Immediate access code

I don’t know all the names
by which you are summoned.
Sensing the many-layered resonances
in the stillness between
this heart-beat and that nerve-pulse,
where the breath lies empty,
time is even weaker than gravity.

Wading through the torrential
outpouring of carefully cultivated
bits of data, coalescing into
a category we might call news,
I am becoming as one attuned –
the seer of mysteries and
the oracle of plutocratic expediency.

The keystone for every good joke
is misdirection, like that time
they drained the oceans and provided
desalination-in-a-box kits for arid lands,
quiescing the climate protectors
with seven generations of indenture
for the privilege of a drop of clean water.

The drunkard, drowning in a deluge
of his own illusions will do anything
to extract one last drink, ad nauseum,
spewing out slack-jawed solutions to
supply chain problems – fracks himself
some lubricant for the road to annihilation.
Mate, we’d better hide his bloody car keys
before he kills us all.

I don’t know all the names
by which you are summoned.
In this bottomless cycle of avarice,
the accretion of our histories is forged
in the bodies of children and tattooed
inside our eyelids. No matter how we’re
chained up, we have always been free.

Our immediate access code,
the soul-memory of our ancestors,
is written in the blood of love.

!

Infinite loop

(i)
I’m not the only one who has thought this
yet I’m the only one I know who is locked
in an endless, mindless, cyclical
conversation with myself over the
contradiction of struggling for recognition
and usefulness-proving-my-worthiness
in the hope that a few crumbs will fall
from the robber’s table

May we live one more day

To partake in the veritable feast
of appropriated resources
cleaved from appropriated lands by
squishing cultures like flies between
nerve-deadened fingers
and people —
like flies
flies breeding in corpses
the sucked out husks of the eternal
commodified and sold back to us
for the small price of your soul
and a lifetime of fruitless toil

Let it burn, brother

(ii)
what is left
what remains
after the sun
passes through

could this be
pre-dawn light
secrets whispered
something new?

wheels of time
whorls of life
breathing hope while
dreaming blue

one’s too close
two’s too far
finite realms crushed ‘neath
trembling shoe

march onwards
love will not
break lock-step with
what holds true

*

In colony

the dream is eons long
we have been entwined
you and I
since forever

on certain days
I ache to withhold my truth
to show you how it feels
to listen to endless lies

on other days
I tumble to the floor and bounce
to show you how it looks
to act from the real and present

no bargains can be struck
in the market for shadows

that mind’s light is so full
it throws it’s own shade
to all that might detract
from it’s righteous narrative

your hand-me-down economy
avoids all mention of entropy

the dream is eons long
you know
the one where I play
the swiss-army-knife version
of a scapegoat
and you deny everything

on certain days
we see you hurling platitudes
while dismantling ecosystems
and poking holes in rainbows
again

on other days
we see you acting out our own shadow-selves
and then we fall about laughing
at your feeble attempts
to direct the wind

*

Metaphorical Mountain Climbing

It was only when I finally accepted the reality of my situation within the dominant paradigm that things started to really shift and rearrange themselves in my internal landscape. It occurred once I gave voice to the understanding that I would never be fully acceptable regardless of whether I followed every rule laid out before me or I ignored them, whether I shut up or spoke up, whether I was naughty or nice, whether I loved or hated. Sure, the language and particular brand of oppression and punishment varied, but the established and reinforced image of “unacceptability of everything associated with Robyn because she must make amends for the terrible misfortune of not being born white” was overwhelmingly persistent.

