My poem ‘No Straight Lines in Nature‘ was sucked into the space time vortex 😉 and re-emerged twice for breath.
Well it took nearly three years but the poem was accepted for publication in the Divan Poetry Journal in 2010 (sent in November 2009), has finally seen the light of day in Edition 8 of Divan Poetry Journal!
I had given up hope of hearing from the editors of Divan and had an edited version of the poem (and new title) published in Verity La – you may remember.
The Divan Poetry Journal Issue 8 has suffered numerous delays according to Editor, Dr Earl Livings at Boxhill Institute of TAFE (including State government cuts to the TAFE system and software issues).
It’s here now and you can pop over and read the first version of the poem here.
I originally wrote the poem for Paul Squires (who often waxed lyrical about the non-linear nature of time) and it seems appropriate that the poem has been on such a convoluted trip to publication (and note the poem was published in Divan on the 26th of July – so close to the anniversary of his death on the 28th of July).
Divan has published some pretty famous poets in previous editions (eg., Pam Brown, Ali Alizadeh, Chris Wallace-Crabbe) so I am honoured to be included in the contributors list. A thankyou to Editor Earl Livings (and no thanks to the State Government cuts in funding 😉 ).
Alas poor Pompadour the wondrous Chinese Silkie chicken has passed to chook heaven.
In memoriam I will share a few highlights of her career in showbiz.
RIP Pompadour – You Rock!
Ten Chinese Silkie chickens took up residence in the Bryden household (Frog Lodge, Australia) on the 8th December 2008.
Five hens and five roosters. The roosters (unwanted in suburbia and expelled by Council regulations) found another home with a lovely couple with a farm – two men with a soft spot for strays and the unwanted. The roosters were not for the pot and are probably still prancing around and waking up every living creature for miles around at the crack of dawn.
One of the five hens was Pompadour and my regular readers knew and loved her well.
Here is a recap of the tale of the Chinese Silkie chook fan club (with Pompadour taking the lead – well she was the lead singer as a rock chick) that has members all around the globe ;).
‘The enigmatic Brisbane-based poet Paul Squires (of Gingatao and Puzzle Box infamy) started this chook veneration trend with his poem ‘Gabrielle Bryden listening to Oscar-Peterson’.
Then artist Benedicte Delachanel of the blog Carnet des dessins drew the most amazing pictures of my two finest hens – Pompadour (the silkie with the best pom pom) and Snowy (the pure white hen). Here is a copy of the lovely creation by this talented artist.
Fellow blogger and artist extraordinaire Aletha Kuschan was slightly distressed to discover that her hamsters were being treated with discrimination, possibly because they are bouffant challenged, and that no poetry was being written about the little munchkins. Her poetic response to Mr Squires is worthy of note:
I am so jealous. I know about the difference between Anne Sophie Mutter’s carefully choreographed swaying and Didier Lockwood’s exuberant playing! Can I help it that I have ten hamsters? Okay, the chickens are very fine chinoiserie, and hamsters are not so poetic, but I’m not asking for a sonnet or anything, but maybe just a couple of couplets in iambic pentameter?’
There was a happy ending to that stage of the story with Benedicte drawing the adorable hamsters and Aletha herself drawing a beautiful picture of Blanca (the hamster with the mostest) and wrote a limerick about the beautiful beasty.
But it didn’t end there. Alec Patric joined in the poetic and artistic roundabout:
‘Well, here’s another poem dedicated to your fabulous chickens Gabrielle.
A Clucky Muse
The kind of chicken
that only takes seed from my hand
runs sentences headless, bodiless into words
flutters into pecked poems, roosts in hen-house heads
flying just high enough for the majestic taste of flight’
Pompadour’s story was also highlighted in my psychological memoirs 😉 (Chook-Induced Anxiety CIA; and CIA the Sequel), the first of which was broadcast on local ABC radio (which reminds me, I better tell them the bad news).
Her sometimes aggressive (but understandable, given her outstanding pedigree) pecking order behaviour was highlighted in two youtubevideos (6,000 hits and counting). Ridiculous really – I only got over 300 hits for my poetry reading on youtube – hahaha – outdone by a chicken!
Finally, the pompous Pompadour with the pom pom is having a children’s series written about her (and her mate Blanca – who sadly is also deceased) by moi and illustrated by Benedicte (what a spoilt chook).
Pompadour and Blanca: The Beauty Salon (Illustration by Benedicte Delachanal)
That’s a good life for a chicken 🙂 so we won’t be sad.
We’ll crack open the champagne to chicken fame and fortune.
What marvellous fishy fish you capture,
he said to the artist, quick tip of the hat
and nod to her grasp of the slippery power
held within the Koi, of paint and pond.
If I could divine the secret of supple
shape and muscle, colour and movement
that you magically display, in the loose
flamboyance of these wild but captive
creatures, mouth open, wanting more
than can ever be obtained in this stale life,
outside the rippled blue of paint reflected,
I would hide it in a locked box,
to keep the magic from evaporating.
Dedicated to the artist and blogger Aletha Kuschan (who is slightly obsessed with painting Koi) and the late and great poet gingatao (author of The Puzzle Box) who was a great admirer of Aletha’s work, particularly her ‘fishy fish’.
Ha! Just found out that I’m 51 in Jonathon Crossfield’s ranked list of Top Australian Writing Blogs – so just missed out on the top 50. Don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing.
The formula for ranking these blogs comes from the three most commmonly used methods of blog tracking; Technorati, Google PageRank and Alexa rankings.
I’m very happy to see my mate Squires at number 16 – his blog gingatao is right up there even though he has morphed into another dimension (probably an angel but we can’t rule out frogs, wombats or honeyeaters). I still like to visit gingatao and hope the blog never disappears, but nothing in this life is guaranteed – I know that much.