Category Archives: environment

Disordered In Fact – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Seasonal – 5 Lines

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Photo: unsplash.com

 

Disordered In Fact

We agreed on this much,
that the seasons were changing, disordered in fact,
more snow, more rain, more heat than before,
new seasons were evolving,
but, out of fear, we chose ignorance over facts.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

25 Comments

Filed under environment, Five Lines, Free Verse, life, nature, poem, seasons

Moment Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Conviction – Word of the Day

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Photo: http://www.usnews.com

 

Moment Of Truth

The gavel goes down,
all rise comes the cry,
shuffling and scraping we ascend,
till the judge once seated,
approves our descent.
Now in session,
we move to our fate,
a judgement,
guilty or not?
The defendant is humanity
surely a term redundant?
denial its only ploy.
The prosecution calls witness,
from far and wide,
from the Amazon, Syria, Andromeda,
and further afield.
Particles and life forms,
all speak their truth,
of neglect, abuse and slaughter.
The jury goes out,
the jury comes in,
and the grim word of guilty leaps out,
the judge summing up,
points the finger,
and sternly convicts;
humanity has failed all of nature.
Now some are rich yet many are poor,
we cannot breathe the air,
we cannot drink the water,
we have wasted the gift,
there’s not much left to destroy,
and now, quickly, we must make amends.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under environment, Free Verse, life, poem

Southern Aurora Belle

Scintillating – Word of the Day

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Taken some time ago when I regularly visited the town of Esperance, the sun setting in the west, and dazzling the water and my lens with its light.

Southern Aurora Belle

At the telescope once, someone mused,
“Why is it so dark out there?”
“Well,” said I, knowingly,
“There’s simply less reflective matter, and
besides, most sources are many light years away.”
When you entered that crowded room,
dazzling, you lit up the whole place, an aurora,
but your smile was just for me.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

18 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, love, nature, poetry, Science, Space

Voices In The Glade

Glade – Word of the Day

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One of my many photos of Borannup forest, the glade is just in front.

 

Voices In The Glade

So profound was my experience that day,
when I entered that glade,
and felt the place.
There I surrendered my adopted
sophisticated self,
returning to my true child,
dazzled by delights so simple,
humble, natural, and beautiful.
How could it be that the honeyeater,
a dew drop, that dry leaf, the spider,
a skink or two,
a rock,
could change the very core of me?
This I know,
I left that glade
knowing there was more than I,
an intricate flow of life
that spoke to me,
and, overcome,
without words
my soul ran over.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

17 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, Forest, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, poetry

The Clock Has Tocked

Exemplary – Word of the Day

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Rachel Carson (1907 – 64) (Photo: post-gazette.com) Carson was a marine scientist whose most known public work was “Silent Spring” (1962), a clarion call for humanity to address their impact on nature. In particular, Silent Spring is an investigation into pesticides. Carson wrote: “They should not be called “insecticides” but “biocides.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, p. 189.

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem , they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less travelled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring p. 277.

Carson was an exemplar of both environmental awareness and activism as a scientist and writer.

 

The Clock Has Tocked

The old grandfather clock in the hallway is ticking,
but there’s no one to note the passing of the hour,
they’re everywhere else in this big old house,
in rooms of self,
halls of bustle,
where the carpets are dusty and threadbare,
the varnish no longer present to the wood,
and the paint so sallow.
Things should have been fixed long ago,
but our will wasn’t urgent to the task.
Grandad’s monocle popped when the quotes came in,
and we gave up,
preferring the pleasured, anaesthetised life.
Had we ventured to the hallway,
and listened closely,
we’d have known that the clock had tocked its last.
The eleventh hour cried to us,
but we mocked its melodrama,
and bargained that Chronos would let us slide,
and all the while our house is falling,
falling down upon us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

28 Comments

Filed under chemicals, environment, history, life, Link, mindfulness, nature, poetry, quote, Science

Wetland Blues

Riparian – Word of the Day

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Locally known as the Big Swamp, which is a misnomer because it is not a swamp, it is a wetland in the true sense. I believe that in our Australian context the use of the word swamp is government/developer code for waste land – you can guess why. But to call it a wetland is to honour it and which of course leads to its protection. This a true riparian juncture between creeks and wetlands, and a wonderful ecosystem.

