Sunday, March 13, 2016

Poems 2016

My religion

I believe in foliage
I believe in a catchy tune
I believe in animals drinking water
I believe in abundance

I believe in touch
I believe in the soil after rain

I believe in bedtime
when my mind's fingers unfurl

from the dream of a world
_________________________________

Israel is an itch
Much more itchy than Darfur, than slaves in Saudia, than girls abducted by Boko Haram,
more itchy than South Sudan, Chechnya, the Sahel, Kashmir
Yemen, Syria, the DRC or Tibet (now largely repopulated with settler Han Chinese),
which people in many countries
for reasons they themselves do not understand
feel impelled to scratch
until it bleeds




___________________

You moved into our house
unobtrusively
didn't take up much room
but we didn't like it
that at night you left
small calling cards scattered around
so we poisoned you


__________________ 

Advice to the people of Aleppo, Darfur, Somalia, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Libya, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen - a Public Service Announcement

Get at least 8 hours sleep a night
A good mattress is a wise investment. Never skimp when purchasing your mattress
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure you buy a reputable low fat high sugar cereal with the tick of the heart foundation
Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup
Don't drive under the influence, and check that the tyres on your vehicle are not worn

Make sure your swimming pool is properly fenced
Remember you have inalienable human rights. No one is allowed to hurt you, as stipulated by the UN charter. If you believe someone has infringed your rights, speak to your nearest embassy or call us on No-1-Is-There during office hours. 

If the line is unstaffed please leave a message
_________________

my mind's attempts to frighten me -
I will not take them seriously
______________________

The snail is a monopod
upon whose foot shoe ne'er was shod

____________________________________

I drink my son's sweet untouched
milky tea
and instantly recall
the broad smile, bald black pate
of Lemmy
all that has been left to me
by the Cheshire cat of memory

________________

I want to say to my kids:
"stop growing and doing"
I want to say to my body:
stop flabbing and ageing"
I want to say to my house
"stop breaking and falling"
I want to say to my mind"
stop spinning and desiring
just for a while
so that I can catch
and let go

my breath

__________________________

the dusk is rising
the lamp casts its pool of light
on the student and teacher
the teacher is talking
the student and piano are silent
head averted, keys inert
the cicadas are droning
their pedal notes:
Sat Chit Ananda
Adonai

Caw Caw Lord Lord
Ha Eloheem

___________________ 

When younger I travelled
far and wide
but now I prefer
to stay inside


___________________________ 

In the beginning
was the sky with birds
and a beach with sand
and a castle on a hill

In the beginning
was a deep dim forest
and a river that hurried
down a mountain side

In the beginning
was a new born babe
soft as clay
and helpless as fury

and all things begin
in fire or water
in earth and air
in the angry hued expanse
that joins day to night
and in the soft rosy glow
of the turning to light

______________________
my legs and pelvis
are my Temple Mount
and I am close to
Yerushalayim
but even closer
to my breath
_______________

look into my eyes
watch my finger
your eyes are getting heavy
your body is relaxed
now close your eyes
and I'm going to count
down from 3 to 1
and when I reach one
I will snap my fingers
you will be asleep
and do and believe whatever I tell you:
 

Three, two, one...
SNAP!
 

Now you will believe
you can all drive your own cars and not have traffic jams and gridlock
you can show love and connectedness by going on a 33 hour shopping spree
that casino's can fight irresponsible gamboling and bars irresponsible drinking
that secret hungers can be legislated out of sight
that people in Holland and Australia can resolve problems in the Congo or the rape of slaves in Saudia by reading 3 articles in The Guardian and clicking on a petition
that a brave new world can be built on ancient prejudices
that you can run infomercials and commercials about weight loss products or brain training programs or wholesome milk from the farm and expect your children to tell you the truth
that political correctness can dissolve the fear and stuntedness which lies at the heart of bigotry
that people who are blind to their own splitting and disassociation and projection can effect harmonious change...
that you can fight cancer and environmental degradation and diabetes and sex trafficking and every other symptom whose roots you ignore with five minutes of attention and a small donation on one day a year


