Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pick 'n' Mix

This is my entry for the 'Mix and Mash' competition which aims to encourage use of online content. Seems like a good idea to me. I think I would call this more of a Pick 'n' Mix, but I quite like the act of rearranging other people's poetry fabric. My Mum is into quilting and she makes the most amazing things out of old scraps of material she finds. She made one for my brother that has multi-coloured piano keys made from old clothes he wore as a child.

Words in this poem come from Hinemoana Baker, Lynn Jenner, Airini Beautrais and Bernadette Hall. See Mix and Mash website for their original poems. This poem also borrowed some words from an American called Yusef Komunyakaa who recently won the Wallace Stevens award (past winners are pretty much a who's who of all the poets I love). His poem, 'The Day I saw Barack Obama Reading Derek Walcott's Collected Poems', also borrows heavily, I believe, from Derek Walcott himself. The circle is complete.

The Garden of O

we hear each others’ dogs
crisscrossing the border

moving from reverie
to reverie. a concrete fence

of flamboyant pumpkin vines,
sweet, intoxicating,

bloom. we are ants if you like,

a yellow backdrop
to the sag of powerlines,

an open mouth,
a crow clutching the hand’s

bright corrugations
of being and nonbeing.

as one watered
by the wind

and the sound of mountains,
clouds of double consciousness.

we never hear
the dense blue shadow

of each others’ voices.

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