Tag Archives: poetry

The Cartographer

The cartographer
saw the vastness of landscape
and rendered it knowable.
Transformed terrain
to elevations, angles,
contour line etchings
and watercourse filigree.

The cartographer
used his raptor vision
to view conflict as landscape,
charting paths through
political quicksand,
over bureaucratic dunes
to the ocean of truth.

The cartographer,
now guided not guiding,
his acute compass
dizzied by Alzheimer’s.
Piercing the fog,
he cedes, all pauses and sighs,
“I’ve lost the path”.

Melbourne Marching

March
blusters with threats of winter
but falls back to summer leftovers,
flavours as raucous as yesterday’s fruit salad.
Workplaces finally cede holiday torpor and,
the ante upped, your pulse spikes
at the realisation the year is almost a quarter gone.
As the cherry tomatoes cheer their last,
and the passionfruit scrambles, Queensland bound,
that manuscript alchemy remains elusive
and the house needs another lick of paint.
Acorns clatter, parents mutter
the kids are a term down, pedagogically unchallenged,
living from one YouTube hit to the next.
Medical clinics plug proactive flu shots,
figs fall on forgotten bluestone lanes
and anyone – even deluded Sainters – can believe
their team might make the last weekend in September.

Haiku: Who’s counting?

I grew up with the understanding that Haiku meant traditional Japanese three-line poems with a total of 17 syllables; five in the first and third lines and seven in the middle. It seems I’m so very yesterday on that definition. Apparently even the legendary Kerouac said westernised haiku should be more concerned with saying a lot in three short lines than counting syllables.

That’s poetry. Endless evolution. Countless conventions. Great joy in defying them. No wrong answers.

Anyway, here’s a modern haiku I like by Naia, as seen on the Cordite Poetry Review site. Check out the Cordite Haikunaut edition for some other elegant examples.

new love . . .

still some green

in these autumn leaves