Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mr Job by John Horrocks

Mr Job

Mr Job complained that the towel

at the new Polynesian Pools
was poorly folded, the pool too hot,
and his own sons and daughters
had been unexpectedly scalded.
The greatest man in the South,
possessor of tens of thousands
of sheep, goats, cows and deer,
was far too busy to buy
that best seller at the airport
about the debilitating effects
of catastrophic thinking.

While serving himself coffee
at the Golden Wings Lounge,
he could easily have enhanced
aspects of his coping technique.
Instead of blaming management,
he could have been more patient,
recognising the careful policy
behind the plants, the rocky pools
and views across the foreshore,
not to mention the souvenirs
being marketed in the gift shop.

Contemplating photos of mud pools,
jars of Mānuka Honey Wash,
Repair Me, and a Pamper Pack,
Mr Job might have considered marvels
beyond these creations, the force
that moves the stars in the heavens
and sustains the springs of the sea.

Had he listened to older generations,
he would have heard that everything
depends on something else, just as
reeds drink water and roots of plants
will never travel far through stones.
Humbled, he might have realised
he was grumbling over outcomes
beyond his understanding, parts
of some larger business plan
too wonderful to comprehend.

John Horrocks

This poem is from John's most recent collection Something in the Water, published by Steele Roberts, which a sequence of remarkable poems about Lake Rotorua and the Rotorua Spa.

Once I've given my paper this weekend on creative writing at the GiftedNZ Conference then I'll planning to feature an blog interview with John here on Notebook.

More Tuesday Poems over at Tuesday Poem.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sonnet 1: Shakespeare


From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

I heard Germaine Greer speaking on Shakespeare this morning and I thought of the Sonnets.
More Tuesday Poems over at Tuesday Poem.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tim Flannery

When Tim Flannery speaks you can hear his love and respect for life. He’s fascinated by life—whereas you and I might just see an ugly big rat, he see a species of rat living in a special niche. It’s a knowledge of life and a way of looking at the world that I admire and respect. His work has taken him to obscure mountains in the Pacific looking for undiscovered mammals because you have to know a species of tree kangaroo exists in order to conserve it. He’s an upbeat, energetic, unpretentious and captivating speaker. Tim tells us that life is so much more richer and diverse than we imagine. But many species face mass extinction at our hands and many indigenous cultures in Tim’s words ‘give away’ their culture and their knowledge in order to join our global civilisation. They quickly forget how they once used to live. And then, as if it was just five minutes, the talk is over. I just hope he comes back to speak again soon.

Image source: Enough Rope (ABC).

Monday, March 05, 2012

Five Years by Harvey Molloy

First published in Takahe 60.
More Tuesday Poems over at Tuesday Poem.