Day 20 — solastalgia

Playing with a word I learnt last year and thought might make a good poem title (& hopefully poem).

*****

solastalgia 

The homesickness you have when you are still at home.

word & definition coined by Glenn Albrecht
Australian philosopher & Professor of Sustainability

that peculiar 
form of distress 
that envelopes us 
in a misty kind 
of claustrophobic 
cling wrap
when we see our 
homelands both 
lived & idealised
lands which bring 
peace simply by being
give us tranquility
remind us to breath
to hope  to sit 
quietly   & still   & just

when we feel those lands
callously destroyed 
paddocks ploughed under
for another subdivision
megahardware store
or discount supermarket 
or cut open for coal
or fracked  set on fire  covered in oil  torn up by trucks

then
there is no solace

Day 19 — inconveniences

How useful are doing the little things when the biggest culprits are allowed to get away with not just doing nothing, but actually increasing emissions?

*****

inconveniences

sometimes i’m overwhelmed by the futility
of me, you, anyone, but in my case — me

not eating meat
not using plastic drink bottles
not washing my car every day
(not washing me every day)
not using the AC till it’s truly necessary
recycling plastic bags & trying not 
to even buy them in the first place
not sucking stuff through straws

drinking tap water
switching lightbulbs 
unplugging gadgets
buying locally, op shopping 
& avoiding fast fashion
using cruise control 
for better fuel efficiency 
keeping tyres properly pumped 
& so on & tediously on

all these are but minor blips — mere inconveniences 
when compared to what really should be getting changed

Day 18 — frackwit

Pretty self-explanatory.

*****

frackwit

the same Prime Smirker 
who once gloated about
how good coal is on the floor
of the Australian parliament
is today raving about 
the multitude of climate saving
virtues (to hear him spout it)
of natural gas

the same guy who appointed 
a couple of natural gas wonks
to his COVID-19 recovery taskforce
which later (to no one’s surprise)
revealed that the way out of our
Covid-induced economic coma was … 
{ da-dah }
Nat. U. Ral.  Gas. &. Lots of it.

this fracking clown is relentlessly
smirking while the world burns

i only hope the pentecostal hell
he so fervently believes in is real
& he ends up sweating down there

eternally

Day 17 — Gran’s lifetime: under a century

Today would have been my Gran’s 97th birthday. I’ve used that as the impetus for this pome.

WARNING: it is quite long; probably the longest I’ve ever posted for NaPoWriMo (though my anti-Jazz rant was up there). If you choose to skip to the last stanza, I’ll quite understand, & you’ll still get the general gist hahaha.

*****

Gran’s lifetime: under a century

1. Introduction
It infuriates me when people say
oh we can’t change things too much
think of our economy : et ceterablah!

2. Birth Year
In 1924 : the year after : the invention
of TV : the British Empire : is still 
gleefully : exploiting her colonies :
Australia has been an actual country 
for only 23 years : the USA only has
48 states : Adolf Hitler is still in prison :
the Winter Olympics begin : commercial 
radio is first broadcast : the first aerial 
circumnavigation of the world 
is completed : in only 175 days (today 
it takes a little over 2 days : 50 hours)
surrealism is born : movies are still 
silent : & Hubble blows up the universe
discovering : Andromeda is not
a nebula : as long thought : but another 
galaxy : & that the Milky Way : itself 
is only one : of many

3. The Not Quite 100 Years Following
in the succeeding : century
the twenties roar : jazz begins torturing 
eardrums everywhere : before causing
a great depression : nazis somehow
convince an enlightened society 
to eat itself : the USSR rises & falls
we fight a second World War : 
a Cold War : & a War on Terror 
we invent : drop : then are terrified 
by atomic bombs : stop drop & roll :
you’ll still die : but you’ll feel like 
you tried : bikinis make babes 
into bombshells : boomers are born : with a bang
& immediately begin : annoying everyone :
teenagers are invented : along with rock 
n roll : the Holocaust continues 
to horrify us : but later genocides 
get less attention : as ours grow ever shorter

Gandhi marches for salt : Mao takes 
a long one : we promise two new states 
but only officially make one : leading 
to years of unrest : dozens of countries 
shake off : shackles : declare independence

we orbit the earth : & bounce on the moon
pocket calculators : are briefly a big thing
scientists genetically engineer organisms 
(bacteria then mice) : a child is born 
via : in vitro fertilisation ; the culture counters 
revolts against war : conservatism : 
oppression : patriarchy : sexuality

