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

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My earth

I sprang from the earth in a world filled with strife
He crossed the great water and brought me to life
I’m rife with these genes born of long suff’ring souls
She crossed the Bass Strait with a sail full of holes

“There’ll be no black offspring” yet still she bore four
Three hail from the dreamtime; one’s kept from kin’s door
A history was stolen so some could save face
Baba yangu mpendwa, no child for his race

I fell to the earth in a late sixties town
With folks who knew nothing about skin so brown
I’m raised with the knowledge that this ain’t my home
By folks who would fear me for hair I can’t comb

“Go back to your country” and “where are you from?”
“You don’t belong here” is an endless old song
It’s not just the Anglo’s; they’ve all had a go
The migrants and students, indigenous and so

I don’t need her pity for I have grown strong
There’s fire in my eyes that transmutes every wrong
My father’s revenge and my mother’s to rue
White Australia’s failure to lighten the hue

Still this is my country, the earth called me here
The laws of all nature will challenge our fear
With what moves our hearts since before we had time
With what makes me human and lends me to rhyme

I stand in two worlds, across every divide
From colour to gender to casting aside
These over-drive lies that keep us from friends
From ism to schism, we’ll mend these old trends

We can’t speak of hope, such requires belief
When it turns from the truth it brings no-one relief
From bully to hater to lovely fine souls
It’s time we surrendered and stopped scoring own goals

I sing from the earth to a man who’s grown cold
We write a new future that cannot be sold
I’m older and bolder; I’ve lived so much pain
That I can see clearer when clouds threaten rain

Let all who have known me and seen me for swine
Divine such a view maps their own thin red line
And should you delight in a spirit that’s free
In peace shall you roam across earth, land and sea

I hum with my earth as I’m tossed through the waves
Tones roaring through auras with worlds as the staves
The rhythm is time and my pitch is free will
Tunes are the humans spirit’s notes shall fulfil

© Robyn Murray

There’s only one side

One heart, one love

I’m on the side
Of the whole world

One soul, one truth

Hair can be straight,
Frazzled or curled

One life, one dream

Skin can be warmth,
Yet men are grouped

One earth, one peace

Eyes may not see
Minds can be duped

One voice, one hope

A human dies
As nations weep

One world, one joy

One is awake
Two are asleep.

*

An evening with Dr Cornel West

An intellectual evening with Dr Cornel West | The Saturday Paper.

For all kinds of reasons, I would have to say this was the best night of my life. The author of the linked article, Maxine Beneba Clarke, hasn’t mentioned anything here about her own magical, heart-opening performance. However, the article does a nice job of capturing the spirit of the experience.

While he was in town, Dr West was also a guest on the highest rating episode of ABC’s Q&A show ever – so he made a big impact during his visit to Australia.

My friends and I spent a few minutes afterwards discussing the immediate highlights such as the delightful experience of hearing the statement “there’s a white supremacist in me” said by a black man in a public forum. It’s one of those things that has an instant effect on everyone who actually lets the idea sink in. We also spent some time thinking of what questions we would ask Dr West if we had the chance. I was as enthusiastic and excitable as a teenager so I shot out of the blocks with, “Do you want to come and live at my house?” Everyone agreed that should be the first question we ask.

When it came down to actually meeting him though I asked Dr West about resistance to facts/information/other perspectives by the white population and what role negative rhetoric by the black community might play in this. He spoke with me about how people learn through catastrophe if they don’t learn any other way.

After sitting on this experience for a week, I can see how off-track my question was… oh well we live and learn. In hindsight, I should have just asked myself about my own resistance in response to all the negative rhetoric I hear and read. More importantly though, I can see how timid I’ve been. I’m not saying that with any judgment, we do what is essential to survival and anyway, it is what it is.

What I do know – is that I have been holding out to see whether the most valued aspects of my way of being could be positively reflected in a world dominated and shaped by those and their minions who have a lust for power and money and various other things of dubious virtue. Those who aren’t afraid to use violence to achieve their goals. Those who are patting themselves on the back for all that number-crunching, someone-else’s back-breaking success they’ve managed to snatch like candy from a baby. Those who think they have won.

Click! knowing and awe have become artists-in-residence;
a flowing arrangement of clear vision and virtuous men returning to simple truths.
line from a poem earlier this year – Smashing Beliefs

In short, Dr Cornel West appears to be the type of man I always expected and hoped to see in the world but hadn’t found. So many times I’ve been told, and by so many, that I have unrealistic expectations… yet here he is. This man not only exists – I got to meet him.

Robyn_DrWest

I am eternally grateful to the friend who took me to this event, Nasser, a fellow magician who is also burdened with the curse of unreasonable expectations and and the wherewithal to make them happen.

*

Peace, brothers and sisters. Over here the love is still flowing 😉

The Shower Song

For those who seek
Of much they speak
Of near and far
And thoughts that mar
The ebbs and flows
But no-one knows
Which way is right
Or what to fight
Our natures deep
Our questions keep
A tangled knot
Of what is not
That’s held up high
But brings a sigh
To all the tears
We’ve shed these years
May peace begin
With peace within
Nothing to find
Except [accept]
_____ your
_________ mind.

*

I write a lot of poems in the shower, generally to some kind of rhythm or rhyme — I don’t really know why the shower muse comes by…

Old men read the lesson in the setting sun. Beat the cymbal and sing in this life, or wail away the hours fearing death. From the I-Ching

On love

I used to idolise people
From afar.
Fallible, flawed, futile
Fumbling in the dark one day,
Flying at rainbows the next.
Measuring the dimensions of my worth
By the extent of my forgiveness.

Catching a whiff of the words we choose
Through echo memories
I hear you –
Same same but different
Now I love with everything I have.

Still yet to fathom personal love.
Arms stretched wide
Around our entire existence,
Past the finish line,
Willing to survival,
Willing to peace,
Manifests as no time for you and me.

But I felt so alone
When everyone was framed in gold
And I was the frightful straw doll,
Bent and damp with despair,
Freedom and fairness
Frustratingly out of grasp.

I want to love you alone
But I’m scared you’ll be knocked flat.

*

My inspiration:
Here’s a truly excellent piece of writing — Why We Love — on a topic I’m not usually the least bit interested in. Still… it worked it’s magic.

 

Seeds in the dung

There’s always more sacrifices
Coming down the pipe
Discarded lives and trusts
It all falls somewhere
Cascading, descending
Through the monocular lens of the history of people
Observed, absorbed
By those who’d never survive such a thing

In the cauldron of despair
We learn to breathe muck
We persist
Fortitude breeds what reality teaches
And we are cracked open by our quest
For that invisible tunnel
With the light of truth at the end
Or the fearless vastness of simple freedom

From the sacks of false emancipation
Lumbered around on quivering backs
Seeds drop into the dung
One day, relinquishing the struggle
For a retreat to past conditions
The next, bursting through the earth
On urgent safari to the sun
Unbelievably, inevitably
Startling those who’d never survive such a thing

Yesterday
What was one man’s garbage
Now wields the power of transformation
Yesterday
What was so much flotsam and freely expendable
Today has one word.
Peace.