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poetry, writing

Our Darling is Dying

In July 2016 I was travelling through western New South Wales when my by bus Atlantis broke a fuel line. I repaired the bus with the help of a local earthmoving business. I got on my way the next day and had a blow out ten kilometers out of town.

The desert was green from a few recent showers but the Darling River was low and I was not leaving Wilcannia until I had replaced the tyre in Broken Hill. It so happened that the Barkindji mob and some other local had organised a protest to stop traffic on the only bridge over the Darling River for half an hour, every hour, all weekend.

During my stay in Wilcannia, I met the kindest and most welcoming people in all of my travels but I also met a people struggling to hold on to their traditions and way of life because the Darling River or Barka as it’s known locally is drying up.

In Queensland and New South Wales, corruption and water theft and harvesting has stopped the flow of the mighty Darling River which once flowed all year round and is a vital source of food, culture and recreation for the Barkindji people of Wilcannia. The Barka is now not even a trickle but a series of muddy billabongs with dying fish, yabbies, turtles and andthing else that once lived there.

The Barkindji people of Wilcannia are tough and self sufficient but their community orchard and garden can’t be watered and fresh produce is prohibitively expensive due to the freight costs. Without access to freshly caught fish and fresh produce, the health of the Brakindji people is being adversely impacted. There are also important social and cultural remifications of the Barka not flowing. There are a whole generation of young people who aren’t getting to fish, swim or go camping on the river and learn culture. This also leads to depression and alcohol abuse in the community.

In 2016 vwhen I stayed in Wilcannia there was still water in the river for the town because of the weir but in January 2019 the situation is dire and the water quality is decreasing in town all allong the river to the point of being undrinkable.

This problem is not isolated to Wilcannia but ultimately affect the whole Murray Darling Basin and the ecosystem of the continent.

Why has thias happened?

Two main reasons:

1. The drought caused by 200+ years of land clearing and deforestation has lead to a vastly different and drier climate in Auastralia.

2. Mismanagemant and corruption by politicians, farmers and large corporate cotton agriculture.

The solution is simple. Restore stream flow and mass tree planting and reforestation accross the entire catchment of the Darling. This could be done by a National River and Forest Brigade and reassigning the military forces to productive and nurturing purposes instead of destructive purposes.

The management of the Murray Darling should be by a single national body and responsibility taken away from the states as the Murray-Darling crosses borders.

There are some many other steps including the covering of irrigation canals, changing from cotton to hemp farming for fibre, restoring cross land flows by removing artifical barriers. However for now, I have written the following song/poem to raise awareness of this important national issue of environmental, ecological and socio-cultural significance. Please share to bring awareness to this issue.

Our Darling is Dying

Our Darling is dying and running quite dry

The Barkindji man said, I just want to cry

I went to the Darling and all I could see

Was a dry river bed, no longer flowing free

Dead fish were floating with poison and sick

Long muddy billabong, blue green algae slick

“Our river would always flow to the sea

Even in drought she always flowed free”

“There was always abundance and plenty of feed

But now she’s exploited by corporate greed”

Dinners and deals and networks of corruption

The Darling River is dying, this is it’s destruction

National politicians take donations of greed

From cotton corporations with their GMO seed

Four hundred thousand Megalitres for just Cubbie Station

But no water or fish for the Barkindji Nation

Other farm’s water theft is also a crime

The new laws don’t stop them our Darling is dying

Cotton farms, water theft, corruption as donations

The Darling is dying because of greedy cotton stations

Out there in Wilcannia there’s no fishing for feeds

No water for veggies so the garden’s just weeds

Two dollars for an apple, a lettuce ten or more

A dry river makes us sick and keeps us all poor

Just drinking and fighting and wearing a frown

Waiting for the Darling River to flow down

There’s no fishing, or swimming or camping anymore

There’s nothing to do and life is a bore

A dead roo in the river but it didn’t drown

It died when it drank the poison river water down

It’s time that we started the Barkindji man said

If the river doesn’t flow the whole country will be dead

Free up the Darling River and bring it back to life

Or the whole ecosystem is in trouble and strife

Everything must be done and we have what it takes

To naturally refill the whole Menindee lakes

To bring back silver perch, yellow belly and cod

Our Darling, Our source of life, Rainbow serpent God

If we don’t let the water flow I will sing this song

Till the Darling River is no more a muddy billabong

Clean up the river and make it like long before

and the Darling can waltz and flow forever more

But our Darling River’s is dying and our Darling is dry

The Barkindji man said, I just want to cry

Song Copyright James Arthur Warren, Thundercloud Reparian

Sung to the tune of Music Waltzing Matilda composed by Christina McPherson 1895 all instruments played by Charles Whitmer https://youtu.be/L-jftwjDzc4

