behold : human Be-ing

         Millions of dollars have been donated to this ongoing fire storm disaster and yet obtaining help is a difficult play. When Stephane from Disaster Relief tried to get the RFS to clear our access track he was told our road had already been cleared  ( not this section of it) and when he approached the SES and local Council they said, not a priority . By a serendipitous encounter he bumped into the blokes from the Riverina. 

 Six men set off from the Riverina

with a semi trailer full of farming supplies,

they had a fundraiser in the local

a mate down this way.

they turned up at  the Cobargo Relief Centre at the Showgrounds

wanting to assist someone

heard our track was blocked

came out to help.

all a bit of a laugh

two chainsaws a big ute

files and wedges

lots of good natured ribbing

they cut dragged and cleared,

seamlessly.

for us a god send

angels I called them.

nah… just country blokes

with hearts of gold

a royal act of generosity.

 

             A Crisis is all about applying to a multitude of organisations and proving you are damaged, in need, proving Your Story.  Again and again we have witnessed not help from the charities not help from the government or the council but solid practical enduring support from the community-  friends family neighbours and strangers. 

             Should we be surprised ? I don’t think so. The startling thing is that we still hold the assumption that authorities will come to our aid, fix climate change , fund mental health programs; that… they will do the right thing for the people.

 

Meanwhile Safe has become a relative term

meaning little beyond this moment,

 it is an idea

a structure we build

a fortress we defend.

 

   One month on the Fire dragon remains on the south east coast breathing down our collective necks, making allies, joining forces, building in strength and temerity, playing the waiting game; moving slowly, picking up speed, changing directions, sending out scouts. The effect is unsettling unnerving and terrifying. A glance at the RFS fire map of the east coast reminds us no one is safe. Another heat wave approaches and again we prepare to defend hold and endure.

 

The days of generosity

a point in time

crisis

knocking our sensibilities

provoking feelings

striking a chord as they say.

some thing is activated

the kindness gene

the DNA of generosity

the hormone of care and compassion.

is this who we really are?

Beings of kindness

capable of self-organising

in response

to crisis

acting selflessly

in service to the community.

 

I am witness to the actions of 

Human   Be-ing.

It is a beautiful thing.

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the fates thread the loom

 

before new years eve……

thick smoke envelopes our valley

coats our tongues

slipping particles into the blood stream

rivers and dams collapse under the weight

of the hot dry winds and fierce Sun

forests have sent up smoke signals

all is not well

heed the children.

 

and then one day  Fire came

orange red  flames licking

gorging on grasses wood,

devouring the tree the spider the worm

those that could scattered

rose up into the air

some diving to ground trembling bodies pressed suffocating

others fled running  for their lives

some hid to be chanced over, others fried.

 

I waited at the house

in an outfit

I had carefully selected and laid out the night before

jeans and belt

pink woollen socks big boots

singlet, green checked woollen shirt

blue crocheted woollen beanie

thick golden gloves and a face mask.

the hoses were in place

half a dozen of them in snake formation around the house.

the job description was easy,

apply water

to verandah and under

up the poles and onto windows

even the walls.

water water water

next hose next verandah repeat

oh and stay alive.

 

strangely calm

waiting, watching the advance

creeping into the bush like a thief in the night

with  an almighty roar.

John in his red woollen shirt ,

hoody up and mask on,

starts the pump

water is running from every hose

the verandah wetted from the night before

but we hose it all again.

the gutters are filled with water

watching

a ring of fire at the dam

the shack goes up

a loud  whump signals the end of  Rebeccas BMW.

fire scaling up tree trunks

gobbling shrubs ferns grasses

stringybarks bush-cherry

angophoras red gums

snapping leaves leaping dancing cavorting

and coming directly towards us.

it  picks up pace coming up the slope from the dam

a wall of flame approaches the south verandah.

John is calm

he has a the high pressure hose

fire meets water and determination

water holds

John stands firm.

 

He built this house

made every brick

from the earth in front of the house,

it literally rose up out of the ground

one brick at a time

for over 30 years a family home

one that now rings to the tune of grandchildren,

blood sweat tears births deaths marriages

this house alive, pulsates with love.

 

inside smoke is thick

visibility zero

bath tub full of skanky dam water

Zoes woollen blankets a sodden heap on the floor

a good escape to crawl under to steady the breath

before returning  outside to the heat,

the inferno the hoses and water.

embers skipping onto the roof

making holes in the clear roof panels

curling embers meet sodden verandah and vanish

no burns on the boards, no blisters on our bodies.

a window cracks in the bedroom

the window where our mobiles sit to get reception.

