March 03, 2007

Instructions for Open Mike Sessions


Don’t moan like second stage labour

in the back row. It doesn’t help


anyone. Soften your eyes, like a horse,

so you can see everything at once


like they do. Understand the source

from which all this verse springs.


Intuit it. As if you lived in a village.

One day they’ll die. In the meantime


they have a voice.

Their courage


as their arms swing and eyes roll

is their poem.


And the moment when they stall and

understand that on the richter scale


they are registering less than ten

is more moving than Fern Hill.


—Jennifer Compton


from Parker & Quink, (Ginninderra Press, 2004)



Posted by dwaber at March 3, 2007 01:46 PM