Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vice/Versa - Midnight Snack Weekly Prompt #5

Every Tuesday you will find either Vice/Versa or Midnight Snack (they will alternate)posted here at 12:01 a.m.  For “Vice/Versa” two random words will be posted along with their polar opposites (Otherwise known as antonyms). Write something using all four words. It can be any form of writing; poetry, prose, short stories or whatever else. For “Midnight Snack” a simple photo prompt is posted.  We will guide you in no direction. It is just you and the photo.  If it inspires you, then write about it, if it doesn't then go back to bed.

A link tool will be posted at the same exact moment the post is published. Post your related scribbling and leave a comment. Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how creative others can be.

This week it is time for:
Vice Versa

Write poetry or prose using all four words.  It can be any form of poetry or prose.  Post your related scribbling and leave a comment.  Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how they differ from you.


Start your week off with a challenge writing vice versa.


Sound/Silence
&
Guilt /Innocence

SoundVibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person or animal's ear.

Silence-A complete absence of sound.

Guilt - The state of one who has committed and offense especially consciously.

Innocence - Lack of guile or corruption: pure.


               Simple Rules
  • Post anytime its just the night owls who get first crack
  • Make sure to visit other late night scribes.
  • Leave us a comment about the photo before you finally nod off.
  • Please post no more than 3 poems per prompt.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 85


The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This

sacred places
by Thom Woodruff (Thom the World Poet)

know them by absence—spirals of seashells, circles and riverflow
bend in the rock where you get off the path
and find the track invisible. Getting lost helps.
That is the purpose of deserts and distance. City cages
cede to seasedges. Sit on a beach for the waves reassurance
Slip away like a snake in a rainforest. Alone is easier
To retrieve original silences(and lost ones)
To forget time(apart from pulse/and heartbeat)
To remember who and why you are(in connection
with others and with consciousness and choice means
every path is sacred, every choice is yours. Before and after,
we will be forgotten. Who counts waves? Moons? Stars?
Who witnesses what is most important? Meaning waits
even if we rush fast past. Inside every leaf, a new forest.
In each drop, oceans. One is all in miniature. Maps hide mysteries
lest crowds demand miracles made for moments. Like this one
When you make a sacred space for breath. Time slows.
Death waits. Life pulsates through each opened cell.
There is a quality innate. Found, not made. Like a rock pool
where life in tides waves...Where water knows. We visit, but must go
What is most sacred might be best met in silence
Seeking with attunement and respect—via riversedge/in deserts
in the speech of rocks and stones and stars long past
Most of all…in silences...(like this one...


I’ve known Thom for decades, since he was Tom the Street Poet in Melbourne, founder of the Street Poets who used to stand on street corners handing out sheets of poetry to commuters going to work. He was also Dial-a-Poet; people could ring a number just as they would the weather or the time, to be greeted by lines of verse. It was listed in the Melbourne phone book along with those other services.

Now he has been based in Austin, Texas for many years (having married an American). There he has established many venues for performance poetry; and he and three other poets started the Austin International Poetry Festival, which has grown to be a huge, prestigious event.

He also travels to other countries — including home to Australia every now and then — to present poems, give workshops, and generally inspire people through poetry. He is quoted on his website — where you can find more details of his history and his many activities — as saying: "I'm not working for poetry, I'm working for the people who want to be poets, who want to honor the poet inside of them. I'm working with them so we can all honor the diversity of verse." He firmly believes poetry is the last bastion of free speech.

He loves to improvise to music, which was the thing that started him on his poetic career — in sixties Australia, at a music festival, he was inspired to get up in front of the musicians and chant, over and over again to the crowd, ‘This is your life! Don’t waste your time! Get up and dance!’ To his amazed delight they did, and he thought, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’

I have had people say to me that they are not so impressed with his poems when they read them on the page. It’s true that many of them are harder to ‘get’ that way, because Thom is really a performance poet, whose rhymes and rhythms aren’t always obvious until you hear him chant his work aloud. Luckily, you can do that on YouTube.

He goes by various names, because he likes to keep letting go of identity. There is Thom Moon 10, Thom the Circus, Thom the Future, and Thom Anon; probably more. His actual, legal name is Thom Woodruff, and he is known all over the world as Thom the World Poet. On facebook he is Thom Worldpoet. One of his friends in Texas likes to think of him — partly because of his colourful dressing for performance — as the jester, delivering serious messages in the guise of entertainment. And a woman here at whose venue he gave a reading said afterwards, breathless with admiration, ‘He is really teaching all the time.’ In his writing and his life, he is absolutely life-affirming.

