Poetry Blog by Chris Hubbard

Lie to Me

Lie to Me

When the halyard raps the empty staff

and the hurricane screams its rage,

and the water-mountains heave and crash

in their spume-flecked valleys chained,

and I look upon this wild expanse

shouting fury for my pleas,

and ask in dread “Do we stand a chance?”

Please, oh please take pity ….

…. lie to me.

 

When darkness infiltrates my being,

seeps silent t...

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Winter

This piece is a reflection on the circles of life.

 

Winter

An old man walks on the river's bank.

(I hear his dry bones clink and clank)

but his shadow's swift, his hauteur vain.

 

Like fast jets low over Salisbury Plain.

 

Dead leaves packed in many gutters,

overlook the creaking, bolted shutters.

Winter's a-coming round again.

 

The birds abandon concrete, ...

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The Reefs of Armageddon

Occasionally, Far North Queensland experiences the full force of a Category Five cyclone (also known as a hurricane or typhoon). Their strength is phenomenal, as can be the damage caused, and I certainly would not like to be out on the battered Barrier Reef in one.

 

The Reefs of Armageddon

Warm and deadly waters shine like beaten silver

wrapped 'round kaleidoscope cays in the morning ...

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A Shattered Rose

A Shattered Rose

The slick cliff'd river smears shiny

blue-green sliding waters

across richly wooded chateau-lands;

 

hurrying through honey-scarred falaises,

cat-mouthed where toffee sandstones

arced onto sleeping innocents beneath.

 

A country blessèd and blighted both,

in equal measure (as aeons bequeath)

full with easy money, and its deadly past.

 

April ...

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A Prayer for the Living

 

A Prayer for the Living

 

Pray that your living be thus:

A journey fulfilled, not forgotten,

a place for the touching of souls, not Mammon,

to freely forgive, and bear no malice,

a mind at peace, never roiling in anger -

and room to grow, not retreat or wander,

with no pangs of envy for the birds as they fly,

but to drink in the indigo boom of the waves

as they c...

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The Smiling Man

After a long hiatus I offer a piece that came from my recent Greek Odyssey.

 

The Smiling Man

Ululant sobs of brush-cutters

piercing its Elysian peace,

rivers of tourists cascade

down through old Olympia,

as still as the flowering trees

that colour its ancient sandstones.

Fallen mere centuries past, archaic capitals,

prone like road-blocks, guide the eye

to legend,...

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Bohemia

A memory of a small but unforgettable part of London.

 

Walking down to Camden Lock

with colour and fizz all around

on a warm August day:

narrow boats, top hats and silk scarves,

old pubs, rent boys, spruikers;

The Regent's dark canal,

people-watchers. Music like jewels.

Such is the raucous silence

of loneliness.

 

Chris Hubbard

2018

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Art as the Gaining and Practise of Wisdom

Art as the Gaining and Practise of Wisdom

I

What are you doing this morning? – and will you play again

your lustrous fiddle for the coins strangers drop into your hat?

Or have you moved on from hustling Trafalgar Square

where the floating Yodas connect like Einstein's cat?

Either way, your art creates its beauty by merely becoming

the eloquent centre of its universe, its mimet...

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artifactsartistrydemoEinsteingatehousesgoofinglustrousmimeticparadiseperegrinepoesiesoulthrumbingtimbresYodas

The Harp and the Fountain

I fancy the setting here is the House and Gardens of a very large Stately Home of England.

 

The Harp and the Fountain

Plucked by tumbled fountain waters, arpeggio

harps cascade clear and bright, flow

smooth as polished marble by Michelangelo.

 

Above, drawn by light, Heaven's trim barouches glow

dream-like through veils of rainbow'd mist,

arrow South a skein of Tundra S...

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admonitionarpeggiochokedharkenharmonymarbleMichelangeloseductiveshootskeinsnowdriftsTundra

Give it Sweetness

I recently assembled these thoughts on coming across the poem's quotation from John Steinbeck while reading The Grapes of Wrath. I often suggested to my students the advantage to be gained by attempting an argument in opposition to what the student wished to argue. In other words, the good old Light and Dark strategy. The "Terrace" setting is Perth's main city thoroughfare, St. George's Terrace. I...

