Now out: The Wild Word issue #9: Lost & Found

2016/10/26

Photo by mr oCean

It is a true delight to be featured this month in Berlin-based magazine, The Wild Word. There’s a span of about seven years in the three pieces (more if you go back to the beginnings of each piece), which also feature a couple of my favourite collaborators and muses.

Wordless – a poem inspired by poetry.

Suitcase & Sand – a collaborative video piece combining poetry, photography and music. This was performed at the 2015 Queensland Poetry Festival, and is the latest incarnation of a tale that has been through many iterations. This version, in collaboration with German musician Lina Paul, started to come together in Berlin in 2011, but there’s nothing like a looming performance to push me to finish writing something. It took over four years, but think it’s better for the long incubation.

Credits
Poem, Photographs & Video: mr oCean
Music: Lina Paul (hear more from her here and see videos here)
Additional photography: Tams Fletcher, Marsel van Oosten, Colleen Tully-Wilson, Maren Imhoff, Ally Weinrauch, Bettina Leupold and Chris Sanderson.

Escapement – a poetry & photography series, prepared as an installation for the 2008 Queensland Poetry Festival. This is another one that’s part of a larger and many-versioned tale, actually another aspect of the same tale as Suitcase & Sand. Mysteries and wonders, loss and escape. Part 6 borrows lines from Brisbane poet, Nerissa Rowan.

Check them all out here, then be sure to explore the rest of this magnificent mag.

Photo by mr oCean


The Happy Plant

2014/08/15

The Queensland Poetry Festival is one of my favourite weekends of the year, and it is almost upon us. I’m not involved this year – just lapping it up – but here’s a clip of my 2012 performace, as part of the Sharp With Sparks session:


It’s almost here!

2012/08/23

The sheer poetic bliss that is the Queensland Poetry Festival – Spoken in One Strange Word – starts tomorrow! For a preview of one of the best weekends of your life, check out the delicious program.


A Twilight Shore

2012/08/12

Part 1

An ink-black sky and bright sea underneath
– a storm that never breaks –
just the rumbling, old-man voices
of wind and waves, rising and falling in argument,

and the sand, hissing cold
through the dry grass on the dunes,
where a dim glow dances
between shrunken, groaning timber.

Like shipwreck sails, the tattered dresses
of the Caretakers whip against their legs.
Bent into the wind, bent with age,
they walk the strand and scan the water’s edge:

no sea-shells, no boats, no messages
in bottles – not any more.
The only thing these waters bring,
in their phosphorescence and foam:

a traveller at her jouney’s end –
one more body
washed up
on the twilight shore.

Electric drawing by mr oCean (c) 2007

Part 2

Wake up, weary traveller.
Come warm up by the fire.
Take another spoonful now:
it’s all that you require.

Wake up, weary traveller.
You’ve further yet to go.
Where your journey takes you now
is not for us to know.

Stand up, weary traveller.
We’d love to have you stay,
but your footprints are ahead of you;
it’s time you were away.

Go now, weary traveller.
Although you may be dead,
follow where the sea-breeze blows;
you’ve one more dream ahead.

Walk on, weary traveller.
Tire not, weary traveller.
Walk on, weary traveller.
We wish that we could, too…

Text: mr oCean
Music: Lina Paul
© 2011
Illustration: mr oCean ©2007


To the Edge Chapbook at QPF2012

2012/08/08

To the Edge Chapbook at QPF2012

Toasty-warm off the press, my first chapbook is ready to make its way out into the world! I am more than a little excited! It features a handful of my best poems, with delightful illustrations by Steven Wilson (and cover art by Rod Wilson and me).

Brisbanefolk can pick up a copy for just $7 at the Queensland Poetry Festival, 24-26 August at the Judith Wright Centre, Fortitude Valley. I’ll be performing on the Saturday evening, and delivering a full set, complete with music and video, on the Sunday afternoon at 3:15. All Saturday and Sunday sessions are free, but you can happily show your support via the bookshop 🙂

The book is a Headful of Bees publication.


Berlin Compass and A Month of Sundays

2011/11/28

Blimey, what a rather large month November has been. Maybe it’s all this buzz of activity that has kept the first snow from falling, which I must say is rather disappointing, even if I have been enjoying the surprise (relative) warmth.

Sandra Sarala pulled off a nigh-impossible four evenings straight of brain-stretchingly diverse performances, under the four points of the Berlin COMPASS. Here are a few Northern snaps from the also fabulously talented Maren Imhoff.

