The last one of the year, in any case. Goodbye, 2014.
It took about a week to draw, but it’s finally finished… or maybe not.
I don’t even know anymore. MY EYES
Give me a damn warning
Sits massive, seated on the furry faux far down the couch
He is swatting swapping looks
Furtive glances steal the books
That lie unread
It can be said
That dreaded heads rock rolling beds
All over, this dry drover falls off four by four to dust
Where he blamed the camp
I don’t like this, I think it’s a game
I think it’s the same
Flow now unpretending
Stop tending amending
Miles away unattending
Fine is pending.
Your brain decay
Your same delay
You’re sane today.
Hip hip hooray!
And seeming this small torture
Bending backwards for debaucher
See the thistles popping into frame to remind you you’re from Away.
Such a dreary place
And a chaos of mace
Tanning beds for white race
Stumble in and out trace
Slim figures stalking streetline
Where the skyline meets the pie-line
There, the queue that tiptoes right across the footpath near the pub
They want coffee
Stopping short of blocking court proceedings withered
Hither thither to and fro
Pretend they’re early.
I liked the party
I wagged to be arty
I tagged myself in photos or it never happened at all.
There goes the white light honesty
The cost of honour, modesty
And honestly, can we really find the truth in any case?
Not today we can’t.
It’s a vote not an aunt
Not a singling out tone
Knot the rope not the phone
Draw the line on the dots
Or the fine from the cops
Stop the mine for the crops
Blotto mind from the hops
Godot blinded by shops.
I rode past singing
Blurting out to boys and zinging
Flinging my safe space to kingdomtown and voiceless prizes thatched
The rooves and hoofless hoppers
Striding down, the armoured coppers
Chuck their chin up high to melt away humanity onsite.
The kestrels swooping over
Think that they’ve got til October
Til the shooting guns are smoking
Cigarettes and butts are drowned
And the crowded site remaining
In this cesspool pit constraining
Concertina doored the floorway far beyond your wall or hall
Sat upon, some thrown before you
Or decry a moan for gore view
but thank god you’ve got your Netflix
And your armchair
It’s your drug.
Far beyond your wall the yellow
Crushing beasts tear up the earth
Fuck those people tonight
Fuck them all high and might
Strength is gone when one can no more eat;
The food is dried and wasted.
The tiniest drop of glitter
Bitter sitter on the edge of the shitter
Sees the drivel path, the vapid bath
That we all cluck and soak in
Vile creature, you before me
In your beauty, your adoring
nature feeble in its fickle realm
The poised and sitting still.
Heady eddy, water pacing
Fast and whips the mind is racing
Calm below the magic placement tasting richness is devoured
Flinging hours past incitement
of the violence of the Whitement
Concrete sets below the canopy of corporate spies and foes
Flies that whip around are treated
With much more respect than people
Who have lived this earth
And loved this earth
Til their bodies were taken and robbed.
Such slobs their captors howling
The befouling hours growling
With a beer in hand they’re slamming down the schooners four by four
And the blazing eyes are slowing
It’s anointment to be glowing
It’s an oi oi oi! to fertilise the mind and protect from pests
And the boy boy boys! in their virtual world
Whose wheezing cough envokes smoke whirls
Grimly hold on, senseless
Hurl abuse, chipped tooth to boost their grin.
Stave off the crises
Grave put off Pisces
Caved into heist sees
No other vent.
I wish you had the fortitude
To see past the ribbons, the cattle commute
And see there before you the wily confused
Whose fuse stews and simmers, who cannot refuse.
I don’t know how to wade
How to stave off, calve or save
But I’ve got friends who’ve won
Did a simple flatpack goodbye.
Packed up, bolts, and drive
Turning, screw and screw
It was never easy
We should’ve drawn instructions
Before the packdown.
She’s a fucking clown
And ace of brown
All Britishness blocked.
Hocking furniture gems
Thoughts thrown into blend
But the wind turns again
Thoughts stymie low on stove.