Though I know he is many things, I see him primarily as an inspirer. I always grab him when he’s in this part of the world, to give a workshop to WordsFlow, the writers’ group I facilitate. It is always enthusiastically received. Even those in the group who don’t care for poetry love Thom’s workshops! You can read some joyful accounts of them at the WordsFlow blog.

And you can read lots more of his poems at his blog, The Poetry of Thom World Poet. Personally I prefer his nature poems and his domestic poems to his political and historical pieces, but he has a wide audience for all his work. The one above I love for its content, its language, its music, its flow, and its beautiful crafting so that this one you HAVE to read as intended.

Thom is the most prolific poet I've ever come across. He also produces CDs and small booklets jam-packed with poems. There is a list on his website, with ordering information.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Thursday Think Tank # 82 - The Road





When you sit there and think of the word “Road” do you actually see a highway and the person next to you not paying attention or do you think of the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz.  Maybe you reflect on a road trip where you and 3 other friends went half way across the country just because you were young and you could.  Maybe you see the road to nowhere and cringe at that thought.  What road will your writing take you down today, the streets of Spain or Italy, a back alley littered with dirty secrets? 

Every morning many of us get up groggy eyed and thick headed and fight our way into the current reality of life.  That reality requires us to go to work to earn our keep.  That trip to work requires us to get on a road to get there.  This may be the literal road where we pass many others that are doing the same, all of us navigating in and out of morning traffic, or it may be the figurative road we are all traveling on in life.  Whatever road you are on we want to hear about it.

We can’t wait to travel down your road and see the world through your eyes and pen.  So fill up your take and set off down the road of poetry and be sure to share it with us.


If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Life of a Poet - Margo Roby

Kids, today we are taking a transcontinental flight. We will be flying over  some exotic places. A clue: there might even be penguins! In order to interview Margo Roby, global citizen, world traveler, and talented creator of  Wordgathering,  we have used our press pass to hop aboard a very large jet. As we are going first class, I am hoping they will provide us with a beverage and at least a bag of peanuts, along with our air sickness bags. Take your seats, kids, and try not to fight over the windows. We are going to hit some spots on our Bucket Lists today with someone who has lived and traveled all over the world.



Poets United: Margo, your site is a treasure trove of writing information and links to other sites and resources. What a feast for a writer to wander through! Your history looks fantastically interesting as well – lots of stories there, I have little doubt. I’m so excited to hear them. Shall we start with your childhood? Tell us about your first twenty years in Hong Kong? (Wow!)




Margo: Wow! indeed. I haven't been able to wrap my head around a poem of this, my most beloved of places, never mind tell about the twenty years! In brief, my parents met in Hong Kong. Dad worked for a business, mom was in the CIA [I kid you not--my grandmother was too]. They loved Hong Kong so much, they stayed thirty years. My two brothers and I were born and grew up there.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vice/Versa - Midnight Snack Weekly Prompt #4

Every Tuesday you will find either Vice/Versa or Midnight Snack (they will alternate)posted here at 12:01 a.m.  For “Vice/Versa” two random words will be posted along with their polar opposites (Otherwise known as antonyms). Write something using all four words. It can be any form of writing; poetry, prose, short stories or whatever else. For “Midnight Snack” a simple photo prompt is posted.  We will guide you in no direction. It is just you and the photo.  If it inspires you, then write about it, if it doesn't then go back to bed.

A link tool will be posted at the same exact moment the post is published. Post your related scribbling and leave a comment. Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how creative others can be.

This week it is time for:
Midnight Snack


A simple photo prompt for insomniacs, early birds and the rest of you.
You can post at anytime its just the night owls and early birds get the first crack at it.




Adam by try to touch at deviantART

   Look...                  
          Think...          
Write...       
          Post...   

