Re Issue – What a Dog Sees

Photography, Poetry, Re Issue


Photograph – Copyright Dan Wesker 2010

What a Dog Sees

in a puddle of water
is not just his reflection
but the barks of other dogs

their yelps falling
in new rain
splashing a dance
in pre-breakfast air

other paws muddy with joy
off leash

then tilts his wet nose 

towards sky
and buildings

some have bad people in them
they do not feed his brothers
and steal the wag
from happy tails

what a dog sees
are the circles
by those on two legs

lack of courage
over cooked meals
unanswered telephones

so much water
and the memory of almost drowning
in his puppy paws

head cocked his ears
a net to capture
all this human chatter

and wonders what this world
would want
with all this talking

Poem – Copyright Naomi Woddis 2010


Re Issue – Thumbing the Gelt

Poetry, Re Issue

Thumbing the Gelt

I am the King of Coins,
wherever I go they listen.
I can’t resist the smell of burning,
It reminds me of home.

A coin fresh from the mint
feels like a brand new day,
a token of promises made
with double-crossed fingers.

Each wet wad is worthless
Lips speak of bribes. Each mouth
shaped by want. This
pretty paper is imaginary.

How I love that shiny gold,
a party dress dollar, each
element of a measured exchange.
I pass the time by counting

what I have. Three thieves
died of thirst in Death Valley
their dollars could not buy them water.
A cocksure wind blew 

their bucks away.
To know it is to lose it.
No one rules. But this.

© Copyright Naomi Woddis 2008

Inspired and taken from answers to the the following questions:

What is money ?
Who rules ?
How self determining are we ?

Re Issue – How Still a Body

Poetry, Re Issue

How Still a Body

I grew up in Nigeria with my grandmother.
One dawn two armed robbers were caught
in the act. Local people set on them, beating
them with whatever came to hand.

A large crowd gathered around the thieves.
One had survived the beating, blood poured
into his eye. In a deep gutter, the other
robber lay, his body bloated from the heat.

And then I knew this is how still a body
looks when it is dead. Today I heard

that in Urdu, the word for yesterday
is the same as the word for tomorrow.

And I panicked at the thought because
I could not imagine what my world would be like
if the words for then and now were the same.
Twenty years have passed since I saw

that stranger’s corpse. I keep walking this earth
hoping that home’s door will open up to me.
These words draw a circle leading me back
to my grandmother’s house; a ceaseless dying. 

© Copyright Naomi Woddis 2008

Inspired and taken from answers to the the following questions:

What image illustrates the true nature of time ?
Describe the first time you saw another person’s blood ?
What does the word home mean to you ?

Re Issue – Peter Pan Loses his Ability to Fly

Poetry, Re Issue

Peter Pan Loses his Ability to Fly

My parents left me
to defend myself with only sticks
and a few bad words.
I open my milk-tooth mouth,
I’ve not even the jaw to bite.

The inside of me is dust. I want
good fortune to stroke me
with a mother’s bed-time touch.
I keep waiting.

My dreams are full of ghouls,
angry fang-tooth dogs, and dark
corridors lit by just one flame.

If only I knew good things, then
my cottoned feet would lift
from the rubble of the earth,
the split and splintered timber.

If I was happy, and not scared
I would rise like a bird
the island below my kingdom
and me, king for a day.

Re Issue – Rothko’s Silence

Other Lives

Rothko’s Silence

We flinch from it, want more images

to flick across the surface. Instead

a blur of slate grey diluted

to a white penumbra with a shot

of turps, or how the oranges

in my fruit bowl sing at their skin

mentioned on a canvas. A hive

of assistants worked with him,

hands moving at a conjurer’s speed.

Each painted layer a shared meditation.

One restaurant bought his painterly

autograph, so that diners, lips full

of conversation could sit at ear height,

chewing on carpaccio, sharing the maroon.

Rothko gave the money back, his paintings

later earning millions. A sum he’d never know.

He died at his own hand, his blood

a signature in a 8 x 8 room, deadened

and dense with pills, deep cuts

across his wrists, left his children

fatherless, led us where wordless colours

rule the accuracy of silence

he talked about.