Friday, 17 August 2012

Round 10: Poetry

Speaking with Reindeer

Speech:/ the antler of the mind
(Robert Bringhurst – ‘A Quadratic Equation’)

I admired his cap of antlers –
ideas forking from his scalp,
yet struggled with his voice,
which bellowed like a stag.

They studied his awkward gait,
his upright stance, his lack
of language. And like a preacher,
he didn’t know how to listen.
I wanted to hear what they knew
about the quality of tundra
the taste of cloudburst berries;
what deer feel about snow.

I saw a herd, splodgy brown,
reverse freckles. Unafraid.
They scented me, trotted off –
a force of winter forest –

ideas intact, their knowledge
still out of my grasp. Yet,
like meeting someone famous,
what would I have said?

Katrina Naomi

Friday, 6 July 2012

Round 8: Poetry

What the Crocodile Taught Me

I swooned at the large god of him, sunning,
a tooth for every day of my life.
He performed his run along the bank,
as males do. I brought my boat closer,
he took to following, at a distance.

I wasn’t taken in, knew his four-chambered heart
could pump love out and in, in and out,
knew his tongue had few good uses,
knew all about his grin. Whoever said he was cold-
blooded has never truly known this beast.

He brought out the prehistoric in me. I dived.
We swam, belly to belly, swam to where the Niles meet,
tussled as we thrashed among the weeds. After, I lay
the length of him, a limestone lilo, studs patterning
my skin. He smiled at me, often. Taught me all he knew.

Years later, when a man tried to drag me under,
I practised the force my lover had held back –
levered my small jaws open to their fullest extent,
splashed them down on the human’s arm.
My attacker still carries the mark of my smile.

Katrina Naomi

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday, 8 June 2012

Round 6: Poetry


I like noughts and crosses      hangman
played a lot of that with the kids
makes me a bit nostalgic      You don’t mind?
Only I don’t see them anymore
haven’t done for years      I still think of them
as kids      still      they’re grown up now
probably got kids of their own
I get a card from my eldest at xmas
it cracks me up      seeing her
handwriting      I blame the wife      don’t remember
hitting her      I joined that fathers’ group
clambered about on rooftops      a bit undignified
for a soldier      I’ve calmed down now      Needed to
I used to travel      a lot      Too much
Got up to some things I shouldn’t of
specially for a soldier      Word got around
In ’98 or maybe ’97      I passed out on parade    
dropped my gun      Everyone was kind     
For a while      I really tried      You believe me?
And then      there was the drink      Still is    
I’m not boring you?      Only I miss my mates     
in the guard      miss my kids      miss Janey
Did I tell you I had to go away for a bit?
I used to love that bearskin

Katrina Naomi

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Round 5: Art

Soldiers and contour drawing
This was a difficult couple of weeks for me. Music and particular punk are very important to me, they pulled me into art and adulthood. Critical distance is important, but Katrina's poem was a challenge which I wanted to take on. Since Peter Saville designed the Unknown pleasures album cover and Jamie Reid made cut ups Punks means of communication I was never going to look at the world in the same way. Punk and its consequent waves of influence, and our early relationship are forever entwined.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Round 4: Poetry


Punk’s gobby charm largely passed me by,
lost in a chasm between disco and metal.

I’ll admit to a headbanger award at Dreamland,
(a 50’s frock in a sea of denim), split ends thrashing

to Mötorhead’s Overkill; yet, still too shy
to compete as a disco champ, unlike Emin.  

And while I flitted between the pages of Sounds,
you were NME. I shouldn’t sneer; we got together

to Smash It Up, never to be DLT’s kind of couple.
And while I loved the women’s spikes and chains,

who could afford ‘Sex’ on the Kings Road?
And I saw Rotten once with PIL (so much better

than the Pistols) he walked off after 20 minutes.
I disliked him then and now. This is heresy to you,

with your three pairs of bondage trousers,
your home-stencilled Combat shirts –

I knew no one like you in Margate. And now,
Reid’s pins hold a number to a marathon vest,

punters paying to advertise two companies
for 3 hours, 39 minutes. Today, you’ll thread

a safety pin through your lapel. And while I dance
to Sister Sledge, I’ll loosen my hair for the Sabbath.

Katrina Naomi 11 May 2012