It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

I am often delightfully surprised by synchrony in the blogosphere.

You could write a thesis about it if you were that way inclined. It could be titled ‘an analysis of subliminal, conscious and spontaneous influences on the development of literary and artistic themes within short time periods among bloggers on the internet’ or some such thing 😉

But who has the time or inclination for such folly.

Anyhoo, I was meditating recently on what I perceived as the current synchronous blog theme and it was:


Yes incongruity. I love incongruity. I love it as a literary device. Hell, I love it (don’t we all) as a device for jokes and humour in general.

Apparently incongruity is king in the book of humour theory (and I suppose relief and superiority are the prince and princess of humour theory).

We like to laugh at things that seem surprising, out of place; the collision of two things that should not go together.

The following joke is an example of incongruity:

Two fish in a tank.
One turns to the other and says:

“Do you know how to drive this?”

But it’s not just about jokes is it? It’s about stories and life in general.

We love incongruity and more importantly we love incongruity followed by resolution. We are partial to the production of an Aha moment or what is known as the Eureka effect – the sudden understanding of what was previously a mystery; the coming together of little blobs of paint until the whole picture becomes apparent when standing at a distance.

So what was incongruous in the blogosphere these past few weeks.

Well first there was a haiku from Brisbane-based poetic guru Graham Nunn which you can find here.

Over at Square Sunshine Martin Hodges tells us stories about cursing and the incongruity that is a swear word from a teacher’s mouth.

Then there was a very intriguing combination of haiku and photography from NSW-based author Nigel Featherstone which can be found here.

Both haiku seemed like riddles to me; and what is a riddle if not rooted in incongruity.

But don’t get me started on riddles.

I will end this blog post with an incongruous incident which I often retell.

I attended primary school run by catholic nuns (yes, a convent) and one day a strange thing happened. The nun that was teaching us English suddenly lost the plot and threw a guitar across the classroom and started to yell and rant hysterically. The guitar hit the wall and she ran out the door.

Homework:         Please discuss the incongruity in this situation and provide examples of your own 😉


Citrus Fiesta (Graham Nunn)

Citrus Fiesta (Graham Nunn)


Tonight, loneliness or winter
so perfect I cut open an orange
and read your old love letters

these words on my tongue
like salt, reshape flesh and bone

night-raids & picnic lunches
fingertips & lies as we set sail
for new worlds.

I peel this lucent hemisphere
of orange, watch stars
drop into the valley.

The leaves on the tallest palm
lift and shiver – like the summer dresses
in your closet, you’re opening, somewhere.


Graham Nunn is a poet, publisher, teacher who blogs at Another Lost Shark. He has published numerous collections of poetry and this poem ‘Orange’ is from ‘Ocean Hearted‘.

Thanks Graham 🙂

Queensland Writers Week

Queensland Writers Week

Place in Poetry

Queensland Writers Week (October 10-16th) has been up and running in our fine State and as part of the celebrations Brisbane-based poetic guru Graham Nunn invited seven Queensland poets to:

‘discuss the role of place in their poetry. A sense of place plays an important role in the initiation of images for many poets. When a poet taps into the depth of their surroundings and is able to create images that bring the reader headlong into the environment that inspired them, it is a rare and blessed experience.’

I am pleased to be featured along with terrific poets like Samual Wagan Watson and Kristin Hannaford.

If you pop over to Another Lost Shark you can read my take on place in poetry (and the other poets who are from all over Queensland).

Visiting Poem (Graham Nunn)

Visiting Poem (Graham Nunn)

photo by G. Bryden

Today is Day 4 of 2011 National Poetry Week and we are encouraged to

LIVE- be liberated to find poetry and the inspiration for poems in every part of life.

I am still doing my thing 😉 so I was delighted to receive a poem from Brisbane-based poet Graham Nunn and he had this to say:

‘Wrote this one for UK poet, Jacob Polley after taking him fishing last weekend. Think it tells the story…’

Empty Creel

Cast after cast
he failed
to notice the wind
reach deep
inside his ear,
planting there
a future of ice.


Thanks Graham 🙂 Haha – it does tell a story!

I will post a couple more poems today (otherwise I am going to run out of days 😉 ) I am really enjoying this week of sharing – so much fun to be had (the more the merrier).

