From The Heart

fromtheheart.com

When I opened the door, I could not believe my eyes. In my absence, the room I understood had changed. I knew we had few possessions, (married six months), but I remembered we had a new unused television, record player, radio in the front room. A very up to date three in one appliance it was. It was there, standing in that vacant space. I missed it. Had anything else gone? The cash from the sale of some charity raffle tickets, a few other odds and ends, had also gone.

I remember it as if it was yesterday (it was almost sixty years ago). The things didn’t matter in the long run; we knew we could replace them with an insurance claim. What really hurt was the violation, losing privacy and the invasion of our little home.

Imagine if we lost our home, our land, our way of life? 1,000s of Australians have experienced this in the last twelve months the imagining has been their reality. Events of this type have reoccurred for nearly every year of the past 250 years of Australian European history. What have we learned as a people?

Nothing.

Is history an excellent teacher? Observers continually remind us if we take no notice of the past it binds us to make the same mistakes. My recent holiday to the Apple Isle of Tasmania has reminded me of the history lessons I took as a child, mainly because life has taught me how inefficient those lessons were.

Previously we have visited Port Arthur prison village. My school lessons taught me about the severity of the punishment metered out at that awful place. I had not imagined so many as 2,000 convicts housed in Hobart itself.

They taught us the Isle discovered by Abel Tasman, first called Van Diemen’s Land, was a superb place to send miscreants who filled British gaols. Therefore, from 1807 until 1868 74,000 people were transported to Fisherman’s dock in Hobart. On the dock today stand four bronzes of young women and a boy to represent the 14,000 women and children who were transported to the island. People like: Margaret 27 for stealing thread, Sarah Emma, 29 for vagrancy, Anne, 19 for stealing wheat, and Rose, 23 for murdering her children. Children like Toby 10, and a list of other waifs like, Joseph Robbing 10, Sarah Thomson 12, Louisa Gannon 3, Ann James 6. (What crimes could these children have perpetrated that required them to be shipped to the other side of the world?)

The city sitting on the edges of the broad Derwent River is a very attractive modern city. It is the last destination of one of the longest open water yacht races. Each New Year’s Day, the competition leaves Sydney. Daily the media reports on the yachts as they make their way to Constitution Dock at Fisherman’s wharf Hobart. 

Tasmania therefore has a long association with the mainland. We know it for its fish, its apples, its milk, wine, mining and whisky. It is also the home of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine. They captured the last animal in 1930 and it lived a miserable, solitary life in a wire cage instead of in the wild forests it was born for.

My school lessons told of its awful last years. They also told how the migrant settlers had rid the land of the wild indigenous people. (Missed was the story of the murderous behaviour of the people with guns hunting them like animal and massacing them for the sake of their beautiful timbered land. It told of Truganini.)

Little by little the inaccuracy of the things I learned at school about Tasmania and its peoples has come to my attention. The most recent improvement came from this visit when we visited the Museum of Tasmania. In confirmation of my class lesson, the museum has a bronze bust of Truganini on display. It also has a UNESCO recognised treasure as a recording of Fanny Cochrane Smith singing. Fanny out lived Truganini, who died in 1876 by 30 years. They considered Fanny the last fluent speaker of her language. Thus the Palawa or Pakana people supposed lost to history unlike the thylacine remained. Fortunately, the bloodline of these people survives.

Our journey took us down the river Derwent, past the suburb of Risdon, that place that houses the women prisoners of today to the Museum Of Modern Art, MONA. MONA is the private art gallery of the eccentric collector David Walsh. This man has contributed wonderfully to the people and the State of Tasmania. Tourism to his museum is one compelling reason to visit the state. An off shoot of his artistic endeavour is Dark Mofo. This annual winter event is in the last stages of planning after the museum was closed because of Covid 19.

The Spanish artist Santiago Sierra had requested the aid of local indigenous people and asked them to donate blood to him to help him create his additional art work. His gimmick was to soak a British Union Jack in their blood. David Walsh thought nothing more of it. I thought it reasonable as well. The idea of ruining a flag with aboriginal blood seemed at first to represent the struggle the people had had to keep their land.

Fortunately, the artwork will not proceed. Sufficient people pointed out aboriginal people have lost enough blood over nearly 250 years and this is not the time to lose more. David Walsh apologised. I apologise. I understand, enough is enough.