Pong is considered cutting edge :
Commodore 64 wows the world 
with a massive 64K of memory :
the first Macintosh then smashes 
that paltry amount by : doubling it :
Gameboys : Rubik makes a cube

gramophones : give way : to record 
players : to cassette tapes : to compact 
discs : to mp3 : to online streaming 
from the cloud

computers shrink : from buildingesque
then : room-sized : to being : our personal 
playthings : then laptops : mobile phones : 
smart phones : tablets : iWatches
chips are implanted : in our bodies
hidden : in COVID vaccinations*

mobiles shrink : from the size 
of bricks : to fitting into pockets 
& are on their way : back up to brick

multinational corporations :
became the most important entities : on earth
free trade agreements : bloom
like mushrooms : from the dung 
of laissez faire economic policy :
stock markets crash numerous times 
& are salvaged : poor people are demonised
banks go bankrupt : & are bailed out : 
poor people are blamed : for being poor
supertanker container ships : begin 
impersonating small cities 
& pumping out : the equivalent in emissions
the assembly line : makes production 
massive : & turns men into machines
archaea are classified as a new : 
separate : domain of life

we survive Y2K … easily

we transplant hearts : break 
the sound barrier : genetically modify 
crops : map the human genome :
use X-rays see inside ourselves : 

we invent: satellites : Concorde : Skylab 
(even though it falls on us) : the ISS :
high-speed rail : container ships :
& buildings really start scraping the sky

as well as: Velcro : Tupperware : Frisbees : 
The Slinky : modern Solar cells : the pill : 
AstroTurf : ultrasound : the CDC 6600 
supercomputer : ATMs : MRIs : 
email : earlier than you think (’71)
face lifts : stainless steel : silicone : 
polystyrene : PVC : polyethylene
& nylon : & multiple other plastics : plus
thousands of chemicals : for industrial 
& domestic use (though whether these last
are good : or not : is debatable)

develop : radar : transistors : ballistic 
missiles : jet aircraft : commercial television : 
commercials (sadly) : microwave ovens : 
hydraulic fracturing : lasers : fibre optics : 
radiocarbon dating

discover : black holes : quasars : parallel 
universes : mechanics who can repair 
your quantum while you wait : that everything 
began in a Big Bang : (probably) : DNA’s
double-helix; the Cosmic microwave
background radiation : penicillin

scientists develop vaccines for : polio : 
measles : influenza : diphtheria : 
pertussis (whooping cough) : tetanus : 
measles : mumps : rubella (German
measles) : chickenpox : hepatitis A & B 
& eradicate smallpox in 1979 

we survive : eruptions : quaking earth : 
strong winds of a multitude of kinds : 
droughts : plane crashes : bridge collapses : 
train derailments : nuclear reactor 
meltdowns : space shuttle explosions : 
a litany of oil & energy crises : the rise 
& fall of Berlin’s Wall : toxic gas leaks : 
oil tankers spilling their guts 

we fight a lot of wars : a barrage 
of wars : police actions : emergencies : 
civil unrests : invasions : genocides : 
& miscellaneous conflicts of all ilks.
protests : separatist movements : 
revolutions : dictatorships : martial 
laws imposed & revoked : coups d’état : 
military coups : run of the mill coups 
& attempted coups : takeovers : insurrections : 
assassinations : uprisings both popular 
& not : riots : troubles : tensions : 
& detentes : aerial bombardments : 
battles : bombs : suicide bombers : 
terrorist attacks : incidents : 
massacres : boycotts : blockades : 
systems actively designed to 
discriminate (some were even 
abolished : well one)

even the occasional peace treaty

*one of these things is not like the others

4. Commonplace Things We Take for Granted
washing machines : clothes dryers : 
air-conditioners : exercise machines : 
refrigerators : freezers : electric 
stoves : vacuum cleaners : cars ;
& a handful of magic devices allow us 
to experience knowledge : gossip :
stupidity : & even extraordinary content
from around the world — so much great 
literature : artwork : music : dance : & cinema 
it’s impossible to list even a fraction of it

5. Technologies Which Have Become Obsolete Since Gran Was Born
8mm : Super 8 : Hi-8 : analog slides (along with slide projectors & hand-held slide viewers) : overhead projectors : analog film : including photo developing : film splicing : disposable film cameras : Kodak itself for that matter : photo albums : flash cubes : photo booths : one hour photo saloons : & (almost) printed photographs : 8 tracks : cassettes : DAT : walkmen : diskmen : vinyl records (except for DJs) : MP3 players : minidiscs : boomboxes : VCRs (VHS & Beta) : floppy disks : Zip drives : CDs : DVDs : Blu-rays : LaserDiscs (oh that’s right : they were a thing : briefly) : telegrams : dial up modems : phone books : rotary phones : landlines (almost) : answering machines : phone booths : cathode ray tvs : pagers/beepers : dot matrix printers : fax machines : typewriters : encyclopaedias : card catalogs : punch cards : classified ads : street directories : road maps : alarm clocks : calculator watches : pin ball machines : space invaders : pac man : 

