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.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

May #4

Suits Her Just Fine

Pleasure is now
a mug of cocoa, 
an Anzac biscuit
and a fine book to read.

Well, it always was —
but she remembers too
shopping at night in Khatmandu,
or meeting that shaman in Cusco.

She remembers lovers, 
their beautiful faces
and questing minds,
including the three she married.

And oh, she remembers loss,
hands that she held
as their owners died ...
the emptiness of dead bodies.

Now her elderly cat
comes every night
to lie beside her
on the wide bed.

The bed is warm.
The cat purrs.
Pain in muscle and bone
subsides.

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Thursday, 22 May 2014

May #3

Moonlight becomes her

The worst of alien overlords
twirls her moustache
and smiles lopsidedly.
It took many years to
perfect that smile,
without it no archenemy could ever
hold their head high.
The moustache arrived with no effort at all
the only tricky part was
deciding to embrace it rather
than depilate. There are more
satisfying targets in life
and snide looks make it easier
when culling is required.
Whatever set her on this path to begin with,
she is happy now at the top of the tower,
finger on the button, deciding the game.
Heroines are for fairy tales and stories,
nothing to do with real life
and that suits her just fine.

— Michele Brenton

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

May #2

Furnace of the Sun

His scream blasts off
from the front garden launch pad,
as sudden as 'Challenger'.
It rises through the atmosphere,
busting its burners against gravity,
to break free of Earth's embrace,
and head for the furnace of the  Sun,
where its heat belongs.
The outrage of not being allowed
to run on the road
in brand new winter shoes
that clomp like an astronaut's boots!
His eyes glitter with tears as bright as stars,
as Granny turns from best friend
to the worst of alien overlords.

— Helen Patrice

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

May #1

When we go deep

I will change we to they.
Let the young and agile
do that caving thing
squeezing through
narrow clumps of rock
interring themselves in
the dark recesses
of my imagination.
I just have to shudder.

Then there are the divers.
At first writhing like fish,
later holding a spear
ahead of the face while
beginning to morph
into shark and octopus.
Heavier, dropping into
denser currents, hot water.
I take quick deep breaths.

There’s just too many depths
available on this planet.
You have to be truly committed
to plumb them, feel the fear,
act anyway, free-falling, sinking.
There is so much other pleasure
in skimming surfaces, dancing
like a dragonfly between
leaves, over river water.

Is my aversion past-driven?
Too many storms at sea,
midnight runs at gunpoint,
surgery, anaesthetised?
Luckily, memory is like
a skating rink: such grace
on thick ice! strung between
that frozen surface and
the furnace of the sun.

— Jennie Fraine