New review of Murmurations in Landfall Review Online (University of Otago Press)

“Murmurations is Art Nahill’s second collection, and it is remarkable. Nahill writes with a keen, empathetic awareness of human frailty”
 
So begins a review of my recent book Murmurations in Landfall Review Online (University of Otago Press). You can read the rest of it here:
 
 
The book is available through Time Out Books and Unity Books in Auckland, through Amazon or Fishpond, or through Twohemispherespoetry.com

Talking poetry at College of the Atlantic from another hemisphere!

Honored and thrilled today to give a reading and talk about the relevance of poetry in contemporary society (via video link) to students at College of the Atlantic as part of their seminar: Poetry as Art and Social Action, taught by writer, teacher, and old friend Martha Donovan. Students are writing about the links between poetry and politics, poetry, healing, and medicine and other incredibly important topics.

https://www.coa.edu/live/profiles/3482-college-seminar-poetry-as-art-and-social-action/templates/details/courses.php

 

 

NZ National Poetry Day, 24 August

Image result for steering toward the silences

In honor of National Poetry Day in New Zealand, here’s one of my favorite quotes about poetry from Marvin Bell: “What they say ‘there are no words for’– that’s what poetry is for. Poetry uses words to go beyond words.” And here’s a poem from Murmurations called “Echolocation’ that tries to say that in a different way:

I navigate between
sky and stone

stone and the reflection.
of stone. The trees sing

back to me in my own
voice. I have no need

for vision my ears fine-tuned
to the night’s faint frequencies

hunting echoes
making my way through the dark

by steering
toward the silences.

Commitment (from Murmurations)

One of the most difficult tasks I have as a hospital-based doctor is to assess an individual’s capacity to make decisions for themselves when they are suffering from dementia. When someone lacks this capacity it is sometimes necessary to place them in supported care (e.g. rest home or private hospital) against their will which can be harrowing for both ‘the patient’ and for me.

images
Photo by Diana Alsindy (Dianablography@wordpress.com)

 

White hair                                                                                                                                     frames her face                                                                                                                              riddled                                                                                                                                              with effort.

The blue sea                                                                                                                                          of her hospital gown                                                                                                                    spattered                                                                                                                                          with egg and oatmeal                                                                                                     archipelagoes.

It’s 1964                                                                                                                                               (it’s not).

I’m her husband                                                                                                                              (I’m not)

come                                                                                                                                                       to take her home again                                                                                                              (never again).

She’s lived                                                                                                                                             in that house for more                                                                                                                   than a lifetime, she says. Planted                                                                                                    all the roses.

Her mind is a boat                                                                                                                        listing badly—

I consign her                                                                                                                                             to the sea.