Back in baffletown
Why waste them
To be breathed in
Playing mirthfully with wonder
As we dance, I see its smile.
Sticking in the throat
Sinking into bloat
The ass time
Kicking stay afloat
Catharsis baked in tray
The treats are warming.
Just as globe is a mess and is storming
Warming probed by this pest
The mileage has entered a phase
But you’re not fazed
To accumulate knowing.
Even though we’re past our glowing
While we dither
Creatures blink past existence
Neath your feet
But the quiet pain is splintered
Nothing more than mild winter
Hear the clever child talk about the trees and be amazed
Doubt about the flouting characters
Who flaunt their clout and barristers
With their made-up tricks they force their way
Into fertile farms and fields.
Who could care about
The acid rain, the students’ shout?
The blasted feigning politics
Whose faceless fire threatens.
The letters sent from over sees
right through the lying rover
Needing prying blockhead shoulder
On whose power is surely leant.
Unkempt, the wild gratitude
The misspelt word
The false prelude
The meaning stinks of vile whim
Grim sinking ships assail.
The tacit net, the carrion
The corvid’s cry, the carry on
Of weeping mothers
Filtered through the journalists and him
Murdoch press he wrote
Sanctioned murder on boats
How fucking dare gloat
Over raw rocky lives
Newly ruined here in situ
Rolls hit you
Gold to shimmer in crevasse that widens
Neath your petty bleats.
I care for crickets
Not ashes to ashes
Load up babe with your cashes
Caches hunted by spies
Working hard overtime
Glowing orange with crime
Ill-defined time of thine.
Sink a shot
To take away
Brink, wave takes
I met this white man once in Europe, and have since kept him recessed online
to remind me why I think the way I think,
and respect those who I respect,
and revile those
whose words, spat with poison and written in blood
inject hatred, aggression and ignorance into Life.
It detracts from the discourse, the joy of the commune, so it’s time for simple poetry to address the malignancy of fear.
A Land Truly Girt
Shall I remind thee, human
Of our tiny tormented Blue Dot?
Should I iterate that irritations in noses get covered in snot?
Bear with me child;
Collective consciousness is just an airway
and racist dust does not last long; empty cells at the top of a stairway.
In this way you create your own prison
And scream at others to join you inside
Well, I’d much rather breathe in my Freedom
Having power with love in my stride.
See the movement of minds that are more than just matter
Overshadow the shallow dark waters you taint
and they’re cast from a mould that is forged in a mettle
where the torch is so strong that your image is faint
Overcast by the beings who soar high above you
you’re alone with your hatred in shadow on earth
For great heat dissipation takes place when damnation
grows a xenophobe mind in a being since birth.
Malignancy in tongue is more than cancerous to mind
You cannot sit with poison and expect all else to hurt
You’re blessed with eyes and ears and voice but use them all to bind
what could have been a resource in a land that’s truly Girt.
Til you find me one more planet to inhabit as a human
We are all a refugee and cling to life on the crumbling crust.
And these solid plates of agar, floating colonies on liquid
have been moving since Gondwanaland divided up in trust.
This behaviour’s kin to yelling at tectonics down beneath you;
“Get THE FUCK BACK ALL TOGETHER OR I’LL SHOOT YA IN THE CORE!”
No matter how you stamp your foot demanding all this movement,
Friend, you’re just a ball of atoms floating too on an infinite shore.
The robustness of your case to send back queue jumpers to sea
To keep your Straya drunk with fighting whites that’s right for you
Will be vilified, exemplar of the Racist Uptight Knights
and reminds me of a 3 year old I nannied- oh, wait, he was two.
You’re systematic in attacking what you fear will threaten your skin
Oblivious it cheapens all infinity to nought.
If aliens come to harvest some poor human for their sin
You’ll be the first to go my friend, and you can take your Thoughts.
