Published in New Voices, the first collection of poems of the ‘New Voices’ poetry group, Wellington Square Press, Sydney, 2014, pp. 24-25.
For Dexter Dunphy and Rosalie Fishman
What have we done
now that we’re committed?
How could Dexter and Rosalie
pull off this poetic con
to discover unchartered hinterlands of talent
believing they are better than ordinary?
Jesus and heaven above, all of us
are taking the risk of sounding ridiculous.
We prepare to have a go – who knows –
amongst a mayhem of musing dimwits
or with the assured and accomplished,
while silently screaming: ‘Where do I fit in?’
The neighbours see a sweep of movement
for six fortnights on Tuesday nights,
as the visitors walk in quickly,
like Papists huddled in post-Fawkesian London,
at Mill Hill Road in anxious hope
of blending in with a chattering, clustering conclave of poets.
First night set the scene
as poems on child birth pain and its meaning,
of a hopeful man throwing a stone across the bay,
convey that simple, clear, emotional thought
inspire metaphoric, rhyming, soaring ideas
and that clarity is all important.
At the start of each session we tuned in and out
in surprisingly restful meditation
that respited weary minds
and sparked the mood,
readying us, coaxing us to express,
in concise, clever, weightless words –
and to turn savage on what to cut.
Before complete strangers
we have taken scribbles masquerading
as thoughtful record,
and thoughts muddled then remuddled,
then unmuzzled, and transformed
into coherent poetic expression.
As clear as Ern Malley:
Obscure, stultifying crazy and confused
lines have no license here.
In the creative search for subject, however,
we’ve discovered it is not only Frank Gehry who knows
how to grasp inspiration out of the waste paper basket.