isn't it clear?
the universe is created
out of habits
words are a ritual we practice, more often than any other
we invite in the wild wolves of thought and then act surprised
when they gnaw at our wings and legs
so that we gradually loose the power
to walk and fly

emancipate language from the subjugation and colonisation
of commodification and media manipulation
move away from splitting and projection towards integration
leave tokenism behind, not mothers day or fathers day or cancer or earth day
but every day
like breathing, like walking, like brushing your teeth...

begin with a new daily ritual
check the labels
you have placed on your self
maybe you’ve missed something
that begs to be seen.

let compassion rule as the sovereign force in the universe
may it annihilate all barriers in its way
may it nudge all stunted process back into flow
acknowledging all beginning and end points are arbitrary
and all process is postponement
may it practice viveka - discrimination -
not in the sense of exploitation but to
see the rope from the snake
as in owning an impulse vs acting on it
as in telling benign from malign prejudice,
may It be revealed as such to me and to you

on that day
the body will exhale
our doubts will come galloping
over the hill like cavalry
each one an ugly duckling transformed
and the mind's chatter
will be a sweet serenade
letting us know
Adonai hu Elohim
the Lord of barriers and borders
is the Lord of unrestricted space
and that day is today
_____________________

my child
immanuel suttner is famous
because he had a house
immanuel suttner is famous
because a dog with large paws did follow him
wherever he would go
immanuel suttner is famous
for relocating mice
immanuel suttner is famous for the
spirituality of his semens
immanuel suttner is famous
for his commitment to cleaning up chicken poo
immanuel suttner is famous for his
steady tauran wife
immanuel suttner is famous for being
a father of note
immanuel suttner is famous
for the bargains he triumphantly brought home from the supermarket
immanuel suttner is famous
for his nagging
immanuel suttner is famous
for his anxiety that things would not get recycled
immanuel suttner is famous
for embarrassing his family
by crawling backwards on the beach
immanuel suttner is famous
for sons
more famous than he

Here lies Immanuel Suttner
feet splurged outwards
asleep, asnoring,
one eye open
listening to the
news in Hebrew

by ministerial decree he will henceforth be known as is

is is famous for creating businesses that never got a single client

is is famous
for the milk and shampoo wars
is is famous
for resting a while
is is famous
for his timorous roaring
from behind the screen
is is famous
for his free floating intellect
is is famous for collecting
family artifacts and resentments
is is famous
for his identification with the
underthingamajig
is is famous
for their verbal smokescreen
during which time
they got away
is is famous for the soft depths of their kidneys
and the passed-over wisdom
of their intestinal tract?


is famous
for his bird like foward poking
head
is famous
for gazing at trees then bowing
in heartfelt prayer
is famous
for his oppression of mosquitoes
is famous for his shabbos burps
is famous for suddenly darting
into massage parlours
is famous for his love of song
is famous
for blowing his nose
and discreetly thumbing it

here lies is
pomegranates growing from his groin
wild oregano from his hair
in the golden fields
of eretz yisrah'ail
now all has been heard, here is the conclusion
he is is a sweet boy
tho' he howls and moans
and if you see him
please give him a hug
and send him on home to
Me
__________________________

my child

immanuel suttner is famous
because he had a house
immanuel suttner is famous
because a dog with large paws followed him
wherever he did go
immanuel suttner is famous
for trapping and releasing mice
immanuel suttner is famous
for the way he picked words
like flowers, and arranged
them in a see through jar


immanuel suttner is famous for the
spirituality of his semens
immanuel suttner is famous
for his commitment to cleaning up chicken shit
immanuel suttner is famous for his
rock steady tauran wife
immanuel suttner is famous for being
a father of note
immanuel suttner is famous
for the bargains he triumphantly
brought home from the supermarket
immanuel suttner is famous
for his nagging
immanuel suttner is famous
for his anxiety that things would not get recycled
immanuel suttner is famous
for embarrassing his family
by crawling backwards on the beach
immanuel suttner is famous
for sons more famous than he

