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.
My happiness was bubbling, I was on my bike again
No longer did I worry that my knee would snap and bend
I’d cycled several metres when I hit some broken glass –
Foreshadowing the people that I couldn’t cycle past.
I heard him first from faraway. It’s hard to miss that tone
The one that breaks into the night and makes you wish for home
I saw her then across the street. His gesture was a fist
A surge of panic rose within, this man was surely pissed
I watched in shock as 3 friends stood aside and down the road
As if this was just ‘another tiff’, and it wasn’t their Place to Impose
So I watched as the girl stood in silence, alone
As her boyfriend screamed into her face
And he told her to “shut the fuck up bitch I told you”, or he’d put her back into her place.
Little green man was lit, I was riding across, there I knew what my action would be
And I pulled up aside in my red floral dress… and where there was two, now was three.
But for just a quick moment I hated myself for engaging in what was not mine –
Then my courage returned like a jury spurred on by the potent injustice of crime
And I drew on the women in my life who’ve taken abuse at the hand of a man
“Are you OK?” I said to his back while his girlfriend cried into her hand.
Despite all the practice of centering self all my hackles were raised as he turned
to spit in my face “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?!”
I stood bluffing, to seem unperturbed.
It was interesting. Holding his gaze was to call upon every. calm. cell. in my being.
But in those short few seconds I saw fire dampened by someone just sitting there, seeing.
He repeated his question, with less force but still force enough to dictate I’d be going
So I also repeated my question, imbuing my words with compassion and knowing.
And I saw this distraction from anger in action did soften his furious features
It’s so funny. Interactions with people on streets sometimes turn out to be the best teachers
Then I looked at the girl and saw shame in her tears and a sadness that this was a norm
And I cursed at the world that I had to encounter this violence in such common form
I felt 15 seconds was longer than weeks and I sensed my own tether was tight
By this time, 3 drunk men had caught up, deciding to yell and run after my bike
Instead of addressing depressing domestics in streets they put salt in the wound
And I spat on the ground and felt utterly shit that my courage imploded too soon
That this man in my face was abrasive enough to elicit a shuddering fear
Made me question how flimsy my stopping had been – sweet self deprecation had reared
Then I got home and chucked off my bag on the table and felt my whole thought process shift
Here I am feeling shit about stopping and caring and trying to settle that rift
Ain’t no man in a street will defeat my achievements of trying to live here and now
Holy shit look at what I can do with my body, I hula hoop with a big crowd
And I write when I can and I laugh more than most and I try to be good to the Earth
And I’m grateful for love and I’m happy to breathe and I’m thankful for my fleshy birth
There I realised that even though voices are loud one can win with a silence in sound
For the conquered are noisy and the angry lack vim, but the happy can never be bound.
Tis a photo of joy that reminds one to see
Past the murmurs to nudge toward something alive
Being that which connects and collides in a frame
Saturating a feeling of brightness inside
There atoning in wonder; illusioning fear
But you prospect for metals that steel your third eye
Fall upon this small magnet, deem one to be three
For the fourth is enforcing the fort caught engrossed
In my moment of sharing a careful word worn
Wearing waste jarring charred tarry stars from their place
Is a wayside where whey splits from curd and the corn
Found its oily way into good cooking and space
Here you wonder aloud where the crack has been formed
One can plunder light, draining some quiet repose
Lying low, waiting words sweeten rupturing line
To demand mindless maker defeat its caked praise
Ode defining the miners who seek what they find
Bolsters boyishness dearly adhering to rows
Taking weather near hither or thither to be
Coming back to the colour that brightened your sighs
In a thronging sensation; a resounding vibration
Persisting through filters that aid percolation
And a clear conversation, intent on elation
Bringing lingering things to the boiling point nation
Rolling out of the grey where you stay in all day
Reeling back from the black that attacked your old fray
Polling hacks that enraptured the brackish to clay
One can see now how clouds can delight in array
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.
In the last 12 hours
Cooked up oats,
Wrote a blog,
Dropped a bog
Surfed the web,
Shaved my legs,
Cooked some eggs
Carved in board,
(word is sword)
Awake no end
Here I sit,
What a state
I’m no Poe
Fear of time,
Need to rhyme
Voice is shrill
End of post,
I want toast
After that, the paper.
loopy peace from too-much-awake Helen