It begins and ends with awe

The earth people keep calling me
The sky responds with my voice
Water passes everything along

The sun people are blinding me
The stars look through my eyes
Fire is making everything dance

The wind is refashioning reality
Seeds, cells and leaves go on a world tour
Weather is transforming everything

Too many ways to enumerate –
Existences, vistas, vibrations, echoes
Cracking and snapping weary worldviews

Impossible to remain connected to one idea
When every particle of life is radiating
Infinite waves of mystery in it’s wake

It begins and ends with awe.

Suddenly I’m doubled over with laughter
Clearly nothing of any value
Can ever be taken to the bank.

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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 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

I remember when I was black

Serengeti Sunrise

Serengeti Sunrise (Photo credit: tshantz)

The colour was orange and rich tones of earth
Open plains and a lonely tree
A small village hut made of natural stuff.
The fireplace smoked
We made semolina in a big iron pot
Melodious songs of womanhood we sang
and danced and ran free.
We walked with grace and rhythm
Strong-bodied, curve-backed people of my kind
Where are you now?

The sky is clear, the weather warm
I am a solitary seven-year-old against this landscape
With smiling eyes in a mischevious face.
Tiny circles of African hair press close to my scalp.
My pink-soled, chocolate-coated body is wrapped in metres of burnt orange
And I move more freely than in suburban clothes.
Pride and playfulness affect my stance
And though I am a child alone, I am not fearful
For this is where I am myself
Home.

Although I have never visited Africa, for as long as I can remember I have held this vision. I wrote it down when I became fearful that I would forget. I know now that isn’t possible, leave one brain cell behind and erase the rest, this image will persist. 

This was originally buried at the bottom of this post from last year on Go Home, You Black Bitch which at least three, but probably no more than four people have seen.