               Simple Rules
  • Post anytime its just the night owls who get first crack
  • Make sure to visit other late night scribes.
  • Leave us a comment about the photo before you finally nod off.
  • Please post no more than 3 poems per prompt.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Roll Repairs



This time its not our fault! Please be patient with us over the next few days. Google and Blogger have been having issues with the old blog list method. Currently we cannot add or remove any blogs on our blog roll.  The only way to remedy this is to add a new list and transfer all the blogs manually to the new blog roll.  This means Robb will be doing this between work, real life and sleep. It may take a few days since there are over 450 blogs linked.  He will have to go to each blog individually listed on our old list and then copy and paste into the new list.  Thank god he's bald or he would pull out all his hair.

This will be a good chance to clean up the blog list.  Any blogs that have been inactive for over 90 days will be removed. Obviously any blogs that have been deleted will also be removed.

We know many of you come here to visit other poet's blogs and to see if yours is popping up. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you understand this is not entirely our fault. We hope everything will be back to normal by no later than Friday.

Thank you for you understanding and patience.

Poets United



Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 84


The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Classic Poetry - "XI" by Omar Khayyam



Omar Khayyam, 1044 - 1123

XI

Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough
a flask of wine, a book of verse -- and thou
beside me singing in the wilderness --
and wilderness is paradise enow.



Omar Khayyam was a significant mathematician and astronomer of the medieval era. He wrote one of the most important early discourses on algebra, Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, which includes a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He is equally well-known for his collected poetry, The Rubaiyat, as translated by the 19th century english poet and writer, Edward FitzGerald.

Quite the romantic, this man of math and science!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This

Jewish-Australian Leah Kaminsky (a Melbourne girl) married an Israeli and lived with him in Haifa for 11 years, during which time their three children were born. Situations like that described in this poem eventually influenced them to resettle in Australia.

A poem for Alon on his eighth birthday

And so this is a poem for you
although you write it yourself
every day
when you look for your soccer ball
and kick it around the house
last month, you broke an antique plate

Holes in your socks
eyes on TV or computer screen
you know all the words of
Popeye and Pokemon
the jingles of every ad
you sing them out loud behind a closed toilet door

You turn eight
and ten years of Haifa sun
have burnt my eyes
another ten and you will carry a gun
I stare into your ocean eyes
they are too deep for a boy

I want to stop you now
keep you close, bound to me
watch you play Aussie Rules
delete from your lexicon
intifada, bomb shelter
gas mask, dead baby

for your birthday I would stop the sirens
that call the whole country to attention
drivers on the freeway, stand beside their cars
a minute’s silence
in memory of all the eighteen year old
soldiers killed

I will tie a ribbon around this poem
and put it in my drawer for ten years
then I will give you
a poem for Alon on his eighteenth birthday

from Stitching Things Together, Brisbane, Interactive Press, 2010. This volume of poetry is available in a Kindle edition, a Google ebook, and in print.


An award-winning writer, Leah is also a doctor in general practice. She has written and edited a number of books, both medical and literary, and sometimes both together in volumes of stories by medical doctors who are also writers. (And she is mother to three children. Wherever does she find the time for it all?) Details are on her website which will also lead you to some of her short prose writings and a couple of other poems, as well as an excerpt from a novel in progress.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Thursday Think Tank # 81 - Goodbyes


Goodbye is an interesting word and concept. The word is so simple but means so much. It can bring relief and pain all in one breath. We say it to loved ones everyday knowing they will come back to us. Sometimes way say it knowing its forever. When you sit and think of the word goodbye what comes to mind? Do you imagine a youthful love that came to end? Maybe you think on a hard loss that endures in your memories.

Goodbye is not always the end it can signify new beginnings and adventures, a new chapter in life. When did you last say the word good bye? Was it this morning on your way out the door to work, maybe as you quickly got off the phone with a friend?

Take the next few moments to think on the word goodbye. Take whatever comes to mind and share it with us.

We look forward to reading all about your best and worst goodbyes.


If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life of a Poet - Buddah Moskowitz

Kids, I was tripping around the blogosphere a while ago when I happened upon a poem by one of our members, wishing he could be the subject of an in-depth interview in Rolling Stone………you can read its entirety here. It’s entitled Sort of Famous. It closes with:

I just want one of those
seemingly in-depth
interviews
like I’ve seen in
Rolling Stone,
where they try to discover
what drives me
what excites me
what disgusts me
what inspires me.

They’d make me sound
important
relevant
and essential.

But,
I know the odds
of that ever happening

so,

I keep adding
to the interview
I am conducting on myself

one poem at a time.

Who could possibly resist?

