Another 500-year flood


We have something
that is called
Dr Knight said.

The world isn’t stationary
any more
hydrology isn’t
the landscape isn’t.

So why
are we still presuming
the future will look
like the past?

Reclaim the high ground.
Wow, said Donald
water damage
is the worst

photo and found poem by rachel mcalpine cc by 2.0


Scoby of all poems


too early to brush your teeth
but not too late to edit a dream
it’s nowhere time

dawn is bubbling away outside
a fertile nothing
floats around the bed

poems ferment in a hollow mouth
a wandering ear
an earthen jar

a spot in a mushy mind
for a constellation

hovering like a scoby
growing itself inside the leathery
luxury of limbo

all you need to catch a poem
is willing eyes, broken ears,
fingers, and a sieve

pic and poem by rachel mcalpine cc by 2.0

For NZ National Poetry Day, 25 August 2017, a poem about poems: poets can’t help doing this sometimes. What’s a scoby? A slimy, ugly, living organism that creates kombucha out of sweetened tea. Like a ginger-beer bug, you know.

And the scoby of all poems is … space, silence, that mysterious state of hypnogogia. For the last two months I have been dead to creative enterprises. Now we’re sorted, I hope, so it’s time to cut down on external stimuli and enjoy the magic of my own mind.

You can tell I’m an introvert, although I pass as normal. Lots of poets do.

Hypnogogia, the state between sleep and wakefulness, is key to creativity — Huffington Post

On the hill

with a smile she slices
a path in the grass for the wind —
a machete of ice
pic & poem rachel mcalpine cc by 2.0

A NOTE: Yesterday I strode up to the Mt Victoria lookout to prepare for a whole day at the New Zealand International Festival, four consecutive films. It was bracing! and at the top, a City Council worker was cutting the grass, and clearly enjoying herself.

Morning pages


shadow on the page
I am relaxed
about giving this a go

nobody depends on me
and mundane chores
matter as much as inspiration

drop the hierarchy of jobs
yet some bring joy
I starve when they go ago

it’s a process to pause and notice
right now ‘cos dot dot dot
I stopped writing

I don’t like rushing ahead
I prefer to stop halfway
I need to think

pic & poem by rachel mcalpine cc-by-4.0

(Found in morning pages, free writing a la The Artist’s Way)