Wetland Blues

I had a thirst like no other I’d had
so I went to the bar and asked for a drink.
“What’ll it be?” the bartender asked.
“Whiskey”I replied.
“What mixer?” he enquired.
“O just give me some strychnine.” I said
and his jaw hit the ground with a, like,
that’s weird, are you completely mad
ain’t gonna happen kinda look.
“Just joking mate.” I laughed.
His eyebrows were question marks,
I could see, so I added –
“Well, isn’t that what we do with our water?
plastic, refuse, car bodies and waste,
we’ve filled the wetlands
and poisoned the place?
Imagine,
Rust with your sparkling sir?
Oil with your tap?
A bag with your Riesling,
wrappers with shiraz?
Or how about some soup with plastic string?”
Now we would never eat or drink that,
but I often wonder how the ducks cope
or the frogs survive,
our world is a toilet
in which we breathe and dine,
where no one can flush.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

35 Comments

Filed under bush walking, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry

Tjukurpa

Harmony – Word of the Day

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Photo: Dry creek bed – the Hull River, Northern Territory. This particular spot is also the site of Kulpi Tjuntinya also called Lasseter’s Cave. The river is mostly dry on the surface, and runs underground. There are many soaks along its route. When it does rain heavily the water can be one third up the height of those trees, which given the width, is a mighty volume of water.

The Australian bush, long before white settlers, was well protected with the harmony of traditional law or Tjukurpa – pronounced Chookapah (following the Central and Western Desert peoples view). The law is an oral tradition handed on generation to generation and memorised. One of its central principles is respect for all the elements of nature because everthing is in relationship and everything has an effect. While the words harmony or balance are not explicit, the principles are evident in the way Australian indigenous peoples treat the land and each other.

 

In the Balance

Where once where trees lie salted plains
and dusty cattle ruts.
Camels, mines and 4x4s,
billabong and creek consumed.
Settlers coveted and misunderstood,
but the Anangu have wise ways,
and through their ancient dreaming,
there came ways of loving nature whole.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

23 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, history, Indigenous, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry, Quadrille

Elegy

Energetic – Word of the Day

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The creek line along the outer wall of King’s Canyon.

Elegy For Mother

I stopped on the rise
where the trail opens to a valley,
and sat for a while admiring your view.
I took off my shoes and savoured your sand,
ran my hands down your powdery skin,
stretched my arms out in praise,
breathing you in,
taking you in memory,
sacred memory.
Purified in your creeks,
fuelled by your self-offering,
I reflect this on your paper,
in my electronica chic,
mineral products so smooth.
All that you are is
all that I am,
and all that I have.
Yet, though I valliantly try,
I have left you
exhausted,
depleted,
like a football I once kicked,
burst and rent.
Kyoto a faded vow,
my lust has consumed you
your energy spent
feeding mine.
And more than admiration,
or the faithlessness of plattitudes,
Mother,
Sacred Mother,
you need a hand.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

63 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Elegy, environment, Forest, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry, Spirituality

Celebrating the Incomplete

Esthete -Word of the Day

Also spelt as Aesthete

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Image: thatcreativefeeling.com

Desiring to study the Way of Tea, Sen no Rikyu went to the tea-master Takeeno Joo who set Rikyu the task of tending the garden as a test. Rikyu cleaned to perfection, but before presenting his work to Joo, he shook a cherry tree, causing some blossom to fall to the ground. A little imperfection being the perfect ground. Thus began his journey into returning the tea ceremony and everything associated to its former simplicity.

It is said that the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood the aesthetic known as wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi emerged in the 15th century as a reaction to the aesthetic of very formal and ornate and extravagant art and design of that time. Wabi-sabi is “focussed on the acceptance of impermanence or transcience.” It speaks of “a readiness to accept things as they are.” Or, finding the beauty within imperfections.

Wabi symbolises rustic beauty and quietness, simplicity and quietness. It can also refer to flaws, quirks and abnormalities that occur during production, e.g. pottery, or, as in the case of Rikyu, the blossom disrupting the otherwise perfect garden.

Sabi refers to things whose beauty can only come with age, like weathered timber, green copper, rusted tin. Sabi is said to evoke a sombre feeling very much like autumn.

