Thursday, 22 June 2017

Given Words for National Poetry Day 2017



We are pleased to announce a new edition of Given Words for New Zealand's Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 2017. Last year the words were donated by Australian poet Les Murray, this year we have decided to do things a little differently.

We would like YOU to choose the five words.

In the first stage we would like you to send us a very short video saying one word of your choice (like in the promo video above). If you want to you can also briefly explain why you have chosen the word. Please send only one word per person. It can be a noun, verb or adjective, and any language spoken in New Zealand. Send the video by email to nzgivenwords@gmail.com along with your name and town. You can record it on any device - the quality is not important as long as we can hear the word clearly! The deadline for sending your words is Sunday 23 July, 2017. This is open to all New Zealand citizens and residents.

The second stage will begin on 1 August when we will publish a video with the selection of our five favourite words from all those you have sent us. Then you will have until National Poetry Day 25 August to send us your poem which must include each of the five words.

We will be awarding a prize for the Best Poem and a prize for the Best Poem by Under-16s. The winner of Best Poem will receive a copy of the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook 2017, courtesy of Massey University Press and the winner of the Under-16 category will receive a copy of Lonesome When You Go by Saradha Koirala courtesy of Mākaro Press. In addition the winning poems will be translated into Spanish and published on the Spanish version of the project Palabras Prestadas.

To receive updates about the competition please subscribe to our newsletter here. We only send emails related with this competition and you can easily opt out at any time.

Video credits: A big thank you to the Olive family and friends from Lower Hutt for donating your words!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Coming soon

Watch this space for the next edition of Given Words for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day in New Zealand 2017. We will be launching the first stage of our poetry competition mid-June.

If you want to be the first to know what we are doing please subscribe to our newsletter here. We only send emails related with this competition and you can easily opt out at any time.

You can also follow us on twitter @givenwords

For further enquiries you can contact us at nzgivenwords@gmail.com

In the meantime you can enjoy the poems from last year in the previous posts.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Given Poems – NZ National Poetry Day 2016

MANY THANKS TO ALL who have sent in their poems with the words donated by the Australian poet Les Murray for this special English version of the Spanish poetry project 'Palabras Prestadas' or Given Words.

NZBOOKAWARDS.NZ/
NATIONAL-POETRY-DAY
Prize for the best poem selected by the Palabras Prestadas team. We are delighted to announce that as well as an overall prize we have decided to award an extra prize for children under 16. Congratulations to Sue Wootton from Dunedin for her poem Spring break at Right Whale Cottage and to Elizabeth Milne, aged 11, from Christchurch, for her poem Estuary Playground. Their poems below can be read in Spanish here and they will each receive a copy of the poetry collection Antípodas by Charles Olsen (published by Huerga y Fierro, Spain, 2016, bilingual edition).


The following poems were all written with the Given Words:
walled, crane-swing, jaw, blubber and blurts.


❆ ❆ ❆



Spring break at Right Whale Cottage

You push the lichened gate. It wheezes
wide. Towing your wheeled weekend
you walk beneath a bower of wild-rose,
blooms tucked tight and bursting to blurt.

Beneath the briar, the bone. The planted ribs
are barnacle-bereft and swim towards the sun,
towards the stars—a vast and breathing creature, once,
its partial carcass now your aisle.

Your mind crane-swings you to the beach behind:
the crimson sea, the stranded jaw, the tripots bubbling.
Walled in by splayed pickets taller than kahikatea
the men slide through the thorax, hack to spring

the joints from snug. You tug your case, walk through
the stench, the grease, the blubber-smoke sky.


Sue Wootton
Dunedin, New Zealand

Read the Spanish translation


❆ ❆ ❆



Estuary Playground

Playground walled by sand, sky
Swing on the crane-swing
Slip down the stork-slide
Spin on the heron-go-round
Mud blurts and blubbers
Reeds grapevine through silt
The tide goes in, out
A talkative jaw full of shark teeth
chases little fish in the estuary


Elizabeth Milne, age 11
Christchurch, New Zealand

Read the Spanish translation


❆ ❆ ❆



From the rafters

In the high rafters someone is throat singing
notes swirl round walls showing axe scars
on old trees, not a dry eye in the house
of exile, jaw bones tighten along contours
of maps digging stories to minds from docks
where the crane-swing flies over the hold
of imagined history –

we might borrow words from many places
bargain our past with whale blubber
and seal skins, there is nothing exotic
in some travesty carried out
in back yards far away, where waves meet rock
and economics wash over the tides with commodity.

