Friday, September 12, 2014


Detail of applique curtains made to illustrate my first poetic journey to amrka 2012 - the wolf protects and indicates a belief in the group protecting one another, amongst other things. I see these curtains every evening, and every morning. They were made while watching Game of Thrones with my daughter, on my return to Aotearoa NZ.
 No matter where we find ourselves awake or asleep, any place may sneaky feel as if we know it well, eventually, when taken to heart.  A cat inching forwards, taking some food, allowing our hand to rub their furry cheek, slowly appears tamer. Various places or settings do rather cajole us too, and they may make us feel almost domesticated there. But are we ever quite tame?

 Everyday life grows to feel as true as a story memorised, with routine, common or garden behaviour, the known and comfortable, and how we can value this comfort. But also, the exhilaration of adventure, daring, trying something new....

Detail from applique curtains made to illustrate my first poetic journey to amrka in 2012 - the flaming sword does not allow anyone but the pure of heart to come near
New friends also gradually reveal more of themselves as they, we, grow closer, too, or simply, in time, the experience of each other changes and so do we, discovering more. Connections build, then strengthen, or they change, at the least.

Some of those close to us also may alter like they're supernatural, part-faerie, changelings, if we're fanciful about it, and this can't be easy for them. Some bizarre or ethereal friends, we love them, perhaps understanding their issues to an extent, while also knowing they're never going to be as close as we wish they were, so we could enjoy their company more fully. 

Through kindness nevertheless we open up more possibilities and our imaginings tend to appear calmer.  We need to genuinely feel and act kindly for this to bear fine results. And perhaps everyone is like a half-wild cat, with instincts alert, so we may never completely cosy up to anyone else, there are boundaries, limits, and mysteries.

There was a time years ago, too, when I felt like I possessed the ability to see into other realms, living in the past without warning, slipping backwards and sideways into strange visions, because I did that, and considered this was a sign I could be part-faerie. The things we tell ourselves when we've got post-traumatic stress, (or shellshock), and no such words to explain it at the time. 

Illustration - Gerda and the

Hindsight, it's as lovely as a cut diamond, and knowing such facts in retrospect may cost us plenty. Growing to know oneself as heartbroken, for instance, quite a journey. Acceptance of this is a sorrowful but strengthening experience, like recovering from a coma but missing a limb or years of existence.

This writing is about the unwriteable, so it has to be fiction. Freedom exists there. No one need feel hurt. It's not about you, these are characters.

Simply take from this story what you like, need, or think necessary. Here is where we choose the chocolate, sip some drink we like, decide for a moment we know it all.

Between a blue place and a great deal of water, words made stories, and some tales came alive. 

Two lovers turned into birds, and populated days and nights with feathery noises and loud squawks, sent messages to each other on the air. 

Then, due to daylight, because of feelings as strong as city traffic or a full orchestra playing a symphony about myths on fire, these heart-bearers showed their true selves. A glimpse, a moment, reality, blinding and true.

The man - made of glass - shattered.

The woman already fragmented, and mended, found her heart was completely broken. 

So they went on. 

Produce given to me by friends a year or two ago, from an organic garden

The man reformed from the fragments remaining the way he always did. This meant he had to forget some of the people from before, but could recall them if he felt like it, and could see them in a new light.

The woman adapted to her new disability, after a lifetime of practise. She was born hallucinating another world than the one she inhabited, and felt accustomed to living in various dreams, (she could sometimes choose them). 

Their true love for one another assisted them. Love mends and heals, smooths and swirls, makes music, creates calm, love does not mind change, love resists destruction and prevails like weather, or nothingness, or dark, or light, and all of those.

Their bunch of friends became a survival game based around how fast people could turn from oil fuel to solar, and also, still enjoyed beer and fast food, occasionally.

Fast. It may mean to do without... but....

Thousands of dollars were poured into planes, trains, cars, boats, trees for travel, and restaurants. People chased dreams, found disillusion, great art, fine architecture, a pedicure, endless conversations, and then, sensual delights.

That's it in a surrealist nutshell, really.

A more minimalist story could cast the entire range of characters in grey, black or white clothing, on a bare stage, each reciting lines of their most devastating poetry. The inevitable cacophony reaching a crescendo, and then silence, sudden, startling, empty. 

Each embracing the other and walking away without looking back, holding threads of each others clothing, unravelling. Taking some kind of connection, each returning to the shadows, the wings, the unknown.

