Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Poem and the Big Poetry Giveaway

For the last couple of years, Kelli Agodon has celebrated National Poetry Month (yes, the United States gets a whole month, compared to New Zealand's National Poetry Day) by organising the Big Poetry Giveaway. This year it is being hosted on Susan Rich's blog, The Alchemist's Kitchen.

I decided to join in the fun, so leave a comment here with your contact details (e-mail address), if you would like to go in the draw. Edit: Some commenters seem to have forgotten the e-mail address, I will contact you if I can, either by e-mail or by leaving a comment on your blog, but if your only contact is Facebook or Google groups, I have no way of getting in touch with you as I am not on either.
I have two books to give away - posted free to anywhere in the world. Winners will be drawn in the week of May 1st.
1) Flap: The Chookbook 2 by myself and three friends
2) The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape, a gorgeous anthology which has poems from a range of New Zealand poets along with beautiful landscape photographs from Craig Potton.

And here is one of my poems from Flap:


The city is a spreadsheet
laid on the plains block upon block.
There are some in their airless offices
who affect nothing.
Don't count on it.

In the hidden mathematics of the city
there are unexpected connections.
You might add a small number
at a crucial junction
and buses run late all over town.
Hum a tune and you might see
a single bird fly over,
or dancing break out in the streets.

And watch that girl with the blue hair,
when she enters the equation,
how it changes everything.

copyright Catherine Fitchett

For more Tuesday Poems visit the main hub site.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Poem: In the Wood of Finvara, by Arthur Symons

In the Wood of Finvara

I have grown tired of sorrow and human tears;
Life is a dream in the night, a fear among fears,
A naked runner lost in a storm of spears.

I have grown tired of rapture and love's desire;
Love is a flaming heart, and its flames aspire
Till they cloud the soul in the smoke of a windy fire.

I would wash the dust of the world in a soft green flood;
Here between sea and sea, in the fairy wood,
I have found a delicate, wave-green solitude.

Here, in the fairy wood, between sea and sea,
I have heard the song of a fairy bird in a tree,
And the peace that is not in the world has flown to me.

- Arthur Symons (1865-1945)

Books still have advantages over the internet. One is that on google you find what you're looking for, but unexpected things may pop up more readily when leafing through the pages of a book. This was one of those finds. I wasn't familiar with Arthur Symons before I happened on this poems while looking for something else. More on him here.

I have been a bit remiss in posting Tuesday Poems lately, but many other Tuesday poets have been posting faithfully every week. For links to their sites, visit the main hub site. You will find a great range of contemporary and older poems.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Peter Donnelly: Sand Artist

I've been wanting to see this man at work for ages, but could never quite manage to find out when he would be creating his art at a time when I was free. So yesterday morning I grabbed the opportunity. The local Japanese community had organised an event to commemorate the second anniversary of the East Japan earthquake. I didn't stay until the art work was completed - it takes about three hours - but apparently they were going to hold hands around the completed art work. They were also making a video to send to the children of Fukushima, as well as collecting donations.

I had hoped to link to a completed view of the art, but I can't locate one on the internet. However a google search will readily find much more about Peter Donnelly and his art, including videos of him at work. I was surprised by how dance-like his process is.

Actually, when I say I "grabbed the opportunity", I have to confess - I got up early as planned, and then sat around for a while thinking "I don't want to". Finally, realising I would regret it if I didn't do what I had planned, I made myself go. Once there, I was glad I made the effort. It was a little chilly, but the fresh sea air did wonders for my mood and alertness.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Census Day

The census in New Zealand is usually held every five years. Half the census forms had been delivered when the 2011 Canterbury earthquake struck. The disruption caused was so great that the census was postponed for two years.

We have just been filling in our census forms. I was very intrigued to find that there are special instructions for those living in Canterbury, to cover unusual situations.

For instance, my insurance company is paying my rent, do I say "yes" to paying rent?
Do I count money received from the Red Cross as income?
If I am not living in my house because it is damaged what is my "usual" address?

A full list of the instructions is here.

As a genealogist I am particularly interested in census forms because I make use of hundred year old census records in my research. Unfortunately this only applies to records from the UK and USA, as legislation in New Zealand forbids individual forms ever being released to researchers.