here lies Immanuel Suttner
feet splurged outwards
asleep, asnore
one eye open
listening to the
news in Hebrew
by ministerial decree he will henceforth be known
as is

is is famous for creating businesses that never got a single client
is is famous
for the milk and shampoo wars
is is famous
for resting a while
is is famous
for his timorous roaring
from behind the screen
is is famous
for his incisive free floating intellect
is is famous for collecting
family artifacts and resentments
is is famous
for his identification with the
underthingamajig
is is famous
for his verbal smokescreen
under cover of which
he got away

is is famous for the soft depths of his kidneys
and the passed-over wisdom
of his intestinal tract

is, famous
for his avian foward poking head
is, famous
for gazing at trees then bowing
in heartfelt prayer

is, famous for suddenly darting
into massage parlours
is, famous
for his oppression of mosquitoes
is, famous for his shabbos burps
is, famous for his love of song
is, famous
for blowing his nose
and discreetly thumbing it

here lies is
pomegranates growing from his groin
wild oregano from his hair
in the golden fields
of eretz yisrah'ail

now all has been heard,
here is the conclusion of the matter
is is a sweet boy
and if you see him
please give him a hug
rest awhile in his shade
and mail all his seeds home to

Me

(from November 6 2013)

don't turn on the radio
stay with the tree
the sky
the humble dust
the breath
that isn't even yours


________________________________
It's easy to find G-d in a grove of trees
A lot harder to find Her in corruption or disease
________________________

My commitment: I will give whatever it takes to take whatever it gives

_________________
Do cycle of poems called "conversations"
between parent and child
dog and owner
people in a pub
on facebook / smartphone
work conversation

and so on...
________________

Five Hebrew phrases reimagined:

arfilei tohar
shtei luchot ha brit
ish chayil
kisei hakavod
tikun olam
t'filat haderech
tikun chatzot


_______________

At the protest rally
the air was thick with
terminology and
passion
mine being for
the soulful
young females
who minced about
in embroidered chinese slippers

or chanted
purposefully
beneath tangled crowns of hair
their t-shirts and ethnic blouses

packed with sweet promise
and I, struck dumb 
by helpless longing, my
mute semi-presence
watched the proceedings
from behind the flat glass
of a drifter's seahole
through which I could
hardly be seen



_________________

Just once I'd like
to be desired
for my body
as much as my mind
in fact, for my body
more than my mind
and in fact
more than once

_____________

That moment of sweetness
when she enfolds your penis
_____________________

Sometimes
when I don't know what to do
with the present moment
I try to escape it
with a poem
___________

I go to the barber
who is old and sweet
I imagine it is Ramana giving me the haircut
he lays his hands on my head
and sets me free.
___________

In the place
where a 100 year old
Moreton bay fig stood
larger than a living thing
could plausibly be
now stands a pile of woodchips
surrounded by green grass
and behind it a parkscape
the tree had hid
I cannot truthfully say
that I love that space
any less than the tree

____________

Reality

My nervous system
has been set jangling
like a bunch of random keys
whose locks have long since perished
like a bell that tolls
in an endless cemetry
yet how I love
the almost imperceptible stain
on the coat of the woman
in front of me

_________________________ 


One day I looked down
and there was a pair of old men's legs
attached to a young mind
I wonder who they belong to?

