ANDREW LANSDOWN

AUTHOR & POET

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Poetry
Poetry

Andrew’s poetry works.

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Fiction

Andrew’s works of fiction.

Children's Writings
Children's Writings

Andrew’s childrens writings.

Andrew’s latest posts

Tribute Poem by Peter Kocan for Hal GP Colebatch

Some years ago, Andrew’s friend, Peter Kocan, wrote a poem, “Seafarer”, in honour of another of Andrew’s friends, Hal GP Colebatch.

Tragically, Hal died of illness in hospital on 9 September this year (2019). It seems appropriate to remember him with Peter’s fine tribute poem:

 

 

 

 

Seafarer

To Hal Colebatch

A heaving deck, a sail unfurled,
The navigator’s art,
Will find the measure of the world
And of the human heart.

For the seafarer knows his fate
Depends on judging true
Both what the elements dictate
And what a man may do.

He knows that he must reckon right,
If he’s to voyage far,
That balance of the inner light
And of the outer star.

And all his time is ordered by
The vigils he must keep
To steer between the fickle sky
And the unknowing deep.

And these are obligations laid
Alike on you and me,
For more are of the sailor’s trade
Than ever put to sea.

               © Peter Kocan

To read more of Peter Kocan’s poems, go to the OTHER POETS & POEMS/ PETER KOCAN page on this website, here.

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Christmas Poems by Robert Southwell

Andrew has added to his website 2 outstanding Christmas poems by the sixteenth century English poet, Robert Southwell — “The Burning Babe” and “A Child My Choice”. These two poems are exceptional from both a devotional and a poetical point-of-view. Southwell’s love of Christ is accentuated by his love of poetry and his exception mastery of poetic technique.

The great English poet and playwright, Ben Johnson, once remarked that if he had written Southwell’s “The Burning Babe” he “would have been content to destroy many of his” own poems. Quite so. See for yourself:

 

 

The Burning Babe

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

               Robert Southwell

To read Robert Southwell’s equally outstanding poem, “A Child My Choice”, go to the OTHER POETS & POEMS/ ROBERT SOUTHWELL page on this website, here.

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Poem in The Lion Christian Poetry Collection

       

Andrew recently discovered that his poem “Reaction to a Retard” has been published in 3 editions of The Lion Christian Poetry Collection—first published in 1995, then reprinted in 2001 and 2005.

“Reaction to a Retard” has been widely published. It was first collected in Andrew’s award-winning book, Between Glances, a few copies of which are still available through this website, here.

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Two Poems in Quadrant

 

The September 2019 issue of Quadrant contains 2 of Andrew’s poems: “The Martyred Mother”, a poem written in 7 unrhymed quatrains (except for the last quatrain, which rhymes A, B, C, B), and “Little Endings” suite of 6 haiku.

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Four poems in Studio – And Praise from Les Murray

Studio magazine published 4 of Andrew’s poems in its No. 146, 2019 edition. The poems are: “Of Maples and …”, a set of 5 tanka; “Bamboo Forest, Arashiyama”, a set of 3 haiku; “Windbells at Fushimi Inari Shrine”, a set of 3 tanka; and “The Shogun and the God”, a set of 2 tanka.

The final haiku in “Bamboo Forest, Arashiyama” reads:

With sky for dojo—
the giant timber bamboos
practising kendo.

          © Andrew Lansdown

This issue of Studio also contains a favourable review by Garry Furnell of Andrew’s recent poetry-and-photography collection, Kyoto Momiji Tanka, which can be purchased through this website here.

Additionally, the first page of Studio 146 contains a statement by the late Les Murray about Andrew. In a tribute to Les, the editor of Studio, Paul Grover, quotes from a postcard he received from Les in 2006. Among other things, Les told Paul, “As for Andrew Lansdown, he’s one of our very best poets, spitefully ignored most of the time.”

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Poem in Kyoto Journal

Kyoto Journal (No. 94) has published Andrew’s poem, “Dragonflies from the Bamboo Forest”.

