Posted in Climate Change, photography, poetry, The Journey

The silver shining sea

It’s entirely possible that, over the coming centuries, cities will flood, crops will fail and groups of people will suffer but, it is equally possible that other groups people will survive, even thrive. Communities will form where people have figured out that we need to change our relationship to the natural world and to learn to live regeneratively.

There is so much sadness now.
Going out, I encounter chaos.
Frantic people, fearful, spinning out,
rushing in circles.

Standing on a clifftop –
below me, fenced and inaccessible –
cliffs no one ever climbs
and a beach no human ever treads
only the birds,
the fish,
the crabs,
but no humans,
not one
only
the sea rushing to a wild shore.

Is the sea freer here?
Just along the bay
boardwalks and piers,
picnic tables and sandy coves.
Tame places, human places
and the sea benign and calm.

Here, where the sea shines silver
and the wind blows wintery
there is a space
for a moment
to imagine something other
than despair and chaos.

Through it all the wild seas rising,
shining silver in the new dawn.

Photo taken 17/05/2022 – an inaccessible shore on the edge of suburbia

From my eco novel The Journey:

There was a long pause where no one spoke then Tulani’s voice came again, softer this time. ‘Our grief over what was lost will always be with us and the work that confronts us is daunting. The seas around our new home continue to rise. They are polluted with plastic and, as they absorb the excess carbon in the atmosphere, they become acidic. The acid waters dissolve the shells of oysters and other crustaceans. This affects the entire food chain.  Even the mighty whales. The tiny sea snails that form part of their diet are disappearing,’ Tulani shook her head sadly.

‘One thing we have observed is that sea grasses grow well in the carbon rich waters,’ she said in a more hopeful tone. ‘Scientists tell us they absorb a great deal of atmospheric carbon and can help reverse ocean acidification. To bolster this process we are currently planting seagrass beds around the shallow waters of our new island home.  They are wonderful plants and have many attributes.  They can even act as filters that capture fragments of plastic.’ Tulani gazed around a room with a gentle, open smile. ‘I have journeyed here to Jedahra to talk with you about these matters and learn about the healing practices you are doing here.  My hope is that we can come together to heal the Earth.’

A long round of applause followed the old lady’s talk then a young woman seated opposite Terran spoke up.  ‘Ocean acidification and pollution is a big issue for my community too,’ she said. ‘I come from a small village near the mouth of a river on the south coast. The rising seas gnaw at the land and every tide brings in waves of plastic. To try and stabilise the shores we are planting out mangroves and salt marshes. Like seagrass these plants absorb a lot of atmospheric carbon and help protect the coastline from storm surges.  We too are constantly clearing plastic from the beaches. It feels like a never-ending task. Whenever there are floods inland we see large amounts of plastic and refuse being washed down the river and into the sea.  To counter this we have built and installed a large filter on the river. We are planning to install similar filters on other rivers in our region.’

‘That has to be a global action for it to be effective,’ a man seated near Terran said.

‘Yes,’ the young woman replied, ‘but we have to start where we are by doing what we can.’

The Journey is now available as a Kindle ebook and a paperback on Amazon. (see link in my blog sidebar). I am currently preparing a PDF that will be freely available to anyone. I will post a link to it later in the week.

Prompt: https://earthweal.com/2022/05/16/earthweal-weekly-challenge-lessons-from-the-wild/


Posted in Australia, photography

A walk in the nature reserve

SOME PHOTOS FOR MANJA

An online friend, Manja posted some photos of an Australian native tree growing near her house in Italy. https://manjameximexcessive6.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/bottlebrush-progression/ The post caught me by surprise for I see one of these trees every day. It grows right outside my kitchen window. The flowers are finishing right now but the photo below was taken one morning during summer.

Rainbow lorikeet in the bottlebrush

There are many varieties of bottlebrush across Australia but this particular variety is indigenous to the area I live in. Peering through the thicket of trees on my fence line I can just make out one bottlebrush flower still blooming on a tree in the neighbour’s yard.

After a blogging chat with Manja I decided to go to the local nature reserve and see if I could find any bottlebrush still flowering in the bush. It was a misty, late autumn day here today and the bush in the reserve was in a secretive mood. I couldn’t find any bottlebrush flowers hiding in the shadows but my half hour walk did present me with some other bush beauties.

Posted in Australia, photography, poetry

Frog songs

I’m busy this week so my poem in response to this week’s Earthweal challenge – ‘witness to a magnitude’ – is, perversely perhaps, a simple one –
https://earthweal.com/2022/05/09/earthweal-weekly-challenge-witness-to-a-magnitude/

Reflections in the wetlands

A sense of dread
watching the News
then overwhelm –
the end of days is upon us

here, there and everywhere
chaos, mayhem, even madness.
I look closer to home –
people falling apart and

others struggling on,
coping as best they can,
holding up the frail,
guiding those slipping behind.

Alone in my little house
I do a Marie Kondo.
Discarding old outworn things
I open a space for the new.

Going for a walk
I find a moment’s solace,
the breeze in the treetops,
the birds singing and the frogs

bopping in the mud
in unison, a kind of frog song
plays at the wetlands –
pobblebonk, pobblebonk.

With a frog as a totem
cleansing, clearing the mind,
freeing the heart of darkness,
the dance of life goes on.

Youtube video of the Banjo Frogs calling (pobblebonk frogs) by Wild Ambiance – the main bird calls you can hear in the video are the Australian magpie

Youtube video by Wild Ambiance

Where I often sit at the wetlands


Posted in art, Haiku, peace, photography

Travel Memories

I’m going slightly mad trying to upload my novel ‘The Journey’ to Kindle. Cover design is just one of the many issues that has me totally confounded at present. Searching through my image files I found a series of images I made about my experiences in Jordan some years ago. I may have posted some of them before but haven’t bought them all together in one blog post before.

text reads:
Entering Petra
down the canyon of the Sik
– wormhole to the past
text reads:
At an old crusader fort
psychic impressions of blood on the walls
contrasting with the generosity
and warm heartedness of the Jordanians
text reads:
At Mt Nebo
an eagle flew overhead
rays of light poured onto the Dead Sea
and a rainbow hovered over the desert
where the Isrealites had wandered.

Wishing you all a peaceful Easter break.

If I don’t go completely nuts in the process I’ll have a Kindle book to share with you all sometime soon.

Posted in Australia, Haibun, photography

Remembering my Wild Side

This weekend Brendan of Earthweal invites us to ‘link a poem that speaks to whatever wild center you are roaming in. Share a new poem or something glittery with age from the well.’ https://earthweal.com/2022/02/11/earthweal-open-link-weekend-105/

I wrote the following haibun some years ago when I lived in a place that was much closer to wild nature. The photos are of that place.

Walking on the cliff tops as a storm front approaches the wind blows in cold off the
Southern Ocean. At the base of the cliffs the sea churns wild and fierce. There is no one else around and I realise that with one misstep I could fall to my death. It is a raw, instinctual thought.

I move away from the edge and walk a narrow track where tangled tree roots and jagged rocks protrude from the earth. My toes catch on a root and I stumble. This is an environment that demands my full attention – my complete participation.

The cold wind whips my hair across my face and the sea birds screech. In my cotton/polyester coat and with my digital camera dangling from my wrist I am a person of my times yet I could be a person from any time, any culture. The natural world doesn’t judge me on my age, race, class or body type. Out here none of those things matter. All that matters is being aware of where I am – being present in the moment.

Walking meditation
alone on the cliff tops
words blow away

Posted in Australia, Climate Change, Haiku, photography

la Nina Summer

For the second year in a row we are experiencing a la Nina summer in Australia. This occurs when the water in the central Pacific Ocean cools. In the part of Australia I live in this generally means cooler summer weather and more rain. This year the weather pattern has been further complicated by intense monsoonal weather patterns across northern Australia. These have been so big we have been affected by them here in the far south of the continent.

After a week of excessive heat, monsoonal rain and high humidity under dense grey cloud cover the weather shifts to cold winds off the Southern Ocean and slashing rains under dense grey cloud cover.

After driving my grandson to school these past two mornings I learn he tested positive for Covid overnight.

la Nina Summer –
covid in the family
– I retreat indoors.

prompt: https://dversepoets.com/2022/02/01/dverse-poetics-one-of-seventy-two-seasons/

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to create your own major season and then a micro-season, or kō within it using the format above.  Create one based on the season you find yourself in. If possible include images, artwork, drawings, photos, etc. from your community to help bring it into three dimensions.

Posted in photography, Planetary renewal, poetry

Going deeper in

Going deeper in
feeling my body alive in the world
never quite away from roaring traffic,
the hurly burly summer on the coast,
the rising surge of Omicron –
but here, now, in nature
breathing deep eucalyptus air,
stepping over tree roots
so tenacious and strong,
seeing the dead tree reverting to earth
sheltering new life within its fallen limbs.

Is this how it will be for us?
Will we emerge from this time
strong and enduring?
our roots grown thick through holding on
to all that’s worth preserving
even as we discard the excesses,
the inauthentic selves.

Giving thanks for life,
for having made it this far,
despite all the turmoil,
the confusion and the fear,
the way forward opens up.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2022/01/10/earthweal-weekly-challenge-gratitude/