As many Australians have come together over the past week to recognise the first Australians for NAIDOC week, I’ve been challenged to think more about how I walk with indigenous Australians day to day. This is a small beginning: a reflection of what it means in my own backyard.
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation… 2 Corinthians 6:2 We did not choose you, would not repeat you.Grief has built upon grief: ash and smoke first,Then this, a time we can only call”Unprecedented”. And how it goes on,How quickly “normal” becomes a wordStripped of all meaning. How quicklyContinue reading “Anno Domini: For the year 2020”
First you will learn about smiles,how much you smile,what’s contained in a smile,what’s implied in the different degrees of smile:in a curl of the lip at a funny thought,in the mouth’s outstretched cornersto greet the close acquaintance, in the sardonic phrase,the empathic moment.All these things you will learnwhen they cannot be seen.And eyes. You willContinue reading “Till We Have Our Faces Back”
Yes, it takes our freedomsbecause sometimes love does that:for neighbour, for stranger,for one who walks the same streets,walks by your desk,shops where you shop,shares the same air.Sometimes love lays downrights – freedom of movement,freedom of assembly,freedom to smile and have others see -because sometimes love judgesthe more needful thing,the truer way to be free.
Check temperature before you leave;Second guess that winter sniffle.Hand-sanitiser with your markers,Enter the ever-shifting classroom space.Greet the students in masks.Watch attendance, but don’t be afraid.Be calm. Reassure. You may mention the warBut know how to read the faces before you.Keep life normalWhen nothing is normal.Plan.(Nothing will go to plan.)Admit when you are not okayBut faceContinue reading “Frontline (For the pandemic teachers)”
What the day brings is anyone’s guess:Students in masks, temperature checks at the front gate,But what else? Prognoses and rules change by the minute;What yesterday was harmless today may destroy.Brave new day that has such features in it.And so, the day lying openLike a box, like a question,I rejoice to see vermilion horizonThat smiles onContinue reading “Quarantine Morning”
I wrote this poem yesterday for the third installment in a series of videos about being a neighbour. As I wrote, I was contemplating the prospect of my Melbourne suburb being the next to go into lockdown. Little did I know that today the whole city would be put back into lockdown. So I’m postingContinue reading “In Our Father’s House”
If words fail, being only breath,Look to the one who was himselfThe Word, though many said not.Look to the one whose lastBreath, crushed by Satan’sKnee, was “Forgive.”Look to HimAnd keepFaith.
At the shops and in the street,We look at faces, look at feet,Breathing quickly as we pass,Lest the germs should get to us.Seeking family on a screen,Craving you and us and we.What will each tomorrow bring?(Can we handle one more thing?)In this and each new instance,Can we love, safe from a distance?
When others horde, share. When others sneeze, do not be startled. When the numbers rise, take heart. For your life is more than your days on earth and your planet is more than a virus. When the shops are packed with people and the shelves are emptied of products, do not push and shove andContinue reading “Other Ways to Practise Resurrection, Or, How to Beat a Pandemic: After Wendell Berry”