No realist story exists for this. It cannot be real. It's true, which is not the same thing.

If this were as real as rhubarb, or bricks, someone would've spilled the guts of it by now, steaming, reading the resultant mess as if the future made a picture there. 

No, this is an unreality like films, close to music, nearer fragrances mixed to change your perception to belief in tomorrow and your part to play in it, easier. Night requires us to forgive ourselves the day.

Cover of a 1960s Classic Fairy Tales book

Anyone who wishes they could write this way needs to know how many tears fell in the making of this story. They'd wash along, float a boat to a cliff higher than anyone could climb. I let them go.

But o, the story, the true tale of this, it's worth the water and salt.

The internet. 

What's that worth?

None of us can exactly say what it's doing to us, not yet. 

We can't precisely define the friendships made there or because of its existence. 

What impulses are born from these screens and the information flowing forth? Material in every direction, overlapping, undercutting, some true, some half-true, some false, some unproven but probably false, all of it available all the time except when a government blocks it, or individuals remove easy access. 

But echoes, shadows, imprints exist in there somewhere, perhaps, your deleted messages too, maybe. Whispers of who we want to be, pretend to be, make ourselves look like, truly are, and yet, are also, not.

But everyone likes to feel wanted and loved, don't they?

Collage Tiny Title book cover 2011

Adapting to cyber-place. Growing wider eyes and buying tears to drop into them in case we forget to blink.

Just as we fitted into new countries, or older ages, or a move to another city, suburb, house, room, fashion sense, outfit, belief system, relationship.... We may learn to live here too.

In some ways we are the same, after all. We feel certain urges, at different times too,  Love, hate, revenge like that old song by The Avengers, ohhhh.... Broken hearts, young love, better days, wise sayings.... 

The order is all messed up but does it matter?

A broken hearted person, they may look the same as you or me. No one necessarily knows their pain. Do we ever precisely understand what each other goes through? Time to sit with pain in silence, this may assist us in acceptance, then healing. The value is in the giving of that day or week or month. Happiness results from freely giving to others, after caring for ourselves, did you know? Give and you shall receive happiness.

Ah yes but, damaged and also, still alive, the broken-hearted can seem whole, capable, amusing, helpful, however they lack the ability to trust anyone with their attention and belief beyond a certain point. Is that what grown up means? Is it why the idea of maturity is so sad?

Blurry copper pipes found in the garden, tied with string, and trees

Now, take a word picture, imagery, because these often assist us with seeing. It's like expecting a person in a wheelchair to dive into the sea, chair and all, off a wharf into deep water, to expect anyone with a broken heart to make the necessary, brave, terrifying leap into loving someone else and trusting them to care and love them back. A curious circumstance, and it feels like a war's been waged that no one else can see, ever, not even if the terrible story is described in detail. 

But the broken-hearted may love anyway, miraculous, no?

To write about this is sometimes like being inside a cupboard shouting for help believing no one can hear. Are you there?

This is home for me, here.

So where are the friends I knew and what say they now? Shakespeare echoes.

Enter, bring your gifts of writing, believe we're going to make it, laugh, sing, and swear, make mistakes, discuss anything you wish, and listen, is that music?

PRESS/ where the sun is bright/ the symphony volcano on the islands/ put on a disguise/ something cooled/ had strange notions/ work of the heart discovered the truth/ and went out at night/ like the ebb and flow - most famous/ the music garlands/ so find some land bordering the deep/ trees in their temple gardens/ important weather/ trying to make a long time that reaches out/ streams in the forests the instruments  

This picture is a collage using images from damaged or out-of-date books, including a map book of Aotearoa New Zealand, and words from an old encyclopedia, the volume was from Ghosts to House Plants. The poem is written also as a caption. I have a series of these in progress and hope to exhibit them soon.

Thanks for reading and please do comment, you're welcome.

Monday, August 25, 2014


How lovely the ocean may appear

Someone said the other day we could call this planet Ocean, not Earth, because there is far more sea here than land. 

The way we're treating the oceans, however, could mean we have a vast wash of garbage instead of lovely saltwater, sealife and birds.

Want to turn off? But there are solutions.

Sure, those who tire of bad news may experience compassion fatigue, or switch off, refuse to read newspapers, close down all the news stories in our online feed, and stick with the cat pictures. Is this self-protection or wilful blindness? But if it's only too much when we feel hopeless, why not then find ways to change the state of the oceans for the better?

