Every Day Moments

So its December Aussie style. Already this coastal town is filling up with city people. The traffic drones/roars. As on most days here in 2021 the late afternoon sky is overcast. Grey and flat. The wind off the sea is cool to cold. Many people are stressed. Tired. Over the Omicron Comic Con thing before it even really starts.

Everyday moments
and life is what you make it
– is that lemonade?

prompt: https://godoggocafe.com/2021/12/01/haibun-wednesday-december-1-2021/ Write a haibun poem that captures an ordinary moment from your day. Incorporate the color, scents, activity you witness. 

Fear

Fear. It’s like a drug so many of us are mainlining now. Fear of Covid. Fear of Vaccinations. Fear of Climate Change. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have some degree of fear about one or all of these things.

Then there’s the personal fear. Will the plumber come to unblock the drains behind my house today or will I have wait another day? That’s the problem with living in a rental. You can’t control stuff like that.

Blocked. Now there’s another subject I could write on. Blocked drains. Blocked options – are there no rentals anywhere in Victoria, Australia in my price bracket that are anything other than brown brick units set in a sea of concrete? Seems not. Rents went up with Covid. The fear is they’ll just keep doing that and I’ll have no option but to stay on in a rental with blocked drains. Then of course, there’s writer’s block and the fear I’ll never finish the book I started writing. The story has gone stale on me and I’m fearful it will never come alive again. But hey – then again – do I really even care? I fear no one will ever read it anyway.

The underlying fear of course is that I may have turned invisible. All these lockdowns – iso our State Premier calls it as if it’s some kind of game – the thing is – I fear I’ve disappeared from view so long it become habitual.

Fear of being seen,
fear of never being seen
– spinning on a dime

prompt:https://dversepoets.com/2021/10/25/haibun-monday-10-25-21-fear/

Waking up from waking up

I wrote this wacky poem last year but never posted it. It dates from the time
when conspiracy theorists were going on about waking up. The haiku was written some years – it came from an experience of waking up (this time literally – from a night’s sleep) and hearing a voice in my head saying ‘on a quantum level everything is energy’.

Waking up from waking up
I discover there is no fixed point
to hold onto and say
hey yeah – this is it,
I am finally enlightened,
I am fully awake now for sure.
Instead, or so it seems to me,
it’s all evolving consciousness.
Even, so they say, the cosmos
itself is expanding/evolving.

So waking up from waking up
seeing where I was before –
that place I thought was so awake
is just another pitstop on the way
and there’s always somewhere higher,
somewhere clearer
somewhere lighter
to be.

linked to https://earthweal.com/2021/10/08/earthweal-open-link-weekend-87/

Also – just letting you all know I’m taking a blogging break to catch up with some other work.
I’ll be back when I’ve caught up with stuff.

Looking for Beauty

-a haibun

In the late 90s I went through a rough patch. Luck was not on my side and my options were limited.

Walking down the street one day, seeing the cigarette butts in the gutter and counting the coins in my pocket, the words ‘Look for Beauty’ came into my mind. Surprised, I raised my eyes to see the triangular gable of a house jutting into a clear blue sky. The beauty of the form pierced the gloom in my mind.

And so it went, day after day from then on I looked for beauty in that poor, ugly racist town hovering on the brink of doom. Somewhere, somehow my luck turned and I found a way out of there riding on a wave of beauty.

Since then I’ve heard others say those words. It is as if they were in the air that day. I cannot say for sure, but perhaps I was just one of many to pluck them from the ether. All I can tell now is that they are words of power. Say them often enough, follow their dictates and your world shifts on its axis. Beauty lights your heart.

Opening to joy,
seeing beauty on the path
the world births anew.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/10/04/earthweal-weekly-challenge-collateral-beauty/

In the rainforest

During the week I visited a temperate rainforest in the Otway Ranges – the very steep and rugged hills that line the Great Ocean Road in south west Victoria.

beneath trees
between the earth and the sky
– wordless beingness

deep in the forest,
that ancient heart of the world

rejuvenation

at the waterfall
everything flows as one,

sparkling with light

In the green world time moves differently
elliptically.
Meanings coalesce.

Spider webs glitter with dew.
Portals open.

The future and the deep, deep past
collide in effervescent nowness.
Anything is possible at this cusp of the ages.

Some new and old haiku, some phone photos I took this week and
the reworking of a poem I wrote earlier this year:-

linked to:

https://earthweal.com/2021/10/01/earthweal-open-link-weekend-86/
https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/30/dverse-open-link-night-293-2/

Writer’s Block

I have been working on the second draft/structural rewrite/major edit of a novel. It’s exhausting. My brain turns to sludge and I look up synonyms for the simplest words. ‘What’s another word for boredom?’ I ask google.

Progress slows to snail’s pace but still I plough on determined to finish the thing by the June solstice… the equinox… now… years end… arbitrary dates I pluck out of the ether.

Reading through the manuscript I realize the writing goes flat wherever I push and struggle. I can barely be bothered reading to the end of the tortured sentences I’ve written.

