Thursday, January 26, 2012

Innominate Group and other Travels

I will be visiting the innominate poetry group in Jersey on Friday February 3rd.
I will be reading "Floaters", a yet unpublished poem.

I will be travelling to the UK, Rome and Canada soon after.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sealed Tombs - notes on negativity

Sealed Tombs is a poem of negatives, not a negative poem. It maintains a positive description by defining subject matter through a set of boundary conditions. The confinement of possibilities gives opportunity for the reader or listener to interact and create their own image, making the experience a potentially positive experience. It also adds an element of risk, making the reader work harder to create their own vision of the subject.

The poem is not entirely consistent. The vocabulary becomes increasingly positive as the poem progresses, offering development from imagination to substance. The poem climaxes with the most clearly defined positive, the ironic negative action of gasping their curses.

Even so, there is still plenty of space for the reader to use the imagination by the use of ambiguity, for example “no spectres/ rattle the bones” offers the possibility that the bones are not rattled or that “no spectres” are doing the rattling. Now, I’m not sure what that means, but the possibilities have kept me thinking. Certainly, bones seem to be disturbed in most excavated tombs, either by natural actions such as earth movement, or by collapse of the framework that holds them in position or even internal decay.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Gently lifting with the ocean,
Sweeping slowly up the shore,
She is resting on the boundary
Somewhere between air and more
Substantial fluids on her body
Offer her to turquoise light
Looking down from cloud free heavens
Looking to the Sun which might
One day drift from daily motion
Sinking into nightly rest
Glowing dim in richest crimson
Falling sea-ward in the west
Where wheeling terns once congregated
Against a foaming faded moon
Suspended in the paling sunshine
Framed by marram stubbled dune
Salt spray seasoned sea-sage sweetened
Breeze blown clean of vraic and sand
Swept branches stick black fingers upward
Urging gulls to leave the land
And forge out from their earthy havens
Venture forth without a notion
Of where to go or where to settle
Gently lifting with the ocean.

© Martin Porter 2000

Floating is a single stanza poem structured around metre and rhyme. It explores the understanding of boundaries, in this case the boundary between sea and sky. The metre is semi-regular and is based more on rhythms of speech than any formal metric. The forward motion of the poem is maintained by not adhering to a regular or strict metre and this is also meant to reflect the semi-regular movement of waves on the sea.

Floating is also published on Take Flight Whangarei.