really nationalism leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth

26 January is called australia day by some, invasion day by others depending on your perspective 
some just know it as a holiday which is really holy day when you think about it.
I  take the day seriously knowing that  around the country breakfasts are happening and speakers are pontificating.
I like to create ‘ something else ‘, an ‘other’ idea  and so we did
  thursday becoming the day of many laughs .
 
geoffrey rush was announced as man of the year,
a  yes for the arts and intelligent thought, for elder status and awareness.
what not to like about that recognition.
 
the flag waving sickens me in truth 
the flags on the cars, in front of  houses,
for crying out loud some guy in Bega had the aussie flag tattooed onto his arm beside the american flag his original country of citizenship.
I wish I could find all that cool
but really nationalism leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth.
why you might ask?
arent I proud to be an aussie?
no and that is no again.
 
 I would rather stand up for rivers and forests, for wombats and glossy black cockatoos
I would rather we celebrated  this planet earth the diversity and amazing tapestry of life
within which we co exist.
 
on that particular morning walking the forest track as we do, Kingston in his pram,  
I found a  kookaburra feather which  I placed at the gate to stand as  our flag .
a  yay for the winged ones and those that laugh.
 
later on when baby was sleeping we scrabbled the afternoon away 
punctuated by the usual controversy.
I even bought us a brand new scrabble dictionary at christmas time 
but  if anything it has intensified our disputes.
 
still they are the stuff families are made of,
of laughter and arguments,
of confusions and stories
of silliness and deep thought
of adventure and play.
 
on the day of many laughs we had a lot to celebrate
not the least the forest that inhabits us. 
 
 
 
 

in reality the blackberry is an awesome feat of engineering

dark of the moon, summer

grey day follows  grey day, the average temperature hovers around the early to mid 20’s

gardeners lamented early on about mould and damp rotting veges

now they complain about the slow ripening process.

we are eating minatures -mini zucchinis, mini green squash

we are eating voluminous quantities of purple king beans

the lebanese cucumbers are rolling off the vine and into kingston’s mouth who at 16 months munches them like an apple.

the greens continue to amass in a bowl every lunch time  a complex mix of bitter sweet and sour.

the tomatoes those lovelly  tiger stripey ones are not yet ready but we wait .

 

the blackberries are coming on happening in wild pockets in the garden

yesterday I picked a bowl full within sight of the house

they scratched and marked me  with their viscious thorns and their crimson juice.

authorities name them illegal and spray with poison

hating the  non conformity to straight and tidy lines

fearing  the wild chaotic and  hurtful nature.

in reality blackberry is an awesome feat of engineering

committed to vigorous growth and expansion

intent on delivering habitat and food.

hardy survivalists thumbing its nose at all efforts of control.

it offers us  juicy black berries rich of summer love and sunshine, of last nights rain and birdsong.

thru the power of alchemy the black berry bramble shares  its capacity to resist ,

the promise of  juicy rewards when we take the courage to penetrate our pain

and the selfless service we can give to others as providers of shelter and nourishment.

 

it is not just vitamin C and anti-oxidants

it is not just a problem

it is an entity of magic and renewal .

and hey we are eating them every day now.

 

 

somewhere it is monday

the air  is punch drunk with honey.
 in the dawning hours while the sun is still just a glimmer thru the forest and the sky is a milky canvas waiting for the final confirmation of day  I am watering the garden .
yellow bucket in one hand blue watering can in the other I fill them from the garden tank . 
already this day feels harder than yesterday, the soft grey has lifted  chased away by clarity. there is heat coming.
 watering over  I start to pull out the over grown apple mint shrubbery beside the tank .
the yellow robins arrive and perch sideways as they do,  on the rhododendron, the jacaranda,and watch , waiting  for the damp exposure of juicy tidbits.
it becomes a dance; I clear for a while and then move aside allowing them to dart to the ground and retrieve a worm.
head cocked worm in beak they fly off . I pull out more matted minty roots  until they catch my eye and I step back; like an orchestra we each have our parts to play.
we are in synch.
I started wondering if I was doing this for them or me?  
the sun has moved  higher into the tops of angophora stringybark monkey gum  grey box and they are glowing sunrise orange .
It is then that I am struck by  the scent of honey.
 a rich intoxicating perfume riding the whispers of breeze from the flowering mass in the angophoras thru the garden and up past the fine filaments of antennae in my  nostril. 
 twisted and contorted of shape the apple box gums  or angophora is an elder tree having the largesse to provide 
hollows for goanna possum and birds.
the  sun clears the forest and the garden opens to receive. 
somewhere it is monday .
here it is morning and the forest is alive and the air is heavy with honey blossoms.
 

making love is not all about sex you know…

 
 
today it is picking beans and the day before and the day before,
 purple king beans dangling purple strips hiding among the green heart-shaped leaves of the vine.
stretching up the wallaby proof fence  and onto the possum proof roof of our garden.
 after 20 plus years we folded succumbed or got smart and erected an enclosure to garden within to keep out our neighbours that love to eat what we eat .
not so our fruit trees, laden as they are or have been with peaches and nectarines and apples, of this we will taste none .
 the possums have the numbers and we their humble providers.
once we ate of our trees, once we bottled and puddinged and jammed and scoffed  and now the orchard has disappeared into a wattle forest.
the fruit trees around the house are the wild ones growing up from children thrown pips a mecca for the  birds and possums.
we ate one once, a possum. delicious .
ok look at me weird you cow eater you devourer of chicken you  vegetarian,
that likes all your food sanitised and wrapped disassembled from reality,
different when you get the hook out of the fishes mouth or when you skin and gut your dinner.
I am blessed to live with a hunter and he offers it to me already prepared .
but I have seen livers and intestines, I have seen fishes eggs and snail waste; I have not been hiding indoors all these years away from the intimate relationship between body and sustenance.
 
