Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TUESDAY POEM - After The Storm by Derek Walcott

Vigil (detail from a painting in progress)

Before posting today's poem I want to stand with you and send love and healing energy to the US East Coast; to hold a vision of protection for all our friends and relatives in the path of Hurricane Sandy and to ask that the destructive potential of this storm be transmuted into one of cleansing and purification. We are one land under one sky; one people with shared stories, shared waterways and coastlines. . . Let us send fierce and tender love whenever our thoughts are drawn to the East Coast. Collective prayers and focused energy are a power and gift beyond measure. 

Stitched flotilla adrift in an archipelago of stars (work in progress)

                                  After The Storm 
                                  There are so many islands!
                                  As many islands as the stars at night
                                  on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
                                  like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
                                  But things must fall, and so it always was,
                                  on one hand Venus, on the other Mars;
                                  fall, and are one, just as this earth is one
                                  island in archipelagoes of stars.
                                  My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
                                  I stop talking now. I work, then I read,
                                  cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
                                  I try to forget what happiness was,
                                  and when that don't work, I study the stars.
                                  Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
                                  as the deck turn white and the moon open
                                  a cloud like a door, and the light over me
                                  is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
                                  Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.

                           Derek Walcott

After The Storm - details from a work in progress

This week's Tuesday Poem editor is Harvey Molloy
with When We Watched Movies
by New Zealander Tim Upperton

To enjoy a rich variety of poems, please click on the quill. 


xo Be safe. Take care, dear friends xo

Friday, October 26, 2012


I came across these words by David Whyte on Facebook yesterday and pass them on. . .  xo  

'Courage is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposing fire, to do something under besieging circumstance, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public, to show courage; to be celebrated in story, rewarded with medals, given the accolade, but a look at its linguistic origins leads us in a more interior direction and toward its original template, the old Norman French, Coeur, or heart.

Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. Whether we stay or whether we go - to be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.'

- David Whyte
from Readers' Circle Essay, "Courage"
©2011 David Whyte


. . . I also want to pass on a link to an excellent series of interviews I've been listening to this past month or so. Raphael Cushnir - candid and insightful host of Teaching What We Need To Learn - introduces his conversations by saying, 'In this series I invite renowned teachers* from many different perspectives and traditions to take a deep personal dive; to share with listeners in a way that brings us all closer together.'  

“I think any of us who are living with open minded skepticism, trying to make sense of all the things that are happening in the world right now are in a kind of challenging position.” Marilyn Schlitz - CEO of The Institute for Noetic Sciences

"I’ve come to see that life never says no. It says not yet and not the way you wanted perhaps, which is different than no.” Guy Finley 

"So I say let the bitter be bitter and let the sweet be sweet until the bitter and the sweet become one.” James O'Dea - Peacemaker, author, social activist

"The subject of my next book is the role of grace in our life. And of course, synchronicity, meaningful coincidences are the archetype of grace, grace being the assisting force that gives us wisdom and strength beyond what could be marshaled by our IQ or our ego.” David Richo, author 

"We don’t see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.” Larry Yang

* Interviewees include Sam Keen, Ram Dass, Howard Martin, Elias Amidon, Milagros Phillips, Thomas Hubl, Roger Housden, Daniel Siegel and others. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday Poem - SUMMER by Mary McCallum

Oops - I'm completely off the calendar. I thought today was Tuesday but apparently it's Wednesday which means I have an appointment with my accountants at lunchtime. . . Oh, joy and off I go! 


Toenails freshly pink, washing on the line held by the last
of the pegs, apricots the colour that can only be called
apricot (perfect for picking but rotten by noon). Bees sip
the lavender, the dog has – after a small performance –
swallowed her pill, the girls are up at last cracking eggs
for pancakes. Ian’s making coffee. Blitz of the grinder,
chuckle of fledglings on the roof wanting breakfast – one
being taught how to fly - an asterisk of a cloud dissolving
in the time it takes to walk to the compost bin. Summer
here – a held-breath -     Now a thousand trees
exhale – now the deep greening that sussurates, resuscitates
- this! pixilated sunlight – leaves startled into silver.   

                                    Mary McCallum

The Tenderness of Light - Mary McCallum 
(click on the title or image for more on Mary's beautiful, hand-bound collection) 

Don't you love the word sussurates? Especially here where Mary teams it up with resuscitates and vivid, light-emboldened images of pixilated sunlight and leaves startled into silver. 

Asterisk Cloud - Central Otago ; )


Mary McCullum is founder-curator of our Tuesday Poem community. She won the inaugural Caselberg Trust Poetry Prize in 2011 with After Reading Auden, and her novel The Blue (2007) won the Montana Awards for the Best First Book of Fiction and Reader's Choice. Mary is working on a number of projects including a novel and children's book. She blogs at O Audacious Book and freelances as a writer and tutor. Mary lives in Eastbourne with her family, and spends summers in the Wairarapa. 

On After Reading Auden: 'This poem is full of curiosity: about the river, the light, the landscape. There's story and memory here, and best of all, a patient, deepening re-creation of experience, what is feels like to be, for a moment or two, truly alive.' Bernadette Hall, judge of the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize 2011.   

For more Tuesday Poems please click on the quill -

This week's editor is Melbourne-based poet Jennifer Crompton
with On Small Planes by Fiona Kidman

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TUESDAY POEM - Celebration by Andrew 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?

                                    Andrew Bell

I wrote this poem several years ago when I lived on the eastern outskirts of Perth in a semi-rural area. I was always fascinated by how the Western Australian birds were different and yet bore many similarities to New Zealand birds. We have nothing quite so loud as a Kookaburra, but we have its smaller cousin, the Kingfisher. We have Magpies, but no parrots like the Twenty-eight, although we have Keas and other temperate-living parrots. And Willy-Wagtails are uncannily like a black-and-white version of our Fantail.

Anyway, I offer this poem as a Springtime rebuttal to all the gloomy stuff that flies around in the worldwide media like Syria, the Global Financial Crisis and a myriad other woes. Sometimes, we need to appreciate the intangible, the good and glorious things this Earth offers us." 


     Thank you, Andrew -

Flying Between Gloom & Glory - CB

For more Tuesday Poems, please click on the quill.

This week's editor on the TP hub is Wellington writer, Saradha Koirala
with just a point man in the ocean 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012