This is not a plateau

Skeleton School Madelaine Last

Skeleton School by Madelaine Last

This new normal is not a plateau

This new normal is not the new normal bro

The simple fact is temperatures continue to rise

The simple fact is there are no alibis

Even when an individual climate change denies

Even when the fatalists are saying their good byes

Even though so many choose to walk on by

We can do our best and the naysayer defy

Because there are indicators that clearly show

There may still be time to protect our home

Despite the hothouse building in our greenhouse dome

 

2016 was the world’s hottest year

because El Niño added to the sear

Many politicians made this their bluff

On behalf of lobbyists saying it’s one off

Then 2017 was almost just as hot

The third warmest year and El Niño not

How is the first half of 2018 I hear you ask?

How much reflected heat was there in which we basked?

It was the fourth warmest on the global tab

Again, no El Niño to be factored in the lab

 

Accelerating temperatures throughout the Industrial Age

Say greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change

Measures have been gauged stats have been paged

So many ordinary people are supremely enraged

 

Four straight years of temperature highs

Unseasonal fires, landslides, quickening dries

Ice caps melting at an ever-increasing pace

Ocean currents stalling changing weather’s ancient face

Sea temp differentials flatten there are water level highs

Since 1993 7.7 centimetres of seawater rise

And we’re still not ready damn our eyes

 

There is not one government that does enough

Where conservatives dominate, we are really stuffed

When we need collective accomplishment on the world stage

All they manage is the underachievement needed to end our age

When 17 of our hottest years since records were begun

Have been experienced by the planet since 2001

 

Fish are relocating due to warming waters

Resource wars are driving people across borders

Animals are struggling where small changes matter

Wildfire behaviour sees normal patterns scatter

Hard dry ground where crops should have been

Leave starving masses suffering sight unseen

 

In Sweden and El Salvador wheat and corn harvests dip

Four continents of heatwaves rock the state of the ship

Intense and longer storms, Flo’s protracted flooding rains

Deeper waters and drier droughts put more people in their graves

Nuclear plant shutdowns because river cooling water is too warm

Does any government or corporate body set off an alarm?

No, because they say we’re in the same safe boat

Despite some countries suffering in ways others do not

In Delhi people lie on the ground when record heat stops work after noon

Where there’s no techno cooling to ease every hotter summer’s swoon

Elsewhere electricity supply crashes due to air con demand

Dozens of heat related deaths occurred last summer in Japan

Basic system failures threaten water supply and food

Yet, all some do is argue, wring hands and do no good

 

2017 saw a carbon dioxide max for 800,000 years

But from Paris the US withdraws citing fake news fears

And the rich haven’t paid to help poor countries cope

As they promised in the accord to give some glimmer of hope

 

Global warming now moves faster than any models say

Are there global changes can be made to keep the worst at bay?

Like science harnessing knowledge to produce drought resistant crops

Or international government that can call on climate cops

Enforcing global policy solutions, a climate government pronounces

Or predicting global heat and rainfall for informed responses

 

We’re not talking about the risk to our grandchildren anymore

It’s the risk to today’s planet knocking at our door

Unless we lift ourselves from our decision-making funk

We’ll reduce the value of our world to the corporate status “junk”

 

Meanwhile, some people and Governments are acting somewhere out there

Funding research and renewables, reducing waste, doing their share

Protesters are demonstrating and actioning their care

Planting, recycling, whiting roofs, championing what is fair

But they can’t take on the weight of the world it’s just too much to bear

Will you help them, will you and you take on the dare?

The new world of work

tin man by katie van nooten

“tin man” by katie van nooten

This job calls for compassion and understanding

A willingness to share with diverse groups and individuals

The successful applicant will take responsibility for the welfare of others

It is a position where a keen eye for duty of care applies

Where dignity and respectful engagement are expected, and required

The role is one of leadership

The delegation of duties necessitates understanding of the various forms of merit

Authority is to be exercised with close attention paid to accountability

Demonstrable professional skills and knowledge will reflect ongoing learning

The position requires common sense

Applied to a process of evidence based informed decision making

The appointee must always act with integrity

As part of a natural tendency toward ethical consideration

The tasks to be actioned demand empathy

An ability walk in another’s shoes

Humans need not apply

You know where I’m going with this

You know where I’m going with this 

To the place of rant and rave of whinge from a cave

To the normed deformed and ill informed

Who drive nonsensical stuff social media guff

Of bluff and bravado of truth innuendo

Where everyone is offended and all’s fully rendered

You know where I’m going with this

To the place of the dancing where real men are prancing or mincing or wincing in deepening self doubt as they squirm and they shout to no one with ears for their crying into beers because the dears are the girls in their whirls and tossed curls they chop spikes and go dykes on the bikes of their brothers the others whose macho is smothered by the rise of their eyes
They pant to the beat chasing fresh meat party til they drop ecstasy or sop they outdo each other get done over recover blame and shift blame self blame without shame it’s such a shame when the game that they are in has no purpose it’s a sim they’re in but they don’t know it or if they do don’t show it cos the deal is the real is uncool as it heats and the threats as it heats mean the gets can’t be beat so they retreat to their sweet petting havens as the lascivious and craven always do 

