Poetry readings can be fun
My reading at Coffs Library went down well last night.
I talked about getting down and dirty.
Getting close to nature
If you recall, Judith Wright wrote in Lyrebirds: ‘I should see them, if I lay there in the dew.’
The best nature poets get down and dirty -:
‘We need the tonic of wildness, – to wade sometimes in marshes . . . to smell the whispering sedge . . . We can never have enough of Nature.’ (Thoreau, ‘Spring’)
‘No way to travel off the trail but to dive in: down on your hands and knees on the crunchy manzanita leafcover and crawl around between the trunks.’ (Gary Snyder, ‘Crawling’).
‘A step down and you’re into it; a wilderness swallows you up: ankle-, then knee-, then midriff- to-shoulder-deep in wetfooted understory, an overhead spruce-tamarack horizon hinting you’ll never get out of here.’ (Amy Clampitt, ‘The Sun Underfoot Among the Sundews’).
Or, ‘I dropt down on a thymy mole-hill or mossy eminence to survey the summer landscape.’ John Clare.
One of my poems I read was ‘Invitation to Jagun, for Alice Oswald’
Here’is an extract:
Last week in the British Library I asked you to Australia,
you submitted fear of flying but it would make a change
from lying at gravity’s suggestion on cool Dartmoor earth.
You could walk out of our house straight into Jagun
spread a dizzy balance on our old impoverished soils
under towering Bloodwoods, Blackbutts and Turpentines.
Expect some discomfort from marauding ants, mossies,
leeches and ticks, hungry and chewing at all angles, perhaps
head for the roar of the Pacific washing up on Letterbox Beach,
relax on the hind dunes among the crab holes below Coastal Banksias
and become intimate with the Black Cockatoos, noisy eaters
shredding breakfast, burying you in sage-green flower spikes.