___________________________
  
I'm invested heavily
in trees and earthworms
in piles of rotting leaves
in rainwater and ladybirds  

I took out a margin loan
on thank you cards
acknowledgement
course-correcting
long warm hugs
keeping my word

I've sunk resources into breath
into stretching and doing less

I have banked on dog-walking
at the regular time
and discovered the list of important tasks
I reluctantly set aside
was fiction
there was nothing to do


and now my stock is rising
the dividend is coming in
and the pay out of contentment
is in multiples of ten

Hedge shares 

the yield 

I even took a margin loan
when someone mentioned
the next big thing would be
random acts of kindness
and senseless acts of beauty
______________

"yes, well, I had a lot of luck as well... 

let me show you around the place
that? that's just a small thing I picked up
its called a chicken, and that is a broccolli
and that is an earthworm
worth?
the insurers
can't even put a value on them"

 __________

My quiet song
has been playing in the background
for so long
I have forgotten
that even worlds colliding
are not as loud

__________________ 


In the morning I lay an egg
then leave my house
to try and scratch out a living
as all G-d's creatures must
and when I return
to my humble home
as the sun is setting
though I search for them high and low
my eggs have always vanished
tell me friends, I beseech thee
have you seen my eggs?

_________________

At Budderim not Buderoo
Alphonso ate his Kangeroo
and when the moon arose that night
he danced around the firelight

_________________________


INSURANCE

If my garden gets burnt
I will still have a photograph
and if the photograph gets burnt
I will still have my memory
and if my memory gets burnt
I will still have Now
Hoveh
Yehoveh
forever and ever
amayn

__________________
when you said you was leaving
I could not condone
cutting your life line
a long way from home 

you gotta get work
you won't make it alone 
remember I warned that
you're a long way from home

if you get sick you can
still call on the phone
but I can't wipe your brow
such a long way from home

this aint kindergarten 
they'll call in the loan
and no one will bail you
when you're far from your home

you'll be like the beggars
all dirt rags and bone
cos baby I warned ya
you're a long way from home

__________________
 Ridle me ridle me ree II

I was a producer
but I am not a producer
I taught
but I am not a teacher
I sub edited
but I am not a sub editor
I went a whoring
but I am not a whore
I worked as a counsellor
but I am not a counsellor
I wrote books
but I am not a writer
I fathered children
but I am not a father
I was born of man
but I  am not a son

___________________________

Its not easy to find uses for poetry

you can't hang it on the wall
to show you're wealthy and distinguished
you can't use it to unblock the sink
it will not take a headache away
it will not warm your fingers
on a chilly day

poetry is not feasible; it rarely pays for itself
it can sometimes soothe a thought-wound, true
bring some comfort, a panadol for the emotions

but you can't drive it to work
it won't keep out the rain
when you sprain your ankle
it won't block out the pain 


____________

Sort of About Helena

From a bus window
I glimpsed the straw hat
of a gardener who tended
the greenery
in our old building
and quickly filled in
her red hair, green eyes
cheroot, boots,
manly stance,
long jean clad legs
on impulse i rang the bell
and at the next stop
limp leaped off
and doubled back to where she had been
clipping some ground cover
imagining delighted surprise and how we would warmly greet
and exchange a few words as
we reminisced about the good old days
that never were
ending with the warm hug
of two strangers in the city
each trapped in their inexorable routines
who have found a brief island of kinship and connection
but when I caught up
it was a man
so I walked on by

_____________
People munching at MacDonalds
muncha muncha munch
cows are processed at the abbatoir
people are processed at lunch

 __________________
Biyoor Chametz

DUSTING OFF THE UNIVERSE

When i leave my room
to begin dusting off the universe
I do my work tirelessly
I sweep away factory farms

and underpaid workers





the sadness of addiction
 

and unmet needs
I sweep away fear of death
and fear of life.
Things that have lain hidden
in cobwebbed cupboards
since the dawn of time
are pulled into the airy light
and, seen in the breath of fresh air,
melt to nothingness
I mop up cruelty
along with judgements about what is cruel
I sweep away resentment and blame
no matter how sticky they are
I polish every thing with contentment
and gratitude
both inside and outside.
The crusty thought that has calcified
on the surface of the mind
is softened and sold as fertliser
for unpredictable seeds that bear
fruit sweeter than you or I
could ever have imagined