You know where I’m going with this

To the crush of high density that rates with propensity for legislature longevity and population growth my oath you and me both with the millions that come to the bustle and hum to the high tensile strum of the energy guns at our heads pay the bills or family fed? that is the question we dread as executive bonuses build mansions and poseurs as the export of gas ups the home price real fast and don’t talk to me about electricity duplicity so mean to me these corporate utilities fat cats and multinats squeeze me til I’m dry then have another try so my life is a scythe cut the stress with a knife kiss good bye to the wife and the kids and the love that I loved for loves sake it’s a home bake

You know where I’m going with this

To Parliament House the joint of no nouse of no brain of no gain where celebrity reigns were the state of the nation equates with fashion our political ration gets smaller and smaller as narcissism self interest and recidivism ism their way to the fore we want more or they want more no yore just more for the future is now a cash cow to be milked at the fence of public expense as the full and the fat suck at the teat for the treat of squeezed taxpayers sweet forming rivers of milk and honey or is it money pouring forth from a new scam that’s rude derived from ineptitude it may be batts it may be courses they may be entrepreneurs but they’re on the horses bolted after the gates have closed

You know where I’m going with this

To the foreign affairs where the hand shakes and stares look like one thing and mean another to every sister and brother to the lands of the sun where who flung dung sticks and islands they build with a military guild in navigation zones where none knows the homes such that possession is nine tenths of the law it’s a bore as new shores rise from the sea we cringe and we pee like the US to Putin when he’s Ukraine a rootin and his snatch what a catch of a patch on the fabric of history Crimea cry for thee the Russia of yore cry for the poor for perverse plans of those who want more. Or should I say piss-Tory and so they go on to challenge the status quo where we say we’ll go, but ho ho ho Australia knows we’re a no show all hot air and blow no blast from the past just cower against shower of the weak with raw power of the ability to buy off the try hards and show offs extend influence of policy overseas despite probity without give but with the motility of far distant polity the bread baskets for Asia droned by Asia owned by Asia sown by Asia cloned by Asia grown by Asia mown by Asia swallowed and honed by Asia and backed by the USA

You know where I’m going with this

To the US beholden superpower olden folding the flag turning for home in the gloaming of their watch withdrawing notch by notch uncertain where the crotch of the matter lies or whether their power even applies, exerting pressure as trade plies but not so sure regarding human rights and the rise of the stateless states the unreliable mates the dates that became rapes where the bright promising Spring quickly wings to a cold dark winter on the sling of David and the Saudi flings and the belated failings where democracy no longer sings.

You know where I’m going with this

Away from paradise lost from the costs from the Fausts from the oppressive hosts from the submerging coasts to the ghost of the past rewritten to last where my heart harks for hope in the sparks of principles sublime not bereft but to the time I have left in the cleft between life and death in hope of nurture in the sweet natural wealth of transparency before stealth

You know where I’m going with this

A palinode 

Here’s an ode to palinode

Where I’ll retract what I once showed

From a once subversive code

I recant to get what I am owed

As I take this pragmatic road

Giving up all I have sowed

I sacrifice my truth and bode

Farewell such sweet and precious load

My enemies I’ll no longer goad

Winter rain

winterrreign

With Winter’s reign

Comes winter rain …..

Heavy, Kamikaze, straight into the ground

A relentless, driving, ominous sound

Drumming incessantly on iron clad roof

Beating out rhythms of Winter’s truth

Pummeling every deciduous bough

Weighing branches to a seasonal low

Forcing autumn leaves to their final leap

Reminding trees it is time to sleep

Sean

 

 

 

Tarrawingee – Hagan’s poem

Tarrawingee

I came across this poem my son, Hagan, wrote some time ago. It is about overnight stays at his grandparent’s place in rural Victoria. It is quite lovely.

