Saturday, July 11, 2009

Poems from Our Inspired Word Poets

Shannon Hardwick

8 Dreams and Nothing

Where’s the tender part,

baby-shell, bent light,
breaking through, guard it;
we might break our own
bodies, in fear of being stolen.

You asked

where I was going,
a basket of hearts,
ventricles, tied
to my side, broken?
I don’t own them.

I dreamed

you peeled from my thigh,
a zipper, with teeth.

Ant-lights against palm,

I gave you a map,
held out. What for?
Nothing, I said, stuck
lines inside my pocket--

I glow grids

at my thigh, whole cities
never discovered.


I gathered them
in my bed, (listen,
my heart will love
every one of you, but
whisper back to me).
They bowed their sides,
who am I? for them,
God provides.

After your letter,

bandaged-pain, I leant
on storm-walls, ready
for a barrage, waves
of anger. Finally, said:

let the water breathe;

I’ve missed you.

- Shannon Hardwick

David Lawton


Everywhere I go
It’s poetry
Is there for me
And if it’s there for me
It’s there for you
We are only
Different shades of blue

It’s John Ford’s Monument Valley
Or Miss O’Keefe’s red clay plateaus
The Giant Steps taken by Coltrane
And Debussy’s ringing glissandos

It’s Yastrzemski in left
Clemente in right
It’s MJ gliding into the paint
It’s number 4, Bobby Orr,
Suspended in air
With the winning score

The Chrysler Building’s silver flash
A lone figure in Tiananmen Square
The little Hispanic girl’s smile
In the Chinese restaurant
That album cover’s diamond raindrops
Sparkling Marvin Gaye’s hair

And Christ in the desert
To me the sweetest poesy
In the heat of that vast moment
A cooling ointment deeply burning into me

Wherever you go
They say that’s where you are
But poetry is what it does to you
Poetry is what you take away
Poetry is something to leave behind
When you reach your end of day.

- David Lawton

Jane Omerod


I look up I look down I look up I look down

Let’s have a picnic tomorrow
Leave before light Before the dreams
Of nurse and night maids
And the loot loot loot of the world

(feathers form)

I look up I look down I look up I look down
Thrice married One hundred times divorced
A public right of way
Inside and out
I have never been ravelled
Extra! Extra!

All flat or tall
So much the same
“Everything in sight is his,” they say
“Except the mountains”

(I own those too)

I could have been a racehorse
The close nose winner of the 4.30
I might have been a parcel A day gone by
Atlantic fantastical City

(and feathers fall)

Bengal tigers
One hundred thousand trees
Count Recount
Look up Look down
Look up Look down

Bedrooms are not the same as welcomes
You can pay a lot of money for a dame without a head
Elizabethan ceilings Hullabaloo
A quick word?
What about hasty? What about rapid?

(feathers cluster)

Principles are like flatulence
Promises like gentlemen in a toot toot marching band
The world’s largest diamond? The same size as a stuffed shirt

Feathers float my mouth
I look up I look down
Mantelpiece Picture hook Chiffonier
Hallucinations needed!
Noise! Damn colour! Bed vows! The ridiculous!

I cannot sleep with bread
I need to own To cut away To lack and lack lustre
Take it now
Own up Own down
A picnic One picnic A picnic from out of this world

- Jane Ormerod
First published in 11 Films (Modern Metrics, 2008)

Photos: Shannon Hardwick

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