 

I had a splendid time on Friday evening. It brought together so much of what I love in Berlin – a collaborative spirit, variety of styles, beautifully cosy venue, and an eager audience.

And those things were also abundant in the Headful of Bees‘ Month of Sundays series at Cafe Hilde. Such a delight to feel yourself lifted and evaporated by wonderful music in what feels very much like your own (albeit very large) living room. This round of delights and wonders featured Ken Burke, Wasp Summer, Eric Eckhart, Miss Kenichi, Violetta, Entertainment for the Braindead, Folk’s Sake, Short & Sweet, Seanin, Nina Hynes, Sara Pickin and me (including a surprise bonus set yesterday evening). Ken and Hilde are cooking up more splendours for you next year, so keep your scanners aimed in that direction!


Finding our bearings

2011/11/21

I am very excited to be aboard the maiden voyage of the good ship, Berlin Compass. Over four evenings, Berlinators will be presented with a dazzling array of words, music, movement and imagery, as we set sail for each of the four points of the compass. My Headful of Bees colleague, Wasp Summer, and I will be taking you northward on Friday evening.

Important: the times given are not “Berlin time”; there’ll be no more boarding after we set sail at 20:45!

Berlin COMPASS

West, North, East, South: which directional points are yours?

Launch into an ongoing international exploration in music, word, laughter, performance, image and dance: four evenings of intuitive, fated and chosen bearings.

Hosted by singing poet Sandra Sarala (who’s taking on four different musical-poetic-performance personas across the series), and thematically curated around the cardinal points, each multi-disciplinary evening will formally commence with the communal breaking of a circular loaf of homemade bread, uniting all present. Every show has been designed to showcase individual performers, to offer complementary contrasts and interconnections, and will close with collaborative improvisation.

Choose your resonant points and bring your good self /selves along.

Thursday 24th WEST

‘West, Seeking Balance, and the Balancing East’

Wordy offerings from balancing story-telling time-traveller Skiz-um Hequ, and the poetic Eastern tongues of MC Jabber and Moon (Stephen Mooney), while Sandra Sarala explores the maze and dark mystery of Western life, alongside wildcard Wests, singer of sweetness Cera Impala, musician/video artist Peter Newman, and concert pianist Kim Hye Jin, taking us to her West with Rachmaninov.

Friday 25th NORTH

‘North and a Balancing South’

Touch your philosophy with spoken word from mr oCean and Anja Zeilinger, some storytelling and a touch of song from Kerri Mullen, music and candlelight from Wasp Summer, bridge Lieder and the avant-garde with Alexis Baker, and be danced towards love, joy and melancholy by (India-born) Southerner Manish Pathak. Sandra Sarala takes up alter-ego Loki as host.

Saturday 26th EAST

‘East with a Rogue West’

Well-considered words from several stalwarts of Berlin’s literati – spoken word mega-presence Gaby Bila-Gunter aka Lady Gaby, and poets Alistair Noon, and Frank Alkämper, the latter in confluence upon ‘Ausgerechnet Armenien’ (‘Ironically, Armenia) with musicians Michael Gross and Leonid Soybelman (rogue West in the East!). Sandra Sarala heads for the archaic folksong hills, someone lets Volcanick, the hairiest oriental belly-dancer in town, into the house, and special rules come into play this evening for special guest, intuitive singer AlinK.Sarit, bussing over from Poland… which may have a little something to do with film from Marta Jurkowska.

Sunday 27th SOUTH

‘South with a Deliberately Contrary North’

Verbal dexterity in the shining poetry-stories of Claudia Emmingham, dexterous lunacy from singer, songwriter and comedian David Cassel, and electro-art-pop duo Trike (Xania Keane and Stephen Paul Taylor), some measure of Northern contrariness from performance artist Daniela Gast, and a sprinkling on the ivories from composer and pianist Phil Cooksey, also in collaboration upon the southern seas with lyric poetry from Sandra Sarala.

Berlin COMPASS: Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 November, 2011, Club der polnischen Versager, Ackerstraße 168 (next to Schokoladen), 10115 Berlin, (U8 Rosenthaler Platz)

Doors open and music from 20:15, Doors close and bread-breaking 20:45

Entry: 8 €, and an extra special collection on Saturday night

http://berlincompass.blogspot.com/