Well, Yes and No

•April 14, 2019 • 3 Comments

[Recent philosophical poem. The weed-wall image is another phone photo from Katoomba, at the back of Woolworths. I think the weed is fleabane.]

Well, Yes and No

Yes is
new grass, weeds
babies
Whitman

No is
money, death, a wall
a judge’s wig
the news

Yes
includes No

No
does not include Yes

Yes
in rags, naked,
knocks on the door of No
when you least expect it

No
just goes on forever
like a bad conversation
like television

Yes
does
not mind
this

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Here it is now

•April 9, 2019 • 3 Comments

[Recent haikuesque poem written in a cafe during a great week at a poets’ workshop in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. Photo from my Galaxy J8 phone.]

Here It Is Now

this brick wall
auratic, crowned
with morning light

middleclass early walkers,
highviz men
off to work

thickening silence around
passing school bus,
pop music propping this café

light on teaspoon, on
quivering brown tea surface,
on table my hat, sculpted

Breastfeeding Welcome Here
sign half-torn on glass door
mirroring my half-head mirage

saving ourselves through nature

•April 8, 2019 • 3 Comments

‘Simple’ really. Enjoy, folks. Peter

Three/Four Haiku 2

•March 5, 2019 • 3 Comments

[Three more nature haikus, with a fourth as a second version of the third haiku in only 9 instead of 17 syllables like the rest. Some say English haikus in 9-12 syllables are more like the classical Japanese in 17. Perhaps even more than other poetry, the space or Spacious Awareness, the pause, the breath is important. Maybe try reading slowly, each line on the outbreath, then pausing at the end of a line and being conscious of that silent, still Space without thought until the in-breath returns by itself and out of that still space you read the next line. Make an even longer pause before reading the first line of the next haiku. The image is again a Zen reed study of Form-Emptiness, simply done with my phone camera. This one is for Kyoko.]

Laden fall pear tree:
Bird alights just above
Leaning laden gun

Guarded against foxes,
A field hen, entranced, cocks head
To smartphone music

Graceful, easily
The old leaf falls into mouths
Of moist, hungry soil

Graceful, easily
The brown leaf
Falls

Three Haiku 1

•March 3, 2019 • 5 Comments

[Recent haiku. Only keeping to the classic 5-7-5 syllable form. ‘Haiku’ image studies of reeds at our dam, shot with Samsung J8 phone.]

Thunder rolling off:
Breathbody now electric
With lightning and life

Bleeding hand among thorns
Not disturbing spider’s web:
The last blackberry!

Mist rolling tree tops:
Bird staccato amplified,
Spacious stillness too

Global Climate Strike March 15: please join!

•February 16, 2019 • 2 Comments

[School kids all over the world, inspired by Swedish Greta Thunberg’s courageous single example (our new Rosa Parks?), have been striking and demonstrating since last November in many countries with calls for drastic climate action. This March 15 they have called for a first global, coordinated strike, and also asked adults to support them and participate. Given the possibility of looming climate chaos and even extinction, I’ve advocated a General Strike for Life for many years. Maybe we’re moving there. Time to down tools and devices, stop the worst, talk about social alternatives to an ecocidal, unjust and oligarchic global system. Please join the global-local movement on March 15. Please pass on the word to others. Texts taken from Germanos at Common Dreams (1) and a letter I got from the Australian organizers (2).]

1. The world may be edging toward “environmental breakdown”—but 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg sees signs for hope.
Pointing to global walkouts planned for March 15, Thunberg—whose “school strikes for climate” helped galvanized similar actions worldwide—said, “I think what we are seeing is the beginning of great changes and that is very hopeful.”

“I think enough people have realized just how absurd the situation is,” she told the Guardian. “We are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history and basically nothing is being done to prevent it.”

In a sign of that realization, thousands of students from dozens of communities across the United Kingdom skipped class on Friday to join the ranks taking part in the weekly climate actions.

In fact, it’s “incredible” that the movement “has spread so far, so fast,” she told “Good Morning Britain.”
Explaining the start of her own interest in the issue, she told the hosts, “Once you fully understand the meaning of the climate crisis, you can’t un-understand it; then you have to do something about it.”

She acknowledged that such actions mean kids missing school time, but, she countered, “Why should we be studying for a future that soon may not exist anymore and when no one is doing anything to save that future?”

Because “this is like slightly breaking the law… then it will have a huge impact [because] people will see it and think that this is important,” she said.