He is throat singing in the rafters as if
no child ever blurts out home truths.
Alpaca fleece lies over the floor, ready
for fingers to mediate process, spinning
something out of nothing, in an effort
to turn back the clock on an old man
who understands nothing, because of
what he has heard while standing
among the forests of childhood. There
in the shadows of indigenous growth
without need of revision, is his history.


Pat White
Fairlie, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Hope Less

Human
Walled heartless
Senescent sensual soliloquy
Amputated wan hopeless warmonger

Human
Parasitic fulcrum
Locked loaded leviathan
Incompetent impotent crane-swing

Human
Illusion's receipt
Visceral visionary violence
Broken jaw of Gaia

Human
soulless singularity
Pulchritudinous poetic pseudonym
Vampiring life's effulgent blubber

Human
Insufferable hubris
blushing blasphemous blurts
Levity's fragile lost cause


Isaac James Bishara
Ngāti Tuwharetoa
Ngāti Ranginui
Wellington, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



High Tea


Higher ground, Lyttelton Harbour,
crane-swing, lower ground.
Two women titter-tatter, "High Tea?"

One's jaw fetishes small cakes,
the other - walled -
circumstances made her blubber,
waitresses blurt, "SUGAR-FREE?"


Sarah Walsh
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Nobby and Joseph

He hauled the bulky leather collar from a peg
          at the back of the high walled barn,
                    heaved it up in a crane-swing arc

to fasten around Nobby’s burnished shoulders,
          a soft word or two blurted into his neck
                    with awkward country affection,

a rub of his jaw, a nudge, and down to the garden
          they trudged, Joseph close behind
                    the old Clydesdale, silky leg feathers

flaring wide in a lumbering dance, through the gate
          harnessed to a single-furrow plough
                    nosed firm into the earth.

Joseph held the reins lightly, the hand grips hard
          turned the sod slice by slice,
                    like strips of blubber flensed from

the sides of a dark-fleshed whale, rolling them
          over onto the back of the last neat row
                    until the whole field was an ocean

of green fringed waves. His turf is kept by another
          now, who sits astride a ride-on mower,
                    smoke wafting, incense-blue,

from the exhaust-pipe thurible, rumbling deepthroated
          down swathes of sombre lawn
                    flanked by granite headstones,

one, with Joseph’s name and a few shy words
          of love, tethered in gold letters,
                    blinks in the sinking sun.


Elizabeth Brooke-Carr
Dunedin, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



The crane

‘Stop!’
I blurt,
My stuttering cries
transmuted
to stifled
gasps.
I’m like blubber frozen to the
skin of a whale,
immobile.
All that untapped energy
trapped
remorselessly by
the crushing weight of reason.
Reason bades me
scream.

Blubber,
unsticking from
Reason’s skin,
billows bold, bidding me rush,
duck
past safety
cords and cordons,
to the inner sanctum
of the crane-swing,
the forbidden perimeter
sanctioned by
builders
and plastic hatted people
who know about
such things.

Who’s
to know,
though,
the chilling truth
of child
slipped sloppily
in pit?
The jaw of death’s an
orange spire vertical
on the horizon.
An unseen man
in a
cubicle of
unseen gears
sports grizzled
beard
in
close
juxtaposition
to ten
tiny fingers and
a frightened
mouth,
wobbling
a whisper.

I rip reason from my skin,
feeling molten wax
warm the viscous
heat of my impulses.
I rush
the walled
enclave,
defying
warning signs,
and the tremors
of rubble
and ruin.

We
are a flash of colour,
a tightening
of fingers,
a fling of fears,
a sestet of heartbeats,
a quatrain of tears.

Vulnerable,
We’re the bared flesh of
Beluga,
Pulsing.

Then,…
safe…
both safe.

Oblivious,
the man in
The glass cubicle
sets
his load.


Hayley Solomon
Rapaura, Blenheim, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



WHOSE WATERLOO?