Yes, and the overwhelming internet is too often a whole other rubbish heap, true, a relentless tide of bad news washing over us day and night, whenever we swim there, or just trot along the edges, the beaches of it. Continuous bad news, as I said, can make a person feel ill. 

Some are swearing off the internet. A few argue the social media phenomenon is deliberately designed to distract us, and stop us being involved in anything too political, including voting. 'They' want us to feel ill. It is also a powerful way to connect with others, and share information.

There are unbelievable stories like this one. A boat travelling across the top of the Pacific Ocean, recently, found almost no life at all, no birds, no fish. But they did discover enormous swathes of rubbish, and a fishing trawler scooping up everything in its path. The trawler then dumped all their half-dead findings, except the tuna. Fish thrown back, to die in the ocean. 

The traveller, yachtsman, Ivan MacFadyen felt so appalled he wrote this article.  The photos below are from the article.

On a fb thread headed by that article, we social media hounds discussed the horror of it. One of us, James Bean wrote this, which I have permission to reprint -
" The saddest thing about this is that nobody seems to be seriously making an effort to clean this up. Is it because most of this is in international waters?

I realize this is no small affair. It's more than just raising a few million to build a game, or even a hundred million to make a movie. It might cost a few billion dollars to do this right. A drop in the bucket for nations, but they'd rather blow each other up with that money. Actually, they'd rather blow US up... the government leaders, power brokers and military contractors don't get on the wrong end of the weapons... just the general public.

Can't someone just get serious about raising money to clean this up? No diversion. No shadow project. Just specifically to clean this up? Prototype a simple method to clean it up, raise the capital to put it into practice, then shame the nations into funding the full endeavor?

Seriously... take an old tanker or better, fish processing ship... convert it to sort recyclable garbage. We've got lots of experience with this, so should be able to take these systems, installed in nearly every municipality in America, and around the world, and install them on a ship. Set up a simple skimming system to skim everything on the surface of the water, and concentrate it at a point. Attach those to this ship, making it the focal point (where the skimmed stuff goes) and drag your skimmers with two other smaller ships.

So, you skim waste in a kilometer wide swath from the ocean, and process it at this ship. Recyclable waste gets loaded onto barges, real trash could get burned in incinerators (this can be done so that very little if any pollution gets into the atmosphere, and maybe even power the ship?). Or, it also gets loaded onto barges.

The recycled materials get sold at market rates, to recoup a little of the cost to the operation.

I bet, a system like this, operating at full tilt, could start making a pretty damn good dent in one of the huge debris islands in the ocean. They don't have to skim every inch of the ocean. Currents and eddies do this for us, concentrating that floating crap. Go there, attack it, and get rid of it.

A documentary on the process, and a few good aerial movies of this ship doing its business, and it would be hard not to make this a popular political thing, and get the funding to get more of these ships, and improve their design. And I bet you could modify the design to handle oil spills too, so there are broader practical applications, and perhaps other funding partners for it, once you get the publicity.

So, how about it? What do we need to do? Anyone know a potential funding partner? Three ships (can be leased/rented) and a small recycling center... how much would that cost? $10,000,000? Believe it or not, that's not much at all. "
Someone else pointed out that if the stuff were valuable, someone would surely harvest it, be doing so already. But I read this week they are trialling plastic roads, so maybe discarded plastic in the ocean could be used that way, and for building?

Please share and discuss this information widely. This is how we may change the state we're in. The more people know about an issue, the more we talk and write about it, the more likely is it taht solutions and actions shall appear to change the oceans for the better.

For instance, this young man, Boyan Slat, has invented a machine to clear the oceans of rubbish, already.

Underwater view -
I haven't mentioned friends, or love affairs, or exciting travels, this blog. Sometimes I simply have to write about some issue plainly, and here it is. 

Let's save ourselves. Who's in? 

Writing and talk is action. Even just a link to this blog on your fb or blog is enough. 

People can grow inspired, do something useful. Let's hope so.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


In San Francisco with Natasha Dennerstein at the Art Museum, a fernery, 2014.
Art galleries are castles now, fortresses protecting our fine productions.

Amy Tucker's piano told us all we needed to know, in Seattle.

If You Leave Me can I Come Too? That's a somewhat amusing, old song from Mental as Anything - they're an Australian band. Fun song, and also with a measure of sadness, like so much comic work has, just beneath the surface, the obvious. Tension creates laughter as much as other elements, then. Good spirits, in any case, can appear as an atmosphere, they may arise from familiarity, truth, and surprise, the pleasant feeling takes us over, or not - perhaps we struggle with feeling happy for some reason. 