We eat the cows that eat the grass
We mind the cows to eat their ass
We cheat the vows we made to last
We mined the earth in ages past
We beat the chimps to bigger brains
We wine and dine upon the trains
We fleeting people on the plains
We find it’s dry until it rains
We eat the grass and smoke it too
We kind of care but so do you
We sweetly love the food we chew
We pine for more, the lucky few
We treat the earth alike a buyer
We sign a contract: No to Fire
We greet the desert then perspire
We line for food and eat food prior
We earth the cable into ground
We mine the minds that come around
We mirthful creatures safe and sound
We shine when eating from plates round
An artwork in response to an amazing, earthing trip to the Australian desert in 2012.
The photographic prints were blown up, huge, on the wall.
The poem sat by their side,
Not long ago I caught one of Sydney’s iconic ferries to Manly Beach.
The journey there was beautiful; blue skies and sun warmed wooden benches on boat’s bow.
An afternoon passed on the beach, lying still, watching all.
Here the clouds inched over, high above in a non-threatening gesture that spelled to beach-goers “we’re here to delight, not rain on your charade.”
This movement overhead geared towards something brilliant; as temperature was cooling, the sky was only warming up.
Swooping birds bore down on a boardwalk stretch beyond a gargling bay, as I boarded one last ferry, green and yellow floating in wait.
If a silence is golden then the girl standing one deck above me was glowing in rays. Though temptation of ten thousand cameras around us preserved through the pixels and lens, her and I were were the contrast that both used our eyes instead to remember the scene.
Twenty First Year Manifesto
Twenty one has been kind to me, here on the earth
And I’ve nurtured a humour with ongoing mirth
There’s been gifting of friendship and travel and love
Such elation at hoop-dance that fits like a glove
But with all of this growth I still need to confess
That my room is a shithole – an artist’s own mess
Here beneath all the piles of papers and pants
Are a few little things that still hold some romance;
Small drawings of anarchic doodles in pen;
A postcard that tells me I need to be zen;
The pink tube of bubbles I stuck in my bra
and promptly forgot about at Mardi Gras
A blue book that tells of the wisdom in words
And man’s greatest treasure in being absurd
I’ve learnt more than ever be honest, be true
But those with closed minds are a task to eschew
To cultivate love in its highest of forms
Needs movement, and stillness, defying thy norms
And pushing the boundaries that bound many years
You defy forceful factors that fracture small fears
For they’d splintered like wood into stagnant sharp states
Where they grew with conditions; for conditions are baits
But, empowered by those who live love with their being
Who resolve, knownst or not, there’s a gift in their seeing
In the thousands they meet and see right to the bone
To the human inside; to the voice, not the phone
Which then begs the question, how know you these friends?
Helen grins and leans back now to tie poem’s ends
With a homage to life, and a thank you to kin
My next of which lie in a heart that’s within
But let’s now make light of my Twenty Two year,
Whilst I love all these wishes; go buy me a beer
Know the back of your fridge like the back of your mind
Keep in touch with the contents of cupboard
For it seems many people are widely resigned
To food wastage lately discovered
It’s not just a pack of fresh bread gone to waste
Though a small simple thing it may seem
Like poison in water may not have a taste
It still finds its way down the stream
There’s a bigger incredulous picture at stake
And if lucky you might sense your role
In the power you wield by being awake
And aware of waste’s energy toll
Now the sugar has travelled from China to Seoul
Then was packaged in Delhi to boot
And the butter flew in from New Zealand and earnt
Several thousand more air miles en route
And the flour was trucked across desert plains
To land in your crumpets and pie
Where you promptly forgot that Small Purchase you got
And it sat in the kitchen to die
And with each little waste that no one did taste
a part of me shrivels inside
this distortion of food versus need does allude
to a glutton of comfort prescribed
It seems so distorted to hear news reported
Of famine and people deprived
When finding that tupperware fare has been thwarted
And growth of black mold has arrived
It is not that I judge, I don’t aim to offend
Though it’s hard to let go every time
All habits can change with the will to amend
And avoid what I see as a crime
Oh harsh! You might say; Helen with your assumption
But how does change come lest with action?
