Posted in Australia, Fiction, peace, poetry, The Journey

Common ground

I’ve heard it said
the war in the world
mirrors the war in the self
or is it the other way round?

The warring factions of self
waking me at 3am.
Why did I make that choice thirty years ago?
It was totally the wrong thing to do
and I compiled the problem by doing it
again and again and again.

Then again, the war inside the self plays out
every day in my current reality.
If this happened I could do that
but I can’t do that because I can’t
make this happen. I’m stuck
here in this reality arguing with myself.

Seeking solace I go for a walk in the park.
The commons you might call it
but it’s been a long time since
the aboriginal people called it
the corroboree ground, the common land
where the tribes gathered for ceremony.

It’s peaceful enough if I ignore the traffic.
If I take the public paths it’s pleasant.
If I venture closer to the lake shores
I run the risk of coming across dead carp
– an introduced fish the fisherman discard,
or even the decaying carcass of a rabbit
decomposing after the last year’s 1080 poisoning
by the council. Rabbits are a pest in Australia.

Then of course, no matter which way I walk,
there is the Macca’s refuse, the bottle tops,
the odd soft drink can and the chocolate bar wrappers.

Ignoring all these signs of desecration
I attempt to lighten my mood.
focusing on beauty I develop a blinkered vision.
Some birds sing while the egrets croak.
The breeze is gentle in the tree tops.
Soft white clouds scatter across the sky.
Maybe finding the common ground,
the place where all people are part of nature,
could take us all to a more a peaceful place.

A corroboree ground near where I live:- A local cemetery and lakes around it were once the corroboree ground of the Wauthaurong people, the traditional owners of this land.

For this challenge, write about THE COMMONS. How would you describe that half-wild, half-human habitat of sharing and sustenance in your locale?

from my novel The Journey:-

Raven looked out at the wasteland beyond the waterhole. The country had an uncanny feel to it as if it was haunted by times far older than the world of Terranโ€™s photos. The lay of the land suggested to him that it had once been a meeting place for the tribes of long ago. People would have gathered here for ceremony and song. Fish would have been plentiful and the foraging would have been good. He imagined children swimming in the shallow waters as their parents caught up with the news; whoโ€™d had a baby, which old people had passed on during the cold winter months and the stuff of daily life. The images flowed into his mind like an internal slide show. It was as if the long continuity of such meetings had imprinted themselves onto the earth itself. The parties and picnics of the folks in the huge vehicles were an empty echo of those earlier, more sacred, times.


I'm an artist and a writer living by the coast in southern Oz.

18 thoughts on “Common ground

  1. Love the word corroboree. And the cover of you book is so beautiful. love the colour love the image. Just gorgeous. Congratulations!


    1. Thanks Lindi. The book cover is a template design from Amazon. Uploading the book and negotiating Amazon formatting has proved very difficult for me. I am having a rethink on the entire project. Corroboree is an aboriginal word. I’m not sure which tribe it come from.


  2. ‘Iโ€™m stuck
    here in this reality arguing with myself.’ – I’ve been there, often! If we can’t lay aside those internal struggles, what hope have we of making a change in the outside world?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One has to wonder if the corroboree (the perfect name for a commons) is still there, just beyond all the detritus of human / inhumane settlement. You certainly located and entered it and found comfort for the warring breast there. You’ve made it a commons again, and your poem is an invitation into it.

    Liked by 1 person

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