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bathersblankcanyonedclosedcoffeejournalkioskmannequinedparadeperfidyspoonsrekindledSummersweetnessWinter

On The Border

After a pause due to computer woes, I return to the airwaves with this offering. Its predominant theme appears to be the fear of change which, for me at least, is pervasive.

 

On The Border

The sky's dissolved in enveloping greys,

close as blankets, cold like hotel sheets;

looking over your shoulder as dawn raises day -

you test the gloaming's disdain for lamp-lit streets.

 

...

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billowedborderlandenvelopingfeyfootlingfosseguidancelamp-litnewoldsilencesmoulderingswifttiles

Buried in the Sunlight

This poem is for all those who find this life a trial. Keep on keeping on, as someone once remarked.

 

Buried in the Sunlight

 

Eleanor played the pipes as a piper should,

flying light with grace and flair and swing,

with airs like a wind band in the deep greenwood:

dancing her careless heart towards an Appalachian spring.

All who knew her, all for whom her life seemed bles...

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A Song for the Fragile

A Song for the Fragile

 

I met a man who drank the stars before a dancing Irish hearth,

declaring that a hundred billion people,

more or less, must have lived and died upon this earth;

 

and no matter how high a church's steeple

or the fervour of its faithful far below,

their lives are eventually, universally and unfortunately lethal.

 

Warming to the craic he mused: ...

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Winging It (Nullarbor Journey)

The Nullarbor Plain, seven hundred miles of waterless plain but with many trees (and untold kangaroos) is other-worldy in its exquisite and remote presence. Like most parts of non-urban Australia it is a dangerous and even fatal place for fools and risk-takers, who regularly pay the ultimate price. This piece is about the aura of darkness that surrounds the happy traveller in such surroundings.

...

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Winter (Australia)

This poem recalls a certain zeitgeist I detected during benign winter days spent in my adopted home town of Perth many years ago; lassitude, provincialism, an inclination towards fatalism, perhaps merely bourgeoise self-satisfaction. It did not survive the new century, needless to say.

Winter (Australia)

Come here & listen:

-  Winter -

slithering on grit-sand moved

by swathing waves...

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The Voyager's Song

The Voyager's Song

 

I see the shoreline,

black and unremarked

sleeping in secret, supine,

an open door, strong

as a broad Yorkshire

voice,

weak as rags of sea mist.

 

Soon I shall fetch upon its sands,

where cold silence reigns

uninvited like the early dawn.

 

Beside me shall burn,

in isolation and awe,

the last bright flower

of an ancient memory...

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aweisolationmemoryorchidsshorelinesilencesojournsongsupineuninvitedYorkshire

The Illusionist

It seems that the old-time "magic show" is experiencing something of a renaissance, especially in the visual mass media. Even so, I doubt its fundamental attraction will alter one iota. The gap between acclaim and scorn is still wafer-thin.

 

The Illusionist

 

Pay attention, dear reader, and I'll weave a magic vein,

where rabbits live in top hats and assistants float in air,

wher...

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alchemyattentiondisbeliefdrummingfragilefraudsterhandcuffshoofionizemadnessmagicmake-believesleughtsorcerertigersveinvions

The Mirror

This rumination came from growing awareness of my mortality which, in turn, is generated and measured by the expanding list of things once given or assumed that, alas, are no longer possible.

 

The Mirror

How shall I talk to you, my friend?

How should I regard you

(and will I care)

as you grow ever older before my gaze

while I stay young?

 

Who are you? Dare I look on yo...

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Brother

I wrote this piece while I was caring for my identical twin brother, following major surgery. Nearly everything you may have heard about identical twins is true.

 

Brother

The pain of being is not mine, but

my brother's. He cries and howls the Midnight

down into uneasy drowse

as the daylight lifts his covers

over swelling clouds of hurt.

Breaking, I balm him a little,

wh...

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The City of God

In the disturbed world of today, I believe we must look to the tragedies of the past for guidance into the future. This piece is based on one of my first efforts, now many years ago.