I know I miss pretty well wherever I have been, and wish I could access those places again far more easily. I have to then thank goodness for photos, notebooks, and memories, o and nowadays, social media, I guess. Nothing like being there, however, and I'd like to travel by ship, train, and hot air balloon every month to far off places where friends live. How do I sign up for that?

I'd travel by a hokey Remlinger Farm horse and cart by jiminey.

On the 4th of July on Indian land near Georgetown, Ron filmed people setting off fireworks - they sell them, and keep a ton for this celebration. Sparks and bangs all day and night, o the irony.

Walking through Georgetown in Seattle; although once it was its own place; seeing amrkn thaangs.

O the peculiarities, and o the assumptions deflating, the cliches shattering to smithereens, uh, atomic dust, travel's full of surprises. But it's not vital that I have a great time, or even that I'm always comfortable away somewhere, either, generally, even if I do fiercely complain when things aren't fabulous. The newness, the strangeness simply attracts me, (which luckily these days does not also include the dangerous, but hey, sometimes we don't realise we're headed for trouble either). My hurried or gradual adjustments feel welcome, a novelty, in any case, provoking bemused observations. 

A test of creative abilities, any trip may offer that, but also it's an adventure inside myself. We go to unknown and previously unrealised places in our own inner world when we travel, into those mysterious interior territories rarely noted in an everyday routine at home. Somehow we can become more than what we think we are, or more like we wish we were, or someone we never realised we could be, startling in various scary, odd, and wondrous ways. An entertaining activity then, while also, arguably, it's a kind of self-development, with no easy escape from the learning experience, (yes, say that last phrase in a silly voice if you wish, sometimes it's fun).

No escaping the Mississippi flooding Bettendorf, either. Streets lay below this walkway before.

But crockery punctuation helps to erase thoughts of global warming, fast food calms panic.

The Winborn's BnB a cosy, colourful place, with Sandy's artwork all through the house.
No matter where we go, also, when friendships appear abroad then we may obviously miss those fine people after leaving. A journey has poignant moments and sadness, built-in, when we possess any kind of empathy, surely. Sometimes it feels like I'm being tugged from many directions, thinking about people everywhere whom I'm attached to.

The inevitability of this attachment also serves to help understand what may and may not be controlled, with awareness, and valuing such insights; a multitude of friendships in many places also help us perhaps to let go of more difficult, troubling aspects, as well, at times unconsciously. Knowing there's more than our own little world can keep things in a reasonable perspective. Travel's humbling. 

The delightful sense of refreshment in a temporary move to anywhere, could also be partly due to more or less having to forget what we left behind. In order to work with the unknown appearing before us, daily, on holiday, people tend to stay in the moment. I don't mean that growing close to others is only diverting, and entertaining, however, human relationships have far more to them than that. In many ways we can though weave a more dense, thorough picture for and of ourselves, in strange places. That happens the more we allow ourselves to relate to others too, perhaps. Any image or impression that we create is not just a view, but also a kind of protection like a blanket, and a matrix of meanings, language, stories, memories, and support.

Lovely magical experiences everywhere

Implicit in the definition of holiday is also the fact that the experience really will not last, none of it. Anything we do, touch, or see or taste or hear, or think about, or feel, or imagine, because of where we are visiting, has a time limit. Sometimes this may make the break feel a little desperate. It could be why I try to go see and smell and taste and listen to, and touch as much as possible in the time allowed. Forced to forget my neuroses, my tiredness, my fears, having to get on out there and see what happens.

This voyage, in amrka for the second time to visit wonderful writers I'd met online fourteen years ago, (we also met in 2012 for the first time), I felt painfully aware before leaving en zed that I only had three weeks. I recall hoping it'd be enough, just over 21 days, and feeling like it could never be. But eventually I felt glad to return home, and happy I'd seen so much in around three weeks. My joy also due to developing my relationships with writer friends, more than before, even if some of the revelations were strange, troubling, or puzzling. It was more like we knew each other better, in an everyday kind of way. 

No idea what's going to happen any day, in any case, but that seems more evident on a trip like this.

