Post Fire Haiga 2


By the way, I didn’t rip this growing beauty from the earth. I found it on our driveway and moved it to this piece of bark for the photo. There are a number of different fungi at last. Including these:

They are growing near the mycelium of Pyronema Omphalodes, the fungi that only fruits after fire. Is this the fruit? Anyone know? Please leave a comment.

While Weeding and Staking Seedlings

With my hands in earth
my heart in my hands 
my heart in my hands in earth 
that fed me for many a year. 

My soul would lie down here and sleep. 
Surely my great weariness 
would seep out into this good earth.
Stars would wheel across the sky, 
perhaps a late and waning moon. 
And in the morning, the sun would rise 
and I would turn my face towards it 
like a plant. I would rise refreshed 
having dreamt the dreamings of the land. 

But in the meantime it is enough 
to feel its grit between my fingers
to blacken my nails with it. 
I pull weeds and stake the seedling trees. 
With my hands in earth, attached as they are 
to my wounded heart, I listen. 
I hear myself apologising for the acts 
of human kind. I apologise for being human. 

But the earth answers:  
Humans are part of what I am.
Humans have a right to be here. 

Humans are part of my whole. 
They just need to come back to me. 
They need to lie on me and feel their true place:
that they are one small species among many
that the earth owes them nothing and gives everything
that earth is their mother and earth will 
receive their bodies when they die
and because of that, they need not hurry 
nor worry

nor tangle their thoughts about tomorrow.
They simply need to lie down here and close their eyes. 
Let the moon shine and the stars light their nightly piss. 
In the morning, the sun will rise 
and they will turn to face it like plants 
and they will know their place
in the scheme of things. 

Just back from a little non-essential travel

Except maybe it was essential. We managed to squeeze two nights camping in before things get too tight. And I assure you it was good for my mental health.

Hand held, as far as I could twist, hence the horizon tilt.

We went to one of our favourite spots, a conservation park near Keith. This movie is of dawn on a little hilltop which has been saved from mining by a rare native mint bush. The park includes disused quarries and the first night night some hoonie types making skids and dust. They were not isolating, is my guess, but they were having fun.

Strange times we are living in. I can’t bear the face of our Prime Minister. That’s part of why we ended up camping because we didn’t hear his speech about parks closing. Lucky weren’t we! A ranger came but because there were only two of us and because nobody camps there much, he let us stay. He was such a nice man. He would have loved to see Solastalgia the exhibition. I showed him the beginning of my poem before it cut out from lack of data, and he took the address so that he could watch it later. We had been talking about interconnection from a distance of about three metres. Social distancing is larger at the best of times out there.

There’s no Covid19 in Keith yet. No toilet paper either. But there were cleaning products.

Mostly we are ok. A bit up and down. I noticed while camping a slight distance from beauty that used to feel when I was depressed. But nowhere near as bad or as often. And I have tools these days.

I’m a bit worried about other people though. The situation is a bit like a trauma for lots of people, because there is so much fear. Granted, we are yet to see the worst of it, here in Australia, but I wonder if the degree of fear is sensible. Fear is insidious. Wariness is great, carefulness is absolutely necessary, but fear is really bad for your health, especially over long periods. It can become PTSD that way. I think the obsessiveness of it is lifting. It must. Some humour coming back into social media, I’m pleased to note.

It’s really important to take care of your health. Get some exercise, preferably enough to raise a sweat, it releases those endorphins. Do nice stuff, watch nice stuff. Enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can. Remember your mind is not caged. This is a recipe for all times of course, but especially now.


The performance poem I wrote for the exhibition, Solastalgia, at Fabrik, in Lobethal. More details about this series of exhibitions, here.

The drawing is mine, drawn with charcoal from my burnt home. It ended up being about 13 metres long on the beautiful wall of this gallery. It is as ephemeral as my home apparently was, and will be washed off that wall eventually. But all kudos to Melinda Rankin (director of Fabrik) for facilitating it.

Also kudos to all of the people involved in the exhibition, especially Jo Wilmot (creator of Solastalgia, The Exhibition) and Evette Sunset who said I mentored her when it was the other way around. We all learn from each other anyway, so who needs labels.

Thanks to my good friend David Salomon of Simply Splendid Productions for recording and creating this movie.

Charcoal Drawing With No Name (detail)

Unexpected Lecture on Global Warming from a Bird

This morning a Brown Treecreeper 
tapped on the window. 
‘Wake up!’ he said. 
But I was already awake because 
he’d been tapping on the mirror 
of the van in which I’d been sleeping 
since it was light enough to see.

Perhaps you don’t know the Brown Treecreeper.
He hops around on the ground,
quite game, pecking at goodness knows what,
tiny things, insects, ants.
And he shimmies up tree trunks with his weird legs
as if there was no such thing as gravity.

Anyhow, when he tapped on the window beside my face,
he said, ’Wake up! It’s time to wake up.’
And added, as if it was unimportant,
‘Wake up to this beautiful world.
Save it. Save us. Save yourself.’