Kyoto Journal is an award-winning English-language magazine founded in 1987 in Kyoto, Japan. It presents cultural and historical insights from all of Asia, with a major focus on Japan. It is published biannually.

The text of Andrew’s poem is reproduced below:

Dragonflies from the Bamboo Forest

They journeyed from Japan,
the bamboo dragonflies
buoyant by my bookcase.

Members of a squadron
of small fixed-wing flyers,
they zeroed in on me

as I walked with my wife
through an ancient forest
of tall timber bamboos.

And I quickly yielded
to the craftsman for them
my pocketful of yen.

Now they hover weightless
above papers and books,
upheld by just the tips

of their noses touching
the raised sticks of their stands,
the weight of their bodies

and long tails magically
offset by the weight of
their forward-thrusting wings.

They tremble dreamily
in the still air above
the tarmac of my desk,

tempting me to puff them
into storm even as
I marvel at their poise,

reminding me always
of the balance and grace
they own but I must chase.

            © Andrew Lansdown

A slightly altered version of this poem is included in Andrew’s new collection, Distillations of Different Lands (Sunline Press).

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Reviews of Kyoto Momiji Tanka

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads, “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations”, has two brief reviews of Andrew’s latest poetry-and-photography book, Kyoto Momiji Tanka:

 

Trevor’s Review
Dec 23, 2018
This is a delightful collection of mostly tanka poems lavishly illustrated using photos taken by the poet.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2636666903

Susan Austin’s Review
Apr 04, 2019
Beautiful photos matching some interesting poems, like traveling to Japan in Autumn from the comfort of your couch, with someone who is good at taking in the details and making some quirky comparisons.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2775233088

Learn more about Kyoto Momiji Tanka on this website here.

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Poem in Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal

Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal (Issue 26, 2019) has published Andrew’s poem “no consolation”.

Unlike most of the 5-line poems in the magazine, Andrew’s poem conforms to the the traditional 5.7.5.7.7 syllabic structure used by the ancient Japanese tanka poets. Also, Andrew has structured his poem so that each line is a balanced phrase ending on an identical consonant.

no consolation
but it was by death it won
my admiration—
this long-snouted seadragon
snagged in weed by the ocean

            © Andrew Lansdown

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Poem in The Mozzie

Andrew’s poem “Sketches of Life” has been published the May (Vol.27, No. 4) issue of The Mozzie. “Sketches of Life” is a gunsaku consisting of six haiku. It is included in Andrew’s latest book of poetry, Distillations of Different Lands, which has was published late last year by Sunline Press. The last haiku in this set of six is:

          vi
A shrugging gesture—
the child making it uses
even her eyebrows.

          © Andrew Lansdown

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Poem in Quadrant

Andrew’s poem “Autumn Maples” has been published in the April 2019 issue of Quadrant magazine. The poem, a set of two tanka, is reprinted below:

 

Autumn Maples

.         .1

Spinning Out

As they spun out
during the scourging of Christ,
so the blood-drops
are hurtling from the maples
as the wind flogs their raw backs.

.         .2

Right Time

The south hemisphere
is not the maples’ true home
—and yet only here
do they perform the Passion
plays at the right time of year.

          © Andrew Lansdown

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New Book – Kyoto Momiji Tanka: Poems & Photos of Japan in Autumn

Rhiza Press has published a new collection of Andrew’s poems and photographs.

Kyoto Momiji Tanka is a stunning collection of poems and photographs celebrating the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, during autumn, when the maples (momiji) vividly colour the natural, cultural and emotional terrains of the Japanese.

The poems (written in a traditional Japanese form known as tanka) and photographs introduce readers to a fascinating world of Shinto brides, tanuki, spirit foxes, geisha, shakuhachi players and, of course, autumn maples.

Kyoto Momiji Tanka is a companion volume to Kyoto Sakura Tanka (Rhiza Press, 2016), which celebrates Kyoto in spring during the cherry blossom (sakura) season.

Read sample poems and view sample photographs on the Kyoto Momiji Tanka page on this website here.

Order a copy of Kyoto Momiji Tanka for $24.95 (free postage in Australia) through the Buy Books page on this website.

