Writing Practice

Pieces of work written in freedom as I get to know Godfrey Miller so that I can bring him ‘productively’ into the present.

Miller’s Islands

In a moment you share the shore of your distress – disunity
and the coastal scrub of your reading
then the ground is flat – a word about a foot corn and Dr Scholl
before the mountain begins and we delve into Plato
You revel in those words, in the steep incline of Philosophy
Preceded by nature and the spirit

(1922-34)

The fast of hermitage in Warrandyte – a one roomed cottage
A pipe, a verandah and the falling into days
reading Shaw, Browning, Balzac, RLS – rethinking him
Reaching toward Melba, La Boheme Melbourne City
and dreaming of China

Travelling with your father’s muse
to deliver her to him in Sydney for her miracles
You talk of vaporising burning energy
draw under the enlightenment of philosophy
word, sketches and paintings are your thoughts

In England the English attitude and mental state
sniggering behind you for two years
You destroying your nasty letters about them
or beginnings of letters that miscarry…
Silence when business consumes

Missing meetings for walks
Japanese ice skaters brilliance and gravity
Dutch painters and the suggestion of movement in the room
when the onlookers gaze is averted
Plato and the madness of those with a muse

‘Stages of the upright position’ a large landmass
for you that anchors several pages of focused thought
Plato’s immutable objects
return you always to truth
Goethe could see his Ideas

Lewis returns to his frail mother, not yours
His care for your own frailty
when incapable of movement
Lew’s blue-eyed brain of depth
and tumbling laughter from Raphael to Cezanne

“Our old man’s passing has been severe”
non-entity and the blankness of life
Guilt touching a “fibre that was not there before”
Yet with Lew; Florence, Venice and a little in Paris
Why is he selling pots in a NZ store?

(1935)

Silence in your London rooms
You sit with pen in hand and think of Lewis
How to give him ground on which to tread firmly
You don’t look for a window; for your gaze
is cerbral, existent in that moment, internal.
A visionary mind fractured by the memory of war.

On horseback with Lewis into the idea of the rhythm of things
Horseback because D H Lawrence mentions this action
Extracting from your notebook ‘right thinking – essential recurrence’
‘Expedient thinking – essential wits’ ‘Vicious thinking – essential futile enlargement’
along the way the riders pass Tagore speaking as Whitman’s Leaves evoke.

Design is not in itself abstraction merely the absence of representation
Abstraction is the originating of a design founded on the actual object
Galloped passed a lake, trout and the likeness to cucumbers
except for the spots exaggerated by Picasso or Braque
Lake drains back and family matters discomfit the riders

To New Zealand shores: “I send you the ‘Listener’ with articles…
Read Havelock Ellis he seems connected to the unsympathetic environment
And your friend who travels particularly to places arriving for sunrise
Father turned his gifts into vices, our family the pain and insomnia
I give you small scraps of dust part of a large mountain.”

Into the bush deeply and harmony with beauty grey-green-brown
Geography falls into geology and dream symbolism
Words providing crude equivalents of fleeting reality
Knowing better from little gleams of light, sometimes great white light
Hear, the rustle of the skirts of Truth, merely a sound-glimpse.

(1936)

You concern yourself with how people choose leaders
Examining the Greeks and the Chinese through the’Listener’
Your friendship hopes are grand, intense
refreshing as though sitting by a stream
Watching small things
“the maturity of the small beginning”, that old Alan doesn’t understand

Running your mind through DHL, Christ, MacMurray
the separable and extricable are discussed
With a leap back to politicians, ancient and new lands
Drawing returns you to small scale –
“there is that in things which is in them but not of them”

Unseen parts, with age give more assurance of the idea
which leads to a whole continent on reading
on teacher-writers providing high ideals of form and relationships
Then the ironies of the world break in a rural land case
A water-speed breaker and you who enjoy soft grass on bare feet

London-city, lack of symbols of growth beyond a dirty sparrow
Where apples shifting in a bag remind of tussocky grasses in a breeze
Mr George Lansbury, Labour member in the house suggesting hope
He was cut down replaced by hard grained diplomacy
that fed the strength and rise of Hitler and Mussolini
No one listened when Lord Allen referred to Europe as a whole…
Materialism dished out in bowls to feed the spiritual need
Politicians wondering why people are starving in Germany
when Germany was spanked like a naughty child, not a country
Why is vision suffocated? Why is the spirit discarded?

(1937)

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One Response to Writing Practice

  1. anon says:

    versailles created ww2.,which was supposed to defeat communism.alas!

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