Notes from the Fire Siege

[Just a few random, fleeting notes from the ongoing fire catastrophe here in Australia, east coast, a complex product of climate chaos, drought, two centuries of white land mismanagment (agribiz) and the consumer growth-economy of industrial capitalism. How many catastrophes do we need, I still wonder, before we connect the dots, and act together to change the system leading us to the abyss. Photo by Adam Stevenson.]

Notes from the Fire Siege (New Year-January 2019-20)

Can’t walk the dog. Refuses to wear a mask.

Now even the air and sunlight are man-made, and very ugly.

It’s a clear day: I can see 100 metres.

The smoke prefers three colours: office-grey, sulphur-orange, despair-black.

The megafire makes its own weather. It dry-thunders and prefers its raindrops black.

We’re having a catastrophe, but are we getting its meaning?

How many catastrophes do we need?

Every morning you’re a sailor: checking wind direction.

On the news an atheist firemen says he is now praying.

Will these megafires only be our Hell, or could they be our Purgatory?

The siege has its flirtatious rhythms of approach and stall. No retreat, because fires can’t.

Before an approach a dream: embers under our trees, sudden beauty of a sky-high fire column.

How surprisingly easy to let go of a lifetime’s collection of things: books, artworks, furniture.

Choosing which few paperbacks to pack. Two small piles: a few favourite poets, a few favourite mystics.

Then packing up documents, photos, hard drive. They’ll go later. With the name they gave you.

Should I take, for my son and grandsons, some practical DIY books: farming, energy, building?

37, one son, at my first catastrophe (Chernobyl). Then: rage at the order-givers, centering, liberation to act.

70, two grandsons, at my second catastrophe. Now: lack of interest in the order-givers, complicity, equanimity to act.

As with the Chernobyl Cloud, again material proof of One World: our smoke in NZ, our ash coating the Andes.

‘If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero.’ Or help organize a revolution.

In the waiting fire bucket: a drowned mouse.

‘Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending…’ ecocidal capitalism.

‘It is too late to leave.’ But never the System.

The new utopia: clean air, blue skies, expanding forests, sound of water, stillness, slowness, silence.

Another dream: met Greta, organised meeting, got on like a house on fire.

Columns of fleeing fire refugees kindly helped, welcomed. Will we do the same for the refugees on Manus and Nauru, from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, from drowning islands?

Updating Beckett: Godot is a fire tsunami.

Over 500 m wild animals, whole species lost. The evolved Australian ecosphere has collapsed. What will replace it?

Consumerism = conflagration. Ever more ends in ever less, right down to the smoking ruins.

The violence of this disaster is the violence hidden in the luxury good and elite policy.

Beforehand, in some: complicity guilt.

Afterwards, in all: survivor guilt.

In destroyed Cobargo for his photo op, the PM is called an idiot, told to piss off. At last, vox populi, vox dei.

These fires’ carbon will breed more fires, another vicious demonic circle like arctic melting.

And now in heat and smoke the angophora is blooming its big, white, bee-intoxicating bouquets!

At the town meeting to discuss survival plans. Looking for jokes and cold water.

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on January 4, 2020.

One Response to “Notes from the Fire Siege”

  1. well…hopefully the fire tsunami/godot won’t arrive either…

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