Hundreds move through Waterloo Station;
Two are destined for a confrontation.
I wear a clerical collar;
He is smaller, older, undernourished,
Except by alcohol or meths.
Suddenly he is in front of me,
Blurts out, ‘Bloody priest!’
And launches a fist in a crane-swing at my jaw,
But his balance is off and he misses.
A moment of surprise
Too brief for fear.
Not a moment for blubbering,
Rather a moment for sadness
For a man walled in by bitterness
And seeking to smash his way out with his fists.
But why don’t I wear my collar now on Waterloo Station?
Who was defeated at Waterloo?


Barry Olsen
Aylesbury, UK


❆ ❆ ❆



Crane-swing the blanket
To muffle the sun
Your big eyes
Walled in purple
You pause
Your head against my jaw
Fingers tickle
Baby blubber
And you blurt giggles
Before escaping
To the light


Caleb Edwards
Wellington, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Learned Things


In high walled institutions knowledge resides,
Students attend,
Teachers provide,
They blurt out their advice,
In classes and lectures,
Seeking debates, agreement and conjecture.

Online Forums buzz and tablets are tapped,
The library is open the books are not trapped,
Though it’s easy to enrol it’s not easy to achieve,
Emotions can be like quicksand,
And suck you down deep,
Some say it’s like a ride on a roller coaster,
Others think it’s like being in the circus ring,
Some will tell you a bungee jump,
Others a crane-swing.

When work is submitted and reports have been sent,
Results are expected,
Submission day came and went,
Praise will be welcome, criticism taken poor,
Though to blubber won’t help,
Take it on the jaw.

Once this term is over another will begin,
There will be a new intake,
The circle of learning, will start again.


Lance Bryan
Hamilton, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Christchurch

We went for the Opera
for a weekend away
for the earthquakes
something to talk about

But the walled city
silenced us, its exhaustion
its boredom, its vertical ribs
a folly of sorts

At the cathedral
the blubbering, blurting
maw of shock was woven
round with spells and symbols
a lone crane-swing cast an arm
of blessing

And in the midst, a mother jaw
huge and gentle, meticulous
tearing away the caul
dis-mantling, a mother jaw
rending, sounding the soul
of the city


The stadium stage was set
with road cones, Mimi sang
her tragic young death
taxis came and went

The night was cold and
incredibly still


Jenny Dobson
Hastings, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



RUN

Horses, horses, hooves could be heard, billowing huge dust,
frothing of the Jaw, blubbering steam and water dribbling from the nose,
Digeridoos had been sending warnings to the Leealow, white man is coming,
Grabbing sacks, food and water by the crane swing, Alira and Biralee ran
Go blurts the mother, Tjana, go to the Galleewo.

Desert red ochre simmered, all over them, heat so exhausting, a wall of energy,
Darana sensation, helped Birwee lead the way, deep in the desert,
Alirra blubbering in fear, listening to the Digeredoo so clear, have no fear,
as the dark so dark,
Courage, courage you will not fail.


Christina Samana
Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



In Frida’s Feet


Walled in by a watery, white, cast iron bath, my feet transposed
By a crane-swing of time smashed upon crumbled buildings
Lost somewhere inside the awing jaw of a bleached skeleton
Sitting in the shadow of an erupting volcano
Pantone Pompeiian red polished toe nails projected
On to my plain pearl-shelled ones.
The moment blurted and burst
Like the putrid blubber of a floating whale carcass
Pulled half drowned from the water.
The noose is both life and death giving
Unable to escape either even if you wanted to
Walled in by a watery, white, cast iron bath, our pain submerged.


Lara Sanderson
Dunedin, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Family Trip to see the Zoo Elephant

It was him we came to see
The musty colossus.
A grey tarpaulin of hide,
Eyes walled in crinkle
Sallow tusks, platters for ears, and behind the bars
A prisoners shambling walk.
His tail was a Zulu fly swat, whipping lazily.
An Ayers rock of a beast
The ballet of his flat-footed, slow, swaying!
Delicate, his snout-search for food
A blurted out secret, that pop of pink at trunk tip.
The way he stuffed the sleeve of his jaw – the
Power of his crane-swing and bucketing!
A school rubbish bin smell hung in the air…
Something annoyed him
The earthquake of his trumpeting bellow!
Our audience faces marvelled
But you, too little, blubbered from your blue blanket.


