Playing with Form: Tetractys

give us
such freedom—
but the truth is
they are just legalised murder weapons.

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© Ammie-oy 2010


Playing with Form: Rondeau

The Funeral Band
Leave it till it falls off they said.
A fragile fibre holds the thread
shows our lives twisted together,
fraying wisps attached forever—
twisting strands: symbol of the dead—
binds us together as though wed,
thin white cotton heavy as lead
holds me fast this funeral tether.
Till it falls off.
Through mourning days and grief I’m led
a fractured world inside my head
taunted by what if he never…
stumbling through but cannot sever—
this binding bracelet; his life’s thread…
till it falls off.

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© Ammie-oy 2010

Surfing in Cairns – My first internet experience.

I was in Cairns staying at a hostel called ‘Gone Walkabout’. Barry had it seems. He’d promised to collect me if my bus was on time – the bus was on time, Barry wasn’t. I phoned the hostel and Debbie answered: Get a taxi; get a receipt; we’ll take it off your bill.

I forgot. The taxi driver was really friendly, Debbie was great and I loved ‘Gone Walkabout’. I stayed in a dorm and there was a girl in that dormitory who was on a mission to make me email friendly. I’m sorry to say I don’t recall her name but I do know it was September 1998 – Thursday 10th in fact.

Cairns was a pleasant surprise. I’d come from a stay in the jungle at Mission Beach where the heavens had opened daily in a tremendous rush of water; Cairns was all summer blue skies, sunny days and stunningly lush mountain views. We wandered down to an internet cafe and this girl helped me to set up an email account. I’d never been on the internet before, never quite gotten round to email. I set up a hotmail account (with much assistance) and started emailing. My first message was to a former travel companion, Mark. I wouldn’t start using the internet regularly for anything other than emailing until 2006 when I went to university.

Eyes Down

My first (semi) real job was at a cinema and bingo hall. I’d had a paper round as a kid and done occasional days weeding at a farm down the road but back breaking work at a pound an hour was no fun and was reserved for dire financial necessity. I was chuffed to find the bingo job.

It was in a small town. The bingo was on six nights a week and I worked four of them at £5 a night. We worked from around 6pm to maybe 9.30pm. There was a bar and the cinema was upstairs and had one screen showing films long after they’d done the rounds of the bigger cinemas – still, those cinemas were fifteen miles away at best. I was allowed free cinema entry as a perk of the job but in the few months I worked there I only went to see one film: The Jungle Book. Continue reading

Playing with Form: Abecedarian

This is really a variation on the form as a true abecedarian would start each line with a word beginning with the requisite letter as opposed to the ‘A is for…’ format I’ve followed here.
Alphabet Rhymes
A is for Ammie a mammy a maid
B is for baby protected by jade
C is the cat who’s asleep in the sun
D is for durian ice cream, yum yum
E is the elephant at Wat Phnom
F is the fun we have playing at home
G is the garden with sand pit we made
H is the hammock that swings in the shade
I am at peace here but this cannot last
J is for junior growing up fast
K is for kindy, left with a sigh
L is lea heuy and a tearful goodbye
M for green mango served with red chilli
N is for nonsense verse, funny but silly
O is for O’Russey shopping and bargains, then
Peking Canteen serving finest dumplings
Q is the quails eggs in packets of seven
R is for rice, a steamed bowl of heaven
S for the sunset seen up at the lake
T is the tuk-tuk the family take
U are the light and the love of my life
V is the violence that causes such strife
W for wat, for widow and woe
X is the place to which I cannot go
Y is the question that runs through my head
Z is the end; endless sleep and you’re dead.

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© Ammie-oy 2010

Then and Now

When I grew up there were children in the street—
hopscotch squares and British bulldog,
big orange space hoppers,
skateboards and scooters—
seaters on bicycles, free in the wind;
trees to climb and woods to explore,
a key to get in left by the back door.
Older teens strolled hand in hand
and stole kisses under lamp posts.
They’re all surfing now. No wild blue
expanse for them—
caught in a net of inactivity,
active verbs to describe passivity,
the polyphonic hiss eclipses voices,
text replaces speech and
cars claim the streets.
Cocooned in cyber space, the earth grows
smaller and a child’s world expands
into isolation on a screen.

© Ammie-oy 2010

Playing with Form: Triolet (2)

On My Way to Work

I set out for school today but a man was in my way,
dead and bloating in the sun, dredged in the dust of the road—
well seasoned for death and fully tenderized by the fray.
I set out for school today but a man was in my way.
He was lying in the street gazing sightless to the sky,
a crowd gathered round him, buzzing like flies.
I set out for school today but a man was in my way,
dead and bloating in the sun; tossed in the dust of the road.


© Ammie-oy 2010