Which brings me back to my home burglary. I easily replaced the property I lost. The point is just a matter of conversation, whereas when the British colonised this land the people that lived here lived productive lives based on the knowledge of 60,000 years of continuous occupation. The colonisers did not consult them, and they did not cede land to them. In payment for their generosity, they were exploited. It dispossessed them of their land, their culture, their language. 500 locations mark places of massacre. The land has so many locations defiled in this way, researchers have used newspaper reports to build a map recording of the happenings at each site.

Australia has a constitution that does not acknowledge the indigenous and their long ownership of the land. Today marks the third anniversary of the well-considered statement. The Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

As background, the country has discussed the issue since 1963. The From the Heart Statement came out of two years of careful consultation and they presented it to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the morning of 26. March 2017 and by the evening of the same day he dismissed it without discussion. It is now time to recognise our people in the Constitution and acknowledge with pride how lucky we are to live in a nation with such a proud history.

Today I signed the Uluru statement of The Heart to support the aboriginal nations that made this country. 

26 March 2021.

Minotaur’s Sarcophagus

Ref. gettyimages
A simple rubber ducky
plucked from a water-bucket
twirled the surface tension,
stirring broken promises.

Tectonic activity
and brute Coriolis forces
threw the sleeping monster,
Minotaur, upon ochre clouds.

Crazily aroused, he rampaged,
in this unexpected setting,
tramping clay underfoot
relying on primitive reflexes
instead of containing his anger.

The stench of sweat,
and the fear of failure,
trapped him in a mortal
brawl of self doubt.

Still maddened, and bellowing
vexatious oaths, he burnished
an enamelled labyrinth
into his lonely sarcophagus.

Hearts emptied of childhood
dreams, replaced myths with other
tenets, messed with phobias and
prejudice to colour this
grand opus, this time on earth.

I am seeking your comments on this piece. Is it too oblique? Perhaps you find it gloomy. It will help me if you take time to pen a comment. Thank you

Now Glue Words

Ref/prowritingaid. Om

I am Bruce

I have an adverb addiction.

I am an innocent child of this terrible thing.

At first I hurriedly popped them into sentences.

I hoped no one would notice.

I found I could not write fluently without them.

You didn’t say a word

Perhaps it is because you are too blooming polite.

On this forum all readers are critics, or at least you should be.

You write regularly.

Many of you are students carefully creating works of art.

You choose your excellent words craftily.

It matters not whether the work is prose or emotive verse.

I like how you think.

I like your rhythm, your meter, your alliteration.

I like your onomatopoeia.

Ha

Like the dastardly drunk I am stuck on them, all 3700 plus words in the English dictionary.

I use them sparingly

I see they commonly end in ly.

Many others escape my pen, hidden as they are, in my convoluted verbose speech.

In desperation I turned to prowritingaid.com

I purchased a membership.

Cured of one writing ill.

I have another.

I overuse glue words.

Who would have thought?

prowritingaid.com is helping me.

You can use it for nothing

Or you may prefer to pay half price for its full use by clicking on this twitter message

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Ekphrastic Review. Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending


The Lark Ascending

In the style of George Meredith prompted by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Williams’ piece is one of classical music’s most popular tunes.


Drawing on past experience,

With curious indifference,

wind-surfers twist at Eagle Rock.

Two air-gliders soaring – Peacocks!

At Aireys, warm air rises, beach wide

as on Grampians mount, birds preside.

Oven-crisp wind lifts, whirls, skirls

The still, open area swirls

detached – silence broken – undone.

Lest the noisy cockatoo’s pun,

recall a complete parakeet,

Ariel acrobatics replete,

Plunging, over red clover, roll clear

Country air of blissful freedom.

Calling on past material

I recall how our ethereal,

birds screech loudly, as not to sing

like they do for a British king.

Little brown wings stretch over the earth,

all George Meredith’s verse wordless mirth.

Alauda arvenis – “The Lark

Ascending”, neat words promoted

120 lines of poetry devoted

blending- never condescending.


Shrill,irreflective, unrestrain’d

Rapt, ringing, on the jet sustain’d

Without a break, without a fall,

Sweet-silvery, sheer lyrical,

Perennial, quavering up the chord

Liike myriad dews of sunny sward (1)


Meredith’s bird singing – Dylan

Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams

In five note pentatonic scale,

Wrote a radiant telltale,

Of music fit for English kings –

opening chords – violin strings.


(1) excerpt from The Lark Ascends, George Meredith.


Forget my poem. Please find Vaughan Williams tune “The Lark Ascending” and relax for 15 or 16 minutes with one of the most beautiful tunes.

Something neoteric.