at night cars on the highway whisper distance

we are so far from anything

a collection of warm souls

glowing like an ember of the burnt out day

 

the cars breathe wordless thoughts

the sound of loneliness

is the sound of something passing

but we stay

 

grandma and grandpa asleep in the one room I have never explored

young famililes in the back room

single males or older siblings alongside

in a lounge room sealed with folding doors

 

every move a quiet one

from quiet good night to good morning

breakfast a thief’s meal

the day’s plans discussed in conspirator’s tones

 

the house so still

the closing of cupboards in the kitchen a rough sigh

the carpet in the hall soft and relaxed

becoming cool kitchen lino underfoot

 

and here’s Ruth, any Ruth

whispering hello with a laugh

as if she’s either not used to whispering

or she’s sorry for waking me

 

while Nutri-Grain sing their deliciousness into the bowl

the first in a day of pleasures rare and reliable

reminders of things I have always known

that I will belong somewhere, that I am happy

 

happy now, in a house warm and never stifling

allowing the comfortable movement

of elements between its walls:

air and light, peace and love, enough for all

Ashes

“We brought her ashes here.”

Someone could have said this

That someone could not have been me

Because I wasn’t there

Not in mind, not in spirit, not in body

I was absent on every level

In fact, I think I went to school

Did I really go to school?

For want of something better to do

That must have been weird for the teachers

Their dead colleague’s son returns to school

Instead of attending their dead colleague’s funeral

I wonder if it hurt? (Me? Them?)

I didn’t wonder at the time

I just didn’t want to go

Didn’t want to know

I saw the dead when death was done

No need to attend a funeral rerun

Clear and simple

That was the way I saw it

 

“We brought her ashes here because …..”

I can tell you I have no idea why

I wasn’t there I tell you

I wasn’t involved

Not in the slightest

Not for the sightfest

I guess it was because standards were everything

I guess it was convenience if anything

 

“We took her ashes elsewhere”

I mean

It would have made more sense don’t you think?

Well, with hindsight anyway

I wonder now where that elsewhere might have been?

I imagine there was a place somewhere distant to the mass ash repository

Somewhere that had more meaning?

To her

To Dad

To us

To me?

I wonder where that place might have been?

It bothers me that I have no idea about this

Instead of being encapsulated

Did she think about where her ashes might be cast?

She had time

So much time for dying

Was there time for thinking about this as well?

Thinking about the special places

The places that meant something

The places where her ashen cloud

Could manifest as transient shroud

One last act of giving

One finale to living

 

“Here lie her ashes”

I still don’t know where

I still don’t want to know

I haven’t been there

Don’t want to be shown

Wherever there is

And I won’t go

Because there is a neutral and meaningless place

At least, I don’t know what it means

Elsewhere might have been easier

Somewhere I could understand

Where she could still lend a hand

A place for her to show

Somewhere I might want to go

 

 

In Molesworth

James Reyne plays the Molesworth Hotel

(On the night of this photo, from this very microstage, it might not look possible, but it is true, true, true! The man above caused the mayhem below)

I come upon a fawning crowd
Of ferals
Bogan fresh and proud
Straight from the shower 
And into the pub
Girls glistening with glitter 
Post hot water scrub
Their stretch jeans too tight
Their muffin tops showing
Breasts fixed just right
Pancake face glowing
The boys in their utes
Polished for showing
All looking cute
With product hair woven
They come in their droves
From asbestos laced shedding
From acreage homes
Town houses with cladding
They gather in cliques
Or large social groups
The drinks go down nicely
The talk turns to hoots
And bold statements of fact
And alcohol hugs
The bravado act
As beer goes in chugs
The girls are a twitter
Who did what to whom?
They flit hither thither
Across the filling room
The singles are looking 
For a match for the night
All out there hooking
Their catch to hold tight
The couples are clingy
Not risking detachment
While the bully boys prowl
Asking “What that meant?”
The lonely boys savour
Their chances tonight
And if they’re not lucky
There’s always a fight

We’re packed in the room
As the lights slowly fade
There’s noise in the gloom
It comes from the stage
A postage stamp corner
Two metres by three
Can it be enough
For a man such as he?
Hushed anticipation
A God almighty roar
An explosive oration
James Reyne’s through the door
They know every word
For every single beat
They’re a seething horde
A mob on its feet
The mob moves as one
Rolling in great waves
And it sings as one
Waking cemeteries of graves
Glasses held aloft
Drinks slosh with abandon
Dancers mash and mosh
Bodies bounce and cannon
Reyne looks astonished
With worry in his eye
They won’t be admonished
They’re living the lie
So he charms them 
And he works them
The favourites are all here
He sings every hit
Everyone holds dear
Delivers with great fervour
Stokes their every passion
They sway and rock and quiver
Out of their heads and thrashing
The pace increases
Momentum builds
They’re here to get
Rock dreams fulfilled
He massages their egos
He caresses their zones
He tickles their fancies
He shakes their bones
He works them to ecstatic climax
As one collective lover
The building shakes
The room erupts
Foundations quake
…..
But it’s not enough