Wabi-sabi is said to be honest, authentic, organic, modest, incomplete, and where nature, even nature’s corosive power, is celebrated.

Ref: britannica.com, dt.pepperdine.edu (Richard Martin).

How refreshing! I really warm to this aesthetic, and how much we need to embrace it today. Wabi-sabi simplicity could be the antidote to our materialistic, throw-away, plasticised way of living. An acceptance of life as it is. More than cloth bags and organic soap (important as these things are) we/all living things need a modern aesthetic equivalent to wabi-sabi. More imperfection and less sculptured fruit and veg. More authenticity and less keeping up with the Jones’. More incomplete, and evoking a sense of the real. Celebrating nature by engaging nature’s needs. Being organic in every way from relationships, to lifestyle, to purchasing. Accepting things as they are from people to the cosmos. Living with our flaws (shadow aware). How refreshing. I yearn for a bit of Rikyu in all of us.

 

I Love the Flaw in You

Dead center,
on the mantlepiece,
my truest work
as yet.

Soft clay now hard as nails,
its beauty is its cleft.
Its radiance not celadon,
a muddy glaze its skin.

She sits proudly among the celebrated,
offended by their pretence –
perfect, slick, and mass produced,
with images of empire now dead.

As I contemplate my minimum,
I know she goes with me.
The others to the Op-Shop,
or some other recycle path.

This ugly piece of earth,
this imperfect lustred pot,
speaks, shouts, to me of real life,
and how to cope with love.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

25 Comments

Filed under art, environment, history, life, mindfulness, minimalism, nature, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, quote

We Can Too!

Potential – Word of the Day

Redgate Beach, south of Margaret River. The beach was closed yesterday, in fact, I couldn’t even see it. The winds were gale force earlier in the day, and still strong in the afternoon, whipping the water in to shore, and making it difficult to keep a steady hand for filming. The western shore contains a variety of examples of rock formations that have been weathered by waves, and when you see the power of the water, it is no wonder.

Water is powerful, and in many ways. Wave power as an idea, a theory, has been around for years, though one the earliest attempts is still recent – Scotland, 1991. The long history of shipping has relied on water, and has also suffered from the volatility of storms at sea. The same can be said for the fishing industry, tourism, military purpose, exploration and more. Rivers and other sources of land based water have been critical for the survival of all species. Plants and animals vary as to percentage but all have a foundational volume of water that constitutes their being. Science has variably said that water is 80% of the human body, I say variably because others say it is even higher.

Water is fundamental for survival, dehydration is deadly for any species. And water, though abused by, is also fundamental to industry and manufacturing at every level. We know the absence of water contributes to desertification, and evidence from other planets shows that lack of water equals lack of life.

The potential of water goes back to the dawn of time, and onwards to the floating gardens of the Aztecs, Roman baths and aqueducts, the farming of rice, fish farming, reticulated agriculture, and the generation of electricity (hydro-power).

With climate change as a reality, even fiction, like the post apocalyptic story of Waterworld, seems less far fetched than when it hit the cinemas in 1994. Water is seen as part of our daily survival need, but also part of our future as once again, floating gardens, floating communities, hydroponics, aquaculture, and responses to climate problems like flooding, see Practical Action    have become exciting options for ways forward.

And yet, we are far more diverse than water. The human is complex, and, beyond the primitive brain, unique in brain capacity for problem solving, design, learning, creating, conceptualising, and comprehension, to name a few potentials. We too can be a positive power in the world, veritable tsunamis of ideas, science, engineering, chemistry, the arts, and more. We too generate energy. And we have the potential to creatively solve the issues before us.

We can contribute to life, we are powerful, we can be creative, eroding and wearing down the barriers and the negatives, shaping and sustaining life and potential worlds and communities,  we too are fundamental to nature though by good or ill, depending on how we value nature. We have the potential to turn around the whole climate change issue. Like water, we have to pool, pond, and gather together to get it done. Even the formation of water, hydrogen and oxygen is a metaphor for working together to achieve an outcome. One drop of water is just one drop of water, but many drops are potential, are power, resource, possibility, together we are an ocean of potential.

The ground was hard
many seeds to be planted
neighbours helping

©Paul Cannon


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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, Country, creativity, environment, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature