Tuesday, January 22, 2019
In the day blackjay
just ahead In the night
above So many stories
Perched on a shoulder
whispering in an ear
Fallen bird Soul from
the sky Who was your
message for Will they
see it in the stars
blue day heat
and a misshapen platform to land on
the lightest touchheart tremble
The moon wanes stars fade
I’m convinced I am on track
find my ankles swathed in stripped bark
resort to torchlight find my bearings
I have roamed westward pulled up before
ploughing into a broadening eucalypt
I right wheel and a Froglet
risks a leap across my path
and even tonight with
the new moon surprisingly golden
stars rampant in all directions
singing me from dark to dark
still I cannot read the sky
I ask the stars is there ever a right moment no good
asking the moon it just questions the tides The moths
are waking They leave the cool of cave take to the
night skies travel the migratory route Lay their eggs
Die The pupae hatch navigate the same path gather
in the billions cavern cavity crevice On the way they
may divert block the light
I tell the moon the time is now
she rises in magnificent silence
I ask the tree for shelter
in her green shawl
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Happy new year cheers to you all.
Here's the drum: Postcards from the Sky at Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC) was an inspiring five mornings of artists and writers coming together November-December; BAC surprised us by offering a small exhibition opening early February — 10 artists and writers working frantically over Christmas and New Year and still at it!; Skylines with Michele Elliot continues and will be part of the exhibition; more info to come.
Best news is an artsACT grant to complete a full length final draft manuscript. I'll be using visual arts a great deal to find my way into new poems.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
by whale breath
under the stars
a right whale breaches
in the moonlight
the sky is whale skin
Sunday, November 11, 2018
over noses mouths
above is umber
the sun a burn hole
moon a light stain
one breakthrough star
black-faced brown crows
line the bridge men below
deal their hands
who left this
disguise over eight
a hand held still
inside a full house
Skylines is a collaboration between Michele Elliot and
Lizz Murphy which has grown out of the One Sky Many Stories exhibition
at Belconnen Arts Centre ACT 2018.
Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Writers and artists are invited to participate in Postcards from the Sky a 5-week living studio in the Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC) which has grown out of the recent One Sky Many Stories: What the Stars Mean to You exhibition.
Dates: Thursdays Nov 15-Dec 13
Time: 10.30 am-12.30 pm
Address: 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen, ACT
The emphasis is on art & text including cross-art, ekphrastic works, artists books etc — whatever you are inspired to do — the sky’s the limit. Work in situ independently or potentially in collaboration with other practitioners, generate new ideas, display work/in progress created during the living studio. Enjoy the space offered in the BAC foyer and meeting others interested in investigating the theme.
The first week will include a meet & greet, guidelines for working together and some discussion on what the stars mean to you. Bring your own research materials (maybe some to share) or prompts; bring your own writing or/and art tools and materials.
One Sky, Many Stories explores western and Indigenous conceptions of the night sky. The Michael Sollis, has been asking ‘what the stars mean to you’ since they first performed Southern Sky in 2012, and recently travelled to Tennant Creek to discover and create some more stories and songs about the stars. , directed by
In recent months BAC has hosted a One Sky Many Stories live concert by the Griffyn Ensemble and Living Studio in the main gallery with several artists developing new work. Postcards from the Sky is the latest activity at BAC exploring One Sky Many Stories: What the Stars Mean to You.
See the BAC website for more information on One Sky Many Stories:
View Southern Sky at:
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Sunday, October 14, 2018
Wollongong-based artist Michele Elliot said recently let's indulge in an online collaboration of words and images. Oh joy said I!
So why not on the theme of One Sky Many Stories for the Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC) — many thanks to Moni McInerny for inviting us to join in. Over the next few weeks we'll periodically post Skylines here, at Project 366 and on Instagram @michele_elliot_artist. It's a bit random — we're doing what we can when we can and it's up for grabs who provides images or/and words at any time but there is a commitment to responding to one another's work somehow. Michele kicks it off beautifully:
|Photo by Michele Elliot|
clouds scratch flag
a stellar creature
rubs its back
against the sky
This is where my One Sky Many Stories is up to (at October 12). Some of the early puddles have come down, and the micro poems and found text now make up a second arc (reminiscent of The Milky Way from above). There is quite a bit of reading (about 15 poems of one kind or another). I think I might aim longer term for one strong poem arranged in a similar way but line by line in large text.
Meanwhile a trickling in of delicious 'Postcards from the Sky' to add to the wall (far left): poems by Kathy Kituai and Sarah St Vincent Welch. More to come in including images by Deborah Faeyrglenn. See also a close-up of another art & text piece below.
Thursday, October 04, 2018
A spirited morning of discussion on the skies, poetry and visual art in the One Sky Many Stories Living Studio at Belconnen Arts Centre, with good friends and colleagues Sarah St Vincent Welch (writer and photographer) on the left, Deborah Faeyrglenn (installation artist and writer) and Chris Mansell (poet and publisher). Sarah and Deborah have been hoping to drop in for a while and Chris who lives in Berry NSW happened to be in Canberra — serendipity — they all dropped in as if from the sky. (Not quite.) Add to that the Highly Creative Moni McInerney, Creative Director, who of course is never far away.
It was a quietish day until they got there. So many personal stories about constellations, mythologies, other works on the theme. Inspiring. Passionate. Much laughter.
And below is another found poem/micro poem from my growing installation (as it's shaping at the moment).
One Sky Many Stories has been extended until late November. Thursday morning is my most regular time if you want to say hallo or to add something to the project.
Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Just a note to let you know that Plumwood Mountain journal is calling for submissions. Jill Jones is guest editor. Read her prompt here. She is interested in poems 'that look at matter beyond the human and the animal, that think about or do things with things.' Read the whole piece — there is much food for thought. Closing date: October 28.
Submissions for Cordite Poetry Review #89 close November 11. 'Use your words like a class action,' says guest editor Natalie Harkin. The theme is 'Domestic.'
The New Yorker accepts submissions on a rolling basis.
Learning the night sky ... is one of a few found poems I've created as part of One Sky Many Stories. The main gallery in Belconnen Arts Centre has become a poetry refuge when I can steal a couple of hours from a busy schedule. Always hankering after something more in-depth I continue to scud through the topic and to write or make micro poems. So much fun though.
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Here are more great poetry friends: myself looking a might pious (left) with Victoria McGrath, Jane Baker and Robyn Sykes.
I always enjoy reading with poet peers and friends — one of the best nights in a while was From Wench We Came at Smith’s Alternative in June (yes I am running behind). Jane, Victoria, Robyn and myself have known each other for a long time. We used to meet regularly to support and encourage one another as poets surviving in the regions. We have also performed as a group on a number of occasions, mainly at Yass events but also at Bungendore as part of the Weereewa Festival one year.
Anyway, the Not Very Quiet team invited us into their monthly program which is part of ThatPoetry Thing that’s on Monday Nights at Smith’s Alternative, Civic, Canberra. ‘We don’t want just four poets getting up one after the other,’ they said, ‘we want a presentation.’ We tend to do that a bit anyway, but we did put extra thought into it and if we do say so ourselves … we were taut!
Our presentation ranged from ecopoems to refugee poems, tragi-comedy to bush humour, micro poems to rhyming metre, world conflict and women’s issues. Victoria’s are sharp and wry, Jane’s are world travelled, Robyn’s pack performance punch. We’ve arrived where we are in different ways from different places, and we selected poetry to demonstrate that and to reflect our diverse experiences and passions.
It’s a fantastic audience at Smith’s — open to everything and generous with positive feedback. And then it was back to our individual life and poetry things ...
The Smith’s weekly poetry program continues with Emma Rose Smith and Clark Gormley on October 8 and Australian Poets: Japanese Influences (another Not Very Quiet event) on October 15. Starts at 7 pm.
Photo courtesy Kendall Kirkwood with thanks.
Monday, October 01, 2018
|The former glass blowing studio behind Café on Queen|
|Hazel Hall from ACT & Wallendbeen|
|Greg Piko (co-MC) from Yass & ACT|
|Robyn Sykes from Binalong takes a break from her role as co-MC|
A bunch of poets and poetry fans, a rustic former glass studio, views across to Balgalal Creek and beyond to bush and pasture lands, wattles in bloom — what more could you ask for? Café on Queen, Queen Street, Binalong is the new home for A Brush with Poetry. Jan Giles and Curly Sykes' hospitality includes an array of breakfasts, lunches and snacks, cakes, scones and cheese plates, a roaring fire in the back room, tables in sunny outdoor spots, plenty of space to stretch your legs, and currently, larger than life garden sculptures by Wayne Trethowan.
Poets bask in the light pouring in through large windows, the audience is entertained by the performances and the wildlife outside and the stained glass window (designed by moi) casts its own colours. We were pleased to have over twenty regulars attend plus an extra half dozen café customers join us — excellent for a change of venue, on a long weekend (half the village is probably away), with major festivals in neighbouring towns! Today we heard free verse, bush poetry, performance poetry and haiku. It was sad, funny and dramatic. Congratulations to co-MCs Robyn Sykes and Greg Piko.
A Brush with Poetry is a Binalong Arts Group Inc (BAG) event coordinated by Robyn (also Pres of BAG). It welcomes poets and poetry performers of all styles, and sometimes singers and musicians, to its shared mike. They come from across the Canberra & Yass Valley region and from neighbouring regions. There are occasional featured poets. The next Brush with Poetry is on Sunday November 25. It kicks off at 2 pm but it's a good idea to arrive early and get your orders in ahead. Come for lunch. Bring a poem.
Meanwhile a huge thank you to the Black Swan Gallery (going through some changes) where Brush was hosted superbly for a number of years.
(I'm a regular and also on the Brush working group.)
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Do stars tremble in the face of the wind
does the wind roar in the face of the star
if you fall upon a star
what if you land on a point
who decided a star had five points
who first drew a five-pointed star in one continuous line
do you remember how hard that was
what if the sky was granite
what if it was galvanized leaky tin
what if all the birds took to the sky at one time
would it just be a traffic jam or would they eclipse the sun
what if the sky was a crow’s wing
‘raven’ (it’s not the same bird) always sounds so much nicer
the sky would be a satin shelter
what if you dream your room has separated from your house and is spiralling up into the black sky and now the walls are disappearing and your bed is going to slide out into the night into space would you be singing twinkle twinkle little star
what if you are in your pyjamas on the stairs and they separate from everything
and fly up into the sky and you are sitting on the edge of the first step
and the bannister has gone
is reaching for the sky an unachievable unrealistic goal
why do they say reach for the stars
that’s a big reach
it’s not like getting a dish off a high shelf
who washes God’s socks
is that when it rains
is falling through space like almost drowning
is falling through space like drowning only faster
if the sky fit
would you wear it
a wattle bird nests in a drought-thwarted tea tree
when I walk past it flaps its way out
cuts a line through space to a higher point in a nearby gum tree
does the sky bleed when a eucalypt pierces it
is that why the sky turns red as the sun goes down
does the sun get a sinking feeling
A draft poem for the One Sky Many Stories project at Belconnen Arts Centre