Our brand new anthology of uncivilised writing and art is now available through our online shop for £15.99 – or cheaper if you support our work by subscribing to future issues. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to share a little of what you’ll find in its pages. Today, we present four poems from Kim Goldberg and Jane Lovell.
Kim Goldberg has been contributing magical, otherworldly writing to Dark Mountain for some time now, and her work never fails to surprise and beguile. Here are two of Kim’s haibun interwoven with two of Jane Lovell‘s powerful poems about dislocation and extinction. Issue 9 is the first Dark Mountain book to feature Jane’s work, and we very much hope to read more of her poetry in the future.
its caramelised sunlight.
beak bright as paintpots,
oblivious to his dipping and tilting.
at the foot of his favourite palm.
wrapping the khlal in muslin.
hidden, waiting, in the forest gloom.
He prays for the fruits to ripen,
in the warm sand.
* * *
We are sitting in a darkened theatre waiting for the play to begin. It is a full house. The entire run is sold out. The squeak of a pulley tells us the curtain has opened. But we do not see this because there are no stage lights, just blackness. Is the lighting operator asleep? Drunk? Murdered? Run off with the cashier? We hear movement, actors pacing, props being shoved around. Something falls, breaks. A vase maybe? A skull? No words are spoken, just the occasional grunt. We assume it is human but cannot be sure. This must all be part of the script, this darkness, this enigma, some avant-garde theatre experiment. We are game. We roll with it. To flee to the well-lit lobby for safety would be an act of cultural illiteracy. Patrons begin to murmur to their partners. I reach out to touch your arm but there is only sand. A gull cries. I smell brine.
itself on the beach
* * *
their fledgling curling in its oils.
No one is watching.
* * *
When ten per cent of the population could no longer walk, the old woman wove a large basket from willow branches that were still alive and growing. The basket was covered with narrow green leaves from the living branches. The leaves danced and shimmied in the wind. They flashed in the sun like a bright ball of herring spawning their puny brains out in the tossing surf. The leaves were swooning and copulating like only chlorophyll can – beyond the strictures of blood and bone and moist openings. The basket was the old woman’s gift to the town. She told the stricken people to enter one by one, crawling to it on their elbows and bellies since their legs no longer worked. No matter how many people entered, the basket never got full. This went on for quite some while until all the belly-crawlers were inside and the basket had been closed up tight. The people who entered were never seen again, but each night fireflies would sift out through the slits between the willow branches and light up the town.
some covalent bonds
* * *
Kim Goldberg is a poet, birdwatcher and speculative fiction writer, living on Vancouver Island in Canada. She has published six books of poetry and nonfiction including Red Zone (poems of homelessness) and Ride Backwards on Dragon (martial arts and Taoist alchemy). In August 2015, Kim and four other women organised what may be North America’s first Uncivilisation Gathering, Sharing the Fire, held on an organic farm on Vancouver Island. PigSquashPress.com
Image: Soft Rain (acrylic on canvas) by Kate Williamson. Soft Rain was inspired by the more gentle power of nature, painted intuitively to capture the energy and fleeting spontaneity of the sky and reflective pools. I live next to a large tidal bay and at each low tide the shape and size of the pools left behind are constantly changing. This painting is part of my ‘Emotional Landscapes’ series which aims to express an internal dialogue that speaks to the viewer through intuitively layered paint, and to capture human reaction past the ocular experience.
Kate Williamson is a contemporary New Zealand artist who lives on the Otago Peninsula. Renowned for her large and striking artworks, Kate uses paint to express her concerns about the enormity of climate change, and the concern she has for this gift of paradise we are part of. Her work is described as spontaneous action painting and is collected nationally and internationally. paintinglive.co.nz
You’ll find more where this came from in our latest book.
Dark Mountain: Issue 9 is available through our online shop for £15.99, or cheaper if you support our work by subscribing to future issues