Kadish (lezichra shel Batya Jaspan z"l)

May the name that every person
takes or makes
be blessed enough
as was yours -
child of God


Not knighted or praised, not glorified and exalted,
not decorated and adored and lauded,

but honoured, acknowledged and well regarded
by the honourable 
be

not so much just your name, but the work of your hands
and your heart
(blessed she)

above and beyond all the blessings,
hymns, praises and consolations
that are clung to in this world

May the earnest prayers
of the House of Israel
be accepted by the Source
who is present in the Dining Hall
the Clinic
the Children's Home
and amidst the trees
of the hills of Yehudah

As the sun sets over the cotton fields
may there be abundant peace
contentment, equilibrium, satisfaction, help,
comfort, refuge, redemption, forgiveness,
remembering and forgetting
for us and for all who love you

May the One who makes peace low and high
(God knows we do our best)
grant peace upon us
and on all those who mourn that
the light has flickered and dimmed for a while
before it shines again from
North, South East West
above Tzora and Pilgrims Rest

_____________

I knew a kibbutznik
who worked in the laundry by day
And at night slipped little poems under peoples doors
regarded as eccentric he was gossiped about
in the dining room
or after passing on the path
as happens in small communities
 

one day he silently
handed me a little booklet of his poems
photocopied and stapled
and I still have it
somewhere


____________________

Great insights often come suddenly
like a star exploding
in the inky black sky of the unmanifest
they don't come from
torturing laboratory rats
and carefully taking notes


_____________________

To a poetry editor

You haven't taken ought of mine
so I'm not going to waste my time
casting my pearls before swine
there are pleny who'll drink my wine
____________________

You cannot take
What is not given to you
Even if by force or cunning
The heart of the matter will elude you
_____________

I tell myself
I will begin again
I do not begin again
I tell myself
I will end
I do not end
I tell myself
I will go
I do not go
I tell myself I will come
but first I must leave
-----------------------

Your gap toothed breasts beneath a cotton blouse

How your atoms danced for me
in layers of unease and free
we tried to harness biology
like the wave tried to subjugate the sea
 _______________

I saw your pixels on a moving train

Do you have parents
or were you born from the sea
and would you share
your breasts with me
perhaps we can meet with tears or laughter
with no before and who knows what after
you wear your body and I'll wear mine
there's  a diamond in a cave that
emerges in time / perhaps a diamond
will emerge in time
________________

When Moshe went into the desert
he carried his personal history with him
and even after 20 years
of living with the Midianites
he still spoke with a South African accent
Still carried with him
his personal history
like the tabernacle of the Lord


___________________ 

Obituary #47:

"we miss his farts
we miss his burps
we miss his outraged
and outrageous chirps
____________

Its not easy being a poet
With a disordered personality
I stand and look at plants
and animals wistfully
I snap at people who snap at me
at the merest thought I'm being ignored
my fragile self esteem tumbles and falls
I stop speaking to you
but it ends as punishment for me
sentencing myself
to hours in solitary
but suddenly from nowhere - space
and i can see myself from a different place
so often i am called and become
a grateful state of grace
compassion and resilience come easily
I love to set things straight
my Teacher in whose word I trust
has brought me to the gate


__________________________ 

I inspect my plants
like a commander inspects his soldiers:
"Good
"Get those aphids off you"
"Very good"
"Stand up straight or I'll have you tied to a post"
"Where are your leaves?"
"Excellent"
"Remove that caterpillar or I'll knock it off you"
"
Very nice" 
and before I dismiss myself
I take a few moments
to gaze at my troops
with quiet satisfaction

________________________

יין בן חמץ
עצב בן שמחה
שמחה בת עצבות
דמעות בנות פרידות
נצח בן רגע

______________________

Everyone gets swept along by an illusion
everyone wakes up
you in your turn
and I in mine