 

dust soot ash and charcoal coat everything

charred trunks and limbs

a whole understorey has disappeared.

will we see now?

will we wake to reality?

our Planet home

our beautiful beautiful home

trying to deal with our consumables, our plastics

our fumes our anger.

too much she cries

too much,

forgive us for we do know what we do

we know

that’s the tragedy

we know.

 

some days after the main fire front had passed

trees still smouldering

roots deep in the ground  burning,

many elder trees are continuing to fall

walking on crusty black ash

the ground as if plowed up

giant holes where once a root system lived

patterns of ash like crop circles

skirting fallen trees

shallow breathing the air

smoky thick and relentless

visibility limited.

we leave our burnt forest

drive through a silent world

a charred smouldering valley,

some neighbours houses mere rubble

power poles smashed sideways

wires curling in chaos

cows dead.

We come to our village

half the main street has been smashed

this is my new world.

 

 

the tower has fallen

the spin of ideas and aspirations has tripped

been knocked sideways

taken a slam.

the Fates thread the loom

again

They weave

brightly coloured lights bounce from fingertips

glories rarely glimpsed

consciousness stretches

tugs

elemental energies dance

holding holding holding

while the tapestry is woven

the women are Singing.

 

 

 

It was New Years Eve

If I turn my back on the Forest now at this very moment when She is burnt to cinders and it appears that life has been extinguished, then I am not a true friend.

If I turn away now because it pains me to see the charcoal embers of my dream that has turned to ash in my mouth then I would be committing betrayal.

For this garment that She wears now; the Little Black Number, the ashes to ashes killer outfit is just another frock in the wardrobe of the life of Forest.

It is my call to find the Beauty within, to see the promise that is held in waiting, to hold true, stand fast, cradle the seed of tomorrows and acknowledge the whispers of renewal.

If I am a true friend, if everything I have ever said is to retain its meaning and integrity then I must stay observe and witness this phase of devastation.

I will croon sweet songs of lament and sorrow, of hope and resurrection to Her.

I will say thank you for revealing another facet of your mighty Being to me, for revealing the face of the Fire Goddess.

I honour your courage in Burning, burning standing, burning falling collapsing, giving all in the face of this onslaught.

And I who have heard your screams will weep hot tears of sacred water for your loss.

Your loss is my loss. Your pain is my pain.

Together we shall hold hands and gently tenderly heal our broken hearts, our broken skin, our blistered and fevered minds.

Together we will sing of a new life emerging, a new dance awakening. a new song singing.

This I have learnt; the roaring of an approaching fire is hugely loud , it is so loud that while it was still miles away it woke pulled us out of bed and sent us out into the paddocks to see the huge glow behind the mountains. 

I have learnt that fire dances ; plays with air, tussles with water and scalds earth , behaves erratically mysteriously, beyond our plans and ideas. 

I have learnt that humans are resourceful and brave, that our differences become nothing and over a fenceline the farmer and the forest lover can hug and cry together, pleased to see that each other has survived.

I have learnt that humans are kind and caring and helpful in times of crisis.

For all the creatures burnt to a crisp or asphyxiated I weep, for all that have survived and returned I rejoice.

 As the days go on there are turtles at the dam again, wallabies some not all of the tribe yet, there is rufous fantail and grey fantail , there is magpie singing the morning song and the evening song, the whip bird the kookaburra the wombat the boo book owl, crimson rosellas and yellow tail black cockatoos.

what will they eat? what is left for them now?

I pay homage to the ancestors guides allies , to the spirits of land and air and sea and fire, to the angels and wisdom voices ,to all that have supported protected held me in their embrace for all of You I give thanks and many blessings. 

I have a dream……. within this flame there is the possibility of Deep Change- effecting  renewal redemption salvation even – at the very least an opportunity to take stock  – to come clear about who we are and where we are – redesign how we think, how we build, how we create, what we need, what we can have, and who we Become.

x

practise as if your life depends upon it

Sunday in November

a visit with friends to the lily dam

large open yellow blooms

shiny green leaves

shield much of the water

receding in the onslaught of a dry dry  season.

 

they wave enthusiastically at the Sun

towered over by tall gums

bark peeling in strips and ribbons

reveals smooth grey white as if polished by loving hands

leaves, brown bleached and beige

green red purple and glazed,

are being shed to become crackle under foot.