Consumption without simple care finds resumption
And all blame is placed on distraction
I call out to those who have all that they need
To remember first food you possess
And if finding a great deal of wastage may need
To address the neglect of excess
…you carry an axe camping.
Sure, the notion of being alone among several hundred kilometres of bushland has its hazards. For those not ripened in the camping arena, I shall inform thee of my new-found knowledge.
One is to worry much less about encountering potential lurking psychopaths than fallen trees. The latter proves to be almost unconquerable if said axe is not present for the road-block.
Even with an axe, your work will be cut out for you, so make sure someone else is there to do most of the hard work. After all; you’re on holiday.
But in the interest of honesty, make sure you do the hikes you went there for. It might be the most dreamy, golden, warm wattle-clad clearing you’ve ever parked a tent on, but the views from the top are guaranteed to make you glow… in and out, if you live in Australia.
Then there’s the oft overlooked element: your company. For this trip, different people popped up like popcorn to make a bowl of delicious and hilariously satisfying adventures, now savoured by all kernels. You don’t need to know each other, just make sure you’re all of the same flavour, and remember; friends not on tether pop together.
As promised, I went to the arid and dry.
Only, something had changed in the landscape of late.
Great plains, always salty, cracked and creeping on for miles sat below a liquid surface.
Here upon the plains a quiet; something stirred in ghostly waters.
Badger Bates, respected elder, told of slaughter on the flood plains; how the killing of native people echoed on and on for years.
It was then we heard the students who’d been present here before us often came to tears; unsettled in this place of darkened desert.
It was not until the elder smoked the students through a fire, and he spoke to spirits settled in this place of violent past. And what followed was a calm; a lifting light, a subtle sigh. The feeling of the landscape changed, no more they felt the morbid weight and felt no need to break the camp.
For my part, there I stood and felt with heart the toiling on the soil. My science told me “silly!” but my instinct knew much more. Who am I to judge from outside that the spirits were not haunting? There indeed existed much more than my sweeping visit told.
My last blog post was Freshly Pressed – something I’m exceedingly happy about and grateful for.
Through comments and the like, it brought to my attention several interesting things;
1. People love colour.
2. People like my photos.
This led me to think;
3. I should probably post more photos, in rainbow form!
Here’s a swath of colour, a voluptuous rainbow – a selection of sweet delight from South American trundling.
as always, peace and enjoy.
la la la, colour la la.
In the world and around.
One thing I’ve noticed of late is that we love to hate ourselves.
Every worry, every plaguing demon presents itself as a self-fulfilling truth, and a penetrative one at that. It strikes like a sharp fork from the aether – those gnawing, indescribable feelings of ineptness, insufficiency, and oncoming failure that are unwelcome, rampant, and perhaps ever-present to the emotionally intelligent thinker – but they are not inevitable. Perhaps just as relevantly, they present themselves through myriad of behaviour – chewing fingers, over-cleaning, under-eating; or maybe general deflated apathy. A sneaking detriment, identifiable only to seeing eyes. At least to some extent, the scrutinisation of important aspects of life considered unachieved or lacking pervades the endeavour of all other human experience. Many people mourn the course of their life to where it has led them now – a loathing for decisions that chartered them through learning, growing, and tests, without the reward of financial luminance. I say hurrah! sirs. Celebrate the present and allow yourself the space. To inhabit in the present is to understand your peace – not for prize or place or money but for loving what is here. For all choices that you’ve made, you seem to be alive here still, reading words that can disperse a theorem eating at your truth; that damn old grass just could be greener if you’d just turned left not right.
We could talk much more on this subject but no more shall be written tonight.
Crazed hoards flock to cabins where horoscopes hold hope – home to kin of a people superstitously stocked. And see sugar, oh, the sugar.