You can contact me below if you are interested in using this song.

thundercloud notebooks
poetry, writing

The Lost Poetry from 2011

It’s Christmas eve in Nimbin and yesterday I was invited to an interview and reading of my selected poetry at 2NCR 92.9fm (link to live stream) Northern Rivers Community Radio in Lismore. Before I left, I went back to get a couple of copies of my books, “Love in Nimbin” and “Lust in Nimbin” to give to the presenters.

I grabbed my books and saw my box full of handwritten notebooks. I randomly opened the note book called “Do what you love” and there was two “lost poems” from 2017 that I had missed adding to my books when I hurriedly published them for Mardi Grass 2018. The poems I found were one about and experience I had when I first arrived in Nimbin. The other poem was one that I had written at a Medical Cannabis wotkshop during a symposium put on by the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin. This has inspired me to add these two poems to the second and revised editions of Love in Nimbin and Lust in Nimbin.

I am pretty careful with the storage of my manuscripts and this episode reminded me that I need to continue with my storage practices so that I leave behind a legacy of the original writing.

This morning, I awoke on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve and Facebook reminded me of a seven year old post which was one of my early poems that I had totally forgotten about. I will publish this poem in one of my upcoming books, however I have also decided to share it with you as a gift of love to hopefully put a smile on your face.

On the table.
He laid her on the table.
So white and clean and bare.
His forehead wet with beads of sweat.
He rubbed her here and there.
He touched her neck and then her breast.
And then drooling felt her thigh.
The slit was wet and all was set,
He gave a joyous cry.
The hole was wide…he looked inside.
All was dark and murky.
He rubbed his hands and stretched his arms…
And then he stuffed the turkey.

Big Kev
animals, Life lessons, poetry, writing

Big Kev the Kookaburra

This morning when I got up there were a lot of birds hanging about the spilt compost bin. There were four bush turkeys, three magpies, a pied currawong and this kookaburra of which I managed to get a few good photos. I like to listen to the messages from the animals and when I am attuned in and calm then the messages flow. 

One of the things I have noticed living in the bush and also being an early riser, is that the kookaburras are often the first birds to wake and anounce their presence in the very first light of the day. I was born in the Chinese year of the “cock” and love the birds. I often wondered what the kookaburras were saying each morning but now I think they are just yelling out “Yip yip yip yipeee its awesome to be alive in this awesomely beautiful world and I am awake to celebrate it, yiiiiippppppeeeeeeee”

This morning’s message comes from Big Kev the Kookaburra

Big Kev the Kookaburra had a lot of need

Big Kev the Kookaburra had a lot of greed

Big Kev the Kookaburra was always swooping down

Picking snakes and lizards up sunning on the ground

 

Kev Kookaburra wasn’t always a big fella

It started when magpie called him Yella

Kev Kookaburra Yelled “I’m not afraid”

The magpie had meant the noise he made

 

Kev Kookaburra yelled’ “I’ve got what it takes

I eat lizards and I eat snakes

I’m not scared and I won’t die

I eat snakes, I’m one tough guy.

 

Kev Kookaburra gave a loud shout

Swooped down and ate a water dragon laying about

Swallowed it into his tummy

Said to the magpie, “that was yummy

 

I’m going looking for more to eat

There’s plenty of lizards and snakes to eat

He flew above the dusty track

Snakes sunning themselves in the outback

 

Kev Kookaburra found so much feed

He couldn’t control his pride and greed

When Kev Kookaburra came back

His stubbies wouldn’t cover his bum crack

 

Kev was heavy and weighed down

His belly stopped him flying around

He sat around, could fly no more

Watched TV sitting on the floor

 

“I showed you magpie, I’m not afraid

See the empire I have made

There’s so much more than I need

Could not fulfil my pride and greed

 

Got so much stuff in my life

I can’t fly now I’ve lost my wife”

