Congratulations to rob walker, winner of the 2015 Satura Prize for his poem A Clarity of Smog in the Friendly Street Poets Anthology 39: Silver Singing Streams, as judged by Mike Ladd.
Congratulations also to those on Mike’s shortlist for the prize:
On the Footpath by Elaine Barker
Growing Pains by J.V. Birch
Scrub Grey by David Cookson
Serbian Orthodox Christmas Lunch by Jelena Dinic
Security After the Ball by Steve Evans
No Major Changes Will Happen at Midnight by Roger Higgins
Journey by Jules Leigh Koch
Fine Art by Lousie McKenna
A Question of War by Josie Walsh
Thanks to Martin Christmas for the pic.
A Clarity of Smog
nine days in japan and already you’re a megalomaniac
drunk on the fame of being slightly apart.
backhome there are bushfires and The Test on tv but here
you’re in the manic phase of a bipolar New Year.
even getting off the train at the wrong station when you can’t read
the signage and no-one speaks your mother tongue doesn’t phase you.
a divine messenger disguised as a middle level clerk tells you
that the train to Mega is nexto-nexto.
You’re completely alone in your iPod universe as Antony sings
everything is new in the space between your ears and you
walk the winter grey concrete streets of Mega/Shikama houses & and steel
smokestacks beside a river tamed with cement.
refinery pipes, mega-pylons supporting arcs of cable
inscribed from some point above and
triangulations of scaffolding infrastructure
your artificial horizon.
you know in your bones that the sun rising red through smog is rising
just for you and despite photochemical haze there’s a clarity like
individual rainbow crystals refulgent
on dead rice stalks beneath your feet.
the day is new, those birds you pass have migrated from Siberia to
forage for insects between the backstreet cabbages at this precise
second for your entertainment alone. you love each moment.
like now. and this one now.
the entire day is unfolding. you don’t need a god
when the Universe is so perfect and self organised.
each day dripping into the vast pool
of day spent.
occasionally we find ourselves
at an intersection where
any choice will be
the right one.