Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And I know now what I didn't know then by the Tuesday Poets

now you are privy to
a thousand thousand things.        Jennifer Compton

The geology of the region, the path rain takes under
the earth, the black areas of nitrate.        Sarah Jane Barnett

There are places yet to find
where the teeth of ancestors
still speak to us from the forest floor –       Kathleen Jones

please do not dance
with the statues.       Helen Lowe

I wonder what times I will choose to rescue
from a land built out of longing.       Andrew M. Bell

The Canterbury Provincial Building's Cat
does not exist
but I have named him Moorhouse.       Helen McKinlay

Enough. Take your feathers
dead or alive and flutter into oblivion.       T Clear

He went south with the housing market
to a cottage facing the sea        Tim Jones

which is not to say
that some feasts don't need ruining.      P S Cottier

Goodbye takes the form of a blessing.
My family press tika on our foreheads
rupees into my palm.        Saradha Kiorala

But somehow the gift was given
somehow we made it work.      Harvey Molloy

It was dark and we were nearing the end of our chat, and you
said to me, I bet there are fresh flowers lying in your backseat.        Bel Hawkins

You walked home from the diary
the loaf still warm
cradled in your arms       Catherine Fitchett

and I now know
what I didn't know then,
that the things we despise
when young can in fact be beautiful.      Kay McKenzie-Cooke

The lights threaded
their sparrow eyes across the
black sky.       Leah McMenamin

Everybody in the room
is full of bonhomie.       Fifi Colston

"No hea koe? No hea koe? No hea?"
"Where are you from? Where are you from? From where?"       Jeffrey Paparoa Holman 

A Temporary Monument.       Bernadette Keating 

A tuba and a man strolling through
the grass, a pretzel of flesh and brass.       Bryan Walpert

Like birds, blue and brown can soar and glide.
They can spin like star motes
or flatten, like feathers in a storm.      Susan T Landry

The slow delicious thaw
of an expected frost.        Pamela Gordon

My yoga teacher says 'You are a baby, you are a flower,
you are stirring a giant pot.'       Helen Lehndorf

yes       Orchid Tierney

the Magritte painting of a woman on horseback
shimmering in and behind tree trunks.       Melissa Shook

I ask you, waka, ark, high altar
Above the sea, your next destination?       Richard Sullivan

I lick my lips
and lean with

an affectation of slothfulness.       Alicia Ponder

You left Lesotho the year of your eighteen years
and we closed like clams. Grass grew a beard
on you.        Rethabile Masilo

You are not an old man and he is not a marlin but he is mighty just the same and you are
awed by his beauty.       Michelle Elvy

A small old woman
knitting the whole tale
on needles of bone.       Helen Rickerby

Measuring how well      a person will rebound
after being dropped on      is still being worked on.       Keith Westwater

Alice swallows several live
goldfish. They look remarkably like tinned mandarin segments.
In syrup.       Janis Freegard

You spy
the feet that twist beneath him,
thick as the roots that anchor an oak.       Eileen Moeller

Why did the day break before it began?
The dream still fermenting, the sudden rain?       Catherine Bateson

Just as soon,
behind us rose an amber moon,
which cast sufficient light, a golden
barley smear of light –       Zireaux                                            

my astonished belly
has lately become
a fishbowl
and you, little fish.       Renee Liang

I see a courtyard there and a lemon
tree whose unbound feet turn stones
to moss,       Claire Beynon

an asterisk of a cloud dissolving
in the time it takes to walk to the compost bin.       Mary McCallum

The birds mostly flew too high to identify, but there
were swallows and larks.        Belinder Hollyer

Gun-metal and the iron of blood was on her lips /
all morning, as the sun refused its trembling ascent.       Elizabeth Welsh

Take (_____ Back Words) ~ Tender
Tender (_____ Hearted) ~ Thread       Mariana Isara

How wings grow slick
and open for that years-long
maiden flight no parent can impart.      Penelope Todd

The notes of Jerusalem
are bold as a bell
they rise to the vault of the ceiling.      Pamela Morrison

It does not wait
for the funeral tent

nor see the lightness of green
turn to earth-brown black.      S L Corsua

There is no difference between the tree and the shadow of the tree.
There is no space between light and the wave coming shoreward.       Miriam Levine

Maud shall have
a glimmergowk to hoot her elegy     shall nither there until the mawks

liquify her skin.       Melissa Green 

Who'll find me
now she's gone –
knees by ears tight
breathing all of me.       Helen Heath

The jaunt
through the asphalt world did have its moments,

exotic brilliances & conspiracy corridors. But
finally, feet, recognising the opportunity while
the mind's woolgathering, swing over & out.       Harvey McQueen

Today we are drawing a circle around five years of Tuesday Poem. This does not, however, mean 'The End'. Something almost always follows a full stop.