Kev Kookaburra was now a real heav

The magpie renamed him Big Kev

 

Big Kev the Kookaburra the magpie said

You can’t fly now you will be dead

If one of those snakes comes along

You’ll never sing your happy song

 

Big Kev Kookaburra will be snake food now

Big Kev can’t get off the ground

Big Kev the Kookaburra said, “I don’t want to die”

I really enjoyed to swoop and fly

 

I want to be like I was before

Not big and fat sitting on the floor

Big Kev yelled, “I’ve had enough”

Pride and greed are not that tough

 

“I’ve seen the error of my way”

Only eat what I need to fly each day

He gave up beer and cream cakes

Now only eats occasional snakes

 

He’s fit and healthy now you see

Wakes up with the sun and sits in a tree

Each morning Kev gives a great big shout

“Eat well Is what life is all about”

 

He laughs about the error of his ways

How he’s happy and healthy always these days

Big Kev Kookaburra flies once more

Swoops and flies and he can soar

 

Big Kev the Kookaburra laughs about it now

How once he was fat like a cow

But now he’s free to fly and soar

Big Kev the Kookaburra is a fit fella sure.

Big Tree
Life lessons, poetry, writing

Supplanting: Working from the roots up

To supplant: verb, meaning to replace and bring about higher knowledge through subversive means, working from the roots up to plant seeds and nurture the conditions for growth and change into higher life forms. 

Thunderclouds bring rains that sprout the planted seeds

Thunderclouds bring rains that grow the trees for free.

For me it is important I nurture thee with food.

Loving words to inspire you encourage you to good.

I wrote the following piece so you might plant a tree

Because you can grow a forest just like me.

 

Supplanting Trees

A tree was standing beside the road, the next day I came along.

The tree that once was growing was cut down and was gone.

I asked a Woman standing there what happened to the tree?

they cut it down to build a road and suburbs answered she.

A forest grew beside a lake to the north of the city

They cut it down now you can buy land at North Forest Lake cheaply

Roos love open forest but Farmers use a chain

to clear all the scrub and round up they are spraying

 

A place that once grew trees is now dry and bare

A field, a road, a roof, a fence no trees to clean the air

There was a man who planted seeds and trees in the ground

A lush green forest grows there now  it’s no longer Dusty Brown

You can plant a seed and grow a forest too

Repair the Earth, grow homes for birds and beautify the view

if we cut down all the forest there will be no falling rain

but when we plant trees and seeds lusciousness grows again

 

big tree stump
giant old tree stump

 

Thundercloud Repairian AKA James Arthur Warren is a Nimbin based educator, poet, artist and writer. His first book The Flea and the Dinosaur is a children’s book fully written and illustrated by Thundercloud is available to Buy Now at lulu.com

If you like this post you can share it about and you might be interested in some of my videos on Youtube where you can subscribe. https://www.youtube.com/user/1english1video/

poetry, writing

The floogal of Bligalish

Nimbin, August 2018 and the following words begin to come into my mind, “In the floogal of bligalish the greolopker krusht” I quickly grab a pen and begin to transcribe the “words” that are flowing out. I have one verse and make a meme and publish. Over the next week or two I begin to add a few more verses with the intention of making this piece my entry for the Lismore Poetry Cup.

By mid September I have finished, rehearsed and ready for the Lismore 2018 Poetry Cup. My performance is polished and outstanding. I didn’t win but that’s not what’s important. The important thing is that I have written the following poem which lends itself to all kinds of interpretation.

 

In the floogal of bligalish the Greolopker krusht.

Warkeling slifishly zer klebimed the drulch.

Graablee ended zem hophingly zock.

Hollack hast broidenid Twadchickas plock.

 

Twadchicka conspought ze plock avec Krishsus.

Zey brosht and clept whilst drustopping flistus

But Greolopker notest umd klebimed ze plock.

Avec ze broidenid, slifishly broidenid hock.

 

Krishsus busht a kakaphone of wifkak umd quuck

Whilst Greolopker doknifid umd shut ze kakaphone up.

Slifishly warkled zem triphingly hustock

As the floogal of bligalish wength reglifmok.

 

Krishsus poongth brack umd Twadchicka replockid

Greolopker reklebimed zey instapoet djokid.

Avec ze moglehid boogratcher sluup.

