Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Only Breath, by Rumi

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.

Translated by Coleman Barks

I was in Wellington on Sunday and went to see the exhibition on at the City Art Gallery - Roundabout. An amazing feast of ideas. My attention was caught by this poem, written on a wall in explanation of the exhibition's themes. I love the way it circles, eventually distilling its wisdom of what it means to be human.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday Poem: DIY Movember

OK, so this post is a little late, but I feel justified as I've been writing a poem-a-day for a week. Well, ditties, actually. They are my tribute to my friend and fellow poet, Chris Tse, who to overcome his hereditary trichoincompetence has pledged to wear a different designer moustache every day in "Movember" and raise money to battle men's health issues. You can see his blog here. And if you click on the comments section, you'll see my silly rhymes.

I'm working in Blenheim this week and one of the galleries is showing a selection of works and words by Claire Beynon, a fellow Tuesday Poet. It's a wonderful collision/collusion of words, paint,image and idea - and there's reference to blogs, too. Check out her blog, Waters I have Known.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday Poem:Through the looking-glass

mornings I wake
surrounded by shards
of mirror-glass

step backwards
into the shower
emerge from the foam
naked and once again

the suit fits
but sits askew
my face different
under this sky
that tumbles pink painted blooms
onto me
as I drive to work

it seems familiar
but even the seagulls screech differently
and once more
the teeth of the sea
at me
turn into tongues


this isn’t really your place.

Tasmania, September 2010