Category Archives: Poetry

Ground

Ground is what lies beneath our feet. It is the place where we already stand; a state of recognition, the place or the circumstances to which we belong whether we wish to or not. It is what holds and supports us, but also what we do not want to be true; it is what challenges us, physically or psychologically, irrespective of our hoped for needs. It is the living, underlying foundation that tells us what we are, where we are, what season we are in and what, no mater what we wish in the abstract, is about to happen in our body, in the world or in the conversation between the two.

 David Whyte, from ‘Consolations

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In their branches

The ABC Radio National Earshot Documentary ‘In their branches‘ tells us about people’s love of trees. These are true expressions of intimacy and joy. Here are some images of the trees I love, climb and dream of.

IMG_2316 Jigal at B IMG_1750 IMG_1723 IMG_1650 Twisted Titree 922ac-img_2492

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Sustaining Oral Tradition

Stephen Muecke writes the preface for Stuart Cooke’s edition and translation of George Dyuŋgayan’s Bulu Line: A West Kimberley Song Cycle, which also appears in the Cordite Poetry Review (20 Oct 2014, see: Sustaining Oral Tradition: A Preface to Bulu Line: A West Kimberley Song Cycle).

Muecke writes,

The complex process of translation spelled out by Bulu Line: A West Kimberley Song Cycle – from a spirit being to Dyuŋgayan to Roe and Butcher Joe, to Ray Keogh to Stuart Cooke; from Nyigina to Broome English to Australian English; from oral production supplemented with gestures and sand drawings via tape recorders and notebooks to alphabetic script printed on paper – reinforces the idea that translation is emphatically never about reducing the number of mediations, nor indeed facilitating the transfer of meaning.

I am reminded of my own process of watching stories translate between contexts and materialities in my own research. These stories of being with, performed on country, move through. They might offer a moment of fixedness/stability (Frans; Law 2004), otherwise, they draw on metaphor to metamorphose and translate into new forms, including oral stories. Just like the rainbow serpent creator beings that are said to have shaped parts of the Australian continent, stories too ‘dive and reappear in new places’ (Emerson in Levin 1999, p. 3). Stories make themselves visible in one manifestation or another: in country and through storytelling, before they disappear or transform into some other materiality: into transcripts, conversations of remembrance and onto paper. Following stories and metaphors as they reveal themselves as actors in my research, my task as the researcher is to ‘… seek to understand, and to watch what they’re up to’ (Nicholls 2013, p. 42). There can be no prior assumptions about what these actors do; as John Law (2004) states, actors as entities ‘… are not given, [instead] they emerge in relations [with other actors]’ (p. 102).

References:

Dyungayan, G & Cooke, S 2014, Bulu Line: A West Kimberley Song Cycle, Puncher &​ Wattmann, Glebe.

Law, J 2004, After Method: mess in social science research Routledge, Oxon.

Levin, J 1999, The poetics of transition: Emerson, pragmatism, and American literary modernism, Duke University Press, Durham, N.C.

Nicholls, A 2013, ‘Paper work’, Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, vol. 12, pp. 40-3.

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Dark clouds and dust lanes

Web

In a web,

Dewdrops,

like jewels of insight,

allow life

and stories

to spring forth.

But,

what about the spaces

in                   between?

What is lurking

in the interstices?

 

Within the dark clouds and dust lanes

of the Milky Way,

the black space

between the glimmering stars,

Dwells a being.

Some call him Marella,

 

There is always something

in those spaces

in          between.

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Evolutionary Intelligence

Evolutionary Intelligence
Rumi
 
This groggy time we live, this is what it is like.
A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived, and he dreams
he is living in another town.
He believes the reality of the dream town.
 
The world is that kind of sleep.
The dust of many crumbled cities
settles over us like a forgetful doze,
but we are older than those cities.
 
We began as a mineral. We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state. Then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we almost
remember being green again.
 
Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream.
 
It will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are. 

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Light on the mountain

IMG_2880

As I walked,

I asked there to be light,

so the shadows

would not consume me.

On this shortest day,

a low hanging sun

could not peak above the trees.

But, somehow

a light was shone,

illuminating the white bark of a gum.

To encounter this light,

was to find an opening,

and to feel heard.

Later, in a dance with the tors,

she returned.

Although the shadows grew long,

as the sun

dropped

behind the arms of the mountain,

there was

a final gift

of light.

“Remember this”

resonated

within me.

Opening into,

and out of,

shadowy places,

a light within.

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Uncovering silences and bringing forth

Image

Words unformed;
they linger
and dwell in
feeling,
somewhere inside me.
You ask me,
tell me about your being with this place?
and things shift.
Words summoned,
they move
and clumsily,
emerge.
I don’t realise
until
the
words
come
out
what my being with
is.
I meet my being with
as the words pass
from my
lips.
From life in the
somatic realm
to
life on the
outside,
my being with and I, and we
emerge.

 

Image: David Millard.

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