Yesterday I decided to let the whole thing rest. I’ll finish it if the story comes alive for me again…

A morning sea fog
shrouding visibility
– a profound silence

prompt: https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/27/haibun-monday-9-27-21-writers-block/

A POSTSCRIPT; I wrote this post earlier then spent the day figuring out how to get out of this state of mind. I like to read ‘how to’ articles about writing on the internet. One thing I learned today is that a way through a stuck place in writing a novel is to give the problem to a character in said novel. It’s a great idea. Not only does it focus on the mind on the nature of the writer’s block it also creates a pathway out of the block. The novel writing continues…

Naming

Mt Warning on the far north coast of New South Wales is the first place on the Australian mainland to receive the morning sun. It is currently closed to visitors.

Lost and afraid,
wandering the bardos,
seeking out a name,
searching for an anchor.

Mt, Warning, Captain Cook declared,
when he beheld the dawn’s first light
on Wollumbin, the cloud catcher.
The kookaburras laughed mercilessly.

Do not climb the sacred mountain
the tribal elders cried.
The tourists paid no mind.
The ancient spirits thundered.
Storms raged.
Lightning struck the craggy peak
and the tree sentinels fell.
The tourist paths were closed.
The entrance gate locked.


Across the country the elders spoke.
You mob have take much;
our children, our stories,
our names, our dignity.
Go find your own salvation.
We cannot save you from yourselves.

What name now does the mountain have?
I no longer live beside that presence,
that anchor of the caldera,
yet I still feel its power.

Mt Warning/Wollumbin,
dreaming spirit,
crystal clear yet shrouded.
Mists obscuring the heights
the cloud catcher greets the dawn.

Here in the bardos
in this time of transition
when the known paths have closed
and names have lost their resonance,
the light on the peak
illuminates the darkness.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/09/27/earthweal-weekly-challenge-say-the-names/


A seismic shift

On the day of the equinox we had an earthquake in south eastern Australia. Earthquakes are extremely rare in here. This one measured 5.9 magnitude and made my house shake even though I live 300k away from the epicentre.

The earthquake happened at 9.15 am. It took me a moment to work out what was happening but as soon as I did ran outside. We are lockdown here and no one else was about. I think the neighbours were all still asleep.

When I calmed down I came back inside and make a collage in my journal.

Equinox morning
the ground quakes beneath my feet
– reality shifting

Shifting my focus,
releasing old thought patterns,
I seek out balance

Deep in the forest
an ancient presence whispers
– open to the new

prompts: https://pixtowords.com/2021/09/24/release/

Tree talk

We went back into a snap lockdown on last Sunday at midnight. This is lockdown No.8 here in regional Victoria, Australia. It is supposed to be a seven day lockdown but who knows. Before we were once again restricted by the 10k travel limit I met up with one of my daughters and her kids for a quick catch up. Seeking a place where the kids could run around freely we went to a steep wooded hillside beside a large lake.

The wind was blowing a gale and the kids ran around screaming with excitement at the sense of freedom it gave them. They’ve been cooped up for weeks what with all these lockdowns, remote learning, playgrounds being off limits for some of the time and the swimming pools closed.

My daughter and I braced ourselves against the wind. The force of it whipped our hair around our faces and made our jackets billow out from our bodies. The trees were bent at wild angles and the leaves were tossing about frantically.

The wind in the trees,
the sound of banshees singing
-change hurtles in.

I’m using the time in lockdown to work on my novel.


I’m writing an eco novel set at some unspecified time in the future. In the process I am delving into obscure areas of research. Here’s some unusual facts I learnt recently:-

Electricity from Trees
To extract electricity from trees and convert it into useful energy, researchers built a boost converter capable of picking up as little as a 20 millivolt output and storing it to produce a greater output. By hooking it up to a tree using electrodes, the custom-built device was able to generate an output voltage of 1.1 volts, enough to run low-power sensors… Using the electronic output to keep track of a tree’s health is another possibility. https://www.livescience.com/5711-electricity-harvested-trees.htm


A Finnish company recycles batteries by turning them into plant food

Globally, the disposal of alkaline batteries has become a major problem,” said Adrian Griffin, managing director of Lithium Australia, in a press release. “Our plan for repurposing the active components of the spent cells is not only a significant step towards worldwide environmental management of the issue but could also have a powerful influence on the sustainability of disposable batteries.”

Although some chemicals in batteries are toxic, this new method takes micro-nutrients present in alkaline batteries and turns them into vital food for crops. Zinc, which is present in many alkaline batteries, helps plants to make a chemical called chlorophyll. This is what makes plants green and without it they can’t use sunlight to turn water and CO2 into energy…

The batteries are first crushed, then filtration and purification processes remove toxic elements like mercury and nickel. It is important that these don’t end up in the fertiliser as they could make their way into the food we eat so testing of the final product is rigorous. Once removed, they are sent on to be safely disposed of by hazardous waste treatment plants instead of leaching into the soil as they would if the batteries were sent to landfill.
https://www.euronews.com/green/2020/05/28/don-t-throw-away-old-batteries-feed-them-to-your-plants-instead

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/09/20/earthweal-weekly-challenge-a-timbered-choir/