The subjects presenting themselves for versification this November are mostly terribly grim.
November verse 5: 11 November 2019
Remembrance Day, a minute's silence
hands on hearts, a solemn show
of mourning for state-sanctioned violence
in Flanders Field, so long ago.
Tomorrow, we're told, catastrophic
fires will rage. But, philosophic,
poppy-sporting pollies say,
'Honestly, not today'
to talk of climate change. December
will be soon enough, or June,
to do it now you'd be a loon.
In fifty years, will we remember
(those surviving) hand on heart,
who steered this bound-for-hell handcart?
I have mature native trees on the way out..not to mention a couple of jacarandas..and have other compulsions for verse..scared stiff that our underground water will vanish.You give me a bit of heart..a city dweller worried about the situation ..most don’t even know that we exist beyond the sandstone curtain.
The Orange Tree
I water the orange tree
with water bailed from the bath,
the bucket(broken handle)
balanced on my hip.
I water the orange tree,
not for its fruit
(too sour even for marmalade)
but because the wagtails have nested there
and because I need the optimism of blossom on this bitter air
Love to Ruby
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Your verse made me cry, Anne. Until now I’ve just been watching the news in numb horror. Wagtails and optimism! I hope your trees, and you, survive this ordeal.
Jonathan I wrote this piece below to a Sydney Morning Herald article yesterday or the day before. It seems to fit with the current situation – an out-of-control federal government totally not listening to its citizens. And Anne’s “Watering the Orange Tree” totally captures the poignancy and heartbreak of it all…
I’m out of the country travelling in the Caucasus. To-day in far north-west Georgia up from Mestia and close to the Russian border – below the country’s highest peak – 5,200 metres – our guide speaking of the retreat over the past 20 years of the glacier giving birth to the important Enguri River – and the young forests growing up in that place – all around – which simply did NOT exist before (when too cold) – climate change and global warming a strong indicator here. The current Aussie Deputy PM a clear denialist – should be sacked – and as for politicians’ “thoughts and prayers” – well – those hollow words are already being called out – and any further utterance should attract a gaol term as far as I am concerned. Among the 30+ elderly Australians with whom I am travelling – one – a week ago – told me that Greta Thunberg’s addressing of the UN Assembly was a kind of travesty – there’s always been climate change – Blah! Blah! Blah! I was surprised that a traveller could be so blind to the evidence in front of his face – but noted that to-day on the trip to the glacier’s edge he did not go! Protecting himself like most politicians who do not allow information too come to them – plausible deniability I think it’s called! What a world! It’s time to hand over fire management – not only to the fire-fighters – but to those Indigenous people who still retain the knowledge of what and how to burn.
Go for it, Jim. There’s something profound in there about evidence and entrenched position. I remember discussions of the virtue of faith in my religious days: whereas now faith is understood to be about belief in god as opposed to non-belief, in times when non-belief was unthinkable faith meant something different, something like a decision to makes god central to one’s life. Maybe it’s like that with climate change: at some level we all know it exists, like gravity and bacteria, but some people make an act of anti-Faith.
Thanks Jonathan – I understand exactly what you say from my own days of absolute fundamentalist faith and belief.
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