Well, we are far from being Rolling Stone, but I knew I could do something about his wish to be interviewed, so I contacted him and, kids,  here we have it. We’re sitting down today with Buddah Moskowitz, of ihatepoetry.blogspot.com


 There has been some secrecy involved with this interview, as Buddah  does not wish to use any identifying photos, in the interview or on his blog.  We have to make do with his interesting “profile pic”. 


That’s okay, we’re flexible.  We can roll with that. Here he comes now. I can tell it’s Buddah, because he has a paper bag over his head, and is cloaked in mystery. Clue: through the eye-holes, his dark eyes are dancing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vice/Versa - Midnight Snack Weekly Prompt #3

Every Tuesday you will find either Vice/Versa or Midnight Snack (they will alternate)posted here at 12:01 a.m.  For “Vice/Versa” two random words will be posted along with their polar opposites (Otherwise known as antonyms). Write something using all four words. It can be any form of writing; poetry, prose, short stories or whatever else. For “Midnight Snack” a simple photo prompt is posted.  We will guide you in no direction. It is just you and the photo.  If it inspires you, then write about it, if it doesn't then go back to bed.

A link tool will be posted at the same exact moment the post is published. Post your related scribbling and leave a comment. Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how creative others can be.

This week it is time for:
Vice Versa

Write poetry or prose using all four words.  It can be any form of poetry or prose.  Post your related scribbling and leave a comment.  Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how they differ from you.


Bill Mory at Bill Mory's Page

Start your week off with a challenge writing vice versa.

Consume/Collect
&
Regret /Content

Consume- to destroy or expend by use; use up.

Collect- to gather together; assemble: The professor collected the students' exams.

Regret - to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment,etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.

Content - be content; rest satisfied, rest and be thankful; take the good the gods provide, let well alone, feel oneself at home, hug oneself, lay the flattering unction to one's soul.

               Simple Rules
  • Post anytime its just the night owls who get first crack
  • Make sure to visit other late night scribes.
  • Leave us a comment about the photo before you finally nod off.
  • Please post no more than 3 poems per prompt.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Deadline for Entries Has Passed...Now for Part Two



Our deadline for you to submit some of your poetry to be considered for inclusion in this year’s anthology has come and gone.  Now the hard work begins.  Over the next few months our panel will begin sifting through all the submissions (we have well over 300 poems and 100 authors) in an attempt to help put together our best anthology yet.  That shouldn’t be too hard since we have only had one so far but still we plan to make this book awesome.

Over the next few weeks you will be receiving conformation that we have received your entry (if you have not already).  Please be patient with us as this is not an easy undertaking.  Designing and putting together a book of this sort takes time and dedication.  Our goal is to have this completed near the end of March.  Don’t be shocked if there are delays as all intended good work can come with hiccups.

Once we have selected the poems and photographs to be included those poets and photographers will be contacted as we begin a proofing and editing period.  It is not our goal to change the work of the author.  Save for non intentional and simple grammar and spelling errors being corrected and approved by the author the works will remain as submitted.

All rights to the poetry and photographs belong to the person who submitted them.  We only receive permission to use them for this issue.

Again thank you for your patience as we take the next step toward our printing our second Anthology.

Robert Lloyd
Poets United

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 83

Today! Sunday is the last day to turn in your submissions to be considered for in inclusion in our second annual anthology. Act now or wait till next year.



The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This

Shelton Lea was legendary in (Aussie) poetic circles, and probably some others, and I’d heard the legends before I finally met him in the early eighties. He’d been in prison. He drank too much. He got into fights. Yet there was a respect, too, in the way people spoke of him, and that was for the poetry. His colourful life, as summarised here — and do scroll down to the first Comment, a poem by Komninos with more anecdotes of Shelton — stemmed from a bizarre childhood. Both are dealt with in detail in Diana Georgeff’s biography, the well named Delinquent Angel, and outlined in the review at this link. However, that book failed to convey his importance to Australian poetry and what a friend and mentor he became to many other poets — including me. My reminiscences of Shelton would make this much too long a post, but are told on my blog, in poetry.

There were funny stories about his years as a thief, such as robbing one grand house and then stopping to rearrange the pictures on the walls because they were, aesthetically, so badly hung. He told me himself of being halfway up a drainpipe one cold night and realising he was getting a bit old for that life. So he decided then and there to stop being a thief and be a poet instead. 

