Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Poem My Rivers

(XVIIIth Birthday Poem)


Water broken by sunlight
water in the wind
swept by ruffles
dark whorls
on the river;

pale cool waters
by the keel parted
carved by the searching prow
thrust by burdened rafts,
waters broken by voyaging.

On childhood’s coloured maps
the thin blue trace of rivers
Euphrates Tigris Nile
Danube Po The Thames
Rio Grande and Yangtse Kiang;
above the ranked reed beds
stem and stern posts
the beat of driven oars
heard not seen
the sway of passing masts.

These rivers join
the oceans of our blood.


Above the tree-lines
under scree slopes, stirring
in hidden springs ,
filtered through anabranching
downward thrust of roots:

the chill mountain waters
gather in rills
splash into leaping freshets
jet through the tumbled

with weight of the high valleys
behind mounting waters
press of the millstones slowly revolve
and the clean grain pours
in the great stone throat.

From the long thrust
of the stream’s steep weight
the spin of the wheel
and the headlong rush
the white waters course on,

glancing from bank
to bank, through
sloping groves of budded ash
among thorns and bramble canes
still red with winter’s frost.

Below, the terraced fields
the rough stone barns
and steep slate roofs
of hillside farms catch
the glitter of falling water;

lower valleys receive and calm
these plummets of pebbled torrents,
anchoring them in the deep swirl
of green pools shaded
where stooping willows cling,

where dun brown cows doze
fetlock deep in water meadows;
here waters slide under country roads
briefly received by the arch
of lichen spattered stones.

So the river lives with its surface
broken by sunlight,
swept by patterned ruffles
making dark whorls
on its voyaging brim;

and takes for its easy burden
the prow and the helm
of our years of human lives—
these rivers join
the oceans of our blood.

Glen Phillips
© October 18, 1984

Monday, October 4, 2010

Submissions open in Landscapes Journal on Sustainability

Landscapes is currently accepting submissions of academic articles, book reviews, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, photography, visual and sound art for its 2010 issue on sustainability. We welcome all submissions that attempt to explore the theme of sustainability in literal or metaphoric ways, regionally in Southwest Australia or internationally. Academic articles of 8000 words or less will be submitted to a peer-review process before publication.
See Landscapes Journal for submission guidelines and for previous issues.

For the next issue, all submissions will be managed through Submishmash. More details are available online.

For further information, email ICLL at landscapelanguage@gmail.com
Closing Date: 30 November 2010


International Centre for Landscape and Language
Landscapes Journal


Building 17 Room 231
Edith Cowan University
Mount Lawley WA 6050

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Winter 2010 Landscapes Journal now online

On the Theme of 'PeripateticaEditorial by John Ryan
and featured under Trekking the Wild, my story Hunting the Qualup Bell.
Peripatetica: The Poetics of Walking

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Poem

(or the deserted village revisited)

Look! There’s crystal handwriting
on the brickwork of the CWA hall
that leads to the cracked foundation stone
(March, 1934). A pencil pine
next to the post office is dying off.
Here people come and go yet do not talk
of Michelangelo. With each inhabitant
conceived, hopes rise but wither like fallen
wombs. And prostates swell to block vesicles,
render impotent the display of baby prams
in the co-op shop. Sweating with salt
footpaths buckle unused, the gutters
and downpipes, fragile festoons of rust,
swing in the wind that blows off dry lakes
thick with tang of saltbush, glut
of samphire. And at the entrance to a
broken culvert a limping rat pauses
to watch a stray dog squat in the gutter
searching for a tick or a flea. And here
a dribbling stream of salt drains away
like misspent urine. The town boundary
sign suggests their population drift
is critical. That was decades ago.
Nobody has time or energy to change
the numbers now. Past rusted rails
we visit the station yards where
abandoned railway buildings wait
for no trains these many years. Once
in days of steam the lofted water tower
gave life to generations of locos.
It teeters now, water-marked, rivets
loosened, fretted by rust, good only
for a few welcome swallows to perch,
hoping for puddles of rainwater
in the base. A ragged crew of galahs,
pink-and-greys, comes flapping past
to check it out. But here too salt
has crept up the footings into the stays
and struts to rot, to mock where sweet
water ascended once. Driving away
we remember the rule in warfare:
that deserters are the first to die?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red Shift Cosmology - A new book by Glen Phillips

Red Shift Cosmology - the 42 name day poems

Red Shift Cosmology contains poems from previous books: Sacrificing the Leaves, Lovesongs/Lovescenes, Spring Burning and The Moon Belongs to On One. The 42 name day poems in this collection are each year's birthday poems for Rita.