Tuesday Poem: Two poems with sonic association by Anna Forsyth

Shelter / Skelter

In singing weather
we knitted a chasm
branches for a church
– we its palatial children

He stood guard
with facial verve, uneven hair
I made a strident entrance
with blinks that sang

The hunch was stunning
as he stumbled / stammered
I hitched my skirt
heels sunk low

Out from under cover
we flayed lace seaweed
feet traced stone tributary’s flow
an imperfect arena for balancing

Clay underfoot
a ballerina slipped

corroded leaves danced
but his moss grip held fast

The wind carried our laughter

nudged us

cajoled us home

then, returning to calm

felt like grief

finishing the song too soon


Scavenge / Salvage

  1. Scavenge
    It always rains on inorganic collection day
    rows of children watch from windows
    waiting for the van loads
    they are pure stealth
    emerging from their shells
    they extract copper wires from TVs
    Each pearlescent enclave           is now fronted
    with weighty towers bowed
    to the zen masters robed
    on each doorstep           they remove attachments
    from vacuum cleaners
    slowly,  with careRosy cheeked women with strong arms
    form a chorus line in doorways
    staggering their movements
    they twirl their broken mops
    onto the lawn                  with a smile
    cut grass gleaming2. Salvage

    The same children (grown brash)
    we donned balaclavas (mimicry is best)
    watching for faces in windows to fade
    we moved through ghosted suburbs
    by torchlight           we found charred books
    a rusty spoon             on a cushion of fleas

    At first glint, fathers appear
    but ours was not an image repeated
    even the seagulls don’t want
    the barely recognisable bomber jacket     he found
    squashed on the centre line
    or the possum skin        Disgusting!

    Our mother didn’t know about rivets
    she preferred reflective surfaces
    Little Shoal Bay / a trove of bottles
    our tower is stained glass
    the secret is almost out
    here on the flotsam trail

    the seagulls
    and the hermit crabs,   both content

Author Note: How Poet’s Write Poetry – Online MOOC

The first poem above was from the exercise on making lists of words that have a sonic association. I gave myself a constraint of using the words in my list in each line.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a MOOC (massive, open, online course) through the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. It was completely free and for 6 weeks, I was able to correspond with poets from around the world and listen to talks on prosody, meter, free verse and many topics that really gave me new tools for my writing practice. You can find their courses here. I recommend them to anyone wanting to expand their understanding of poetry or fiction.

More about Anna Forsyth:

1707759Anna is a freelance writer and editor, specialising in education. Originally from Auckland, she currently resides in Melbourne, where she graces the live music scene under the moniker Grace Pageant. She organises events, such as Girls on Key, a bi-monthly gig for women singer songwriters who play piano. She has one self-published collection of poetry, A Tender Moment Between Strangers, available through lulu.

As a way of digesting the world of creativity, Anna writes a regular blog at ageneralchaos.wordpress.com


Thank you, Anna!

Tuesday Poem is a collective of poets who share poetry on a weekly basis across borders and time zones. At the TP hub this week you’ll find  “Southbank” by Petra White, posted by TP editor this week, Jennifer Compton — also a poet, like Anna Forsyth, originally from NZ and now living in Melboune.

Tuesday Poem For more Tuesday Poems, go here.


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3 Responses to Tuesday Poem: Two poems with sonic association by Anna Forsyth

  1. ajponder says:

    Very cool, I particularly liked the first poem and the way it ends like being pushed home by the wind after scavenging on the beach… 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    What a fab pairing – I feel like there is this invisible dance going on and that everything is motion, everything is a treasure (remember feeling that way as a kid on inorganic day!). Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Michelle 🙂

  3. Thanks for reading, AJ and Elizabeth — I agree!

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