Tag Archives: trouble

Not Without Risk – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Saturday – Trouble


Photo: http://www.fanpop.com  Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel in the Avengers.


“She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.”  R.M. Drake

Not Without Risk

I was not in control,
your words caught in my mouth
teasing sensibilities,
breaking the rules,
a dangerous energy
so fragile
I hesitated,
catching glimpses,
not without risk,
you were trouble,
and I was adrift,
but by that time
you were my hero.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com



Filed under Free Verse, life, love, poem, quote, relationship

It’s A Moiety World

Moiety – Word of the Day

Australian First Nations

There are over 500 Australian Indigenous Nations, as you can see from the map, they have particular areas with distinct boundaries. The nations are formed from clan groups which have their own language and kinship system which is either patrilineal (descent is related to and traced through the father/male line) or matrilineal (descent is related to and traced through the mother/female line). Clan groups are formed from family groups.

There are three levels of kinship in indigenous society: moiety, totem, and skin names.

The term moiety comes from the Latin, meaning half. In moiety systems everything in the universe is in two halves, each a mirror of the other, and the universe only makes sense if these two halves come together. Moieties are patrilineal or matrilineal, so determined by either your father or mother, these are the two halves. People of the same moiety are siblings and cannot marry, they must marry people from the other moiety, and thus the two halves are brought together.


That, of course, is a simplistic outline of what the word means, but it belies a complexity of culture that is rich in every way in real life. Whereas white culture has negatively impacted indigenous culture, it is not true in reverse. In fact, we have only just begun to learn from our First Nation people’s how we might better treat each other and the land, given that ecological relationships are so fragile here.

In indigenous culture they have retained something very precious, something we have almost completely lost, the ability of moiety systems to be support systems. If you have a row with mum or dad, you can go to another significant relative within the clan group and debrief, chill out, stay awhile till the heat dissipates and the possibility of return arises. My experience of working with young white people in family conflict is they either go it alone, maybe with a few friends, or sadly, on the streets. Indigenous youth generally look for family. What is important in this is that  while we revere the independence of white youth, we miss the wisdom of healing and wholeness as the moiety or halves work together for unity. No system is perfect, but some have stronger, lasting principles that have lasted thousands of years, like our indigenous peoples. It has now become critical in youth work to build resilience for our youth in trouble, but I think the foundation of resilience is clearly the clan, though, for me, that doesn’t equate to family per se, but rather to those relationships important to our vitality and flourishing. We should never be in survival, but two halves always meeting and making the universe right.




Filed under community, Country, environment, history, life, mindfulness, nature, Spirituality

Loopholes For Sanity

via Daily Prompt: Loophole

I hated highschool. Mine was a place of aggression, violence, bullying and assualt. It wasn’t a safe place, though few would admit it at the time. I guess what’s normal for you is the norm. Truth is though, I was bored witless. I loved learning but I didn’t like the way we did it. Additionally we had 1,400 kids crammed into a school built for 900. I’d drift off for most lessons, only to be rattled awake by a yell to pay attention. My report cards were replete with comments “Paul would do better if he focussed, if he paid attention, if he didn’t stare out the window so much. I still find conferences and events like that from time to time. I remember several of us getting into trouble, putting rats on the benches in science, setting the gas port alight as a flame thrower, water fights in the quad, shorting the electrical system, altering clocks it was such fun.

I needed a way out, I faked my mother’s signature a few times to write myself an “excused from school” note, but I knew that I could only do that now and again or risk falling under suspicion. But I don’t know why I worried so much, because one day in year 10, I decided to wander down town. I worked out that roll call was fisrt period in the morning and first period after lunch, and many teachers were slack in the afternoon – or were glad not to mark as absent the troublesome ones 😀 so it was possible to turn up for roll call and then disappear. That first time I wasn’t missed, so I did it again, and then I kept doing it, it helped me survive the institution of school, and yet I learned a lot about people and life and places. I went with a mate to his parent’s record bar (remember those?) and listen to the Top 40 free, we’d go to the shops, have a pint at one of the pubs and even take in a floor show (another loophole was that they rarely challenged your age back then). I was an absolute wizzard at pool and snooker, I could have passed a final exam with distinction had it involved potting balls. There was a fabulous bookshop (before the advent of franchises) where I got lost down the aisles reading. Chatting up the girls from the local TAFE and being chased out of the Newsagent for fear that I was nicking comics, (well … ahem …). I wouldn’t advocate it, I’m not denying it either, but nor am I ashamed of it, it is what it is, and somehow, in a counter-cultural way, it helped me. I’m thankful for the loopholes in my life, they helped to form me and I’m happy about that.




Filed under life