Posted in poetry

Undermining control

The controls of the past two years
– eight lockdowns here in southern Oz –
undermined my

yet now, when I re-assess,
I find it all taught me
self reliance.

At least to some degree
I would have to say,
now that the dust has settled,

I found something there in those long grey days that merged one into the other,
something hard to put into words and not something anyone really talks about,
but the more the authorities sought to control my (and everyone’s) behaviour –
the more I found it undermined my belief in their authority and right to control me.

Struggling a bit still
to make sense of things
now we’re getting back to normal
or is this the new normal?
It seems quite odd to me,
not normal at all,
that people seek to exploit each other,
to throw bombs around,
whether of the Putin kind
or just unnecessary aggression
in personal interactions.

And then there’s the exploitation of the Earth,
the helter skelter race to have the newest, best
of everything
while ignoring the environmental implications.

It all undermines the stability we used to count on
but then maybe it’s all just signs the old system
was fraught with problems and really the control
we need to find comes from within the self.

prompt: The prompts are designed to be quick challenges that can be written in 10 to 15minutes

Posted in Planetary renewal, poetry

The way in is the way out

This week on Earthweal Ingrid asks us to consider ways in which we might find our way of the labyrinth of the Anthropocene.

The way in is the way out.
Change starts with thoughts.
Descartes and the Enlightenment –
all those great minds devising
the mind/body split,
the human/nature division.

The industrial revolution came soon after.
Profit driven mass production
birthing the capitalist mindset
whoopee and hey presto,
fast forward two hundred years
globalisation has enslaved our minds.
Consume, consume, consume,
exploit, extract, abuse.
Don’t think of the environment.
Humans are separate from nature.

The way in is the way out.
Change starts with thoughts.
If we change our way of thinking
our world view shifts.
With humans as part of nature
human/non-human interbeing
co-creates new outcomes for all.

Feeling the joy,
dancing in the green world.
Labyrinthine ways unfolding,
magical passages of dappled light.
New ways of thinking opening
new neural pathways.
The heart/mind connection
illuminates the way forward.

Posted in poetry, spirituality

3 am

At night, where I live,
the sea roars.
A hollow timeless sound.
Listening at 3am,
the roar engulfs me.
I hear it as the sound of space,
out between the stars,
no identity, no name,
no track nor trace
just forever
the echo,
the emptiness.

Is this the sound of eternity?
I’ve heard it said before the Big Bang
there was a singularity.
Was that singularity a sound?

Sinking into the roar
the limbic brain relaxes.
The survival fears subside.
The emptiness is
everything –
a white noise
where all manifested life
comes to rest,
to dream,
to renew.

linked to:

Posted in Climate Change, poetry, spirituality

2020 vision

Here at the mid-point of the year  
2020 vision reveals the hidden, 
the ignored 
and the disowned. 
Old injustices cry out - 
see me, feel me, 
heal me. 

Here in the south, at the time of the solstice, grey winter days and buffeting winds muffle the outside world. Sitting in my little house, checked blanket across my shoulders, I read that the solar eclipse at the time of June 2020 solstice will peak when the sun passes over Mount Kailash, that far off mystic mountain in eastern Tibet (now annexed into China).

Held sacred by four faiths – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bon – Mount Kailash is a place of pilgrimage. Climbing the mountain is strictly forbidden and there are stories that those who attempt to do so never return. In all four faiths the mountain is considered to be the Axis Mundi, the World Pillar, the Centre of the World – the place where the energies of the Earth connect with the energies of the cosmos. Physically the mountain resembles a pyramid and the four slopes are aligned to the compass points.

For Hindus the mountain is the sacred home of Shiva, the Lord of Life and Death. For Buddhists circumnavigating the base of the mountain is called kora. Walking kora symbolizing dying to old ways of being and clearing karmic bondage to be spiritually reborn.

The solar eclipse over this sacred mountain was to be a major event of 2020 in the pre-Covid-19 world. Tours were booked by peoples across the globe. No doubt most, if not all, are cancelled now.

As the rain slashes against the windows of my little house I wonder who has made it out there to Mount Kailash in this time of the virus to experience the eclipse in this year of The Great Turning.

Has some Hindu holy man, well practiced in physical austerities, slipped past the Chinese Border Guards in the dead of night, to walk now, alone and in deep meditation, along the banks of some little stream that flows down the mountainside to eventually form one of the four great rivers that begin in that region – the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and the Sutlej.

Have a group of Buddhists taken the long bus ride out from Lhasa and gather now in preparation for their kora around the mountain during the eclipse. Are their prayer flags fluttering red, green, yellow and white against the cobalt blue sky to carry the prayers of the world up to the heavens beyond the pinnacle of the sacred mountain

Or is that no-one has made it. Has the mountain retreated so far into sacred space no human could withstand the intensity and the mystery of an eclipse there at this strange and potent time?

Songs to the Earth
in 2020
sung in silence.
Hearts connected
unseen and unknown
the one to the other
yet all of one intent -
let the healing begin,
let us find our way
to the centre,
the Axis Mundi

Posted in Australia, photography, poetry

Vast Particulars

For the first time in weeks
I go to the beach.
Sitting alone
old meanings deconstruct inside my head.

Out across the bay the mist streaked autumn sky
is brown and dirty.
An empty container ship,
steams out of the murk.

On the beach
a girl cartwheels across the sand.
Her father looks on, bemused.
He’s out of work.

More kids arrive, hooting,
holding boogie boards aloft.
It’s an out of season holiday.

The mother drifts into frame
beach towels draped around her neck.
She’ll keep the mood light,
bright and breezy.
Bemused, the father checks his phone.
He’s still out of work.

The empty ship moves into the open sea.
At least someone’s getting out of here
but to where and is there any guarantee
conditions are better there or, if they are,
how long will they stay that way?



  • Illustrate the changing tenor of the time with a snapshot or observation or tale which is both vast and particular.
  • Do vast particulars – global yet local, earth-sensitive yet human-driven, pandemically reeling a decades-long unfolding—document the news of the moment?
  • What new tensions are revealing themselves? Stripped of our daily routines, shriven from assurance of a well-meaning (at least, promised) future and encroached by shadows of collapse, just who stares back in the mirror of this moment?
  • If pandemic is the astringent which is fast clearing away the niceties and collective givens we call human, what vast particulars reveal homo sapiens behind its peeling mask?