Stephanie Mayne
Auckland, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



The build

The crane-swing like a pendulum
Turns everything into a mess off blubber,
I look in a daze indeed a stutter
To find a jaw of daggers standing next to my heart.

I blurt out a new song
A better more happy tune,
To find inner peace,
But destruction is all I can see.

The key from this mess is in the wound
And the wound is concrete and destructive like the dawn
It breaks who I am
Crushes my bones,
But my spirit is still with me
And is surely stuck and walled.


Antonia Robinson
Gisborne, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



hemmed jaw to jaw
they are walled off
from the burnt blubber
dripping bow to stern

the ocean gushes
in their ears
and blubber runs
past their toes

until it blurts over stern
where it has collected
drop by drop
just a crane-swing from the dock


Awhi Milne
Wellington, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Vulnerable

Once I was a warrior, equipped to be on the front lines of life.
Now I step up naked on the battlefield, walled in by doubt.
My only defence is your mercy, my only weapon is silence.
When the demons are pulling upon the strings in my mind
I can only wait until they tire of their cruelty,
And abandon me like a cat with a sparrow,
Watching my efforts to take flight again.
But my allies rally and I draw from their strength
Believing my victory is certain
And with this belief I advance on the front,
The laurels of achievement awaiting me.
But the battle is short lived, and uncertainty like a crane-swing returns.
My war cry becomes a suppliant blubber.
My jaw hangs for want of breath
And my heart hammers upon an anvil of fear.
My wounds are deep and I gaze at the sword in my hand
Beckoning my fall upon it,
But what sort of soldier would I be then
And at what cost to those around me?
For now, I must contend to stay broken on the field,
And blurt out the words I loathe to utter.
“Help me.”


Storm Reece
Invercargill, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



It blurted out of me.
It came tumbling out and found a solid surface on which to rest.
It settled in.
It began to get walled in by its own common place.

Unshakeable.
A crane-swing unable to smash it to where it belonged.
It has no home.
It is not wanted anywhere.

But, perhaps it is needed?
To replay as a memory unshared.

Could I blubber myself to sense.
Breaking a promise with myself,
To only result in its return.

It’s a lock Jaw of pain.
So obvious.
Claimed to be understood but still so foreign.

The power lies in its ability to settle.
To be calm,
But never disappear.


Jessica Monaghan
Auckland, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Walled Eden

Fingers sink into moss-filled cracks,
a clenched jaw grazes sun baked brick.
From the rushes, a crane-swings neck rises,
a golden carp writhing in its beak.
It knows of wings that can take it beyond these walls.
With a crack of clay
a brick breaks.
Clasping hands fall away,
I fall with them
to lie winded, until a breath blurts from my chest.
The crane wades deeper into the marshes,
distancing itself from the heaving, blubbering mess in the corner.
A creature,
with no purpose in this walled Eden.


Freddie Gormack-Smith, aged 15
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Playground

Within walled gardens
behind moss-dusted bricks
the crane-swing sways
chirps blurt from its chained seat
the whale pond
hides goldfish
in churning depths of blubber
the talkative jaw of the toucan slide
snaps shut


Amelia Kirkness, aged 12
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



My Saviour

Walled in.
Crane-swing.
Demolition danger.
Bottle up the blubbering.
Trapped.
Can’t breathe.
Now, jaws of life.
Blurt out a scream
Release floods.
Now free.


Valentina Turner-Buchanan, aged 14
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Gone

The dog dashes through walled garden.
Earth blurts up gifts of dust.
Flowers blubber under crushing paws.
Jaw clenched,
the ball is gathered.
Back past the flowerbed.
Back past the crane-swing
once a cradle for a child


Ellie Smith, age 14
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆



Forgotten

half-built walled courtyard
more moss than cobblestone
equipment left behind
forgotten
re-purposed
blanket ropes and cushions
crane-swings over rubble
the moss is lava
digger fort
laughter
friends
first to the top of the wall – don’t fall
too late
skinned knees
blubbering
blurted insults – weakling, coward
a punch
not so weak after all
jaw must be broken
just bruised
run to mother
stay away from that place
blood on the moss
forgotten


Isabella Bastida, age 14
Christchurch, New Zealand


❆ ❆ ❆

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Given Words — NZ National Poetry Day 2016

NZBOOKAWARDS.NZ/
NATIONAL-POETRY-DAY
For National Poetry Day 2016, poets from New Zealand are invited to participate in a special one-off English version of the online Spanish poetry project, run by Nelson-born poet Charles Olsen, called Palabras Prestadas (or Given Words). You can write about anything but there are five words below chosen by the Australian poet Les Murray which must appear in the poem.

