‘self evacuation’ and ‘charcoal drawing’ published in ‘From the Ashes: A poetry collection in support of the 2019-2020 Australian Bushfire relief effort’

15 Mar

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The last few months have certainly been challenging. Fires, floods and now plague. Already we have seen the offers of support and funding made to those impacted by the Morrison fires of 2019/2020 forgotten and people and the environment abandoned as we are overtaken by the next crisis. In such an environment it is important to remember and to make our leaders remember the commitments they made. This is one of the reasons I am proud to have two poems in the anthology  From the Ashes: A poetry collection in support of the 2019-2020 Australian Bushfire relief effort edited by C.S. Hughes and published by Maximum Felix Media.

My two poems in the anthology, ‘self evacuation’ and ‘charcoal drawing’, are raw poems, written with the memory of a summer of fire, smoke and danger in the Blue Mountains. My thanks to the editor, C.S. Hughes for including them in the collection.

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As Hughes says in the introduction to the anthology:

It has been a season of fire and flood. It is not that we are unfamiliar, in our dry and storm driven land, with such seasons, but these elements, perhaps through our ignorance and neglect, have burgeoned and magnified, returned on a scale that seems unimaginable.

Hundreds of homes have been lost, nearly two score lives. Each given in defence of what we all value, home, family and thus each life lost in defence of us all. Before such an onslaught, it is only by fickle winds and fortunate rains that the destruction has not been more overwhelming.

From the Ashes: A poetry collection in support of the 2019-2020 Australian Bushfire relief effort is available from https://fromtheashes.maximumfelixmedia.com/. Proceeds from the sale of the anthology will go to support the ongoing care of Australia’s native wildlife through selected charities and wildlife organisations.

‘Read On 3’ in the quiet carriage

29 Jan

 

It’s not often you get to read a journal which contains a poem you wrote about a train in the very train you wrote it about! But that was the unique experience I recently had while reading the Pete Spence edited Read On 3 on the way back up the mountains.

There is an extraordinary amount of great work by amazing writers in this issue and it is an honour to be included among them: Mark Young, Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis, Tim Wright, Julia Knobloch, Sheila E. Murphy, Barbara Henning, Louis Armand, Don Yorty, Tom Weigel, John Jenkins, Gig Ryan, Douglas Messerli, Alan Jefferies, Joanna Walkden Harris, Pete Spence, Pam Brown, Jenn Knickerbocker & Jake St. John, Kris Hemensley and Greg Masters.

In addition to my train poem ‘6.02pm to Mt Victoria’ Read On 3 contains another of my Blue Mountains poems ‘climbing’ together with 2 more of my film poems – one based on Le Redoutable directed by Michael Hazanavicius (2017) and the other on Le Gai Savoir, Jean-Luc Godard 1969.

Read On 3 is published by Pete’s Press, Donnithorne Street Press and available directly from him – I believe he can be found on Facebook.

‘Returns’ published in Rabbit 29.

22 Jan

Rabbit is a journal for nonfiction poetry – a genre I find intriguing. The concept of “nonfiction poetry” makes me examine my creative process, where my poetry comes from, the illusion and reality as Christopher Cauldwell might say.  I realised that much of my work is grounded in my attempted understanding of my environment, of where I am, the history and politics that surrounds me and which has shaped me over the years – a history and politics that is sometimes hidden.

The theme for Rabbit 29 was ‘Lineages’, a word that could be interpreted in many ways  – creative lineages, personal lineages, family lineages and so on. I had been working on a sequence of poems that grew out of two recent trips I had taken to Ireland and these poems seem to fit the lineage theme very well. The sequence was called ‘Returns’ and is based around the notion of returning to a heritage and country that my family left a number of generations ago. My mother’s side of my family is predominately Irish, most of them having left Ireland for Australia in the years between 1850 and 1880, driven out by famine and persecution by the English. I grew up with my grandparents stories of Ireland, though they had never left Australia they had a vivid memory of place handed down to them through their parents. The 1916 Uprising had a profound impact on my grandfather and even 50 years later he talked of it with a passion.

‘Returns’ captures fragments of that history, my personal journey, the remembered/imagined journey of my ancestors and visiting places strong in a family memory passed down through generation. It is one of my lineages.

My thanks to editor Jessica L Wilkinson and guest editors for this issue Chi Tran and Matthew Hall. It is exciting to be included in such a strong collection of work.

Rabbit 29 is available from http://rabbitpoetry.com/?product_cat=journals

December 31, 2019

31 Dec

On this last day of 2019 (which many also believe to be the end of the decade) we also say goodbye to Project 366 (or Project 365+1). Project 366 was started by Kit Kelen and a number of colleagues 4 years ago with the intention to try and write and load a poem a day for a year. Many poets have passed through the project and it has obviously lasted more than a year. I managed to load a poem a day for a month and then added the occasional poem over the following months and years.

To mark the passing of the project, and to mark the passing of a decade I decided to load one last poem. Taking Auden’s ‘September 1, 1939’ as my guide, I made a few changes to try and reflect the reality of living and surviving in an Australia which denies climate change and which is burning and burning and burning. You can find my attempt, ‘December 31, 2019’ at:

https://project365plus.blogspot.com/2019/12/december-31-2019.html

‘A new normal’ – a poem dedicated to the community in Blue Mountains published in Bluepepper.

24 Dec

My poem, ‘A New Normal’, which is dedicated to the wonderful community in the Blue Mountains, has just been published in the Katoomba based journal Bluepepper. My thanks to editor Justin Lowe for accepting this poem.

Over the last months I have been in awe of the efforts of all the RFS crews who have worked so hard to protect life and property across the mountains and across the state. I can’t thank you enough.

https://bluepepper.blogspot.com/2019/12/new-poetry-by-mark-roberts.html

Blue Water Tank published in ‘Re-Side’ Issue 2

21 Oct

‘Blue Water Tank’ is a short prose piece from the Lacuna  manuscript which I am particularly fond of. It is a personal piece but one that I have always liked and I am so pleased that it has found a home in Re-Side Issue Two along with some other amazing work. ‘Blue Water Tank’ can, in some ways, be seen as a companion piece to ‘Place Burial’ which appeared in the  Ramon Loyola edited Issue 3 of Pink Cover Zine (https://printedshadows.wordpress.com /2019/05/08/place-burial-appears-in-pink-cover-zine-issue-3/).

Re-Side is well worth a read. Have a look at issue two at https://www.re-sidezine.com/issue02

Poems on films – Le Quattro Volte: Cordite Issue 92

21 Sep

I have recently been writing a series of poems about films. The first of these, ‘Poems on films – Weekend – Jean-Luc Godard’ was published in The Tundish Review Issue 9 earlier this year. The second poem to find a home is ‘Poems on films – Le Quattro Volte – Michelangelo Frammartino’. I am particularly please that the editor of Cordite Issue 92, Claire Gaskin, found a place for this poem as the film on which it is based is particularly poetic and beautiful – something which I hope I have captured in this poem.

http://cordite.org.au/poetry/notheme8/poems-on-films-le-quattro-volte/