He never joined organisations like the Poets Union or the Street Poets, but ran his life on similar principles. He created broadsheets and paper booklets of his poems, often illustrated by artist friends, and sold them (very cheaply). He recited his poetry anywhere and everywhere — at poetry festivals, on street corners, in bars.... His beautiful voice and theatrical manner (always with a hint of laughter at himself) won the hearts of all listeners. Rough men in pubs, who would normally sneer at poetry, begged for more — as you read in Liz Hall-Downs’s poem last week. My own elegy for Shelton concerns the publication of Poems from a Peach Melba Hat, the eighth of his ten published volumes. These and other tributes to him are in All Travellers We (2007) which is listed in one online reference as being by Shelton. Instead it was about and for him, by a number of the poets who loved him.

Loving the sounds of words, he was a master of extravagantly lyrical phrases: ‘... dead friends / who had the appalling grace / to spend some time with us’, ‘and when the soft sentinel of the starry night / the moon / sets / as languid as sleep’, ‘i dream of the soft slide of light / across the down of hair on your face’, and a reference to poems as ‘these senseless interrogations of the heart’. But the one I could most wish I’d written is one of his tougher pieces, a flawed but wonderful poem from his last book, Nebuchadnezzar, published in 2005, the year of his death from lung cancer. (He lived to attend the book launch.)

1988
for albert “ah” hayes the bidwell brother

australia, oh australia
i have seen you in your belly’s roar
that there’s nothing downwind
and the country’s offshore.
what have you done with your
mine-led recovery,
your destabilised dollar?
your people are grim
and your humour’s gone out the same door
others’ money’s come in.

where now are
the glad givers of the rape of our rivers,
those impertinent soldiers made absurd
by the black man’s dance
on his river’s curve?
and we,
we arrived on these shores
like shell-shocked pink angels
after a storm.

and deep down in sydney,
where the traffic’s roar
on a saturday night
is stilled by the heartbeat
of the city’s poor,
the bone moon shines,
shedding a light that is thin
through a sky that’s as large
as an idiot’s grin.

but i love the alleys and the highways,
the streets where it always rains;
the parkie-darkies round their campfires
in the dreaming of redfern;
the scud of clouds across the desert’s brutal sky,
the lap of words against
our gentle shores.

and there were wheat carriages,
their tarpaulined corners turned
through which a lad could slip
with his boy’s young loins.
and deep in the wheat a journey began
through this place that we call the common land.
from toorak through fitzroy;
from reform schools through jails;
from deserts to seas;
to cherbourg, redfern, toowong and sale,
this land has been trod
by a sod with a poem whose voice wants to speak
of the australia he’s known;
of this land of fences and diatribes,
where distances cannot be described by maps.
but that is the matter of this country
where we dwell,
a place where the stars are as close as a smile,
where the winds are not tempests
but a spell in the weather,
where no longer our dreams
are of penny ice-creams
but macdonalds that cost you a dollar.

and are we to be reduced to anecdote,
the time when, the time where
rather than now?
alone where we stand is a beggar’s land
were the blackfeller’s dreaming
could give us a hand.
for this is our black brudda’s country.
its bruises and wounds are now theirs
for we have made this land untenable
for even the poor on the stairs.

look around you bruddas
to leichhardt, poor buggers they were;
chewing green leather sample bags
and dying within sight of a murri camp.

they say that blaxland, wentworth and lawson
were the first to traverse
that rugged blue mountain range.
but the koorie had used the hieroglyphs
of wallaby maps
and the echidna’s scratched calligraphy
to show the way;
long before the gubba’s foot had trod this scrub
the dreaming tracks were made.

(Leichhardt, Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson were all early white explorers of Australia. Murri and koorie are Aboriginal people's words for themselves — different in different parts of the country.)


Most of Lea's titles are out of print. The Love Poems and Nebuchadnezzar are available from Abe Books. (Nebuchadnezzar is also available from the link given previously, above.)

The brief introduction to All Travellers We ends: 'His elegant generosity of spirit, eternal optimism, and far-reaching influence on Australian poetry will echo into the future. There will never be another like him.'



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Thursday Think Tank # 80 - Choices


Every day in life we make choices. Even on the days we don’t want to. Not making a choice is actually making a choice. As confusing as that sounds it is true. Today for the Thursday Think Tank we want you to focus your writing on the choices you make in life. It can be a lifelong choice or memory of a choice or decision you made long ago that affects you today. If you want you can keep it simple and you can write about the fact this morning you chose to eat cereal instead of eggs. Not all choices our major and nor should everyone’s writings be major. Sometimes it’s the little choices that make us smile and continue on.

