Kit Kelen

Video premiere – December 19th 2021

To mark the soft launch of this year’s 8 titles and to give fellow poets and poetry lovers a taste of the work contained within we have timed the premiere of 4 videos (and any others received between now and the 19th) on the Flying Island Youtube channel for the evening of December 19. Details of the Premieres are as follows:

 

Anna Couani                     “Glebe Local”  (from ‘local’ )                                              5.45pm

Sarah St Vincent Welch    “Topographies” (from ‘chalk borders’)                      6.00pm

Brian Purcell                      “Westerly at Bongil Beach” (from ‘The Leaving’)       6.15pm

Alan Jefferies                      “Only spring” (from ‘in the same breath’)                6.30pm

Please be sure to tune in and as always… Like, share and subscribe!

Flying Islands Youtube

Anna Couani                     “Glebe Local”  (from ‘local’ )      
Sarah St Vincent Welch    “Topographies” (from ‘chalk borders’)
Brian Purcell                      “Westerly at Bongil Beach” (from ‘The Leaving’) 
Alan Jefferies                      “Only spring” (from ‘in the same breath’)  


Common or Garden Poets #4 – Kathryn Fry inviting Jill McKeowen

 

Impromptu

for Jill McKeowen

 

                                                                            our place in the connectedness of things

                                                                                Gail Hennessy, ‘Our Eclectic Garden’


His hands skip over the piano keys

trilling them as if there’s no weight

in the years we’ve been together,

 

the rhythms of family and garden

by a backdrop of native bush. He sets

the harmony with strong chords, melodic

 

as the orchids and roses in their seasons.

He improvises variations: lunch

by the lillypilly, lorikeets in the grevilleas

 

and birdbath, a grandchild running across

the lawn by bromeliads and ferns,

that haven of shelter for magpies in the heat.

 

O, there’s a familiar cadence, welcome

as a homecoming. How lucky to have

such company, lemon and lavender, ficifolia

 

and cycad, memories from our mothers’

gardens in the breynia and feijoa;

their shape and size and colour are songs

 

to save us. At the end of his impromptu

it’s as if the room overflows

with the slow, luscious notes of gardenias.



Common or Garden Poets #3 – Gail Hennessy inviting Kathryn Fry

 

Our Eclectic Garden

for Kathryn Fry

                                                                           Under the curtaining wisteria

                                                                           who will take banana peel

                                                                           to the orchids? Who will shiver the dew

                                                                          over the freesias and the thryptomene?

                                                                          Jean Kent, ‘In My Mother’s Garden’

 

for every house called home

there is a frame

with you the constant gardener

 

plants are portals into the past

like illustrations from a Book of Hours

 

in Spring

bulbs corms and tubers

push through the earth

purloined cuttings take on new life

 

my grandmother’s ivory freesias

heavy the air with the smell of childhood

my mother’s blood red dahlia petals

open as big as proverbial dinner plates

tree ferns from my brother

uncoil to feather the sky

your mother’s asparagus fern flows against

your ceramic I named ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good’

 

pink azaleas paint

the garden facing the street

to a postcard memory from our student days

Utrillo’s Les Maison Roses

 

in the beginning

friends from Canberra arrived

their car filled

with root balled camellias

to fill the courtyard in winter

with leaf gloss and flower

 

sometimes I change the names

Commander Mulroy becomes Sawada’s Dream

identical camellias white edging to pink

and who wouldn’t be tempted

to swap the military for romance?

 

 

when the nursery was out of stock

Soul Sister became a substitute Julia’s Rose

the name I want to remember her by

 

it’s a league of nations

Chinese Jasmine a pillar of grounded stars

climbs skyward around a verandah post

Callistemon rubs shoulders with Nandina Domestica

 

the front door key waits

for family and friends

under the stone god from Bali

its plinth a home for slaters and worms

 

tiger worms recycle kitchen scraps

you shovel ash from the hearth

I offer coffee grounds to the hydrangeas

 

our Labrador composts

under a camellia holding memories

of his faithful welcome home

a lap of honour circling the clothesline

 

fish laze the pond

in circles of gold

frogs surface to deafen the evenings

 

today we watch the bowerbird

decorating his edifice

squawk and hop

black sheen on the wing

meticulous arranger of blue

clothespegs milk container tops

 

over the back fence

a bushland reserve houses

bandicoots and water dragons

possums blue tongues and owls

the ironic laughter of kookaburras

 

our place in the connectedness of things.