It has been a buzz tracking back through our archives – five years of weekly poems, our own and others – thousands of poems in all. Tuesday Poem has sustained a consistently high level of commitment, enthusiasm, originality and dazzle. We are 46 poets past and present – a truly global collective – coming from a range of far-flung islands and continents: New Zealand, the US, UK, Australia, Italy, Lesotho and France. One of our members is waterborne and is, together with her family, poetically sailing the seven seas.

The collaborative poem we are posting today is made up of lines we selected from all our poets over the years – from their poems posted as part of Tuesday Poem and linked in the sidebar – with some consistency applied to punctuation to enable the poem to work as a whole. To find the poems the lines have come from, simply cut and paste the quote in the Tuesday Poem search box.

In February 2014, as TP's founders and curators, we agreed to an interview with a man named Angel, editor of a Spanish literary journal, El Pais. One of his questions was to do with the motivation behind the Tuesday Poem initiative. "Why", he asked "do you offer it 'for free'?" It was interesting to revisit what went to press -

"Tuesday Poem's poetry is offered 'for free' because we believe in community and in the idea of a gift economy in which our poets' words facilitate relationship and connection and are a voice for a diverse group people. Poetry is a way to build bridges and celebrate our common humanity."  Claire


"People are still touched by poetry and search for it for this reason. There is something sustaining there. Something we need. People need poetry for other reasons too - for personal reasons: consolation, etc - the compressed language and short controlled lines paradoxically restraining and releasing feeling. Oh, and there's more - I do think poetry goes to the heart of what it is to be human, which is based on the deep need we have for language and rhythm and music. Something beyond the basic physical needs. Something that you would call spiritual, or perhaps 'being open to wonder'."   Mary

It has been a privilege and very great joy being in this poetry boat with you all. Warmest gratitude to all our poets and our readers near and far. T. S. Eliot wrote 'We shall not cease from our exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time'. Which takes us back to the opening lines of our collaborative poem –

      now you are privy to
      a thousand thousand things.    Jennifer Compton

People and poetry are integral and essential to our lives. Tuesday Poem has grown to become an extensive and valuable archive of international poetry, based in New Zealand and with contributions from people around the world. We acknowledge all contributors, especially the hardworking Tuesday Poets who not only posted on their blogs, but stepped in to manage the Tuesday Poem site at different times.

We will stay open indefinitely for visitors. Search to your heart's content, keep in touch and come back often …


Claire and Mary, on behalf of the Tuesday Poets.


Michelle Elvy said...

Goodness, I am overwhelmed by this poem on the page. Such delicacy, and subtlety, along with the bold statements. I love how the poem arrives here, just at the right moment:

But somehow the gift was given
somehow we made it work. (H. Molloy)

And that waka, and that slow unfolding of secrets and special things.

And that bonhomie!

And Maud, and that cat, and the birds and trees, and that closeness of no space between light and wave. And the you and the they and the he and the she and the we.

That collective WE. This is amazing.

Thank you, Mary and Claire, for the gift you have given us these five years.

Kathleen Jones said...

Wow! That is wonderful! Thank you so much, Mary and Claire for all the hard work and imaginative drive you've put into this, and for allowing me to be a small part of it. Tuesday Poem has been inspirational and I've met so many fantastic poets through it whose work I'd never have had contact with otherwise. Why is the poetry world so parochial/territorial?
Thank you to everyone - and stay in touch, please!

Nuwan S said...

nice one!

Unknown said...

I have just got to know you and now you are moving on
I am consoled as you leave your footprints in the websphere
I can feast on the words and wisdoms of many a forebear
I shall dwell in your shadows and contemplate your reflection

Harare rä – tä koutou taonga rere ki toko ngäkau

(your treasures flow through my heart)