These poems are from It Only Takes One Hand to Write a Poem. Rod Gibson was an Australian performance poet, playwright and storyteller who grew up in Sydney but lived much of his adult life in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales. He won numerous prizes for his work, was widely published and was affectionately known as ‘The Poet Lorikeet of the North’.
The Northern Rivers/North Coast area of NSW is known for its creative communities and Rod produced much of his work there. His obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald states that ‘his muse, schizophrenia, provided inspiration and insight that enabled him to see and express life in ways others could not’. He died of cancer in 2011. The poems were kindly selected by his sister, Janet Gibson.
For more go to: http://onehandproductions.com.au/index2.html
Fishermen, Brunswick Heads
These fishermen posted between sea and sky,
on a long wall of jumbled rocks
audaciously standing up to the ocean-
their rods are like thin fingers against the grey horizon, and their lines
are dragging the murky depths,
but might as well be
fishing the blue above
for fine fillets of celestial music,
or satanic whisperings, or molten cherubim
with wings on fire. Their God
dwells out there somewhere, the greedy Fish King
who lures people to their doom,
past the white breakers on the bar,
and devours them beyond recognition.
If you ask these fishermen their names
they would not tell you; if you looked
for their faces you would not find them,
for the wind has long since claimed them.
The day is overcast. It is cold,
early winter. I am on
the beach watching the fishermen.
They stand. They stand.
It’s a Long Way To The Shop If...
I was heading
down the street
for a sausage roll
at the local bakery,
when I remembered
I had a frozen
Sargent’s meat pie
In the fridge
at home. Should I
and have that
instead? I parked
under a tree.
The sun went down,
it was a long, cold night,
to make up
in the morning,
the local bakery
When I got home
thought I’d been
with another woman,
and left for good.
I tried to kiss her
goodbye, but I still had
on my moustache.
It only goes
to show, it’s a long way
to the shop
if you want a sausage roll. *
*a reference to the AC/DC song ‘It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll’
The wind blows the trees about
as if they were in a wrestling bout
I stand here in my blue pyjamas
feeding meat to my pet piranhas
The world is spinning slowly I’m told
the Sahara is hot, the South Pole is cold
I think I might be mentally ill.
I decide to give the piranhas a thrill
I place my left hand in the water,
the room echoes with my laughter
They strip my hand to the bone- it
only takes one hand to write a poem.
Rod Gibson, Australia
More Selected Poems of Love Liberation & Beauty
George Patterson, US