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Moved By Mountains

I am many things;
I can be many things.
I am kookaburra,
I am black cockatoo.
I am the snake on the path,
Honeyeater and her nectar,
Dragonfly, moth, pebble.
I am kangaroo.

I am the unloved ones:
Cockroach, fly, mosquito,
Bat, cat, fox, vulture…
I am great white shark.
I am the glorified ones:
Whale, wolf, bear, eagle, horse…
I am king lion,
I am matriarch elephant.

I am casuarina, birch,
Acacia, willow, banksia.
I am callistemon, rowan,
Baobab, and eucalyptus.
I am rosella and currawong,
Nightjar and owl.
I am moisture in the grass,
I am moss on the stone.

I am the blue that
Washes over the green,
The sky above,
The earth below.
I am the warmth of sun,
The scented song of breeze,
The depth of ocean,
The heights of mountains.

I am moon drenched night,
Thunder, fire, rain, bird song,
Wind, lightning, waves, forest,
Echoes, heat, mist, and seeds.
I am roots, sandstone,
Clouds, blood, soil;
I am dew, steam, condensation.

Dragon fire permeates
The cells of my atmosphere;
I am smoke and flame,
Shadow and light.
My heart transmutes
Chaos into creation;
I am flow and growth,
Element and animal.

I am the last sparks of sunset
Glistening on a spiders web,
Swaying gently in the breeze
From a tree that was burnt.
Flexible, but strong;
Delicate, but complex;
We share a secret
Woven into our being.

I am here.
I am alive.
I am kin.
I am.

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Fire Dance

Tonight I danced.
I called up the fire within,
The fire that has slept,
Cooled, dimmed,
Been contained so that
The woods grew wild, thick.

Tonight I burned.
My arms licked the air
Like hot flames,
Clearing tangles, making space
For the sun to shine
Inwards and outwards again.

Tonight I smouldered.
My heat rising again,
Smoking hot
In the movement of my body,
My wildness, my power.

Tonight I blazed.
Dancing with my daughter,
Who I will one day meet;
Dancing with my grandmother,
And women who have passed,
But are never gone.

Tonight I ignited.
Owning my power again,
Knowing myself again,
Feeling my glow again,
Healing and nourishing
My dragon soul.

Tonight I rose from ashes.
Hot healing fires
In kookaburra’s laughter;
I am alive, I am me,
My passion is my fire,
Unapologetic.

Once, they burnt us alive,
But we were always
Burning from inside.
My fire destroys to create,
New seeds bursting forth.

Languages of Sensing: how do we get to know diverse others?

How neurological difference – from the position of my personal experiences – can lend perspectives, ideas, challenges, and dimension to how we get to know diverse, non-human others. Do we really know anything? What makes you so sure? Does it even matter? How does knowing guide your decision-making about your relationships with others? Does it? Should it? What about not knowing? Just some of the complex questions raised!

The Most Powerful Me

I’m the child reaching out to the storm,
Knowing the lightning is looking back at me,
Watching over me.

I’m the child shouting into an empty field,
Knowing that the echo is calling back,
Listening and speaking to me.

I know the horses in the overgrown paddock,
My bicycle is a horse too,
We all know each other.

I remember the dead fish floating in the lake,
Looking at it, enchanted by it,
Wondering who he was.

There were fish on the fisherman’s rusted sink, too,
I hovered to watch, and loved
The way the pelicans gathered with me.

That dog was there every day,
I went that way just to see her,
To ask her to follow me home.

The seagulls had names when I fed them,
Like Snoopy who played chase with me,
And knocked at the caravan door.

The most powerful me was there
From the very beginning.
When I was a child.

She got lost somewhere along the way…
Forgot those things except in dreams,
But I am finding her again.

Not a maiden chained up in stone fortresses,
But a daughter of dragons building sand castles
Decorated with seashells and feathers.

I am a woman of the birch grove,
A changling sidhe,
A visionary of wonder and imagination.

I create chaotically from chaos,
Like the storm that brings the rains
That nourish thirsty deserts…

Like ocean waves carving cliffs,
Trees seeding from fire,
Volcanic ash carried by winds to nourish green lands.

I come from sea people, sky dragons,
Earth wisdom, and the hot fires
That I have walked through to get here, now.

To get to where I am going.
It’s just a stop on my journey of many lives…
Many ways, many forms.

Just one stop where my only task
Is to remember that powerful child,
And be her without apology.

Ignite The Fire Within

I am surrounded by a great fire dragon
Who has no tolerance for excuses.
I have looked into my own shadows
And seen an imperfect being that I cultivate.
My flames will not be extinguished
By those who refuse to do so,
But will be fanned by the winds
Of my own speeding wings
And the pounding drumbeat
Of my courageous, stormy heart.
I am born of thunder and lightning,
Nourished by ancient trees and oceans,
And lifted ever upwards by the force
Of wind and flames
Erupting as dragon fire!
I know my name,
I own my power,
And I cannot be defeated
By the ignorance, arrogance, or fear
Of souls far younger than my own.
This is the sound of my roar!