On Twitter, Thunberg also refuted British Prime Minister Theresa May’s assertion that the children on school strikes are “wasting lesson time.”

“That may well be the case,” she wrote Friday. “But then again, political leaders have wasted 30 yrs of inaction. And that is slightly worse.”

[US]Stateside, some observers see hope for addressing the climate crisis in the recently introduced Green New Deal, and the U.S. actions set for next month are aimed at buoying that and other legislative tactics to reign in global warming.

In a call-to-action, the teen organizers behind the U.S. youth climate strikes write, “We are at a turning point in history. Our futures are at stake. We call for radical legislative action to combat climate change and its countless detrimental effects on the American people. We are striking for the Green New Deal, a fair and just transition to decarbonize the U.S. economy, and other legislative action that combats the effects of climate change.”

“We stand in solidarity with Greta Thunberg and all youth strikers worldwide as we demand action on this issue,” they wrote.

“We are running out of time, and we won’t be silent any longer,” they continue. “We, the youth of America, are striking because our present and future on this planet are at stake. And we are determined to do something about it.”

2. Dear Peter,

To everyone who cares about a safe climate future, this is your invite to join our School Strike 4 Climate – students standing up when our politicians won’t.

Sign-up for a March 15 #ClimateStrike near you today.*

Australia is in the thick of the climate crisis. Prolonged drought is crippling farming communities. Flash flooding is creating chaos in cities. Catastrophic bushfires and severe cyclones are threatening people’s homes. Heatwaves are sweeping the nation. Half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead.

At the same time, mining giant Adani is promising to start digging a new coal mine to open up one of the largest untapped coal reserves on Earth, vocally backed by our Federal politicians who are ignoring the majority of us who want them to #StopAdani and tackle dangerous climate change.

A Federal Election is around the corner but our politicians have lost touch with us – the people they are meant to represent!

As school students, we’re sick of being ignored. We’re sick of our futures being turned into political footballs. We feel sick when we see and hear about the climate impacts that are already devastating people and communities here and overseas.

So, on March 15, we’re walking out of school to tell our politicians to take all of us seriously and treat climate change for what it is: the biggest threat to our generation and generations to come.

Tens of thousands of students across Australia and around the world will join us. Will you be there to stand with us shoulder to shoulder?

Everyone is invited. If you’re an adult, we hope you’ll take the day off in solidarity with us to help make 2019 a turning point in Australian climate politics.

There has never been a more urgent time to take to the streets to show our politicians that we won’t stop until they do what it takes to stop climate change.

See you to strike for a safe climate on March 15!

With hope,
School Strikers for Climate Action

PS – Please invite friends to join you on March 15 by forwarding this email!
PPS – Don’t see a strike in your community and want to help organise one? Check out our resources page.

Evolution: Realising our true identity

•February 8, 2019 • 3 Comments

[Another bit from my work-in-progress on interpreting Evolution, big bang to now. Dialectical, ‘philosophical’, evolution as spiritual. Photo of sunlight on stream I recently took near here: light-dark, vision-blindness, constant change, no-self-in-Flow….]

THE DIALECTICS OF EVOLUTIONARY GENTLING AND ENLIGHTENMENT

As cosmos, solar system, planet, we gradually calm down as over billions of years our levels of intense heat and cataclysmic explosions and collisions decline down from the supreme energy intensity of our beginnings in the big bang or big bounce singularity.

On Earth our first Hadean geological epoch is one of intense, constant bombardment. This is our primal cosmic birth trauma as planet. However, thereafter these cosmic impacts tend to decline in frequency and soon bacterial Life arises and begins the long evolutionary process of gentling, of creating ‘Goldilocks’ conditions and making our Earth home a more life-accommodating and life-enhancing place.

At the same time, life evolves under the constant stimulus of catastrophe as the cataclysms of cosmos (meteors, asteroids) and geology (plate tectonic drifting and rifting, volcanism, earthquakes) cause mass extinctions, shift ecosystems, wipe slates clean for new experiments and creative adaptations. The terrible Trickster of chaos may often let a new Prometheus of order emerge.

As wind, water, lichen, bacteria, fungi, insects we weather down hard rocks into soft soils. Our detritus and death enhance our life, our individual competition and devouring serve the higher pattern of planetary cooperation and symbiosis that is the Ecosphere.

As plants we green and soften bare earth; we move from being hard ferns, horsetails and conifers to the more ethereal, aromatic and soft-petalled forms of the angiosperms. We are literally flowering into a softer world of eating and being eaten.

