Mar 272021

Poetry through the Ages

The Poetry through the Ages class meets on Wednesday mornings. The tutors are Noel Butterfield and Susan Lloyd.

Apr 142021

On Wednesday, 14th April, our Poetry Through The Ages and our Shakespeare Rocks groups combined for a social get together at Eltham Central Pavilion.

As Noel Butterfield said: “The venue was excellent – expansive yet with a cosy ambience. Roger Alcock was a picture of sartorial elegance (see photo).

Nov 162020
Ode to a garden (by Cathy)

A garden is a precious thing
It’s nature, love and art
Leaves and flowers, butterfly wings,
Pressed upon my heart.

Terry (by Jan)

Standing in my veggie patch, the broccoli, swelling and green
Broad beans stalks reaching for the giant sky
The soil so wet from recent decent rain
And I’m stuck in the mud – wanting to fly.

Living with it (by Ken)

Future bleak, addictive fear, Stasi at our gate,
Brow-beaten and ashamed to accept our fate
Liberties, fun and freedom few
Is this Covid nineteen, twenty one or twenty two?

Poets (by Ken)

Poets are normal people
Confessional, metaphysical, suicidal.
Depressing instincts emotional
Frequently impossible.

Football (by Noel)

Football isn't what I love
It's simply what I need.
Without the leather being kicked
I'm a basket-case indeed

Falling (by Pauline)

A lingering look, a tender smile
The flicker of a flame,
A touch of hands, brush of lips
Two hearts, never the same.

Osmosis (by Sue)

Odours, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart
To dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief.
If I could put the beautiful scent of love in a box and keep it
I’m certain I’d be able to tell you it would be the perfume of love.

Termites (by Terry)

I’ve never met the termites,
But I’ve seen what they can do.
They find some unsuspecting gum Then chew and chew and chew
And chew and chew and chew. TIMBER!

Oct 012017

Poetry is neither stuffy nor boring. Poetry is all about words and images that convey humour, realism and fun. One of my favourite poets is Jan Owen. Jan is a modern poet with transparent links to the past.

The Australian Poetry Library website includes 479 of Ms Owen’s poems. Of these, I particularly recommend:

To give you a flavour, here is The Pangolins:

Throwing the I Ching by the northern wall
(Mountain over Water: the cataract clears),
rereading the dubious message in dubious light,
dusk there is as brief as thirty years.
The dogs were off at the end of the garden, barking
at moonlight or monkeys, tenor and alto and bass.
Under the rambutans it was lighting-up time,
teetering lanterns in the bushes and grass
were practising emerald — becoming, yes, here;
the fireflies above were loopy with desire.
A pounding of fists south-east from the Surau
was the kampong boys on their Thursday drums. The air
yearned after the odd missed beat like a tired heart.
And then the stranger came. Out of the neat
fit of the dark. Self stood back. No-name
trundled up, snuffling the mulch with her slender snout.
She was the presence of many grandmothers, homely,
buttressing wonder, nosing around the boles
of the clumped bananas; tip to tapering tip,
a relaxed bell curve validated with scales
perfectly graded — 3:5:8:13 …
Her back was firm terrain under my hand,
an equable riddle with a waddle (Earth over Earth:
a friend will be lost, a friend will be found).
I squatted down. She paused and quirked her head:
this was no tree. To run or not to run?
To amble. With dignified haste like the shopping-bag rush
for the 5 p.m. to Rawang in Ramadan.
What goes on four legs at night and none at noon?
At dawn alert next day Suwanti chained
the dogs away from their round jungle-green enigma
then bowled the baby into the hedge to its kind.