Money is rooted


That old new saying

When in Spain, do as the Spaniels do. A bush
is handy with two birds. But not worth it.
All roads lead to Spaniels. Then spin even further.
They're better than a poke in the ear with a dry frog.

You can't have your cake if it's eaten. Or your cooked
goose if it's no good for a gander. Golden eggs
are useless in a fragile economy. And what goes up
must keep going. Money is rooted.

A friend is a dog breed when he's in need
of a mean deed. You can't judge a cover
by the book: you need thorn-coloured glasses.
It's like comparing ovaries with underwear.

The world's your oyster shell when all's
said and dun-coloured. There's no place
like homeotherapy and people in glass
parachutes should let bygones be biplanes.

–Paul Mitchell


Oh to be a dog
Ignoring urbanity
And only barking
Yet truth, wisdom and knowing concomitant

Even in the day
Trying to find an honest face needs a lamp

But are you also blinded
By other's affectation?

With human abandonment
You are still a glutton;
Casting away your clothes and austerity
Only transcendence

The leg cocked and all the rest
Taking from the front pocket with a knife
Or the back pocket while seemingly invisible —
Is there virtue in throwing shards instead of holding the mirror?

Are they listening while you are naked?
Or have they heard better
With the emperor's new clothes?

There was a gathering
Though you had been exiled
Of hands outstretched
Wondering when you would ever come in from the cold

–Kerry Ridgway

Impulse upon rising

I will wear this day like a garment,
I will draw it upon my spirit reverently.
Abroad within it,
I will bear witness to the bright dash of birds,
the diligence of spiders
and the devotion of animals.
I will absorb myself
in the visions and voyages of people
as we rediscover the Indies in each other,
the slavery, the music,
the flogging, the ropes of hold,
the flights of mind,
the trudging in darkness.
I will bear witness to blindness,
I will feel the unfeeling
and trumpet the epiphany.
I will affirm the muscularity of love,
the assertiveness of hope,
the relief of laughter.
And when night comes
I will shed this day like a skin
and disappear into the ether
in the hope of finding another.

–John Upton

Paul MitchellPaul Mitchell's most recent books are Dodging the Bull (short fiction) and Awake Despite the Hour (poetry). His journalism has appeared in The Age, Griffith Review, Meanjin, crikey and The Big Issue.

Kerry RidgwayKerry Ridgway is a Melburnian who enjoys writing articles and poetry. She has written a book and screenplay, and enjoys writing about anything in any form. 

John UptonJohn Upton has extensive drama credits for TV and stage over 25 years. He won the Australian Writers Guild's Best New Play award for Machiavelli, Machiavelli, which starred Ruth Cracknell. His poetry has been published in SMH, The Age and The Australian newspapers, and in literary magazines. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, Paul Mitchell, Kerry Ridgway, John Upton



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Existing comments

"Ovaries" and "underwear" on the same line, let alone comparing them. Paul, you certainly take the elasticity of language and stretch it sideways. This gives room for thought and then builds a house out of it - or homeopathy.

Then to go on to imagine being a dog (love the "honest face needs a lamp"), and follow with witnessing the devotion of animals. A set to put aside our human condition for a moment and imagine. Thanks to all poets.
Margaret | 07 December 2010

John Upton's affirming poem is now on my notice-board beside the photo of the old man on election day grinning in the rain. High praise indeed. Thanks John.
Gwynith Young | 10 December 2010

'Impulse Upon Rising' is a truly beautiful piece of work. Are there any more poems by
Mr. John Upton?
Paula McKay | 23 January 2011


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