To Love A Cat

My other self wanders with a cat

Who wears a moonless night,

Obsidian heart blooming

Like a cosmic flower

That shines into forever.

Whose playful eyes reflect

The emerald green of unseen worlds,

And gleam with the secrets

Of a time traveller in disguise.

 

Now, I walk with a patchwork cat

Of stray bits and pieces,

Stories stitched together

With whisker threads and yarns

That will be told for all time.

Whose knowing eyes have seen

Memories of tomorrow’s dreams,

And cast a golden gaze

Into shadowed worlds without fear.

 

Our paths cross in ghostly woods

Where golden sunbeams breathe

Warmth into deep shadows

On the edge of night and day.

Where time is a line between

Planetary movements

That creak and groan, slow and massive,

Like the ticking gears of a clock

Suspended between multiverses.

 

Here, cats choose their human soul,

Drawn to the horizons

Of dawn and dusk’s sigh

Where worlds come together.

The cat and her person,

Bonded for life, but still

No more than a whisker in time:

I’ll love you defiantly

From the many worlds within my heart.

 

To love a cat…

To be loved by a cat.

 

Dominion

*Full disclosure: I am not a vegetarian. I am what I describe as an ‘ethical eater’. That means that I do not inherently believe that eating meat is wrong, nor do I subscribe to arguments that humans don’t need to eat meat. I am, however, fiercely against the human removal from where our food comes from, our disrespect towards the animals that give their life to become our nourishment, and the methods of farming that have reduced lives to units of production. My approach is to eat very little meat…which is what is actually healthy, not giving it up entirely…and source it from hunters, or ecological, ethical farms (on which I have worked, and from where the above lovely creature was encountered); and/or to intentionally select the unpopular cuts of meat in order to challenge the huge waste culture based purely on arbitrary industry/social construction of the concept of a ‘prime cut’. My poem is written in protest of the industrial farming culture, the dismissal of animal lives, and the ridiculous notion that meat magically appears on supermarket shelves. An animal gave its life to nourish yours, that needs to be recognised and respected…big time.

These binds that tie
Cow and I.
A kingdom divided
By the process line
Shall surely fall.
Flesh no price can buy
Hear them cry.

Wolf dressed not as sheep
But shepherd…
The Lord never opens
His eyes anymore…
They’re too sore.
A good shepherd is hard to find.

Fields run red,
Sacrificial wine
Of forgotten swine.
Peepers in the dark
Close one last time…
Soul sold
For a prime cut
At no extra cost.

Deliver us
To cold shelves
Plastic wrap, label slap
Stamped use by…
Use by abused by date.
Land of milk and honey
And neon aisles.

Horror film on the plate
Each slice of trauma that I ate
Realising too late
But still in time
To repent the crime…
I am human enough
To be humane,
To sacrifice convenience
To spare them pain?

Wretched creatures,
Have mercy
In my place.

Up The Old Red Rooster!

Stolen ruler
Stolen prawn
Frozen apple
Noisy yawn.

Roller coaster
Fifty cents
Toothless tiger
Home-made tents.

Ginger kitten
Drunken songs
Roo tattoo
Rubber thongs.

Power sneeze
Winter stew
Documentaries
Eyes of blue.

Oily hair
Cups of tea
Tobacco newspaper
By the sea.

Roman Catholic
Man in the moon
Faithless hero
I’ll see you soon.

* The poem title “Up The Old Red Rooster!” is a proudly proclaimed statement my grandfather would often make while intoxicated, promptly followed by ‘More Piss!” It remains one of my fondest chuckles to this day.

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Remembering Amos Street

She opens bairn eyes,
Lids all a flutter with sleep,
On a morn soaked bright
In golden day.
Yet though she cannot see
Beyond the glare that
Upon her lashes dance,
Senses crisp adhere to
Her simple pleasure:

The warm scents of the old house –
A soft breath of talcum powder
Floating gently amidst
A sea of spice;
Dark tea leaves
Steeped in rich aroma
And the metal taint of
A tin kettle.

The sounds of an awakened day –
Her arrival from sleeping dreams
Greeted by the rock doves
Good morning coo;
Grandmother coming and going
About her chores,
A hum in her bosom
To echo the crackling
Vinyl songs of old.

As between crisp linen she lay,
No more than a child
Her waking days so few,
A simple thanks for humble riches
Emerges as a sigh.
Many years from now,
On a morn such as this,
She will awaken once more –
Grown under weight
Of sorrows and trials,
Her own days gathered into wisdom.

On that day,
The innocence of infancy
For a moment, precious and still,
Reminds with reminiscence
What happiness can be.
But for today, this bright and golden morn,
There is nought but content
For so little,
And yet so much.