How we got to now

On Saturday 28 July I’m supporting my old friends and compatriots The Broken Heartbreakers on the final night of their ‘winter residency’ at the Inch Bar, Dunedin, where the harmonizing duo will play songs from their last album How we got to now. Words and guitar from me.

 

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Alternative titles for an imaginary airport bookstore

A new poem published in Takahe 92 and available online

How to read your future doom in cloud tops
Curdle it: Culinary delights of the Sahel Goat Keepers
99 ways to expand your intestines
Mike Irwin: a life of ineffable normality
Pond scum at heart: how our biological origins as primitive algae gets in the way of loving relationships
The Void
Climb: use pointless bureaucratic junkets to secure your place in the economic food chain
Rich wankers posing on third world mountainsides
Depression: how it defeated me
Light ‘n’ peppy
Light ‘n’ peppy 2,3 and 4
Mike Irwin: the ordinary years
You must be joking: ecological tips for frequent flyers about to release another tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
Failure
Mild Disapproval: the modern liberal’s guide to polite concern
An illustrated compendium of celebrity urinals
Great Plane Disasters
The internet: my late night search for the meaning of life with Google
Authentic insincerity
The Screaming Toddler: the shocking truth of how your parenting skills and inadequate birthday presents are ruining the next generation
Stranger on the shore: the annotated lyrics of Acker Bilk
Mike Irwin: the next long decade
Dull walls colouring book for adults
Tits
My stinking great pile of loot: life lessons from a toad like CEO
Home crafts for the next bubonic pandemic
How to scrape toast
Three jobs and a pot of instant noodles: magic methods to save a home deposit in 20 years!
The inner potato
The Dummies Guide to Colonic Irrigation
New Zealand’s top dishwashing anecdotes
Bare my soul, the three word love poems of Baletcka Moparovia
My lone battle against Daylight Saving
Paperclip Ninja
Oinked: love and life on an industrial pig farm
Transgender marsupials of history
Watching paint dry: the wisdom of Mike Irwin
Technobutt: the astonishing future of AI toilets

The Plastific Ocean

The Plastific Ocean made it over the line for third prize in the Seaweek / World Oceans Day Poetry Competition 2018, organized by the National Aquarium in Napier.

The Plastific Ocean

News item: When researchers travelled to tiny, uninhabited Henderson Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches

38 million floating clumps washed up from the deep
from plastigomerate that drifts in ocean going fleets.
Polyflotsam decorates the reef on Polynesian atolls
and polyjetsam floats in the blue between the melting poles.

A hermit crab is helmeted by a Pepsi cap,
and Robinson Crusoe is sealed up in bubblewrap.
A ghost net traps a turtle swimming in microdebris soup,
as anoxic toxic brine curdles in the North Pacific loop.

Gruesome anglerfish cower amongst the sinking trash,
plastic rings for seabirds are a deadly strangling sash.
There are balls and bags and tangled tesseracts of sellotape,
while in the roaring forties shoals of biros round the Cape.

If one evening you beachcomb on the littered shore,
do not hold a shell to your ear to listen to the waves dull roar.
Hear instead the whisper from a polystyrene coffee cup:
get your act together, because time is nearly up.

 

Some poems from the Ockham NZ poetry finalists: Sue Wootton’s ‘Wild’

NZ Poetry Shelf

Wild

 

Measure my wild. Down to my last leaf,

my furled, my desiccated. This deciduousness,

this bloom. Calculate my xylem levels.

My spore count, fungal, scarlet

in a bluebell glade. Whoosh,

where the foliage closes on a great cat.

Test me: how many tigers in my jungle,

how many lions at roam? Map my rivers,

deltas, estuaries. Mollusc, whelk, worm.

Monitor my silt. Do I have spoonbills, 

high-stepping and watchful over the darting fish?

Rainfall on pines. Dappled sunlight

in my dells. Under moss, the fallen log, under

the log the hibernating hedgehog. Late my dates,

or soon? Return of the albatross, godwits

gathering. What clouds me, shifts,

but: indigo thunder-stack, pink wisp. Count the mice.

What will survive me, O my cockroaches, O my lice?

Scaffold me with metal, cage me in glass, tube me,

needle me, fill me, flush me. Saline solution:

the ocean. Oxygen therapy: the…

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