6. Jobs Which Have Become Obsolete Since Gran Was Born
Breaker Boy : Cigarette Girl : Clock Winder : Copy Boy : Dictaphone Operator : Elevator Operator : Film Projectionist : Ice Cutter : Knocker-Upper : Lamplighter : Lector : Leech Collector : Log Driver : Manual Part Loading : Milkman : Mimeograph Operator : Pinsetter : Rag & Bone Man : Rat Catcher : Sandman : Sawyer : Street Sweeper : Switchboard Operator : Telegraph Operator : Typesetter : Typing Pool : VCR Repairman : Video Store Clerk : indeed entire industries devoted to record stores & videocassette/DVD rentals : not to mention entire industries related to horse-drawn transportation : not mention no doubt many others: i’ve failed to mention

7. The Argument
& if you haven’t read every single word
of this poem i quite understand
i was deliberately belabouring 
relabouring & overlabouring a point
by listing the many many many many things
we’ve changed in under a 100 years
& many in much less than that

so don’t fucking tell me we can’t change
now — & fast

~ interregnum II ~

Today after a lot of frustrating time wasted I think I have finally solved my inability to upload photos to my WordPress blog on a daily basis.

It’s possibly been because I’ve had too many programs &/or tabs open in the background, but my computer is reasonably powerful in the RAM department & can run video & sound editing programs with ease, so if that is the case it suggests the new version of WordPress is pretty clunky.

None-the-less, I think the problem has been solved & these poems that have been slowly accumulating since the last interregnum (April 16) can now be cleared & the rest of the month dealt with day by day as intended. Fingers crossed.

Quick links to 9 days of posts.

That’s that then; now I’ve got to actually write one for today. Back later I hope.

Day 16 — desperation

Today’s poem (ironically) is an offshoot of the one I was working on yesterday. This is more like the poem I had in my head when I began yesterday; even if it didn’t end up there.

desperation

the more i read
about what we need to change
if we are to change
climate change’s worst potential
outcomes
the more desperate & depressed 
i become

to the point where i am glad 
i haven’t brought kids
into the world we are daily
terradeforming

but thankfully
that madness passes
to be replaced
by the old ongoing
sadness

Day 14 – drought

A topic of key concern for the driest continent on earth.

drought

Drought has been the dominant historical cause of hunger, starvation, and consequent death.

Paddy Morrow, Body Count

i. earth
in our new 2-4 degree*
warmer nearly-now world
droughts will range further
be more intense 
be more frequent
start sooner  end later
food supplies will be challenged
crops will fail
water will become a reason
we wage war

ii. other
the breeding seasons of 
pesky infectious diseases 
seeking to use us 
as habitat 
will lengthen 
because both bugs 
& bacteria 
breed faster 
in heat

*minimum

Day 13 – vision

vision

wise indigenous 
people the world 
over  value the earth 
more than we beasts
in the civilised west
— in their spiritual
connections to nature ;
beliefs that healthy people 
need healthy country ;
& the practise of making
decisions by considering
the impacts choices have  seven
generations into the future

whereas short sighted  CEOs
pollies  decision makers  &  spine
less  policy wonks  look no 
further  than their  bottom  line

Day 12 — compass points

Today the weather forecast for various parts of the Australian continent is like ticking off a climate change checklist.

compass points

in the south
rocks have been thrown
across roads
as the sea 
eats earth

in the west
houses have crumpled
technology tamed
dinghys beached on doorsteps
& dead fish
airdrowned on lawns

in the north & east
fires & floods fight
to see who can 
consume the most

while in the centre
dust impersonates 
storm clouds mocking
much needed rain 

destruction
is messy

Day 11 — airshows, et al

Altering behaviour to avert climate change is about more than factories emitting CO2 & driving to work in SUVs.

airshows, et al

today my brigade volunteered at the local airshow
(wednesday’s training: sobering instruction 
on the way to approach a burning aircraft)
& while it was eye-opening
having never attended an event like this
the whole time i kept thinking
how much fuel are these planes using
doing essentially meaningless flybys 
& stunt work & dropping skydivers 
from the clouds like prophets — 
then, when they turn on the “bonus” effect
of smoke oil to produce long chemtrails
of covid-spreading 5G goodness drifting 
toxic dust disappearing with the wind
all for the sole purpose of entertaining 
a few thousand fanatics & bored toddlers
repeat this all over with F1s & bike races
& rally cars & motocross & supercars
& all of it, all this relentless flaming
of fossil fuel … just, for entertainment

i know the correct way to approach a burning plane
but not, sadly, a burning planet