Ref – Dreamtime.com

Is rock on on the rocks?

Through retracing response
Narration
Primarily
Recitation
Alone

Kinds
Lies
Philosophers
Lived
Somehow
For
Odds
Naive
What we
Question
Nevertheless
Return
Moved
Frustration
Recalling
Boarders
European
Roamaticised
First Hand

I have been reading seriously. To lighten my distracted mind I have attempted to create something neoteric in the manner as AI programs might. Let me explain – from Dr Nick’s thesis I chose one random word from each of the next 28 pages starting at page 16. My questions are: Does speed reading help us distil meaning? Or, Does choosing random words enable us to provide novel ideas?

Dr Nick is our son. Like his siblings he makes us proud by overachieving. (Not sure where the overachieving gene comes from – pleased our children have it.) Just the same I hope he forgives this trivialisation of his study.

We see life

Artist unknown author’s collection

We see life

We see life
Where one
And the next
Fatigued footstep
Treads beyond exhaustion
Prompted by loss of sleep
To smell the garbage of
A futile suburban life

We see
How the nuclear family
Grasps any
Grandparent like
Unpaid labour
To aid and manage
Thirsty children close
To teatime tantrums

The abstract tableau
Of monochrome paint
Reels in heat haze
Thrown at the rinsed out
Crisp lines of rotting edifices
As buildings crumble
On the hill of decay


We see life.

I have just discovered Ekphrastic Review poetry after following janedougherty.wordpress.com

You can find her work as selected by https://www.ekphrastic.net/

The meaning of writing about works of art- expressed as ekphrastic writing is found here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekphrasis

I found the exercise an enjoyable challenge.

My Box Brownie could do that.

Photo EBay

Talk of

Artificial Intelligence

Prompted me to read


The programmer

Obviously pressed a button

That spat out art


The work emerged

By … mathematical formula

Was named Le Comte de Belamy


Auctioneer Criristies

Listed it among the works of fifty famous artists

Proclaiming the work as new


Based as it was

On 1,500 scanned portraits

Of actual works by paint masters


Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre

Purchaser proclaimed it

“grotesque and amazing at the same time.”


Estimated to sell

As it cost time to produce

At ten thousand


It sold

With one in the room and one on the phone

In twenty eighteen


It’s Obvious

Pierre Fautrel, Gauthier Vernier, and Hugo Caselles-Dupré.

And GAN are names to watch


After all

They trousered

Four hundred and thirty-two thousand


Just think

If my little Box Brownie had taken colour prints

Before A.I. ………………My art could have made me rich.

AI was used to replicate poetry at last year’s poetry day (21 March 2019.) The photo below is one of five poems generated by artificial Intelligence to be read that day. Here is Various Weathers.

Co Plaith.com

Singular Vision – (shared post)

Expressing and recording your personal history is vitally important in its own right. It needs no further justification or rationalization.

Singular Vision

Our experience of life has an internal, and an external expression. When thoughts are recorded we are enabled to “see” the invisible thoughts of the individual. Whatever is produced need not be earth shattering. As this piece illustrates.

As the artist and the subject, you can’t judge what’s important or what isn’t. You have to leave that to others. Do you think that Beethoven could have told you that the 5th and 9th symphonies were going to be really important and the 6th and 7th weren’t going to be? No, he was just Beethoven doing his Beethoven thing.

Just as well. The world would be poorer without Beethoven’s music. I can’t choose as they all have a place in my life, but The Pastoral relaxes me.

Why does one read? I recommend you visit http://sydweedon.org/2019/12/30/singular-vision/

Prompted response


My work is as scrambled as my brain according to Faerie. My written words are no different. This entry is prompted by “Almost” an article a new reader has posted on WordPress. I was prompted to write a response to him when I read this quote of his just after R visited. Here is his quote and my response to his article.

“The artist’s main goal is to create.

The craftsman wants a finished product”.

Cristian Mihal. Irevuo WordPress.

To “Almost” I responded.

This quote from your post explains to me why I have half finished projects everywhere and why I felt put out when a friend came over. He was in my shed and he found a piece of wood he had given me 2 years ago. I have almost finished carving a figurine but I reached that stage months ago and it lies unfinished. He said, It’s time to get out the Dremmel to get rid of these marks, as he rubbed at my chisel marks. I do have work to do certainly. Yet I want to show how the figure was made so the marks will stay.


The photo is of detail from my unfinished work.

Chip, chip. Please leave your mark before you leave, or stay to read more. Chip, chip.