how is it we live on a planet and forget that our food is sourced from the earth?
 how is it that the factory and plastic wrapped is ok and the blood and dirt on our hands is disgusting?
give me the earth under my nails any day.
 give me the beans freshly picked, boiled  and now baking gently in the oven in oil garlic  chilli with tomato and feta.
oh yes give it to me.
give me the breath of this forest in my veges
 give me the suns warmest blessing and the rains staccato burst and the pips and whistles of the birds that I devour in each mouthful. 
and what about the salad I will pick now the leaves of lettuce of chicory of endive of rocket and mizuna, of beetroot and carrot,  of basil and parsley and chives  tossed with marigold and borage flowers.
give me this deep experience of making my lunch happen  measured in footsteps not miles.
 
making love is not all about sex you know
making love is a communion
 all things desire to commune with us.
it is just a matter of letting go really,
allowing the sun to caress the rain to tease
 allowing the body to ripen and open and deepen
allowing our selves to be  intimate
with our selves with earth with life
 
 

never minding us

a backgammon game is happening on the east verandah

John  Mick and a bottle of home brew.

usually john thrashes him and mick takes the beating with excellent humour .

he has not yet developed the strategies needed

to best John,

who gives no ground .

the wind is blowing thru the trees and the garden

leaves and sticks crackle and snap onto the roof.

strips of bark flap and tear off

 a whirling swirling  motion

a dance

an action of life exploring it Self.

tree creepers stab their beaks in  up and down the trunks

butterflies dip in and out of the buddleia flowers

black snake lying next to the water tank

a glistening coil in the sun.

water skinks play  chasing inside and outside

they wander along the bedroom window sill

climb the mud walls

scoot behind the stove and the wood pile

never minding us.

daddy long legs start to rebuild in the windows

following my cleaning .

little swamp wallaby rests under the shade of the lemon tree

eating the artichoke plants.

all things are going about their business

being their life

never minding us.

maybe you need tampons and deodorant

  I have just dug up potatoes
its great… stabbing the fork in the ground somewhere in the vicinity of the dried stalk
and unearthing a nest of  underground eggs.
my hands sifting thru the earth and pulling out a  dark purple potato and another one and another
until I have a basket full of promises of meals to come.
there is something very sensual about it .
some people will get it but  I guess others might even think that weird.
I mean we are so far into our own realities aren’t  we .
my reality contains  growing food
 and I have a song inside me for the veges and the herbs and the rain that waters them and the sun that grows them .
 
years ago I shared my menstrual blood with the garden
the children turned a blind eye 
my beloved encouraged me 
and the garden loved it. 
the connection deepened 
the earth and I became lovers 
sharing our juices with each other.
taking it too far perhaps???
 
what sort of union do you feel with this planet you live on? 
and do you even notice?
is it just a world to you ?
a life within a city of buildings jobs business credit cards  iPods and emails entertainment sex alcohol partying church sporting  buying  busy busy
inside walls inside cars  inside screens 
always inside always busy 24/7
maybe that is your reality .
maybe you need tampons and deodorant 
maybe you need labels and  insurance
maybe you have never ever thought about where you live why you exist and what you live on
and no I am not talking bout income.
 
ecstasy doesn’t just live in a pill
it inhabits raindrops and  ocean spray 
it is found on mountains  and in rivers
in gardens and forests
it inhabits wild creatures and sings thru the dawn chorus
it is in your fingertips and on your tastebuds.
all is an erogenous zone 
when you are the zone.
 
I gathered carrots and turnips and beans today
I weeded around rocket and beetroot and basil.
I have dirt under my fingernails 
and between my toes.
 it seems normal to me to be having an experience
with earth and sun and cloud and wallaby and tree and fern and rock and spirit. 
to talk to the wind to hear the reply.
 this morning I sang to the tomatoes and they moved gently in the no breeze in response to my loving tones
and now I am singing you.
 

first there was the door

                                                          
    it is hot 
   the house is in lockdown 
   the glasshouse is sealed off from the     
  lounge with thick ex british embassy   
  drapes.
  someone that used to be a friend got them .
  hard to imagine the brits in canberra  
  having a garage sale.
  maybe it was who you know knows  
  someone  and that someone said psst very 
  expensive thickly made blue swirls triple 
  lined are on the chuckout pile.
  they went to a house in canberra where 
  they were way too long for the windows.
  they are a 4m drop for crying out loud and 
  I knew as soon as I saw them that they had been made for our room .
       funny thing is when john was building the house from the ground up with mudbricks the walls had to be a certain height because  of a  door as in our front door. wooden  with a frosted glass window above  and in the middle of the frosting  a sword and shield. blue and gold perfect colours for the curtains that arrived many years down the track.  and that is why I call it a castle because of the height because of the sword and because it carries a medieval vibe about it.  mud walls mud floor secondhand windows and the beams sourced from this forest.
      a handmade house created lovingly over 2 years by John after he chucked in the city the business the bullshit and chose a life within nature.