_________________ 
Not by petrol or by diesel
Saith the Lord
but by my spirit
Shall you move

Not by the joy of belonging to a tribe
and not by the sadness of not belonging to all tribes
saith the Lord
but by my spirit
shall you be what you are
________________________

Please G-?d
allow me to be of service
in ways more wonderous and incompehensible
bigger and tinier
than the mind could ever conceive
let me marvel at your intricate weaving
as you surprise me again and again
____________

when I was young
some adult said to me
I had to stand on my own two feet
but when I looked down
I could not see anyone else's feet there
__________


I bequeathe to my children
the Pomegranate tree
and if the fire devours it
I bequeathe to them the charcoal

I bequeathe to my children
the piano keys
chipped like teeth
from chewing notes
their granny played
In Benoni and Johannesburg
and their mother played
In Joburg and Sydney

I bequeath to my children
the Hebrew books they cannot read
and the Yiddish ones I cannot read
but keep
as a vague monument to an amputated limb

I bequeath to them the English books -
the big words and the small
enjembements, commas and full stops
with the caveat that
no matter how delightful
the pointing finger
will never be the moon

I bequeath to them time in the garden
I bequeath to them time with friends
I bequeath to them time with creatures
that do not speak with words
bequeath to them my receptive memory
for phrase and lyric, for all that resonates
beauty, gesture, essence, feeling
bequeath to them
my tidal heart

see  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-sunday-poet-mano-suttner.html

_______________

Where there are connecting conversations
there the divine presence dwells
_____________
My guru lives across the road
my guru sleeps with me
my guru has no ashram
my guru has no fee
__________________

Stop!
the very first word you utter
must be cross examined
until what you meant by it
and what I understood by it
are no longer assumed


___________________________ 

It just so happened
that it

just happened

and everything that ensued from it

discussions, interviews , commentaries, spin offs, tweets, face books posts, likes, dislikes, syndicated cartoons, protest marches, divorces, meals gulped down, wear and tear, and eventual disinterest as the
next thing

just happened

were all an inseperable part of what

just happened

and each part begat
many parts
unto the 1000th generation
and each one

just happened

so follow the vectors back
to where the head meets the tail
until you grasp it

just happened
_____________________


Let's Pretend

While evidence was being gathered
to formulate an evidence based national policy
the evidence changed
the researchers changed
the measuring stick changed
the funders changed
the fashion for seeking authority in evidence changed
the researcher bias changed
and by the time the policy was formulated
it reflected an aproximation that 

enough people felt enough comfortable with
and enough people felt uncomfortable with
to begin the search for new evidence
and that is why
if you want confirmation
of the truths you already know
before you gather evidence

schedule a meeting
with the gatherer
_______________________

My name is Richard Suttner
my address is 42 Halford Avenue
Waverly Extension
My phone number is 40 28 44
My dad's name is Ron, he's an electrical engineer
My mom's name is Freda she's a nursery school teacher
When I am big I want to be a spaceman

___________________  

 may we play fluidly
land lightly
let go elegantly
get out of our own way
beautifully
________________

Ego is like a merciless rider whipping us tired donkeys on; no wonder we try to throw it off with our drug of choice, so that its sting will be temporarily replaced by numbness or bliss
_____________________________

For every responsibility there must be an irresponsibility, to restore universal balance

______________________

If only I had a bigger smart phone
I could sit in restaurants on my own
I'd always have a place to call home
I wouldn't get bored when I am alone
if only I had a bigger smart phone
______________________________

wha...?
klip klop
scratch scratch
coming
pad pad
- no barking ! -
moonlight. streetlight.
neighbours van
pad pad pad
dry. cup. glug glug glug.
pad pad
tinkle tinkle
stinks. inhale
ahhhh...is that a mozzie?
bang. missed.
pad pad pad
- inside
klip klop klip klop
- whatimesit?
- dunno


________________________

 no one is valuable or worthless but thinking makes it so
____________________________

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