Zifuk fa kryan utelad pluckity zup.

 

Flistus hast koppt zey clepting and brooshting

Summonsid Hollack umd Greolopker slifishly hooshting.

Tall ended slifishly triphingly hustock.

Doknifid nemronivne lagphar till thwock

 

Plock twas ended from Graablee umd strogingly frew

Days umd dark over gone awebrishly through.

In the floogal of bligalish the Greolopker krusht.

Warkeling slifishly zer klebimed the drulch.

 

Graablee ended zem hophingly zock.

Hollack hast broidenid Twadchickas plock.

 

You can also buy my children’s anti-bullying fable “The Flea and the Dinosaur”

online at lulu.com, just click this link

 

Uncategorized

Ticked off

In martial arts, the way of the peaceful warrior reigns supreme and small with loving intention can defeat large with destructive intentions.
The first thing I learnt about self defence was how to block.
Then I learnt to step aside and avoid the attack.
Next I learnt how the momentum of the attacker can be used to disable the attacker.
Finally I learnt how to heal.
Let’s take something tiny like a tick. Ticks are
Small but can carry disabling bacteria and parasites in their bite.
First it’s important to block the tick with Rose geranium, rosemary and tea tree .
oil. Then keep an eye out for them crawling little buggers and get them off before they bite into you. If a tick bites, and you find it, don’t scratch it and apply some tea tree oil or tiger balm to make it back out and die. Then using tick pullers or tweezers grab it and twist anti clockwise while pulling.
To heal. Put the tick between your teeth and crush it up, then spit it out.
If you have access to homeopathic ixodes, take a dose.
Do not scratch the tick bite or area about the bite. Instead boil water and wet a tea towel, wring it out being careful not to burn yourself and apply the Tea towel and hot as you can stand . Repeat when necessary or have really hot showers in the affected area. Just don’t burn yourself and this should relieve the itching for a couple of hours or more. Because tick bites are full of pathogens it’s important to alkalise yourself through diet, breathing and vitamin c.
Drink distilled water with lemon juice in the and super oxygenate your blood using the wim hof technique twice a day and also intensify your meditation yoga, stretching in order to promote lymphatic movement and stimulate your immune system into overdrive.
Become the tick.
There is also a native australian treatment of spotted gum, bloodwood and gum tree resin which is used to treat tick typhus.

Life lessons, poetry

Henny Penny

Lessons from Henny Penny

You get out what you put in.

I remember as a young man hearing the story of Henny Penny who planted wheat to grow seeds to make bread for her family. Every time she wanted help the other animals were too busy to help. However, when the bread had been baked all the animals wanted to have some but Henny Penny didn’t give them any bread because they hadn’t helped.

I wrote this poem to expand on the lessons of Henny Penny.

Henny Penny

Henny Penny planted seeds but no one would assist

They said it is a good idea so Henny did persist

The seeds they grew to wheat and trees, rye and barley too.

Henny Penny planted these and ate the berries blue

The others smelled the cooking bread and gathered round in lust

Give us some you selfish hen the farmer gives us dust

I only have enough to feed the ones that I can trust

I made enough for all that helped to harvest sow and crush

You saw me plant and carry water, working in the hot

You could have helped, we would have enough for all but now we’ve not

Myself I need the energy to plant a row of seeds

Here have some crumbs. It’s all you get. What lazy people need.

Henny built a humble home for all her family

Her door was always open to visitors for feeds

The selfish ones watched from afar with envy lust and pride

Coveting the simple things like Henny’s hot fruit pies

Henny would be nice to you when you’re not a selfish jerk

Hot fruit pies and fresh baked bread for those that do the work

A rattle snake came along and offered her some money

She laughed said to go away. I can’t eat that it’s funny

You want a piece of glory of God’s delicious bread

Now you offer gold and coins when I wanted help instead

You can use the money to buy some new fruit trees

Or you could help and climb that one and pick the seeds for free

The Earth provides us everything in abundance and in joy

The fruits of all my labour are for my children to enjoy

You can get this poem and more like it from my book “Love in Nimbin” Book 1 of Love and Lust in Nimbin available by at fantAsian Eatery, Nimbin or by mail order for $19.95 AUD plus postage. You can place an order by emailing Thundercloud at 1english1@gmail.com