Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "Celebration" by Andrew M. Bell

Kookaburras start every morning with laughter.
Magpies are innately comic,
strutting about in waistcoats
like squires inspecting the estate.
Twenty-eights are flying surprises,
exploding from the trees like abstract art.
Willy wagtails cavort to unheard rhythms.

Up on the wire, a party of galahs
mock stony-faced people in serious cars.
Butcherbirds soft-shoe shuffle
for an unappreciative audience
of trouble-tranced commuters.
Wattlebirds limber up their throats
with unholy imitations of industrial noise.
Robins interpret the sun in miniature. 

As I walk down to the dam,
lemon and peppermint fragrances
carry their aspirations on the rising dew.
Herons go lazily aloft like paper kites
while frogs taunt the swamp hens
with marshland gossip. 

Surrounded by this joie de vivre
I wonder why our desires are many
when our needs are few.
Have we lost our invitation
to the celebration of the world?

For more information about the poet, Andrew M. Bell, see:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "Morning Song" by Sylvia Plath

Love set you going like a fat gold watch. 
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements. 

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue. 
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I’m no more your mother 
Than the cloud that distils a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear. 

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral 
In my Victorian nightgown. 
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes; 
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

by Sylvia Plath

For more information about the poet, Sylvia Plath, see:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "Born To Be Mild" (A Parody with apologies to the band, Steppenwolf) by Andrew M. Bell

Photograph Copyright 2018 Andrew M. Bell

Get your mobility scooter runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for a toilet
Or whatever comes I’ll take

Yeah, Senior, go make it happen
Take the footpath in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
Then go have a little lie down

I used to smoke like lightning
And now I snore like thunder
Racin' with incontinence
And the feelin' that I'm under…the weather

Yeah, Senior, go make it happen
Take the hospital in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
Then have a nice cup of tea

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be mild
We can climb so high
I think I’m gonna die
Born to be mild
Born to be mild

Get your scooter runnin'
Head out to the Bingo
Lookin' for adventure
And a big win on the Lotto

Yeah, Senior, go make it happen
Take arthritis in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
Then fall asleep in front of Coro Street

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be mild
We can climb so high
Sometimes I nearly die
Born to be mild
Born to be mild

Born to be Wild (recorded by Steppenwolf)
Song Writer: Mars Bonfire aka Dennis Edmonton 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "The Persian Version" by Robert Graves

Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.
As for the Greek theatrical tradition
Which represents that summer's expedition
Not as a mere reconnaisance in force
By three brigades of foot and one of horse
(Their left flank covered by some obsolete
Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)
But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt
To conquer Greece - they treat it with contempt;
And only incidentally refute
Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute
The Persian monarch and the Persian nation
Won by this salutary demonstration:
Despite a strong defence and adverse weather
All arms combined magnificently together.

by Robert Graves

For more information about the poet, Robert Graves, see:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "Vespers" by Denis Johnson

The towels rot and disgust me on this damp
peninsula where they invented mist
and drug abuse and taught the light to fade,
where my top-quality and rock-bottom heart
cried because I'll never get to kiss
your famous knees again in a room made
vague by throwing a scarf over a lamp.
Things get pretty radical in the dark:
the sailboats on the inlet sail away;
the provinces of actuality
crawl on the sea; the dusk now tenderly
ministers to the fallen parking lots—
the sunset instantaneous on the fenders,
memory and peace . . . the grip of chaos . . .

by Denis Johnson

For more information about the poet, Denis Johnson, see:


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "Love after Love" by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, at your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

by Derek Walcott

For more information about the poet, Derek Walcott, see:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday Poem: "The Gift" by Andrew M. Bell

for Thomas and Ryan

When we are cosmic dust
blowing through the universe
and memories of us fade
like colours in a Polaroid
you can pick up your guitar and know
your parents gave you a gift
no one could take away

by Andrew M. Bell

For more information about the poet, Andrew M. Bell, see:

POET'S NOTE: The poet would like to acknowledge The Press, Christchurch, in whose pages this poem first appeared.