You've chosen to read today’s prompt so now the choice is yours to write or not write for it. We look forward to reading what you chose to write about today.

To write or not to write, the choice is yours.


If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life of a Poet~Madeleine Begun Kane

There once was a girl called Madeleine.  
In a limerick sea she was paddlin’.
She said, “OMG! What a rich wordy sea!”
as through the waves she went ske-daddlin’.
Or somesuch.  Kids, what a treat we have today. We are visiting the Queen of Limericks, Madeleine Begun Kane, famous bard of Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Madeleine has several  humor blogs connected to her main site; she covers a great deal of territory with her madcap humor. Bring along every rhyming word you know, in case we’re called upon to speak in verseJ Be ready to giggle and to be amazed!

Poets United:  Wow, Madeleine, looking around your site, there is just SO MUCH SCOPE!!!!!! I am way impressed and scarcely know where to start. A veritable plethora of pithy humor.
Madeleine: Thanks! That’s so nice of you to say.


Poets United: Difficult to articulate as well :) Let’s begin at the beginning. Where did you grow up, Madeleine? Country or city?  What was childhood like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vice/Versa - Midnight Snack Weekly Prompt #2

Every Tuesday you will find either Vice/Versa or Midnight Snack (they will alternate)posted here at 12:01 a.m.  For “Vice/Versa” two random words will be posted along with their polar opposites (Otherwise known as antonyms). Write something using all four words. It can be any form of writing; poetry, prose, short stories or whatever else. For “Midnight Snack” a simple photo prompt is posted.  We will guide you in no direction. It is just you and the photo.  If it inspires you, then write about it, if it doesn't then go back to bed.

A link tool will be posted at the same exact moment the post is published. Post your related scribbling and leave a comment. Be sure to visit the others who post here and see how creative others can be.

This week it is time for:
Midnight Snack


A simple photo prompt for insomniacs, early birds and the rest of you.
You can post at anytime its just the night owls and early birds get the first crack at it.


Sorrow by Dechobek at deviantART

   Look...                  
          Think...          
Write...       
          Post...   

               Simple Rules
  • Post anytime its just the night owls who get first crack
  • Make sure to visit other late night scribes.
  • Leave us a comment about the photo before you finally nod off.
  • Please post no more than 3 poems per prompt.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 82



The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Classic Poetry - "The Young Bloods Come Less Often Now" by Horace


Horace, 65 BC - 8 BC

The Young Bloods Come Less Often Now
by Horace

(translated from the Latin by James Michie)

The young bloods come round less often now,
pelting your shutters and making a row
and robbing your beauty sleep. Now the door
clings lovingly close to the jamb--though, before,

it used to move on its hinge pretty fast.
Those were the days--and they're almost past--
when lovers stood out all night long crying,
"Lydia, wake up! Save me! I'm dying!"

Soon your time's coming to be turned down
and feel the scorn of the men about town--
a cheap hag haunting alley places
O moonless nights when the wind from Thrace is

rising and raging, and so is the fire
in your raddled loins, the brute desire
that drives the mother of horses mad.
You'll be lonely then, and complain how sad

that the gay young boys enjoy the sheen
of ivy best or the darker green
of myrtle: dry old leaves they send
as a gift to the east wind, winter's friend.


Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) the Roman lyric poet, satirist, and critic is, for good reason, best know for his Odes. Failed at warfare, he excelled in the arts and was ultimately a significant influencer of Ben Jonson, Alexander Pope, W.H. Auden, Robert Frost.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Wish I'd Written This

For Shelton, who always embraced ‘the seeming wonder of being alive’

and it’s comforting to know that though you’re gone
you’re never gone, have left the flowered
words on pages so even those not yet born
can know you – larrikin wit, friend to dips
and artists, patron of prisoners,
forgiver of sins

shelley, in my memory you’re always laughing,
your arm around my shoulders at the leinster arms,
eyes alight, crooning, ‘lizzie hall, have ya written us
any more of those wunnerful poems, girl?’
the more ‘respected’ elders might grope a young
poet’s tits, but all you ever cared for were the words
– their best order, exactitude, capacity for beauty –
and these you made in defiance of all
the sordid ugliness of the world

and there were wild parties at mountain view
me, dosed with tinctures brewed by your muse
and that filthy, filthy nyandi
the laughter and bullshit that accompanied
a case or three of VB, cold afternoons
by a woodstove as the wind whipped
all around, while you pulled books from shelves
to drop in my eager hands, never large enough
to hold all that self-taught wisdom at your command

