I had another poem in mind, but I found this one first…It seems appropriate as the Australian Government is being forced to close Manus Island refugee detention camp – not that they plan to exercise any mercy if they can help it. I’m not sure if that is forgivable…it’s certainly not excusable.
Give me compassion
Big enough to forgive
Those who have none.
Heart of Compassion,
Give me the power of love.
Burn out my ego –
It’s better to burn out
Than fade away-
But either will do
For my ego.
Burn out my obscurations!
Fade away my false self!
Empty me of everything
But Peace and Love and Empathy.
If only governments could be emptied of ego, obscurations and falseness, and filled instead with compassion. I can dream…
The first photo is a drive-by shot with my old phone during a hailstorm – very obscure! then we have a crystal from a broken chandelier, and last, the rainbow light that the sunshine summons from a faceted crystal, always so pure and beautiful, I can’t help but fetch a camera if I have the chance.
I wrote this short poem years ago, and I wish it wasn’t relevant any more…
“Peace!” is my battlecry,
With love I taunt my enemies,
And when they writhe in travail
on the floor,
I ache with empathy.
The images here are from an artist book I made with an inspiring quote from Ian MacKaye,and the last one from an altered book. I learned about the concept (and reality)of dominator culture through reading Derrick Jensen‘s book, A Language Older Than Words. It was a challenging read, but well worth it.
I came across this poem in an old notebook, and decided I should release it into the world…A few ideas have come together in this one, and it’s not actually “me” speaking, but I think it’s quite fun if a little impolite…
Oh how I love you
Lord of my Dance,
I bring for you
A bowl of warm milk;
I will also tell you
Are not food –
Unfit for consumption;
And that you
Should not be
I will also remind you
That they were intended –
Somewhat fancifully –
To prevent erotic thoughts;
Unhelpful for a love god
If you didn’t know, it is the custom in India where Lord Shiva is worshiped, to pour milk over the sacred lingam, which is a symbol of the energy and potential of the god himself. Cornflakes, on the other hand are made from twice-cooked toasted corn, created by Dr Kellogg as a source of dietary fibre, which he believed would protect young lads from wanting to please themselves, if you know what I mean… I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work!
The politics of this country is a sore point with me, more so than usual, as it is, I’m sure, for every disgruntled idealist, so I’m sharing a sort-of political poem this week. (I just typed “plotical” for “political’, which may well be a Freudian slip…) Please note that I use the term”anarchists” in the ancient sense that humans are able to behave decently (with peace, love and empathy) without needing rules imposed on them to do so. The more modern bomb-lobbing type misused the word to put themselves outside of the law and also the common decency originally implied…
Transcendental misfit poets
Wild softhearted anarchists
Strike a blow and strike a chord
With a paradox absurd.
what’s the point and what’s the matter?
Smug complacency must shatter.
I suspect that creativity and art are the way to go in countering dominator culture. “Fighting” it is just joining in, so that doesn’t work.
“Ah, the dreamers ride against the men of action, Oh see the men of action falling back…”
The images I’ve used are from mixed-media artists books I’ve made.
Back this week with my altered book, “Escape”. I am almost at the end of it, but not quite. The list on this page comes from Martha Beck’s book “The Joy Diet”, which has almost nothing to do with food, and everything to do with living a joy filled life (which is not necessarily the same as being happy all the time). All the original text was obliterated with two colours of acrylic house paint (sample pots rule!), and I’ve painted swirls of various colours of watercolour over the top of it. A bird sticker, from Kikki-K, completes the decoration, and then I wrote the list with a sharpie, using a playful style of lettering.
The following page, also painted over, has an image torn from an art magazine stuck in the centre. I added earplugs and another skull to illustrate the ideas, plus a thought about Creativity versus Duty, which is my constant bugbear. There is quite a lot of colour on this page, but in random blocks, unlike the swirls on the previous page.
On this page of my altered book “Escape”, I covered most of the text with half a torn big yellow sticker, and wrote my opinion about opinions over it with a black sharpie pen…I added a stamp of a bird cage and a smudge of paint down the outer edge. I left the words -“mother” and “Yes” because I am a mother of five, amongst other things.
The next page is much softer in style and content – I do want to have harmony and some consistency in a book like this, but also contrasts and variety, otherwise it would be boring. And we don’t want that!
Most of the original text is again covered up, but this time with a sheet of handmade paper, and the notes-to-self concern my dream of opening a craft cafe, and the desire to experience live music as often as possible…The text at the top of the page I adjusted a little to suit the theme – and the final sentence was already fitting – so I have repeated it for emphasis. Of course I must open it! Just have to figure out all the details….
The next page looks rather messy and unresolved, I think…A print from a carved stamp coloured with watercolour paints, and a couple of commercial stamps for decoration. The paper is not the best for the watercolours, but it is bright and cheerful, obscuring the text, which isn’t.