Hiding away from the spirit of progress,
fleeing the bulldozers ripping away the holiday spirit
(old weatherboard houses nestled in the scrub
lazy summer days walking barefoot in the sand)
the ancient spirits hover in remnant bushland,
fenced off, enclosed and hard to access,
(sweet and feminine beside the blue bays,
fae pranksters in the Moonah trees
wise old grandmothers whirling in the grass trees).
Spewing out of the cities
in a rush and roar of conquest
come urban escapees in SUVs.
Cranes line the cliff tops
postmodern pastiches proliferate,
simulacra of the McMansions
the urban escapees spewed out of.
Retreat with us, the old spirits whisper.
Come away with us now
deep into this ancient land.
Feel the strength of it
in distances stretching
on and on into something other.
My heart longs to ride out on the wind
but no, today is not the day
when I take to the roads again.
One day I will let the spirits
carry me out into the soul lands
but now, contained and restricted,
I tramp down a muddy track
to sit where the grass trees grow.
A moment’s reprieve
just as I hear the spirits whispering,
a jogger in lycra pounds by then
an avid birdwatcher dripping cameras
appears. My connection shatters.
Back home in my garden hideaway
the old ash tree loses its autumn leaves.
A species from another land
finding a place here in Oz
bringing in archetypal energies
– the ash tree as the Tree of Life.
The traffic on the highway roars,
the construction next door deafens yet
every night now when they sleep, I hear
the Southern Ocean snarling at the shore.
Behind the postmodern pastiches,
the simulacra of the progress spirit,
another spirit gathers force.
Inexorable and undeniable,
the world shifts on its axis.
The spirit of climate change
“For this week’s challenge, write about the spirit(s) of place where you live and have your being in. What is the biological description of your home? How does living in a biogregion change the contours and boundaries of your day? In what places is the spirit of place most resonant for you, and where it is most faint? What is the deep voice of assurance it offers? Can it be channeled in an earth poem? And how do we carry the spirit of place forward into a drastically changing Earth?”