However, this lighter, softer beauty may only be skin-deep. For as flowering plants we develop not only pollinator attractants but also new and potent toxics to deter or kill our predators and to out-compete our gymnosperm predecessors which lack such chemical weapons.

As animals, perhaps beginning with worms, we now ‘enlighten’ further as we evolve upwards, headwards, brainwards in a process science calls ‘encephalisation’.

Compared to amphibians, as some reptiles we begin to develop straighter legs and lift our bellies higher off the ground. Already as reptiles, perhaps earlier, we also begin to care for our eggs and offspring. As birds we lose our hard scales and grow soft feathers and as mammals we lose scales, grow soft fur, and our milk-giving mothers and their young ones have longer, closer, more intensive attachments. Play becomes essential to our infant development.

As pack animals we learn to cooperate more within the ongoing hard context of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’. Our increased cooperation can also be for brutal, more efficient killing: big cats, hyenas, wolves, killer whales.

As primates all this gentling further intensifies as we grow soft hands with which we now grasp the world and each other instead of ramming our claws into it or just padding along the ground. Our hands enable a much more intimate and differentiated communication with each other and the world.

We are tuning in to subtler levels of feeling and perception. Cooperation, mutual grooming, maternal nurture and infant play in prolonged dependency further intensify, as do our internal lives and personalities.

However, this differentiating interiority and consciousness moving beyond instinctual responses can also mean the increasing possibility of disassociating, of more internal disturbance, dysfunction, more pathology or neurosis. We can now develop ‘pain bodies’, dysfunctional behavioural patterns that have sedimented out from painful, traumatic early experiences.

Monkey mothers may now not know instinctively how to nurture their offspring, setting up karmic cycles of dysfunction. As chimpanzees we can now ostracise and wage brutal war against our own kind.

As hominids and humans we continue the ‘encephalising’, ‘enlightening’ upward movement by increasing brain size and standing upright on two legs. Our earth-bound sense of smell diminishes as our more abstract sense of sight increases: photon interpretation becomes as important as pheromone interpretation.

Leaving the shelter of the trees, standing ever more upright, we ‘en-lighten’ as we begin to look upwards towards the light and outwards towards far horizons. Our faces become gentler and more feminine, with smaller jaws, smooth foreheads and more expressive eyebrows.
More aware of far horizons, becoming ever more aware of our own brainy inner horizons, we transform the hard realities of biology into the gentler, immaterial and mind-ful realities of culture. Ideally, the body and genes are not suppressed or eliminated but rather transformed and transcended in the new evolutionary dimension of culture, memes, of Mind.

The instincts are now rhythmically channelled and transformed in dance, ritual, language, symbol, myth. Already as Palaeolithic hunters and gatherers we self-domesticate ourselves, humanise ourselves out of the pure wild. With chant and dance and story we integrate, transform and transcend our ex-and internal cosmic and biological rhythms, body into Mind, nature into culture.

And, again in an evolutionary dialectic, this self-domestication and humanization can also mean greater dysfunction, pathology and cruelty.

Culture, young and fearfully insecure in an overwhelming universe, can try and repress its source in nature, biology, body. Mind, becoming increasingly egoic, can try and dominate Life. As culture increasingly differentiates and complexifies, we can start to live mainly in our own symbolic and language worlds, in our personal stories and dramas, in our own mind representations, our egos.

We can now kill and be killed for perceived individual or collective loss of face or egoic status, for a story, concept or symbol like a belief system, a nation or flag, for the status and power-over others associated with class, wealth, possessions, money.

Thus emerging, rising and/or falling into Time, into Ego, both collective (tribal) and/or individual, we can increasingly ‘forget’ our true identity: Being, Presence, Origin, spacious Awareness.

Then, if living, or rather dreaming-sleeping, totally within our language and thought worlds, separated from the real world of the timeless Now, and with all our true Presence and Awareness seemingly gone, we suffer existentially, we are totally unconscious, we are ‘normal’ and insane.

Our external cultures and institutions will express some of this insane normality in oppressive structures, exploitation, cruelty, militarism and war. This has been a not inconsiderable part of human history.

Now, at this critical point in evolution, growing minorities of us are increasingly emerging into another gentling, another enlightenment.

We, the embodied universe becoming self-conscious of itself as Matter, Life and Mind, are increasingly beginning to realize our true identity beyond Matter, Life and Mind, beyond our false identification with these as ego: the ineffable spacious Awareness we have always been, the timeless Now within which all things light and dark, all things gentle and cruel, all universes are arising, evolving, passing.