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Two Poems in Quadrant

The March 2019 issue of Quadrant magazine contains two of Andrew’s poems— “Of Maples and …”, a 5-tanka gunsaku, and “Windbells at Fushimi Inari Shrine”, a 4-tanka gunsaku. The first and third “Windbells” tanka are reproduced below:

Windbells at Fushimi Inari Shrine

.        .1

Beckoning

A shop at the shrine
selling big-tailed stone foxes
and toy-sized torii
has a dangle of windbells,
all dinging with the wind’s dint.

.        .3

Sacredness

There is everything
and nothing sacred about
this Shinto windbell
whose fashioned material
sounds out the ethereal.

          © Andrew Lansdown

 

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Three poems in Studio

The latest issue of Studio magazine (No. 145, 2019) contains three of Andrew’s poems: “Them Shoes”, “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Poetry” and “Suburban Birds”.

“Miscellaneous Thoughts on Poetry” is set of three tanka, while “Suburban Birds” is a set of five haiku. “Them Shoes” is a 52-line “free form” poem set in Bourbon Street in New Orleans. All three poems are included in Andrew’s latest book , Distillations of Different Lands, which has was released late last year by Sunline Press.

The first and last haiku in “Suburban Birds” are reprinted below:

Suburban Birds

.        .i
The overhead wire—
a pair of welcome swallows
singing in the sag.

.        .v
Such a lovely note—
how could I not look up to
find the pardalote?

          © Andrew Lansdown

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Don’t pay $335 for Andrew’s Novel, With My Knife

A British seller on Amazon.com.uk is currently (as of 5th February 2019) offering a used copy of Andrew’s fantasy novel, With My Knife, for AUD $335 (GPD £181.19), plus postage. A second British seller is selling a used copy for AUD $270 (GPD £146.23)

An American seller on Amazon.com is currently offering a used copy of With My Knife for AUD $70 (USD $49.95), plus postage.

Four other American sellers on Amazon.com are offering new copies of Beyond the Open Door, the American edition of With My Knife, for AUD $70 – $75 (USD $49.95 – $52.22), plus AUD $35 (USD $24.95) postage.

While the With My Knife is worth every penny (at least, according to these sellers — not to mention the author!), there is in fact no need to pay such high prices.

After being out of print for nearly a decade, With My Knife is now available in an omnibus book that also contains Andrew’s novel Dragonfox and The Red Dragon.

This three-novel volume, titled The Chronicles of Klarin, was released by Rhiza Press in November 2018 and can be purchased for (a mere!) AUD $24.95, plus postage.

The Chronicles of Klarin can be purchased through this website, or though the publisher’s website, or though your local bookshop.

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Poem in Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal

Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal (Issue 25, 2018) has just published Andrew’s poem “Chimney Tree”.

Needless to say, his poem is a tanka, a poem written in a traditional Japanese form of five lines arranged in 5.7.5.7.7 syllables respectively. (Andrew views this strict syllabic structure as the ideal and strives to duplicate it, although many tanka poets writing in English today disregard it altogether.)

Eucalypt‘s style is to dispense with titles, capital letters and full-stops. Accordingly, Andrew’s tanka was published in the journal as follows:

it’s a chimney tree,
that motley-barked wandoo with
its hollow branches—
come twilight, little bats will
waft from those flues like ashes

            © Andrew Lansdown

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New book – Trilogy: The Chronicles of Klarin

THE CHRONICLES OF KLARIN

A trilogy of fantasy novels:  With My Knife   &   Dragonfox   &   The Red Dragon

 

Andrew Lansdown

 

Wombat Books (Capalaba, QLD), 2018
(paperback, 400 pages)
ISBN: 978-1-925563-58-0

 

PRICE: $24.95 (+ $5.00 postage in Australia)

 

Wombat Books has just released The Chronicles of Klarin, an omnibus edition containing Andrew’s much-loved fantasy novels, With My Knife, Dragonfox, and The Red Dragon.

For more details, go here.

You can purchase The Chronicles of Klarin for $24.95 (plus $3.00 postage) through this website at the BUY BOOKS page.

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