Travel's a kind of twist in time, a trick, a hop, step and a jump elsewhere, which may seem like the middle of nowhere. Also, somewhere strange can confront us. We may go into shock, faced with oddities, not knowing what on Earth the rules are wherever we may land. In the south of north amrka for instance I was not prepared for how different it looked, how strange I felt, and at times, the dangers I sensed there overwhelmed me. The turn-off we took for gas where the petrol station kiosks were behind heavy bars, still bothers me when I think about the area, (now close to where riots are going on, in Missouri, due to a man there being shot).

The bridge at the top took us out of Iowa, into Illinois, and also to an ubiquitous store you'd know of, if I wrote the name. The kind of place that sells low price items, everywhere there. A building the size of a small housing development, full of goods for sale, and workers barely paid. 

We travel to see what lies beyond the view, we leave home then to return and perhaps to love where we live even more, refreshed. We go to get, we take off to get away, we disappear to reappear, reinvented.... 

I returned to amrka because I love it there and wanted to see how I could live somewhere in that country at some time in future, hopefully with paid work to do. Applying for writer's residencies seems to be one solution. I simply need to research, then apply, and hope - except that usually I send away applications and forget them in all the other things I do, to keep various wolves and other predators well away from all my doors and windows. 

Reflections on the car window created ghosts and effects. This reflected my camera case, a two dollar shop purse with embroidered heart. I was also, for a time, in love with the trucks, or semis, along the freeways, they look so grand. Seems like the God of Photography noticed.
Our rental car, an SUV, the kind of vehicle I abhor. Irony appeared everywhere this trip. Blessings be upon it for air-con, however, and providing a sturdy ride for the most part until it broke down. Luckily we could exchange it in Houston for another, even bigger SUV.

Dreams appearing still as free as time and health allow, I guess another solution to my need to visit amrka again, (for my mental and spiritual health), is to become a star performer. I could, at the various conferences where I speak to people re story-telling, and communication, somehow grow to appear spectacular, then see myself invited to speak overseas too. I've addressed celebrants, artists, educators, (and soon communication and story-telling lectures to others; why not real estate agents, architects, shop keepers, travel agents, doctors, librarians, teachers, plumbers).... Anyone who wants to know how to tell a better story to their clients or customers, and how to communicate with more skill, ask me to show you how. Excellent rates, most entertaining and educational. (I'm determined you see, I'll try until something works). 

My celebrant story-telling workshop at their conference in Auckland was such a success, word-of-mouth kudos gained me another booking with their Hamilton branch, soon. My hope springs forth like a kind of intoxicant. No wonder it was an evil in Pandora's box. Nietzsche said that hope prolongs the misery of man, but I have to trust it does not do that for me, for I seem to be unable to stop wishing for this outcome, to go and live in amrka. That even though I now realise it is not a perfect place for me, nor as easy to understand as I first believed.

My new novel could also sell millions of copies. Then I'd sail again on the lovely Oriana to promote my novel, and future books. Ahhh yes, floating on to live in amrka for a while - say every summer. A successful writer with income flowing in from stories, poems and essays. This watery imagery feels so relaxing, I can almost believe it now.

Immune to scoffing these days, anyway, after escaping for so many years the fearful scythes of the tall poppy harvesters here, I can believe any of the above may happen. Belief is at the core of our being, I tell myself. Belief helps us to make real what we wish for, what we imagine, and need. I'm happy to consider my financial success as an author as a possibility, and if I repeat that often enough it could drive me to take further action, ensuring it happens. Nietzsche meant it when he explained that hope alone is not enough. 

Happiness has finally found me, nevertheless and quite often, after much hard work to improve. The attendant calm and peace also proven to feel like an extreme pleasure, probably until the novelty wears off. Not knowing this feeling before, I feel like someone gave me a wondrous prize.

Also, if anyone reading my blog, out of the thousands who do so, has any suggestions about how I could live and work in amrka, please do let me know. 

With any dream we may ask others for assistance. Why not?

Giving to others, by the way, is the peak of the pinnacle of happiness. Yes, so, if you find it within your kind heart to give me some assistance, purely because you feel generous, you'll grow to feel happier. Highly recommended, and one of the ways I maintain a generally delighted persona at least some of the time, is from generous acts. 

Joy in my everyday life is a true success story too, having suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome since before I could talk. The work done to turn that around, to change myself, has meant that now calm, peace, happiness, and contentment are finally realities to me. Nothing can explain the genuine pleasure of finally finding what many others take for granted, a decent, kind life, most of the time, able to react reasonably in most situations. I thank years of professional guidance, and also, realising it is normal to get such assistance. 

