Angophora Costata is in Christmas flower. This poem, ‘The Hum of Angophora,’ first published in Writ, is coming out in my next collection, Increments of the Everyday, with Puncher and Wattmann in 2022. I hope you enjoy it.
The Hum of Angophora
The low and knotted branches of the Angophora are laden with blossom the blush of new tips pushes into daylight like dreams although last night’s rain weighs heavy and
their fingers droop almost brushing the bark-strewn grass
noisy and flamboyant wattlebirds and eastern rosellas move along branchlets through a community of leaves calling and feeding while
magpies wait thoughtful in foliage watching the possibilities of the stirring ground
one year a pair of tawny frogmouths built a platform in the fork of a branch so that two downy chicks could sit waiting out precariousness while parents sounding softly into the darkness returned with morsels until ravens swooped spilling the contents of the nest tree mind holds them this pulse of things that live and shift and scatter
the wide and impassive generosity of its branches reach and arch twist and knot in filtered sunshine its own world of space and twig sap and leaf ant and bee the hum of
In Virginia Woolf’s life-changing novel, To the Lighthouse, the lighthouse itself – as a geographical, artistic, creative space or idea, is of course never reached. It’s dreamed about, talked about, planned for and Lily Briscoe thinks what it would mean to paint it – but it remains, deliberately, out of reach of the words’ extraordinary ebb and flow. The lighthouse is summoned into imagination but it isn’t owned or held. So I do recognize that as a place of destination, the ‘lighthouse,’ however signified, is by definition never arrived at; indeed it would be a reductive notion to think that such a thing could be achieved. However, I do want to say that when I come up the sandy, salty path that leads out onto the headland to the Griffiths Island lighthouse, my heart lifts in a way I can barely describe. This is a place where, for me, happiness arises, a place of re-centring, where it seems particularly easy to be present, simply, to smell the air, to follow the sea birds skimming the waves. Such an embodied engagement with a place, its powerful ‘here-ness,’ operates as a conduit – not for some transcendent meaning or elsewhereness, but as an experience of being fully awake, body, senses, mind, unfolding in the now. A portal to right here. A gift.
It’s been such an exciting inaugural year for us at Liquid Amber Press – getting started, building up a wonderful community with our Poetry Zooms, and publishing high quality anthologies, monographs and collaborative projects. I’m really proud and pleased to part of such an innovative poetry endeavour. Support poetry publishing in Australia and check out some of our terrific titles for festive gifts! 🙏https://liquidamberpress.com.au/shop/
My most recent book of poetry, This Shuttered Eye (Girls on Key 2021) has been launched! Courtesy of Melbourne’s #4 Lockdown we weren’t able to gather in the Open Studio as planned – but we still had an excellent evening on zoom. The book was superbly launched by poet and colleague Anne Elvey to a ‘full gallery’ of poets, friends and family – and some open mic readings added terrific energy and variety to the evening. Thanks to Girls on Key for the event and to the wonderful Michele Seminara who edited the book – a great experience of close reading exchange. Signed copies of the book are available here.
Visual artist Sharon Monagle and I were thrilled to open the exhibition of 2020 Shelter in Place last week and to launch the book of this collaborative project – a beautiful publication by Liquid Amber Press (available at the gallery or available here).
A reminder that 2020 Shelter in Place kicks off next week at the G3 Gallery in Parkdale. A series of cross-media responses to the various intensities of last year, 2020 Shelter in Place is a collaborate exploration in poetry and paint. from me and visual artist Sharon Monagle. Please also note that you will need to register for your free ticket via the links below (to meet Covid-safe requirements).
We would love to see you at the Opening of the exhibition and Launch of the book of the project (Liquid Amber Press) next Thursday April 15, 6-8, and/or at the Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, Saturday May 1, 2-4.
Hi everyone, As we all know, 2020 was certainly a rough ride in many ways. However, for me it was also a very productive time both in terms of my own poetry practice and my collaborations with visual artist Sharon Monagle – even if some of those collaborations were via technology!
2021 is now seeing the culmination of that work, with the recent publication of my latest book of poetry plus a forthcoming exhibition with Sharon.
I’m really proud of my new collection, This Shuttered Eye – all about looking at the world of nature, of art and of human interactions – and how we are shaped by those acts of engagement, the shutterings of the imagination’s eye Available here from Girls on Key Press.
I would also like to announce an exhibition of conversations in poetry and paint, 2020 Shelter in Place, and invite you to attend one or both of our events:
the Opening of the Exhibition on Thursday April 15 (launched by poet Anne M. Carson) and
My new collaborative exhibition, 2020 Shelter in Place with visual artist Sharon Monagle, opens at the Kingston G3 Gallery Space in Parkdale. Emerging from the realities of ‘friendship in isolation,’ these conversations in poetry and paint track us through that strange year.
Opening and Launch by poet Anne M. Carson, 6-8pm Thursday April 15.
Interactive Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, 2-4pm Saturday May 1
The exclusive book of the project/exhibition (Liquid Amber Press), including both poems and paintings, will be available at the Gallery.