 

the forest is different

open view in all directions

a moment of confusion

what was there before?

where did it all go?

 

how quickly evidence is removed

how fast the slow moving goanna cleans up the dead and decayed

how spritely the rufous whistler sings above our heads.

clouds offer little solace

rain is restricted to drops measured out as if in short supply

the temperature seems hotter than its numbers suggest.

 

too long we have relied upon science

and now at the end of that road

our intuition is atrophied 

our knowing is dormant 

our spirit is disengaged 

the Waking required for Wholeness calls for an effort for which we have had not been trained.

 

and Yet here we are ,

this is how it is.

muscle up

exercise the intuition

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

reach deep into the Knowing

it is there within every cell

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

give Spirit a run

its freedom to be

to determine

to guide

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

xx

in a nutshell

dear friends,

Time does its’ own thing, each of us within our cocoons play groan, weep and explore; diving deeply into resilience and fortitude to bear the goings on, the frustrations, the escalating horrors. Sometimes courage is easy and other days despair swamps us. How to maintain love and integrity.        I am not alone, You are not alone ; together we Are the greater sum of our parts . In consciousness – we find the keys, open the gates, harness resources, breathe into dimensions beyond the political sphere and honour the gift of incarnation upon Mother Earth at this time.

Exif_JPEG_420
echidnas near the wood pile – very shy , mating season

                                                                         

September 10 – October 14 : welcome to a snapshot of my world.

10. canny bush rat steals the soap

11. confused, ninety-two with new phone

12. no joy running when baby is sick

13. granddad sailor waiting for wind on the Hawkesbury

14.grey bush rat races along the curtain rings

15. hellooo, wombat pauses, thinks about it

16. fierce love, the young king turns nine

17. wisteria opens to honeyeaters bees and Rain

18. possums strip lemon tree, not happy

19. hard, says two-year-old practicing scissor cuts

20. school children invite union of hope

21. white ants flying, grey shrike thrush busy

22. the rainbow blanket hops onto the bed

23. youngest daughter deep into the inquiry

24. neither of us turn the radio on anymore

25. I am the bird Song of the Forest awakening

26. cumulus clouds sally across the valley

27. spotted neckties , two turtle doves drink at the tank

28. mile after mile after mile slaughtered carcasses

29. the ex is wearing a kilt

30. swallow egg shell greets me at the door

1. the forest slips free of the compartment

2. spring equinox has passed, no Stormbird

3. five medicine women swop notes on sunny verandah

4. king parrots snavel tiny peach buds

5. birthdays sugar and swings

6. facing extinction, not a pretty sight

7. main street quiet on holi-day Monday

8. at night frogs singing up Rain

9. shrike thrush pecks at the sunlight soap

10. a dry rainforest track coughs up one leech

11. young king goes out finds wombat has a chat

12. sea eagle watches seven women dance on sand

13. deep peace beneath a giant fig

14. airy fairy he said about Mother Earth

 

in love and light

SandRa x

Paradise Lost

 

 

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs
Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

I am kiwi born, the massacre of families in a Christchurch Mosque reached deep into my childSelf  that still retains vestiges of innocence.  I thought about the freedoms I was privy to, wandering the streets on foot and bike, disappearing for hours with mates ,challenging our bodies and the neighbourhood.  The only significant tragic event I could recall was the sinking of the Interisland ferry Wahine in Wellington Harbour in 1968 . A doosy of a storm that sent us home from school before it even started , of power cuts, ferocious winds and lashing rains.  A tree crashed onto my bedroom window bringing the fence down with it but not breaking the glass. Dad clung to a ladder with hammer and nails in an attempt to keep the roof on the carport.  Mum and I huddled together under blankets with my little transistor radio listening … many things went wrong for the Wahine that day when it met Cyclone Giselle and another stormfront at the entrance to Wellington harbour. The radar was disabled, it hit Barrett Reef, the starboard propeller broke, the hull got a hole, the port engine stopped and not all life boats could be utilised- 51 people died as a result. 

The sweet time of innocence and the brutality of the world I live in today, this I am grappling with – Paradise lost . In March of this year at two mosques in Christchurch as a result of  human hatred and blame 51 people have died.  Our poetry group held a vigil at Well Thumbed Bookshop, Cobargo and these two poems are my attempt ……

We are the same

Who claims to not know hatred?

to be all love and light,

who does not know the taste of hates dark arrows

or felt the spiked tongue of revenge.