Natasha Dennerstein has a whole pad of these in San Fran, a poet shrink in situ.

From the train San Fran to Seattle, the landscape hurtling by, colours and sky.

Once it was quite normal, and widely practised, to seek assistance with our inner balance, to go and see a wise man or woman of the village, or a minister or doctor, to discuss our feelings and ideas, to understand ourselves better and to live more happily. Only within the last hundred or so years, this went out of fashion. The industrial revolution needed more easy to move family units without concerns for their mental and emotional health. 

I say take up that habit again, seek solace and guidance, develop your inner self, enjoy your life with more understanding and pleasure. How can this harm anyone?

My being a HSP, Highly Sensitive Person, also affected how I reacted to various upsetting incidents in younger days. No one knew I was one of these rare, but normal, human beings. We make up about 15% of the world's population. HSPs feel things more deeply, we notice things others may not, and are often highly creative. Also, for groups to survive well, we're vital, because we see early warning signs, find faster solutions, and are adept with managing some difficult, human circumstances. We HSP may also create the most divine art, in every genre.

I believe a few of my online writer friends, and other sensitive souls whom I know may also be gifted in this way. I hope they read that link in the paragraph above, it saved my life.

SF to Seattle train, over a bridge, heading north like a song says.

Seattle evening ripped with a dancing shouting street man's noise, and our fright making for the train station. My luggage had gone missing, we needed to check it had finally arrived.

Travel also excites, even if it's also as worrying as feeling like at any moment someone is going to take everything you own, and you haven't memorised anyone's phone number or address, nor your own passwords to things, like the internet. 

Ah yes, catastrophising, I can still at times panic, unduly.

Travel's changed human life, altered the way homo sapiens lives, and our cultures for countless years. Homo sapiens, human beings, we can observe how our movements hunting game, finding a new resource, or just exploring have changed us, through archeology, and imagination, stories, and other records. When homo sapiens discovered boat building, and water travel became easier, we spread across the world with extraordinary rapidity. It's believed we only started building watercraft capable of sea travel around seven thousand years ago. Now we can sail off into outer space.

The Lapita people, for instance, were the first to populate the Pacific Ocean. They travelled across the lower parts of Asia, making pots from clay. Movements were traced through discoveries of clay fragments with the same distinctive markings, in locales along a trail. Then they also travelled into Oceanania, becoming Polynesians on those islands. Traditional markings were then transferred to wooden carvings, and other artifacts. Later, those people we call Polynesians travelled against the wind and tides to populate what we think of as Aotearoa, later called New Zealand. In time, after they'd called themselves Tangata, (people), they became Maori, (which Pakeha named them, after the name of their language, Te Reo Maori, or ordinary/everyday speech). The name Pakeha was born at the same time. Thousands of years of history in those few sentences, and hundreds of thousands of miles of travelling.

Now we can fly. Think of Leonardo da Vinci sometimes when looking out of a plane window. Imagine him standing near one of the people holding glowing orange sticks, and a high-vis jacket, directing planes. Imagine the renaissance artist watching these machines take off into the air, and how delighted he'd appear. The machines he invented long ago would have flown, they are aerodynamic, but he lacked the knowledge to get them airborne.

Now, if da Vinci could see what happened only a few hundred years later, imagine his excitement. If he'd been an engineer and known how to make the engines work finely, and the fuel too of course, people would've been in the air then. Queen Elizabeth the First could've flown to challenge the Spanish, the French, if she'd captured this fine artist's expertise, with some science to match his engineering imagination.

Great inventors are needed now too, and as much as ever. Human beings are creating far too much carbon in the atmosphere, with resulting disasters all over the world. There is no escape from climate change which already affects so many. No amount of money, no special shelter, no grand barrier can absolutely protect anyone immediately, we do need to change our ways to alleviate the effects. It is far better to change what we are doing in some ways, and therefore stop affecting the climate adversely. 

Being more responsible with recycling and so on also saves money.

Buying trees for travel is one way to take responsibility for your own mess. A return flight to Europe from Aotearoa NZ costs 200 $ in trees, to absorb the carbon one person has produced by being on that return flight.

Aware that some readers dislike the idea of paying for something like trees (often in another country), to avert a disaster they cannot imagine, or do not care about, I hopefully, (there's that word again), do not labour the point. This blog is partly to promote trees for travel, however, which could turn our fortunes around, beautifully.