This is not an idea I picked up via fanciful and naive notions combined with a misunderstanding about society, rather it’s a perspective that was deliberately drummed (or beaten) into me by various people and circumstances throughout my life, such as the White Australia policy intended. The actuality of my being in this society, in this time, in this body, with this mind and animated by this spirit is considered to be some kind of offense to creation, or likened as such, by many a supreme white god during a brief moment of you’ve-got-a-chip-on-your-shoulder righteous indignation and hold-the-liniment-while-I-deliver a tongue-lashing clarity. And I’m talking about the non-racist supreme white gods, don’t get them confused with those other types(!).

but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive
—Audrey Lorde, A litany for survival

I’m not going to gloss this…it hurt. To fully accept the level of oppression you have been living under when you are not literally running for your life every day, will likely plunge a person into some kind of temporary depression or anger, grief, whatever. It hurt like I didn’t think I would survive it, and to be honest I am not so sure I did. Eventually, it did stop hurting so acutely, as anyone who’s been through anything can tell you. Once the shock and devastation subsided, after the tears and rage exhausted themselves, beyond all that pain and self-pity and many miles past the “why can’t it be different?” phase – I began to understand simple things.

If everything I do is already tainted because it is done by me, it follows that I am free to be and do as I please. Let that taint be my insignia.

It surprises me that there is no more worrying about avoiding potential consequences and no more wasting my energy on frivolous attempts to be understood, welcomed or appreciated. There are no more external masters to please as they have already proven that they cannot be pleased by the likes of me. My days are no longer populated with “Yessirs” unless I totally accept that behaviour in the moment as my choice and my honour. More importantly, I am now in a position to set my own standards and to judge, to draw boundaries and define borders, to erase and replace them at will, but never to be judged. No, I absolutely do not confer upon my oppressors the right to judge me.

It is inevitable in a divide and conquer approach to discrimination, that I would have no peers, so who would be left to judge me in any meaningful way? Of course, I am not oblivious, all manner of people will have a crack at passing judgement on their fellow humans, but these judgements are well below the standard and level of humanity to which I aspire, thus rendering them entirely irrelevant within the context of my life. Similarly, my judgements are irrelevant to rural families, sporting heroes and every single one of the political candidates in the recent election, to point out a few. We are each operating in entirely different reality frameworks.

The mental image I hold for this set of experiences is akin to climbing a mountain through all kinds of weather, until the moment you break through the cloud barrier into pure sunlight and clear air. At this point, we become invisible to those who remain at the base of the mountain.

I posit that there is no greater gift for freedom than to be considered utterly inconsequential and therefore to be consistently overlooked.

I ask you in all sincerity, is there a greater advantage to the cause for freedom than spectacularly failing to inspire people to want to use me or enslave me to serve their own agendas?

My measures and markers for success are no longer dependent on the persistence of white supremacy as a social norm, and in this manner the race war within has ended and the human journey has begun.

*

The fire that won’t be tamed

particularly attuned to suffering
there are brief moments
when the world unites
with my everyday

returning to the joy that seems to
arise out of nowhere special
naturally, you say,
when one dreams in polarities

aligned with peace
there are also strange mechanisms
of balance; but I don’t know
how to show you that

the more it hurts
the more joy there is
waiting to be expressed
by all of us

a life that is fuelled
by the dynamics of living
is like tending a fire that
cannot be extinguished

it has it’s own momentum

The Collective

From the deep blue of ocean and sky
I draw the sense of a serene vastness
An amphitheatre for the renaissance

From light to shadow to light to shade
Endless exponential cycles of realisation
I am sitting here with night-blindness

All-quiet, by myself
Waiting for my vision to clear
I pause to wonder…
Who said the collective had to be unconscious?

*

This poem is dedicated to the four angels that keep hanging out the lanterns for me to find my way. They’ve got A reserve seats in that amphitheatre, for sure.

Lorraine Spencer

Sojourner

Claire Marie O’Brien

Nasser

How many people died on your watch?

Perhaps we should judge the worth of global leaders on the basis of human sacrifice ratios…

Interviewer: “How many people died on your watch?”

Global Leader: “If you factor in this and that and then the other excuse and then look at it backwards whilst standing on your head. Hmm, I’d say… not as many as the previous bloke.”

Interviewer: “Awesome! Have you ever considered aiming for zero? I mean wouldn’t it be great if there were no preventable deaths, anywhere on earth, while you were running the show.”

Global Leader: “Er, that’s impossible and naive…”

Interviewer: “Yes, but you would get points for originality, for just giving it a try, even if it seems utterly hopeless.”

Global Leader: “Don’t be silly, they’d crucify me!”