 

 

Gail Hennessy

 

Common or Garden Poets



An Introduction to 

Common or Garden Poets


Common or Garden Poets is an open-ended and ongoing Flying Islands Poetry Community initiative. It’s a conversation in poetry, of any kind; poetry, in some way, concerning the garden.

It’s a very simple project. Here’s how it works.

We come into this garden of letters one at a time. That means one poet invites a next by way of dedicated words. I’ll invite Jean Kent, to kick things off, in a post to follow this one.

Once you have been invited to join the common or garden poets you may contribute as often or as rarely as you like. The important thing is to pass the invitation on to one more poet so that the garden grows with new voices.

We’ll post these draft poems here on the THESE FLYING ISLANDS blog and also on fb, and possibly elsewhere. There’s no telling how this garden may grow.  

 

kk



FIVE FLYING ISLANDERS SHORTLISTED FOR THIS YEAR’S NEWCASTLE POETRY PRIZE!

 

2021 Newcastle Poetry Prize

$25,000 Prize Pool

and the opportunity to be published in the 2021 anthology

Here is the list of poets (in alpha order) to be published in the 2021 anthology.

Prizes will be announced in October. 

Claire

Albrecht

I have become psychologically linked to a humpback whale

 

NSW

Natalia Figueroa

Barrosa

Roadtrip

 

NSW

Lachlan

Brown

Any Saturday, 2021: Running Westward

 

NSW

Gayelene

Carbis

After ‘Still Life with Babette’s Jug #2’

 

VIC

Eileen

Chong

Poem for My Ancestors

 

NSW

Amy

Crutchfield

Yew

 

VIC

Josie/Jocelyn

Deane

Haruspex

 

VIC

Shastra

Deo

SORRY

 

QLD

SJ

Finn

Nefertiti’s Missing Left Eye

 

VIC

Jane

Frank

The Saddest Things Are The Most Beautiful

 

QLD

Marcelle

Freiman

The Dam

 

NSW

Dan

Hogan

Unbelievable Meme Afterlife

 

NSW

Gregory

Horne

Predictions

 

NSW

Duncan

Hose

The Search For The Darling Pea

 

TAS

Christopher (Kit)

Kelen

Ataraxia

 

NSW

John

Kinsella

A Testament To The Problem Of Being ‘Fascinated’ (By ‘Things’) At A Time Of ‘Cuts’

 

WA

Lesley

Lebkowicz

Czernowicz: The Poets

 

ACT

David

Lumsden

Dropping In

 

VIC

Greg

McLaren

Autumn Medications

 

NSW

Rachael

Mead

It Takes a Mountain to Raise a Cheese

 

SA

Audrey

Molloy

The Earwig

 

NSW

Gemma

Parker

The Drunk Lady On The Bus Has Just Fallen On Her Face

 

SA

Trisha

Pender

Iphigenia In Triptych

 

NSW

Nicole

Sellers

Fox Wake

 

NSW

Jane

Skelton

the lake inside

 

NSW

Kevin

Smith

Form Guide To The South Western Slopes Of The Great Divide

 

QLD

Beth

Spencer

Such Is Life In A Small Town

 

NSW

Connor

Weightman

Perpetual Cataclysm Machine

 

Vic

Caroline

Williamson

January

 

VIC

Grace

Yee

Alluvial Mining

 

VIC

what shall we do nest year?

 

what shall we do nest year?

for Sarah St Vincent Welch

 

when every month’s of Sundays

and all the moons are blue

 

a peach blossom wild creek

tangle with ferns

 

we will live in a typographical error

and go to press that way

 

chorus of twig and leaf to prove

the birds beginning Spring  

poem in the fridge (for Sarah)

 

poem in the fridge

for Sarah St Vincent Welch

 

things opened are in here

the can of worms, the ointment fly

stool samples, acid trips, specimens

 

all sorts, oh and did I mention dinner?

voice says ‘we are your dead in here’

the feast preserved , slow cultures

 

cut off from nature

thing that could bite once

‘we go through your guts in time’

 

each packet bears its epitaph

and one day rise to justice?

dark thoughts when the door is shut

 

so all we meat must fear