combine spews forth
pollution of thought and land
of peace
Making filthy lucre
from the misery of
the earths people.

But Look! here come
the forces of the home schooled
No longer bowing to the Beast,
Learning freely,
imbibing deeply from the fountains
of true learning.

Cleansed and purified of the
corrupting influences
of schools carrying out
the mandate of the evil,
of those who contaminate the
earth in the name of

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Life Suckers

They crush the spirits
from the children
making them sit up
O so quietly.

Keeping them away
from their natural
curiosity conforming
them to fit
in the constrained
mould of mediocrity.

How many Mozarts, Chopins
da Vincis and Einsteins
have we destroyed
by our passionless
education system.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Qatar Winter

Everyone said
it never gets below
20 degrees...

But it does.
It is Winter
and surprisingly
I'm cold.

13 degrees
is 40 degrees off
the Summer High

So here I am
feeling cold
in the middle
of this desert state.


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