Futile Tomorrows

It is cold here
and damp


my mind

peering in vain

dark air
choking in

the bare wood
scratches my skin

reminding me I’m alive

cascading tree branches

enveloping tentacle-like
cradling hope and dreams

yet strangling
any attempt
of ever reaching them


Fine liner and pastel on Handmade paper

Fine Liner and Pastel on Handmade Paper

© Dawn Whitehand 2014

The above poem and drawing is in response to fellow wordpress blogger Leanne Cole‘s post “A Photo that Inspires” – Leanne is a photographer and occasionally posts a photo she asks writers to respond to… I have participated in her photo response posts previously here and here.

You can check Leannes blog out and the original image that inspired my poem and drawing, and other poets/writers who have responded, here.

‘The Applicant’ by Sylvia Plath

Today, as part of expanding the scope of this blog, I wanted to share a Sylvia Plath poem – I chose ‘The Applicant’ because it is a great poem and really strikes a chord with me. It explores concepts of meaning in a patriarchal, consumer society from a feminist perspective – which is a favourite theme of mine!!

While searching the web for a version of the poem so that I could copy & paste it into my blog (as opposed to typing it all out) I found this blog post by a fellow WordPressor with a great analysis and a video of Plath reading the poem – so here it is reblogged with a dawing from me 🙂

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper

Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper


A poem for every day

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit—-

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have…

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Poetry in the Environment

I love this idea- installations of poetry in the environment!!

Apparently there are or were (I am not sure if they were temporary or permanent) a number of installations of poetry in the grounds of the Writers Centre in Callan Park,  Rozelle, NSW last week. I have visited their website to try to find more images or if it was part of an event or an ongoing initiative, but couldn’t find any more information. Nonetheless I love the idea, as I already said!

I came across this gem of information via a connection on Google+ (you can check out his info below) and so without further ado here is an installation poem by famous Australian poet, Les Murray (and image of installation following).

The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.

In the white of a drought
this happens. The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle,

inverted, stubby.  Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped,
even this day rolls over, slowly.

At dusk, a family drives sheep
out through the yellow
of the Aboriginal flag.


Inspiration (?)

swirling thoughts catastrophic
an endless hurricane
confusion neverending
bombardment hammering
unrelenting spewing forth
pouring mindless raving
confused scribble
filling a blank page
scrawled mindless detritus

Ink on Handmade Paper

Ink on Handmade Paper

© Dawn WHitehand 2014