They cry loud, “More, more!”
But James is through the kitchen
Quickly out the door
To quit while you’re ahead
In Molesworth that’s for sure

Together, the mob bows its collective head
They pause in the afterglow
They know tonight went red
They know how to put on a show
In Molesworth

for eternity

Image

image

A poem for thine eyes to see
Words that speak of love for thee
A verse from where my head doth rest
Upon thy softly rising chest
A breath
A gentle tender plea
To bind our hearts eternally
To state our love is rich and rare
An intimacy that none can share
I’ll stay with you through eternal life
My friend my lover my eternal wife

The Death of Miss Richards

 

Unknown

Did you read A S Patric’s Black Rock White City? “The Death of Miss Richards” stands alone as a poem, but read the book to meet the character properly. Highly recommended.

Why did miss richards die

Jump in front of the train

Without learning to fly

She broke her wrists and her ankles

Before the Hallam train hit

For the briefest of moments

She hurt a bit

Although and however

She may have been hurting

Previously forever

 

Why didn’t miss richards cry

Let out her feelings

Sob, weep and sigh

 

Miss Richards always looked so content

Nose in a book

Mind being sent

Not a woman in pain

Not a lass to complain

Of a heart broken or rent

And she ate vegetarian food

For the soul

It looked good

It makes you wonder how should

What actually could

Make miss richards want to die

 

Miss Richards looked serene

Like one in a dream

Thoughtful and peaceful

Quiet as a mouse

I note she loved music

And the capacity to choose it

Her playlists sashay lists

Of walls without bridges

As we on the ridges

Played miss richards I spy

 

I never said hi miss richards

Nor hello now goodbye

So she sat by herself until lunchtime went by

Miss richards headphones and book

Ne’er one to sook

Ne’er a wet eye

As she kept to herself

Alone on her shelf

Self sufficient as one cloud in a blue blue sky

Oh why oh why

Did miss richards have to die

Hedge End Lane

Hedge End Lane

we took a walk down Hedgend Lane

squeezed it in ‘tween showers of rain

a short walk from the bogie road

walking to an end unknown

 

with us walking we took the whippet

keen as mustard leashed and at it

we set off into an icy grind

tempting fate against winter’s mind

 

the road was dirt puddles like scales

the wind was cold sharp as nails

the sky was grey and overcast

prophesising an arctic blast

 

we met two cockies one unwell

the other uted name of Neville

we chewed the fat for a moment or two

then nev went off to feed his ewes

 

he knew our house and seller’s name

said she fell victim to a scam

he asked about the other cock

down the road about a block

 

we said we saw its damaged wing

we couldn’t get close to do a thing

nev had been asked by his lovely wife

to mercy kill it take its life

 

as we waved farewell to nev and ute

we thought the man was quite astute

a life at bogie on a farm

a laconic style of rural charm

 

the next instalment was a procession of lambs

from biggest to smallest dashing for dams

such cute and playful snow white children

it’s quite a flock old nev’s a building

 

then we came to the farm homestead

work dogs wagging tethered to sheds

at the front gate there’s a dead bloated sheep

the one nev warned us about to go deep

 

onward we walked into more open space

where grazing occurs at a slow country pace

a hereford watched our brisk passage past

as it chewed on cud made of wet winter grass

 

at the end of the road there’s a pleasant surprise

a tableland drop off topped by glowering skies

the gap between hills is not very wide

but big enough to see down the hillside

 

it’s a break in the mountain to a view of great grace

we can see to the plains and expansive green space

to the base of the tableland looking down is a thrill

from our throne like position at the top of the hills

Ni’ ni’ sweetie pie

Ni’ ni’ sweetie pie

I’m going to leepy la

To the land where the dream tree grows …..

Once I’m settled and curled

And my heart has unfurled

I’ll be ready to witness the show

I’ll beam all beatific at the wonders terrific

Of the whorls and the heat and the snow

I’ll meander with candour

Past sweet treats and wander

To the rooms where they play with a bow

Sweet music will render

My soul to surrender

To the passions of love’s inner glow

And I’ll put all at stake

On the heroes I’ll make

As I stand up preparing to go

Back to the darkness

To the bedroom soft harkness

Of the breathing of sleep low low low