Wednesday, 27 March 2013

"No eggs, no egos, no Jesus";a poem for Easter

At Daybreak
I hear the sounds of no forest
And also happy foreign alien birds
Who have invaded that vacant space
A guy is waterblasting his 4X4 in a driveway
With indignation about the risen Christ
And a gut pregnant with Cadbury chocolate eggs

I ask god for modesty and humility
And to remove my ego
And god says there you go again
Wanting, your mind already ahead
Scanning this wasteland for the thing
That will make you complete
You don’t have to become anything

No eggs, no egos,  no Jesus
Just a chicken shed barracks
With steam escaping from cracks in its iron shell

A crucifixion
And then the risen spirits of chooks
white and staring
on my table
for lunch

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Grief and loss and the currents of change

Grief and loss and the currents of change
Sorrow is the outward and inward acknowledgment that something has changed-you lost something..Changes are a part of this life.When you change you lose something.It can be a valued possesion; it can be a loved one;change can be a part of yourself you no longer need.You have to negotiate the new.Birth is our first big change;its a big loss coming from that beautiful place. I think this might be my,and others' difficulties with acceptance came from-when my ability to change was more difficult, which prolonged the cycle of change by holding on to what was lost.This of course is an absurdity; 'holding on' is denying reality-the fact that what we are holding on to has already passed! but we can be left with an abiding sense of anger,sadness and fear as a result of 'holding on. You see this in the refusal to grieve in the movies-when someone will not let go and holds all these feelings inside.This can give us a sense of control over events we did not want ot happen,when we felt bewildered and shocked at the sudden change. I think that this is exacerbated at birth by our practices by which the child is isolated from the comfort of his/her mother and further by violent initiation practices-heel pricks,circumcision,injections etc.This has been backed up by recent studies including a profound article I read in Byron Child magazine by a male researcher with long term difficulties with feelings of depression.
So negotiating change is essentially human,to practice at negotiating the seas of our lives is an art which requires practice! I read an excellent book recently with the (shocking) title of 'Change or Die' by Alan Deutschman The 3 vital things that the author found helped anyone change-this is in a study of organisations and individuals-were:
1: Relate: Talk about it.Get support Break the isolation
2.Repeat. Repetition of an idea,an action,a word-will help you to change
3..Reframe. Seeing the event (or being even willing to entertain the possibility) that this was important for my growth.Looking at things from another perspective.This isn't to be confused with bypassing the feelings or 'getting over it ' or any other form of denial that is currently fashionable.Its what used to be called forgiveness.

Thursday, 21 March 2013


There is alot of stuff in the media at the moment about bullying.My belief (and many others) is: schools cause bullying. Put 25 kids of the same age in a room without their consent as to who they share the space with, and then lord over them with a system called teaching (a bullying system) where you are told where to be,what to do.what to think without your consent -and there you have it.An environment ripe for the phenomenon of bullying.You can guess that the consultants the Ministry of Education uses never ever come up with that in their so called quest to be rid of bullying.
Where you find power structures which have absolute unquestioned authority eg schools,wherever you find an unnatural social order ie without the spread of ages,familial relationships (aunties,grandparents,babies etc) there you will find bullying.
One of my favourite slogans is "Stamp Out Bullying!" haha. Its so revealing of how we try to solve problems in our communities.And so sad.

Iceland is thawing; we are freezing

Ok, I went to hear this guy from Norway Hordur Torfason who was right at the epicentre of Iceland's 2008 "Cutlery Revolution". We went to get ideas about how to react when our own country faces such a crisis. We went to a special private meeting at the Art Museum Hotel which was pretty brief -it wasnt a good place to meet and the Hotel staff politely moved us on. And then to a public talk at the Paramount where about 500 people gathered  to hear the man.He is a very effective speaker and a man on a serious mission-to tell the world about the possibilities of change,the potential of simple human contact.
 It occurred to me that we will have to wait till something really critcal happens here as it did in Iceland-the banks were closed-the country was bankrupt-before we see the changes they have witnessed there. We are still at the stage where life goes on as usual for a significant part of the population; we can still deny these underground seismic shifts.Some clearly cant-there are thousands of people out there in NZ desperate and poor.As someone remarked in a restaurant later "Its just not us".
So any day now that 'event' will come,and surely so will anger and fear and then we will rally and throw them out and create a more fair economic system which will include making the creation of money a government task (instead of bank loan officers as is the present),an overhaul of the banking system,the eradication of interest on loans.I'm really clear on not vilifying the powermongers-we need to recreate our institutions so that they serve us, that's all. This horrible way of doing things in our working lives,the excitement of consumption, the ruthless, competitive and dominating paradigm which infects our schools,religions,families communities and workplace  needs to give way to the enjoyment of meaningful  work,prosperity,participation (in work recreation,decision making, community) respect for our planet which sustains us,the value of a future for all the inhabitants of earth, not just humans.
Red Crater Tongariro Crossing
If you've ever been up in the Tongariro National Park you may have seen these irridescent. lakes.You see all these strange colours and shapes..You see rocks which look like they landed right there some time in the past.I 'animated' the rocks to add to the tension of a volatile landscape.It was painted shortly before the eruptions which closed the Tongariro Crossing walk.If you connect with this painting,why not enquire about buying it? Its around 400mm on the longest edge long (unframed)There's more at

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Give me a "Yo!"

So here we are.Like every one of our ancestors,at a pivotal point in history! Caught in a meaningless world,the old one still hanging on by fingernails.The meaningful are struggling and not getting paid.The meaningful cant get paid for what they do,while the meaningless get paid.
Ronald McDonald is at my 8 year old sons' tryathlon today and doing his show.I hold nothing against this fellow in his red and yellow.I'm pretty sure he would impress apon me the integrity of his job.He didn't appear jaded by it,despite my searching for it in him.But I did feel a shiver of fear at his alien hair and his too happy songs and I'm not sure why he frightens me. I imagined him with a bible or getting really pissed off with the kids not following his "yo!" and his "yay!" and saying "and now its time to die!" That's my fertile imagination-but its also a real perception of the whole dam sham that we prop up with every bit of our dwindling energy. We look around and every body else is waving too;its ok after all. 'They' are going to save us,after all.
I did have a meaningful day yesterday.I spent it killing 2 roosters,dressing them (or should I say undressing),building a new fireplace away from the old one which is prone to flooding in winter; cooking the chicken slowly over the fire,and making a hearty soup from vegetables and herbs in our garden,including a massive parsnip I found.And finally eating it beside the fire. That was about all I did ,but it took all day,on and off.I slept well..If I had grabbed a couple of Big Macs I could have had time to do something else.