Travel, a new view, a different shade of blue, light changes, fresh sights appear everywhere. Invaluable, learning, yearning, at times just wondering where we are now. Some travel across oceans to meet with lovers only ever known online, and create our own disasters, too, of course. Although we may reveal more to each other online than we ever do in real life, particular personalities are better known at a distance. 

The internet, another kind of travel, a different style of unravelling too, we could say. Sending ourselves by satellite in words and pictures and recordings. A magical process and some of us seem bewitching, while others grow entranced. I'm about to tell the story of this last trip as if it is a magical tale, an invention, a fantasy.... The longer I wait the more my memory changes what happened, the more pliable the facts grow.

Amy and Ron in his garden, with the ukelele we found on the street, in a pile of hard rubbish. Such a lovely day in Georgetown, Seattle. Summer in amrka, sunny times, much talk, delicious food....

Southern landscape, near Memphis.
Dollshouse in Bettendorf
Plastic, fantastic, energising, imagination needs to serve some fine story to live on, and take with me. Carefully cut and stitched, tailored tales make a wardrobe for reputation, after all - a dancey prancey rep in a fine array, takin' th' good steps for you. A way to entertain ourselves when the night's cold and dark, with only thoughts to play with, and laugh about, sigh over, shed a few tears or years for.... 

Do we lose or gain time when we're manufacturing stardust between the lines? 

How may I make what happened sing for me?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I belong here

I belong here forgetting who I am

remembering I leave tomorrow for the southern hemisphere

after Creole hoodoo foodie immersion at The Palace Cafe

Canal Street a stream of people wearing summer rather well

New Orleans rain soon steams so Spanish moss drinks more air

I belong here remembering San Francisco sun and stun

walking into the sky and Modernist hoorahs hellos wowees

Natasha and I spilling tour talk for gigantic works in space

secrets around blue and yellow plates more useful than a tablecloth

I belong here where you disappeared but stayed put

I'm banking goodness and saving for my life

rollercoaster freeways in Seattle flanked by soldier evergreens

disappointment and knowing too much quite solved with pie

I belong where squirrels finally looked like rats with pretty tails

the B n B dolls house downstairs not haunted

a mysterious small town packed with safety

surrounded with corn and easy jokes and avoidance of difficulty

I belong there on a road trip rough over expectations                       

falling into real time without warning

knee joints complaining about age and the silence of pain

junk food scenery and increasingly larger crucifixes

I surely belong in Graceland admiring the Jungle Room

Memphis hotel swimming pool shaped like a ukelele or bass guitar

Lennon said before Elvis there was nothing - billboards say so

then riding into Lake Charles and Houston we half melted

I belong where my mother's cowboy songs met Louis Armstrong

laughter a jam with peanut butter percussion

breakfast or any meal less complete with TV news

and true love appears a little worn out like favourite luggage

I belong in the French quarter singing Janis Joplin late

fanning myself with a pink Japanese gift

thinking how beautiful men are at night and a distance

or so close they almost inhabit you and then windows open

 I really do belong where the waiters treat me so kindly

losing a few kilos in relaxation to hover just above my seat

glad I found that amrka could disappoint and sadden me

before the fantasy turned into a lurid painting on a black van

and yes I belong making mistakes and learning more history spells

gradually coming to a standstill delighted with blueberries

watching people make original moves unaware of their own beauty

every day and ordinary - they transcend ideals with surprise

O I belong where I am at any time from this moment

because anywhere amrka lets me be myself and engulfs the acting

brave because I'm terrified of everywhere but I still go out

taking my place and collecting words for giving

And I belong knowing I'm not ashamed of my feelings

nor thinking someone else's to blame for my infinite world within

cosmic or elastic the lone anybody view

a pulse gives away every attempt at statuary

we belong together like any natural gang-creature - say hedgehogs

a little worse for wear such as with favourite toys

the world plays with us and flings our precious selves downstairs

we're in a 1930s B movie in tight costumes or monster suits

true - belong where we are at any time and we love each other

the alternative's close to denying beauty even with venetian blinds

simply in the business of art and solitude transforming irritants

including our view of anyone anywhere any time and ourselves


I fly back to New Zealand tomorrow, 23rd July 2014, thank you to everyone who I visited with, and good luck to us all.

Thanks for reading, and please do check out my latest novel here, 

or my home page and also this latest poetry book from Random House features my work, it's on the best-selling list at present -

Comments welcome.