A selection of the entries will be published here at the end of September 2016 and the best poem will be translated into Spanish and receive a copy of the poetry collection Antípodas by Charles Olsen (see below).

– The words can be in any order and verbs can change tense.
– Entry is free and open to all NZ citizens.
– Maximum length 200 words.
– Only one poem per person.
– The poem must include the five words below.
– Participation means you give us permission to reproduce your poem on Palabras Prestadas.
– The deadline for entry is midnight on 26 August 2016.

Submit your poem by email including your full name and town of residence to: librodepalabrasprestadas@gmail.com


Given Words selected by the Australian poet Les Murray.
The five words come from his poem ‘High Speed Trap Space’, which you can read below, and they are:


walled

crane-swing

jaw

blubber

blurts



Photo © Gerald Zörner gezett.de
In his letter which he sent with his five words Les Murray wrote "I'm 77, published in a number of countries. I'm well thought of in parts of the Anglosphere, including bits of my own part! I'm editor of the Sydney journal Quadrant."

www.lesmurray.org






High Speed Trap Space

Speeding home from town
in rainy dark. For the narrowness
of main roads then, we were hurtling.
A lorry on our tail, bouncing, lit our mirrors,
twinned strawberries kept our lights down

and our highway lane was walled
in froth-barked trees. Nowhere to swerve –
but out between trunks stepped an animal,
big neck, muzzle and horns, calmly gazing
at the play of speed on counter-speed.

Its front hooves up, planted on the asphalt
and our little room raced on to a beheading
or else to be swallowed by the truck’s high bow.
No dive down off my seat would get me low
enough to escape the crane-swing of that head

and its imminence of butchery and glass.
But it was gone.
The monster jaw must have recoiled
in one gulp to give me my survival.
My brain was still full of the blubber lip,

the dribbling cud. In all but reality
the bomb stroke had still happened.

Ghost glass and blurts of rain still showered
out of my face at the man
whose straining grip had had

to refuse all swerving.



(From the collection by Les Murray Waiting for the Past (Black Inc., 2015).)




The prize for the best poem will be the collection of poetry Antípodas by Charles Olsen published in a bilingual edition by Huerga y Fierro

ANTIPODAS takes us from the everyday to surreal moments, with touches of humour and mystery, without abandoning the sublime imagery characteristic of the author. Unadorned, fresh and very emotive poetry.

CHARLES OLSEN (b. Nelson 1969) Artist and poet. He travelled to Spain in 2003 because of his interest in the Spanish painters Velasquez and Goya, and to study flamenco guitar. His painting have been shown in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Oporto, Paris, Wellington, and the Saatchi Gallery, London.
His first short film The dance of the brushes won second prize in the I Festival Flamenco de Cortometrajes, Madrid, 2010. He is director alongside Lilián Pallares of AntenaBluethe observed word – creating booktrailers, filmpoems and short films in the field of literature. Their two film poems In Silence and Book of Traces were shown at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in 2014.
Charles Olsen has published the bilingual poetry collections Sr. Citizen (Amargord Ediciones, 2011, with foreword by New Zealand poet, Pat White) and Antípodas (Huerga y Fierro, 2016). His poetry has been published in numerous anthologies in Spain, Colombia and in New Zealand’s Blackmailpress (issues bmp 28 and bmp 39). He presented his poetry recital Agita Flamenco with flamenco piano and flamenco dance in the New Zealand pavilion of the Venice Biennale and the SGAE, Madrid, 2012. Since 2011 he runs the online poetry project Palabras Prestadas (Given words) with the participation of poets from throughout the Spanish-speaking world. A number of New Zealand poets have donated words to the project and Charles Olsen has translated their poems into Spanish.
Blog: pensamientoslentos (slow thought)
Website: www.charlesolsen.es

More information about Antípodas in The Big Idea