Powdered ice, sauces smother, in hands of heavy women wanting takeaway wantons. Near the Big Red of Chinatown, buy Chaufa at Chifas then later feel cheated and crack up at jacked up costs – for you´re just a gringo.
But nightfall is different.
It´s lively, there´s laughter from little young chicos. They´re lining the streets wanting sweets (getting bought them) whilst locals are lining their pockets (and then some). There´s a definite instance of spoilt young children in Lima; where money´s made, parents will spend. And it flies in your face – sharp relief to the grief on the street in the cities more steeped in misfortune. Yet these children are spritely; they speak with you nightly and nought can null confidence innately possessed. Two young sisters approached in the Plaza, persistent the older had perfect white skin ¨just like mine¨. The distinction she drew between her and her sister was strange yet expected – here White is Divine.
If you walk around early you miss the absurdly late markets meandering all down the path – with plastic pigs barking, bird whistles for larking – while mascots for merchandise stores make you laugh. There are grown men in clown suits, getting beeped by the horn toots of limitless taxis who tax up your time. Very happy to charge but their knowledge ain´t large of the streets that comprise their own city and trade. Then your patience it quakes as they jump on the brakes and their head starts to shake, blaming ¨traffic today¨.
Yet for hassles surrounding, you founded your love on the trials and value of travel, compounded. Cloud clears from all sky, for tranquility´s eye keeps a close watch on what is obscured (but is nigh).
And you know that back home you´ll be missing the grown men in clown suits; instead, only clowns in their day suits. And the holes in the pavement you frequently trip on; replaced with monotonous concrete in-line. And the thrill of the street food that might give you gastro; you´ll find only over-priced Maccas and Fries. Yes, you can start complaining of danger and lamely avoid going out after dark around 9. And you might start to hate all the hours you spend here in transit on buses to get to That Place. And you might even tell me you´re tired of paying much more for things based on your skin and your race.
But I love all those travels – they´re part of the journey, and of much greater interest to me than your woes. Give me time, maps and courage for adventures to flourish and an acid-free notebook to record how it goes.
New Zealand is my favourite country on Earth. But before you discount my must-experience list given enthusiastic bias, rest assured it’s been a weighted and considered delegation. I backpacked there two months ago for a short three weeks, flying over from Sydney primarily for the scenery that would satiate my unabashed love of Lord of The Rings. I didn’t expect to become enamoured with its people, moved to tears by mountains and fall in love with the country. My must-sees are based on experiences that are distinctly Kiwi – a particular flavour of living that keeps on giving long after you leave.
Each place gave me a sense of empowerment, and I’ve mapped the degrees to which that occurred.
Please note I spent most of my time in the North Island; undoubtedly there are endless other Edens in the South.
10. Rangitoto Island
Eager to hop across the harbour, this hilly hike was undertaken with far too much weight in my backpack. That said, I found the view that much more serene when I stopped panting and became still. Rain swept the hillside for ten minutes then gave way to warm sun – a microclimate made for the raincoat-ready.
9. Devonport Beach, Auckland.
A quiet and dandy shelled beach cloaked in a cove of calm waters. Dusk did wonders for deep thought; bay’s beauty caught. Before I knew the time had climbed past five and called for me to drive my legs towards the grass beyond; the photos capture peace I sought.
8. Kaikoura in snow
The bus refused to travel up the road in ice and snow. The beach was minus 2 degrees, my fingers had begun to freeze as I clicked the camera shutter, for a site I could not capture. There, upon the icy shore, the seagulls next to Helen War sought refuge from the frozen rain. My friends, in all my sweetest dreams there’s never been such dissonance ‘tween waves, the sky, the beach, the snow, and the sea in all its milky glow.
7.) Muriwai Beach
With a friend I found a flock of Gannets nesting in the rock; the breeding birds are some of only few left in the world. The fuming ocean frothed a fury never seen before, and mist dismissed the clarity that one can see in calm. Burning glare upon the water, beautiful on blackened sand, bore a brightness that incited me to freeze the frame within my eye.