Our confusion is many layered,

we cannot comprehend this heinous act

this violent crime,

shocked beyond comfort

silenced by despair

families are murdered

while in sacred prayer.

 

We struggle to understand

thrash around for probable cause

seeking blame and explanation

reviewing history policy and laws.

 

We are the same

you and I

you with your black face

your squint eye

your head scarf

your tats and piercings

your gender changes,

you with your faith

pagan catholic

jewish muslim

pentecostal faithless

you, all of you

we are same same .

 

Blood flows thru my veins as yours

we are born of Earth and return to Earth,

we breathe the same air,

we had mothers, fathers and cousins

milk teeth and porridge,

the same Sun looks down upon you as me

the same Stars light up our night sky and

the Wind comes for everybody.

But you,

you that has fostered hostility in your heart

cultivated malice in your mind,

you that dared to use your god given hands

to tear apart precious lives

you cannot be the same.

Mercy is not for you

we have much in common

this is true

except this

this vicious deed.

You are dead to us now

you extinguished your light

discarded your humanity

your kinship to us.

We turn our backs on you

open our hearts

to a community in mourning,

for all the lives ripped apart

we offer comfort and healing love.

there is no solace for you

because while hatred may visit we choose to desist,

we choose to care, to love and to hope,

we choose to Not Act with malicious intent

to not ever forget

that we are all kindness and all love.

amen

 

A stone thrown

One beautiful Friday

in a summer season beside the river Avon

when heads are bowed in devotion

and children dressed in their Sunday best

an evil appears and lives are taken.

Inside the mosque, a holy place

the community has come to pray

a walking nightmare holding a gun

shoots again again and again

blood, broken bodies and screams fracture the sacred day.

A stone thrown casts ripples in the pond

forcing us to confront the baseline of our kind,

the vindictive beast of hatred

festering in hearts carved with malevolent intent,

a long dark shadow spreads over Aotearoa and beyond.

Is forgiveness even possible?

this act paralysed our compassion

cast doubt upon empathy

cracked our hearts

eroded peace of mind

interfered with understanding

and uncomfortably reminded us

that some people

do not care for the children as we do.

The stone thrown casts ripples

this atrocity repeated

in many lands by evil hands

and we wonder how we can make this better?

And so we pray,

we pray that all people return to Honour and Respect

to Loving Kindness and Good Intentions.

we pray

we reclaim our humanity

reforge our Love

and rekindle the Flame of Divine Light within us all.

 

amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

…to make whole again

Consider the loaded dice aka climate change – which translated means too Many trees cut down, too Many rivers robbed, too Much poisons sprayed, too Many species dying, too Many angry people, too Much greed and lack of care, too Many mines, too Much wasteful irresponsible human activity. And so when we consider this, add in all the dire warnings from scientists then perhaps we could feel despair, disempowered, hopeless and sad.

And despite this or because of this all over the planet people are coming together to Make a difference. While it appears that the monster is unstoppable and rampaging out of control the reality is, that every time we choose to act responsibly consciously happily we make it pause falter and blink in confusion.

Within our despair lies empowerment, within our grief lies hope, within is the potential, the capacity for change, to Make good, to Make beauty, to Make whole again.

The story doing the rounds is all about sequestering carbon, not letting it go up and when it is up bringing it back down.  Charles Massey, farmer and author crunched the numbers and discovered … “regenerative agriculture is the number one method drawing down carbon dioxide and putting it away in the soil.” A shift in paradigm is not only possible but the more responsible of options available to us. Banish doom and gloom forecasts by supporting Nature and our Earth.  Charles goes on to suggest that “The urban population should be invested ( in climate action)  for both reasons of self interest – to have a much healthier life by eating healthier food – and doing exciting stuff to save the planet.” Here it is; the connection, the link , the empowerment, the means by which we can take charge and ameliorate the climate situation.

Become a HumanBeing invested in your home Planet by planting. Big or little doesn’t matter, one fruit tree or an orchard. A few tomatoes or a vegetable garden. Plant in pots, on balconies, on patios, on steps, in deserted lots, in towns, nature strips, parks, backyards, front yards, schools, hospitals, on rooftops. Let us learn from the weeds who demonstrate a determination to thrive against all odds.  May this grant us the courage and strength to copy this behaviour And plant something… anything… today …now… for our future.

potatoes

 

 

Some people are already doing it.

Will you join them?