‘to the sauna!’ you’d demand
and we’d rise, grab a beer
and shed our clothes, make poems
of the sweat and cedar boards
then run redskinned to the herb garden
to plunge into the old cold water bathtub,
a baptism

always, to me, you’ll be fitzroy’s king
barroom bard of underdog and crim,
of murdered girl, koori pride, throwing
your words to the street and the wind
for the price of a beer and a smile
while frontbar punters crowed ‘shelley,
mate, another poem, stay awhile’

and you do, to we who knew you,
stay, unforgettable, your tousled,
addled head, that childlike joy of living
spread across your gorgeous, defiant mug ...

i’ll bet you’re still on the lookout for adventures,
booze or drug, still spinning tall stories
to those mates you’d thought long lost, for you
will never be gone, and i expect to meet again
in poet’s heaven, (where you’ll be propping up
the bar, no doubt, and singing satchmo-style
to fallen angels), anon.

Liz Hall-Downs

dips = pickpockets
the leinster arms = a hotel in Collingwood, an inner city suburb of Melbourne. (In the USA — and, I gather, in the UK too — poetry performance venues tend to be coffee shops. In Australia they tend to be pubs.)
nyandi = koori word for marijuana
VB = Victoria Bitter beer
fitzroy = an inner city suburb of Melbourne
koori = what Aboriginal Australians in areas of south-eastern Australia call themselves
mug = face

This elegy is about a mutual friend, the much loved Australian poet Shelton Lea, affectionately known as Shelley to his friends. (Expect more about him in a future post.) She has brought him to life! The poem appears in the anthology All Travellers We: Poems for Shelton Lea (Melbourne, Eaglemont Press, 2008), available from Black Pepper Publishing and from Readings.


I first knew Liz as the young Melbourne performance poet recollected along with Shelley in the above poem. She wore lacey black mittens and carried a slim cane. ‘How elegant,’ I thought, ‘What individuality!’ — not realising the reason for them.

Her latest collection of poetry, My Arthritic Heart, was published in 2006. A review, which you can read in full here, says: 'The preface to My Arthritic Heart calls the book an autobiographical account of the poet's struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but the poetry, like all good poetry, transcends its subject.' 

Yes, it’s wonderful stuff — searingly honest, powerful, even beautiful. Her own eloquent words on the book and its genesis, plus several of the poems, are here. At present there is one second-hand copy of the book available at Abe Books for whoever is first to grab it, and it is still available from the PostPressed website. 

I’m glad to know from Liz herself that she finds life good these days. She and her husband Kim Downs (writer, musician, technician and sculptor) live on a bush property in sub-tropical south-east Queensland and look after a number of native birds, particularly various kinds of parrots. Liz and Kim are both musicians. They were formerly two members of the Cathouse Creek trio; more recently have become SWAMPFISH, a roots-blues-alt-country duo. 


Online biographies say:

Liz Hall-Downs has been reading and performing poetry in public and publishing in journals, since 1983. She has been a featured reader at countless venues across Australia, has toured the USA, and has had work published and broadcast on TV and radio in both countries. As well as poetry, Liz writes fiction and essays and has worked as a community artist, writer-in-residence, editor and singer. 

To which I add: She holds the degrees of BA in Professional Writing and Literature and M. Phil. in Creative Writing from the University of Queensland. Currently, instead of poetry, she is working on a novel and enjoying her music and gardening.

Her earlier publications include Fit of Passion, book & cassette, with Kim Downs, 1997; Blackfellas Whitefellas Wetlands with B.R. Dionysius & Samuel Wagan Watson, published online 1996, released on audio CD, 2000; and Girl With Green Hair (still available from) Papyrus Publishing, 2000. (Click on poetry on the lefthand side.)

You can read more of her poems online at: 

http://www.othervoicespoetry.org/vol15/lhall-downs/index.html

http://www.thedrunkenboat.com/fitofpassion.html



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).