“The power of ‘the Eye of the Heart,’ which produces insight, is vastly superior to the power of thought, which produces opinions” (E.F. Schumach)
“’Cause hearts are the easiest things you could break” (“Some Candy Talking”, Jesus & Mary Chain)
“Poetry is like the human heartbeat. It belongs to everyone” (Imtiaz Dharker)
The meeting (of) minds. In June last year I was invited byTerry Lambto give a performance of my multilingual poetry (in English, French and Croatian) at the first University of Westminster festival on global culture “World in Westminster”, 15-17 March 2022, celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity. We had discussed the idea of the performance back in 2019 but were unable to develop it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Terry is a fine scholar and his commitment to language teaching and learning, as well a s to multilingualism are exceptional; I was both…
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photo by Adrien Wodey (unsplash)
Opening the kitchen, grill at my back, spiders lit up, blue all around, onions sweating, the line cook and dishwasher singing along with corridos on the radio voices straining at everything the song contains, even I, cold ass bitch of the line, felt something soaring before getting back to blade, transforming flesh into sustenance, as if all our comforts weren't stuffed with blood and bone, songs of love and the unbroken, we gather words from the waters, it is the making that sustains, the smallest flowering passed hand to hand, plate to plate, mouth to mouth, it is how we celebrate survival, untaste the blood, scar fading into age, word lifted from water, shimmering, slurring all our prayers, hands up, day lifts flame from oak, horizon dissolving into green we wrapped in our hair, it is how we endure the living, each day…
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A bee poem for the 30DaysWild challenge. Also posted to @TopTweetTuesday.
bumbled and brass-banded
buzz-bombasting the borders
humming humble bee hymns
to the honeysuckle
hollyhocking the sun
bee-bandit zorro of the zinnias
I have searched
with Aengus and Fintan
for that bee-loud glade of yours
where I might live
but some truths are only dreams
and Brigid’s honey
has a taste of the otherworld.
For yesterday’s 30DaysWild prompt. Late.
We tread this earth
with careless steps
denying our feet of clay.
And in our wake
we leave a trail
of broken stalks
petals crushed and bleeding
a trail of used discarded things
carcases of unnecessary whims
a trail of microscopic death
a blackberry trail
sweet and dark
though who sees more
than briar thorns?
Are the sounds between trees a kind of conversation? The wind? Or silence? Or is it an abstraction, even at times a personification, ‘to save us from / what is formless’? Peter Larkin’s new book, a beautifully produced volume by Guillemot, evidences an arboreal religiosity, ‘a thud of spirit’, rooted in a landscape of prayer and seeking.
The hundred small poems here (each two or three short lines) are small-scale devotions-come-observations, verbal snapshots of a world of verticals, ‘[t]rees above trees’, shelter, storms and ‘noises in rain’. Within the ‘[t]ree chaos’, it seems that nature itself prays, perhaps to itself, in a self-contained cycle of erosion, displacement and ecology.
The final line asks ‘is this how the wild calls?’ I truly do not know; the words – pared back to a minimum – are more ‘a stumble into the uncondition’ that Larkin seeks, a hoped-for escape from human formlessness into…
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Odyssey of the Hine’s emerald Dragonfly
A mother roams nemoral bounds, where river rims encase
The malleable solace of a sunken ark’s embrace
As dips and oscillations from a dragon’s tail foretell
Of a latent dormancy within a leafy citadel.
A new-born is denied repose and famished pores collect
The layers of a shell as a falling cradle feigns neglect.
It braves a bed of swaddling swings, that brings an abyssal brink:
The nascence of a nymph amid the liquid lanes to slink.
Along a luminescent roulette of planted palisades,
Where droves of small amalgams mass as aqua masquerades
And dainty strides belie the plunders of a vital script,
When carcasses are catalysts for stratums to be stripped.
From gulfs of gills and guillotines that guard the beds and banks,
To navigating chancy streams, while spurred by sprouting flanks.
A final shed at shallow depths, and then a sudden ascent
Of paper pillars on a pressing urge to reinvent.
A brace of motes, to break the mould, as quaking seams unearth
A base of beats awaiting wands of wander from rebirth.
When coated peaks embolden leaps, a lustrous span combines
And reaches to the heights, to leave behind the leaves as Hine’s.
Bios And Links
is a poet from Neath, South Wales, UK. After life was turned upside down by his ongoing battle with severe M.E., he rediscovered his passion for poetry that had been dormant since his teenage years. Writing has served as a distraction from his struggles ever since. Daniel has been acclaimed by numerous poetry competitions, including The Oliver Goldsmith Literature Festival, the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, Utah State Poetry Society’s Annual Spring Contest, the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum’s Nature Poetry Contest, and the Hugo Dock Snow Maze Poetry Contest. Daniel has also had poetry published by The Society of Classical Poets, and The Black Cat Poetry Press.
Previously publications for the piece:
Anthology: A Bin Night in November, published by Black Cat Poetry Press in 2022
Anthology: Querencia Press Summer 2022, published by Querencia Press in 2022
Lydia Tomkiw is probably better known as half of Algebra Suicide, an inventive and eclectic post-punk duo which found Tomkiw declaiming her lyrics over drum machines and electric guitar. If you’re lucky you might find their albums secondhand, otherwise some of this music is still available on a couple of Bandcamp compilations.
Tomkiw was also an accomplished poet – although many poems were used as lyrics – and was championed in the UK by Martin Stannard and Geoff Hattersley, who both undertook a reading tour with her, whilst the latter published her book The Dreadful Swimmers through his imprint The Wide Skirt. Otherwise, Tomkiw’s publications were pamphlets and chapbooks, some self-produced, all now impossible to find. Until, that is, the publication of this 409 page book, which I have only just come across, although it bears a 2020 copyright date.
The band and poet both came out of Chicago in…
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