 

The City of God

“It stands on a hill,” you say,

"a golden fortress, buttress to our faith,

a Heavenly Jerusalem to Rome's decay”.

Such piety is useful

to commanders of the expendable,

 

bu...

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beastChaplinCrusadersfortressfortunepietypoundedreasonSaracenssaviourtruthweak

The Goddess is Dancing

Many years ago I was intrigued by the appearance on Perth roads of bumper stickers displaying the enigmatic statement that "The Goddess is Dancing". I had no idea what this advertising campaign was all about, so I put together my own preferred explanation.

 

The Goddess is Dancing

 

Far from the powdered sand-tracks

in dunes dry beyond ages,

past unwatered acacias

where the wh...

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Retrospective

This piece comes from an exhibition of the work of celebrated Australian artist and sculptor Brett Whiteley. Parts of his enormous masterwork "Alchemy" can be found on the cover artwork of Dire Straits' album of the same name. A long-term drug user, he died in 1992 from a heroin overdose.

 

Retrospective

A metaphor for clear technique,

the Gallery (patrolled, secure,

well-scrubbed, ...

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The Meaningless Surface of Life

 

The Meaningless Surface of Life

 

We are soldiers of fortune in armies

of memes, floating on rivers of

high-flown illusion: the past is confusion

that the future redeems. Days are not hours

but frameworks of seeing,

not kernels of truth but mere mirrors of being.

 

My room glows and fades

as each day retreats into merciful nightfall,

and deception defeats such...

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Waterstick

I reserved this many years ago for when there was nothing left.

 

Waterstick

Astringent,

stripped down

bone - beige;

weather'd

calcium

rising to meniscus:

 

clear wet

dust

become mud;

the electric

potential

will pull you,

later,

round the mouth,

round the grin.

 

dry lips,

dry gin:

dental string

 

along the waterstick,

and ...

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Quiet Rooms

One day two years ago, I visited the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, a sombre and unsettling experience. This piece came directly from that day.

 

Quiet Rooms

Quiet rooms in stone villas,

fearful wanderings in fine spaces, staring

over wild June's glinting barbed-wire strands;

streaming faces tumble over cascading waterfronts,

where we trembled.

Nightmares overtake us li...

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Test Firing

This piece dates from a time when, to put it mildly, I was adrift on a stormy ocean.

 

Test Firing

I woke from a dream of Huntsmen

cracking with the sound of crashing trees

and found

old men

grinning

as they sledge-hammered

the walls of my room.

 

They said it was to certify

my apostacy

but when they left

the walls still stood,

dividing my loss

from ...

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Distant Windows

The large Greek island of Naxos in the Cyclades group is an excellent example of the best of its kind, and in any era: wealthy, influential, single-minded, ancient and beautiful. The narrow passage-like streets of Chora, its major settlement, inspire in some an other-worldly sense of the preternatural, the extraordinary. Hence this speculation.

 

Distant Windows

Out of silence a figure ap...

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Recent Comments

Chris Hubbard on Lie to Me (2 days ago)

Brian Maryon on Lie to Me (3 days ago)

Chris Hubbard on Lie to Me (4 days ago)

Taylor Crowshaw on Lie to Me (4 days ago)

Chris Hubbard on Winter (4 days ago)

Taylor Crowshaw on Winter (10 days ago)

Chris Hubbard on The Reefs of Armageddon (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:09 pm)

Kate G on The Reefs of Armageddon (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:02 am)

Chris Hubbard on A Prayer for the Living (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:11 am)

Taylor Crowshaw on A Prayer for the Living (Mon, 17 Sep 2018 07:15 pm)

Anya on A Prayer for the Living (Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:51 am)

Wood on Sleeping in a Forest (Tue, 17 Apr 2018 03:36 am)

Chris Hubbard on Art as the Gaining and Practise of Wisdom (Sat, 10 Mar 2018 12:42 pm)

keith jeffries on Art as the Gaining and Practise of Wisdom (Sat, 10 Mar 2018 08:48 am)

Chris Hubbard on Give it Sweetness (Sat, 3 Mar 2018 03:18 am)

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