Guest Blogger – Graham Nunn

Guest Blogger – Graham Nunn

Guest Blogger – Graham Nunn

Today I would like to introduce you to Brisbane based poet Graham Nunn of blog Another Lost Shark. Graham is an award winning poet with numerous published collections; he is also the co-founder of legendary spoken word event Speedpoets.

He would have to take out the award for most energetic person around and is involved in so many poetry-related events that I can’t name them all. If you haven’t read his blog, you are missing out on top-notch poetry (especially haiku) and commentary on many things poetry and musical. He is also a huge Bob Dylan fan (what more can I say).

Graham kindly answered my usual two questions (before he flies out to the USA for a holiday).

Why do you blog?


For me I subscribe to the theory that if you are going to call yourself a writer, then you have to write. Another Lost Shark provides a ready made space for this writing and the necessary kick to make sure it is regular. All things permitting, I write every day. Of course, every day looks and feels different and this influences what I write. On those sacred days when there is space and silence, I tend to write poetry. There are other days when my head is buzzing with music, so on those days, I tend to give myself over to the sounds. I also like to post details about local events and other happenings. Then there are times when I feel the need to reach out, so in those times I like to knock out a few questions and shoot them off to one of the many amazing writers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. It all seems to balance itself out and hopefully it keeps the site vibrant.

And of course there is the community aspect… writers like to have an audience and I am no different. Another Lost Shark has provided an amazing platform for me over the last few years and has helped me connect with many people, who I may otherwise have never had the privilege of meeting. A great example of this is the fund raising I was able to do during the floods. In just over two weeks, I was able to sell in excess of 100 books and raise over $2000. The blogosphere is an amazing space!

What do you like most about blogging?

At the end of a day, I love knowing that I have a reason to sit down and write. It helps me filter through the debris of the day; helps me to relax, open my mind and make the move into a more creative mind space. In fact, I would say the space it creates is somewhat meditative. When I don’t get the chance to sit and write, I am always a little more irritable the next day.


Thanks Graham 🙂 and bon voyage



Speedpoets is a legendary spoken word event held monthly in Brisbane and has been running now for over a decade. Poets can recite their stuff for 2 minutes as part of the open mic section of the event and there are also feature poets who take the stage for about 10 minutes. Poet and small press publisher Graham Nunn (master chef of the poetic kitchen) is one of the founding members and powerhouses behind the running of Speedpoets and blogs at Another Lost Shark. Speedpoets contributes greatly to the live poetry scene in Brisbane.

Graham has published my poem ‘Teapots and Sentiment Tea’ in the June edition of Speedpoets magazine (Vol 9.4). I am very impressed with this great little mag, packed full of poetry. I am happy to be sharing the pages with the likes of Paul Squires and his poem ‘The Brisbane River’.

My poem ‘Migaloo’ will be published in the July edition. This is good timing as the white whale Migaloo has just recently been sighted off the Queensland coast.

Thanks Graham for including my poems and hopefully I’ll be able to get to Speedpoets soon to recite them in person.

Teapots and Sentiment Tea

Our friend Mark collected teapots.

We used to hang out in groups
loose collectives of young honey bees
raging in a beehive structure
vaguely understood by


One blue day
when Brisbane began to warm
we swarmed to the Spring Hill fair
jazz notes floating on heating air
in concert with wafts of incense
street food and muti-coloured tshirts for sale
too many but never enough
pots of icy cold fourex beer
scotch and coke, if you’d won last nights
game of cards
off our face laughter
time on our hands
in the laziest of hazy days.

A brightly coloured fat teapot
came home with us in the yellow cab.

Groups change shape over time
sulk off into the distance
when outsiders pick us off, one by one.

Mark was picked off early
just another traffic accident
on the 6 o’clock news.

I’ll never forget his collection of teapots.


We know Migaloo.

We’ve seen him on the TV
on his trip each year.
Awesome sight
white whale.

Migaloo migrates
south to north
north to south
coast completed
land vibrates from his heart beating
feeding, breeding
like he has time on his hands
in Hervey Bay.

Safe place for humpback whales
tranquil waters
sheltered by K’gari
largest sand island
away from whale hunters
so called researchers
far from Orca
who would rip his succulent tongue out.

white fella
we keep the tourist boats far from you
nothing must hurt Migaloo.

We know you.