These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Friday, 28 March 2014

March #4

The Point is the Light

We walk from the temple
after the feast,
down the hill to the car.

Navigating uneven ground, 
I catch a glint between stones: 
black sheen,
and a blue-green inky sliver.

A peacock's chest feather?
The splinter of colour
along its spine
flashes iridescent 
against the surrounding dark.

I turn it this way and that
between finger and thumb —
such a tiny thing —
watching the brightness 
move and spread.

My friend finds another,
rainbow stripes fanning
wide across the tip.
"They're both yours," she insists.

(Earlier, over dinner,
she helped fend off 
that oaf who tried to hit on me.)

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Friday, 21 March 2014

March #3

Centre of Education.

A dot.
A point.
An exact location in space.
The place
pierced with a compass.
A pinhole
light bursts through
a prism,
refracts
the spectrum,
frees a rainbow,
and the point is the light.

— Michele Brenton

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

March #2

Learned To Assimilate

I refugee'd out of home to the school yard shore,
escaping solitude,
so I thought,
for a better way of life.
I learned that not everyone saw fairies,
or still had imaginary friends.
Soft ways were for the back yard
amongst the red glowing geraniums.
The asphalt of school met my hands and knees
as laughter held me down.
I hid my knowing,
drew a veil over my seeing eyes,
shut my truthful mouth,
and was led to
the detention centre of education.

— Helen Patrice

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March #1

Their Song

Corellas?
They tell me of lost
country, of
stolen generations:
once in this town
they were thousands
now counted in dozens.
Silent Spring? Not yet
but soon.

I listen to their screaming
keenly, translate
their screeches into
my own outrage
my fear of stealth and story
that justifies theft.
Their community voice
pierces the certainty
of self-interest.

“Too many!”
“I hate that noise!”
“They destroy my orchard,
everything!”
“I hate them!”
Their dispatched  feathers –
fluffballs, quills, faintest
orange or lemon on white –
I stuff in my pocket.

Their views are aerial
and urgent; they shake
elm and eucalypt
with equal fervour
having careered across roads
and paths above
hostile tribes.
I prevent collected feathers
from drifting away.

It is that insistent
commentary, their claim
to country – unreconciled,
unrecognised – our ears
do not want to receive.
It is a wordless song
a treetop rant
we have never
learned to assimilate.

— Jennie Fraine