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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 5. 3rd April 1974



I still think there is plenty of room for expansion as far as literature in Salient is concerned: more width and depth. The major issues are certainly the main function of this paper, but I would like to see a regular and even spread of all types of article. Also, the increased amount of original work presented in Salient this year could perhaps lead to deeper studies of art works which are more well known. But all this it totally useless if it doesn't come in, in the first place; and at the present rate of contributions we'll be back on the diet of politics and funnies before long. There's six thousand of us I hear, most with access to pen and paper at some stage in the day.

Salient wants short stories, poems, or any sort of original article you think of. Now, for instance.

Still on the same subject, it's always useful to be able to tell good writing from crap. That, after all, is what could be termed "literary appreciation" isn't it? You know, like they teach at school, or in literature courses here? Like Tell You'll be lucky to come across anything like "appreciation"—most of it is "literary adulation". They give you a piece that they think is good, that you know they think is good, and that you also know you won't get much in the way of marks from them if you tell them it's bad. I have only ever been in one literature paper (German, stage I, would you believe) where the lecturer had the gumption to go over some bad poetry with us. I hear there has been some vague attempt here. It is all very well teaching people how to understand literature, but when the only stuff you're given is from the all-time greats, you're not given any means of comparison when you're faced with the lesser works produced by us mere mortals.


Soliloquy 1

Now is this essay done, long overdue
Completed post-haste by the son of Cook
And all the books that overran my mind
In the deep shelves of the library buried.
Now is my brow wiped free of anxious sweat,
My battered pen aside for future plays

My lengthy labours [unclear: stage] to party pleasures
My pressured writing [unclear: g] restful pennings.
Grim-faced tutor has wiped his feverish brow
And now instead of marking late essays
That fright the souls of witless students
He flitters freely through a self-chosen work
To the langerous murmers of a tute.

—B. Cook.

that night the weather broke
up among the parts of the roof
rivers formed
dams of leaves and rust
burst upon
the cities of the poor
aphid and ant
and spider
were all swept away

listening to that rain
I watched you as you slept
your eyelids shook with so much dead
a hand moved up
but then fell back
I thought.
I know you too well

down in the kitchen the dog knew
his damp nose sought mine
in the dark
so much cold noise
his breath ran heavy
as I drank coffee
and we waited like survivors
for the first light
of morning
while you slept

D.S. Long Christchurch

Drawing of a boy running while holding a giant fountain pen

Poor Maisie.
Her world just a blur
of faded colour—
Sterile, drab.
Intermingled, swimming colour,
like the hours of the day
that drift into night—unmissed.
Time... slipping by ...undetected
Measured by the bite of the needle
and the time it takes
to climb higher than she'd ever been before
where the colours are music, shapes and sounds
and seconds can be heard and felt and seen
and the pain of her poisoned body
to merciful numbness.


I Told You So

40 days and 40 nights
saw time kill green
and kettles rust
and holes appear
pock-marked paddocks everywhere
acorns ripe for birds and fowls to eat with worms
red combs grey
blood turns hard
and feathers fall
to turn upright in ground
and pierce the sky
and children said
to make a pipe
likes trees they grow
as oak and birch
not straight and fat
but tall and steel like pylon poles
wind to bend and rain to rattle.

Summertime will bring the sun
and men will hold
their hands above sons heads
In prayer to clouds
to drop their silvered coins
that melt to feed
the roots and grubs within
then man stands by
and shakes his brothers hand
that white up high has still got ears
to hear his prayers and children sing.

Tails in the fields
form behind the tedder
mice run wild lost without their homes to die beneath those cloven feet that cannot feel yellow burns alt I see skin goes pink to brown while freckled blisters thrive so happy on old dinnys back for he forgets the pain and goes to swim.

The creek is shallow
Arms pretend and other
are you a crayfish
head beneath for a long long time
too scared to rise
he floats away
the eels grow fat on Friday night
and storms real back
wash away the grass
and dinny too.

Time forgets and so does man
and mice regrow
acorns brown and earth goes mud
feathers fall to die
tea cups bang and kettle boils
healthy brown and all is drunk
cows lie down to chew their cud
and so does man.
—The sun does laugh.

—by Tom Ryan