6.) Sulphur Lake, Rotorua
I can’t stress enough the power of a geological masterpiece in unruly weather. Ignore those who seek to dissuade you from New Zealand in winter time – walking around in the candid company of birds, gargling thermal spots and extraordinary rainbows is enough. I recall saying aloud “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” with a clarity of honesty that solitude set free.
5.) Lake Taupo at sunset
As the bus skirted the great Lake Taupo, we called for a brief interlude to marvel at the sun, whose mighty grace humbled even the loudest of observers. This is one of the moments I call on in need; the warm light that faded, receding with speed.
4.) Redwood forest, Rotorua
The Redwood forest is unmissable – do not dismiss the magic of the massive mellow trees, their defiant stature giant over bird and bush and beast. Do take a walk and feel the stillness; quiet, silent, dark yet vibrant. Tracks that weave through weathered rock relieve your feet from concrete stock – then pad through shaded softened ground to sense the special place you’ve found.
3.) Underground Caves, Waitomo
The power of caving moves your mind to align with your body in blissful bind. There’s crystal that hums and water that drums through tunnels below in a turmoiled torrent, where the weak are at war with a force that will floor you. Calmly push through the cold and with clarity behold what is lying in wait down the caverns of old. Glowing worms in the dark, dotted stars in a dome – I adore the down-under, where you too can roam.
2.) Abel Tasman Track
With a friend that I’d met on my travels, we set out to wander the track by the sea. The detour called “inland” winds up through the light sand until you can look down with glee. A Kea was laughing on behalf of the birdlife that nested in branches and grass. As you grapple with backpack that weighs half a ton they are flying above you with class. Then you camp near the beach in a hut that will teach you to test out your torch ‘fore twilight. In the morning you bask in a darkness so vast and the pink in the sky far away. And the beach is your own if you need to atone – find forgiveness to falter the fray.
1.) Winter Alpine Crossing, Mt Ruapehu
In the winter you might have the place to yourself, as you trek through the snow and the icy shelf. We were plodding along, 25 people strong, and surmounted the Staircase and ridge before long. Later laid on the ice in an intimate silence; priceless powerful moment, the world our alliance. There was nothingness, peace, not a whistle, or piece of pollution to pierce the placating location.
So… Out of a theft, and the community’s support, I ended up with MORE hoops.
Last week I was publicly sponsored by Moodhoops, the US company who make the LED hoops that I love to spin with. Of 20 artists worldwide, I am the only Australian hooper.
I truly believe that it was with the help of good people that I was recognised overseas as a valuable member of my local community and festival scene. You can find my profile on their website (with an interview) here. I am being propelled by community into a rich, incredible, challenging career path with my hoops!
And so! This week I made a killer video hooping to my favourite song in the world – Vini Vici’s remix of Hilight Tribe – Free Tibet. I’m launching a campaign to perform onstage with Vini Vici at this year’s Earthcore! And I’d LOVE if you gave it a watch! Here it is!! – – –
If that link doesn’t work, you can find it over at Helly Hoops.
Lastly, after a two hour audition I was accepted into a four-month Theatre and Clowning School here in Melbourne.
Hoopdance is my thing. A one-minute video I put up yesterday clocked 70,000 views on Facebook overnight. Raise the roof.
I uploaded it there without music. Here it is with beats.
To see the original visit http://facebook.com/hellyhoops
That I’m a hoopdancer.
And of late, I’ve been falling in love with hooping, all over again.
Hooping? That’s a THING?
Why yes, yes it is. And trust me, there’s a lot more to it than waist hooping. Inspired by the joy of movement and other amazing hoopdancers around the world, I’ve started keeping a record of my jam sessions in the park.
If you have a couple of minutes, check it out. And decide for yourself whether I have ninja status yet!