Indefinite was the longevity of time that I had with the Melbourne Poets Union. From the moment I began to work alongside their organisation I knew that my time there would soon be at an end, and now, I can feel it like perspiration upon my skin.
After the event on Friday the 30th of November, the amount of duties that are left for me to achieve within the organisation is minimalistic at best, for all the work I had been doing up until then was leading up to the event in question; helping to market it; to get the word out to those who might wish to become involved; to co-ordinate with other like organisations and people to further strengthen the knowledge base; to develop flyers, posters and certificates, and many other organisational endeavours.
But this post was never meant to be a sad reminiscent piece on what has been and what has now ended. This is a reflection piece on what happened on the night in question.
The event was the International Poetry Competition which for the past three months I had been working upon with other staff members. The location was a seemingly unknowable site in Niagara Lane, right in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. Unlike other places, the location was one that could be seemingly overlooked due to its size, with passer’s by almost going about their day as if it was not there at all; not a part of their great city; for this rare gem blended in so well with the background as if to conceal its secrets.
The Gallery it is called.
Positioned in the basement of building 31 in the thin alley that is Niagara Lane, the small café/diner has a wide variety of delicious beverages, and although it is, as already mentioned, relatively small, size is not nearly everything as this place will prove to you, for it is the perfect little venue to cater for an event like the one we had going.
Often used for poets, writers and other like artistic personalities to perform their pieces to a small audience, the venue was perfect for our needs. I would like to thank the Gallery and its owners for allowing us access to such a sweet venue. Additionally, I would personally like to thank Randal Stephens, the MPU Vice President for finding such a beautiful little accommodation.
Apart from being the VP of MPU, Randal is additionally a poet in his own right, and his many fabulous pieces can be found at his blog here:
The event in question began at 7:30, on the dot almost. The man selected to preside over the event as judge, Dr. Homer Rieth, opened the event with a beautifully written and incredibly captivating speech that artistically, intelligently and fabulously described the relationship between people and poetry; why we write it, and why we love it so. This was, in but a sentence, the reason why we had all chosen to become a part of the Melbourne Poets Union, and why we were there to celebrate it that night.
Immediately after the speech, the thirteen individuals whose poetry had been awarded made their way up to the stage one by one and gladly read out their winning piece, before accepting the award that was presented to them. The few people who were unable to attend had others read their pieces out in their stead, and should be receiving their awards in the mail soon.
Congratulations to all those who won that night.
A break was issued immediately after, and by this time it was approximately 8:45 in the evening. It was now that the raffle was drawn, the two prizes been Santa’s Seduction Sack, which contained a number of interesting beverages and morsels that looked unbelievably delectable, and a small crate containing additional pieces of delicious loot. Although I bought nine tickets over the course of the night in regards to the raffle, I am rather ashamed to admit that I was unsuccessful. Due to how I had won a prize in the last raffle held by the MPU, I believed my luck would still favour me – an assumption gone wrong indeed.
After this, those who wished to perform pieces they believed deserved to be heard over the course of such an evening were happily listened to by the audience, before the President of the organisation, Wendy Fleming, and Secretary Di Cousens closed the event to thunderous applause.
It is to be considered ironic that setting up an event is usually easy, and putting everything away is a task that is long as it is tedious, but after everything which had happened, the hardship of putting everything away was well worth it when in contrast with the excitement of the night.
Thank you to all who participated in the event on Friday night, and thank you to all who submitted. Hope to see you all again next year!
Photo credits – Di Cousens and Nicholas McKay
To my step daughter, wherever you may be tonight,
you are the apple of my eye, you are my sunlight.
Liara, I swear, I unconditionally love you the way any father should,
and if you were in danger, I’d sacrifice myself to save you, you know that I would.
You know I loved your mother, and like you, I loved her with all of my heart,
and I’m sorry that the winds of change inevitably forced us apart.
Now, the Pacific Ocean, it stands like a gargantuan wall between both me and you,
but believe me when I announce, I can still feel your love just as you can still feel mine too,
and come June 26th this year, we’ll be reunited once again,
for this father-daughter story of ours, it is the stuff of legend.
Don’t ever believe I’d forget your birthday, I wouldn’t miss it for the world,
and you must know there is no one else out there for me, you are my only girl,
and when I reach American soil, I’ll wrap you in my arms, and kiss you on the head,
and that night, you wouldn’t dream of loneliness, no, you will dream of happiness instead.
At the same time, I will dream of your future occupation;
whether you will be a lawyer, a shrink or a musician?
A journalist, doctorial staff, an actor or a member of government,
like a politician, or perhaps either a Prime Minister or President?
Now Liara, come your birthday you shall be granted my present; a gift of continued support and love,
and the realisation that you are the only angel whom I pray to in all of Heaven above.