Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Bells of Heaven

Today my friend David and I wandered around 'Birrarung Marr', the open space adjacent to the CBD commemorating Melbourne's Aboriginal presence. We listened to these bells, these 'Federation Bells', pealing, booming, tinkling, and continued wandering, to the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian and International collections.
Above, the back of Federation Square and its leaping steps I like to take one at a time.
A run of Moreton Bay figs along the banks of the Yarra River. It's winter now, and the air's cold, but this morning the sun was shining.
I love the handful of Eucalypts growing along here most of all, for their twisting and ancient elegance,
and I love the sculptures. Here, a cradle, a water trough, a shield? - we couldn't work it out, but I'd be happy to climb into it to keep me warm in Melbourne's winter...
or climb up on this totem, to reach higher to the sun.
Above, one of many splendid Gymea lilies, gigantic, monstrous, huge, they rise way, way up towards Heaven,
and here, one of a group of 'tribal' sculptures, an embodiment of actions and acts whose origins come from beyond this world, beyond this riverbank, but which, embodied here, tell of continuity.
  However new this city is, it is in fact, one of the oldest settlements in the world,
far older than this Goliath bronze, created by Auguste Rodin in 1898 and cast in 1967.
This bronze, 'Tree of Life' ( 1961 ), by the Italian Pino Conte was perhaps my favourite view. The bells of Heaven swing not only above us and around us, but for us, with us.
Above, one of the many winter trees outside the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's pre-eminent art collection. It's the stones around its bed that caught my eye,
when I wasn't gazing out through several Heavens...
or seeing objects such as these seats, themselves an artwork, a reminder of a heavenly place to recline.
Henry Moore's 'draped seated woman' ( 1958 ) knows how to recline well. Perhaps she hears the peal of bells from across the river...
...such as from this one, one of 39 in the Federation Bells installation, unveiled ( or heard out loud for the first time ) on Australia Day, 26/01/2002.
Time is nothing new. Its sounds ring out from way back when, when we were little more than airwaves...
who stood, eventually, like sculptures in a landscape, and made our sound ring out, and ring out real into the world.

With thanks to our Aboriginal forebears and to David, for making Heaven real to me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Winterscape, Melbourne

Rain collapses from the sky.
It is always evening, in the dim light.
Cloaked, hooded, wrapped, shrouded, we navigate a course.
Life withdraws or it soldiers on.
Our bones ache, propped up by the wind. Life flowers unexpectedly;
implanted in the thick of things, new life takes hold...
...amid the austerity.
It will temper our grand illusions, and give them good temper.
It will pour forth at the feet of mountains, making them accessible.
Our solemnity is our winter. However much we wait for life,
and wait for it to happen, back within our chilly cells,
it nudges us with a promise of light.
The trees sleep. The air waves through them as if the world were empty -
but it is not. Life knows how to wait for lift-off.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shake, Rattle

Last night, just before  9 pm, I felt the roof of my house shake for some moments. It wasn't just the possums making whoopee. I later discovered a 5.4 magnitude earthquake had spread from about 130 km south-east of Melbourne. Although there was some minor damage, it was no catastrophe. My friend Hussein found this response from an unknown source, with thanks:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Planets

The planets circulate, outwardly and inwardly.
At night, in this winter-time, I look out into the sparser garden...
here's the blue star flower, from Argentina ( Ipheion uniflorum ), a Euphorbia and a native Everlasting, coming out into bloom in the big, wide, cold, dark world.
We inch towards the Sun, however far.
We show our feathers. We genuflect. We hope everything we are and contain will be enough.
Am I visible at night? Will the planets collide into me or will they sail into new orchestrations?
I am as durable as a moth, but I'm sure I'll fly beyond the planets, one day,
with my blue wings,
and my blue petals.
Our worlds are nothing but little windows into the night sky, where larger forces navigate above us.
We are contained in a breathing greenness. We sprout, whatever the weather. We reach,
each of us a planet.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Glimpses of Green Among the Grey, Collins St.

It's getting near to winter here.
Clothes feel threadbare or damp.
You shiver. You sneeze.
You step in a puddle.
All you want to do is get home.
The grey overtakes.
You look around, and nothing is malevolent.
You know conditions always fluctuate.
Steady steps and a steady heart...
What is winter, but a chance to find warmth?
The chill is on the outside.

The light and the fire are within.