Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Under the Surface

in the ocean
a story squirmed on a hook.
I tried to reel it in
struggling to the surface,
but my calamari twisted
just out of reach -
not yet ready to loosen its hold to life.

I wanted to taste the sea,
smell the sweetness
of lemons on fried fish,
I wanted most things
a writer wants
when an idea plays with them,
dangling wantonly,
before diving into the depths of the ocean.

In aggravation
I tried to pin it down with words
and pull it in,
my monster.
Its slippery skin
refused the invitation,
wriggling in meters,
drumming its eight legs to the beat of the ocean.

Squid, octopus, monster of the deep
opened an enormous maw
and sucked me in
until there was nothing left
inky paper
and stories
deep in the ocean.

 A.J. Ponder

It seems Lorraine is right - I often cannot seem to help but want my poems to tell a story.  And the sea is definitely a recurring theme.  Maybe it's because it's so close, breathing in and out like an old friend, but more likely it is the fear - the "Here be Dragons" marked on the borders of maps; the giant squid, the octopus my father caught that tugged him around several bays in the sounds; the sharks; the stingrays, so silent and dark, like barbed shadows in the water... or maybe it is simply an inability to see clearly through to the sands and stones below.  I'm leery of the "big-bath", have been since I was old enough to speak.  Now don't get me wrong, I do sometimes go swimming, rational fears and irrational fears not being the same thing.  But there is something enticing and frightening about the ocean, something almost alive, so that even if only the friendliest minnows lived inside, I think there would be the fear of not coming back. And still the catch fascinates us, we are happy to sit in boats all day with a line over the side, trying to catch the big one, the one that got away.  For writers it is much the same, the patience, the work, the hope, the one that got away, and the deep dark fears that we tease out from as deep a water as we can find.

Click here for more links to fairytale poetry, some mine, and some from other great authors.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Ouroboros

Beginnings swallowed whole

  A.J. Ponder 
A cheaty poem today.  Having quite a busy week, lots of Rona Gallery things - including a great event at Rona Gallery, where we gathered in honour of Kate De Goldi and she talked about her book, "The Ten PM Question" and read from her new work, which was awesome - and I rather blithely having offered to put on a play was rushing around finding anybody brave enough (or gullible enough) to take on a part. And now there's an exhibition with advertising to go out, catalogues to do... not to mention a chapter to write, a book to crit... how do I get myself into these messes?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stolen Time

 In the forest late at night
As the moon was shining
I thought I saw a fair one
Out at midnight dining

A blanket and a basket
A wine of claret red
A bosom warm as dawn
On which to lay his head

I blinked and all t'was over
The night was sped away
And twenty years, they rushed by
The night I passed that way

The fair one he was restless
And jealous of the Day
And fair he held her close
And bid her come his way

She spoke her words so warm
And smiled like winter sun
And when she laughed it burned
Twenty years undone

Now in the forest late at night
When sister Moon is swollen
I beseech her there to free
The years that Day has stolen

But sweet Day, so young and fey  
I do protest in vain
Though my bones turn ashen grey
I love you just the same

A blanket and a basket
A wine of claret red
Your bosom's far too warm
For a mortal's bed

 A.J. Ponder 

I love the classic fairy tales of lost time, the deadly romance of it all (mostly the deadly bit) and so this is my homage to those tales and poems (they had such a wonderful way with rhyme and metre) of my misspent youth.  And talking about misspent youth - received "Tiny Trouble" in the mail - thanks to Pearson's Journal, "Comet" and it looks fab :)  Also posted off the paperwork for "Legendary" (co-written with Peter Friend), which will be printed in their "Explore" magazine soonish.

If you love poetry, try out the Tuesday Poem hub http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/
or for more fairytale poetry click here to my Fairytale Poetry Hub


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Give me the boy and I will give you the Demon

America created a tyrant -
and bayed for his blood

You might think that is the beginning
and the end -
but the middle?

Nothing more than one foot
after the other
over a trail
of bone and blood the size of a country
and slippery as oil.

 A.J. Ponder 

Something vaguely topical - and the carpet is metaphorically pulled from under my feet.  Ironic huh?  No picture this week, though. for more Tuesday poems click on the Tuesday Poem hub :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Grand Design

My Minion

Almost In the style of A.A.Milne, "Market Square"

I had a dollar
a brand new dollar.
Mum gave me a dollar
for cleaning the hall.

I took my dollar, my fine bright dollar,
straight to the book-shop, and asked them all.
"Have you got a minion, a slave, or a servant,
'cause I really am tired of cleaning the hall."

But they didn't have minions,
at least not real ones,
and story book minions
are no use at all.

So I took my dollar down to the bakers,
and showed them my dollar, and asked them all,
"Can you make me a minion, 'cause I really need a minion.
I need a minion to do my chores and all."

But the baker couldn't make minions,
at least not real ones,
and ginger-bread minions
are no use at all.

So I went to the shop where everything's a dollar
and said, "I need someone at my beck and call,"
but they wouldn't sell a minion, no matter how small,
they didn't have a minion -- not for any price at all.

I trudged home with my dollar,
and I slammed the door,
and I stomped to the kitchen
when I heard my mother call --

"Would you like a sandwich?  A rainbow-sprinkle sandwich?
I've cut the crusts the way you like them most of all."
That's when I knew I had a minion, my very own minion,
I'd always had a minion, after all. 

 A.J. Ponder 
This was a for a certain friend, who remains anonymous who was complaining there was not enough rhyming poetry.  You know who you are :D