Welcome to PhotoVoltaicPoetry

poems ~ photographs ~ videos ~ music ~ essais  – through a green lens

I am a writer and photographer, passionate about art and the natural world and deeply concerned about the future.

Wyn and I live beside Jagun Nature Reserve in Gumbaynggirr Jagun [Gumbaynggirr country].

So much rain, and a lot more forecast. Oyster Creek is running fast.

Oyster Creek, Jagun NR, Feb 12

One of two sick turtles recently found at Valla Beach.

A sick turtle found on Middle Beach, Valla, on its way to the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park at Coffs.

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Koala populations and habitat came to Coffs Feb 4.

Cate Faehrmann, Chair, Parliamentary Inquiry into NSW Koala populations and habitat, speaking at Urunga

Fairy Tale    Poem Feb 2

The youth camp is set amongst trees,
wooden benches mould an amphitheatre
where the girls would meet the boys
and they would listen to ‘foreign music’.

Hygienic adults beam broad smiles in black
and white on a dance floor growing weeds,
whirling round and round in white uniforms
and white headgear, the colour of amnesia.
People in rows watch them waltz on repeat.

Physicists tell us time’s arrow is a mistake,
but tell that to these ‘liquidators’: emergency
workers, soldiers, power plant personnel,
civil defence and non-professionals.
Most were volunteers who were not told
the invisible can often become visible.

Fairy tales are meant to be terrifying and some
have died a disgusting death, many are sick,
most have been abandoned by their governments,
tragedy’s tragedy is that’s asymmetric and a literary
invention, this information deficit was true crime.
Lies spiral quickly only sometimes spilling truth.

Note: The abandoned camp, ‘Fairy Tale’ lies just outside Pripyat, Ukraine.
Film footage from in Sky Witness, The Real Chernobyl, Feb 2, 2020

What a disaster these bushfires are!

Ancient rainforests that have never burnt, have burnt. Perhaps a billion animals are dead, and a number of people. The Government at State and Federal level have been so slow to react. We were close to fires before Christmas and we know people who lost their homes, but the worst of them happened down south. Over 70 nationally threatened species have had at least 50% of their range burnt, while nearly 160 threatened species have had more than 20% burnt. More

Have more than a billion animals perished nationwide this bushfire season? RMIT ABC Fact Check say this is a conservative estimate. See the ABC.

One bright piece of local news from the fires, the Upper Kalang is not going to be logged for now. It’s been a long battle with lots of protests  in the face of proposed logging – demonstrations, concerts, letters written and a camp still guarding the old growth forest.

I am chairing a working group of our village community association organising a Koala Action Day (KAD) on May 2 at Valla Reserve with Nambucca Valley Council

We will be planting a Koala food tree garden, hand out food trees to appropriate landowners and educate the public. We are borrowing a koala sniffer dog, running workshops and a poetry competition. Given the devastation inflicted on the koala population (and of course all the other species), this region may have an important healthy population.  Koala numbers in northern NSW and Queensland were already in decline by over 40 per cent between 1990 and 2016, mainly because of habitat loss. The proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP) is a wonderful idea.

[But last night (Jan 30) at Council we failed to get a motion through that they support the GKNP, and  I presented a petition to council calling for an immediate moratorium on logging until an assessment is made of the damage to Koalas and their habit from the bushfires.  I spoke to the motion, but it didn’t get through on the mayor’s casting vote.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital via Go Fund wanted to raise $25,000 during the bushfires. To date they have over 7 and a half million dollars. Koalas matter to people and if you save the iconic koalas you also save habitat supporting many other endangered species, fauna and flora.

Surfing, Nambucca Heads, Jan 30

Mid-January I was in Sydney for the launch of Planet in Peril: Photography, Art and Poetry, edited by Isabelle Kenyon, an eco-poetry anthology which is raising funds for WWF and The Climate Coalition. It was @ the new larger (and wonderfully welcoming) Garden Lounge Creative Space, Enmore Road, Newtown.

 

 

The Great Koala National Park, a great idea

The Overwintering project at Coffs Regional Gallery with art books inspired by my images and poems until Feb 8.

9 Nov.  The dawn chorus failed this morning.

Bushfire sunset

8 Nov. New bushfires in our region (70 today, many out of control).New analysis confirms the relationship between climate drivers such as El Niño, climate change and the Australian bushfire season.

National Bird Week, Oct 21

Male King Parrot, near sunset, eating wattle seed

A great project to help save the Kalang from logging – getting artists involved and selling their work for the cause. For info for artists see here.

This visitor to our garden brings bad news.

Young Grey-headed Flying Fox

Seven days of poems questioning photography Oct 1 to Oct 7.

Photography is a marvellous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds – and one that can be practised by any imbecile. Nadar

Cormorant and surfer                                                                                  One hour, one morning (what we will miss

Climate Action Day, Friday 20 Sept. Coffs Harbour

 

Extinction Elegies: Write a poem, save a quoll!

 

The Budji Bim eel trap site has just been added to the World Heritage list (July 2019).

The eel traps in south-west Victoria were created about 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people and is older than the pyramids, the Acropolis and Stonehenge. The site also has remains of about 300 round stone huts which would be a surprise to most non-indigenous Australians.

The Gumbaynggirr have extensive fish traps at Arrawara, just north of Cofsf Harbour.

The Overwintering Project

is a national program developed by Kate Gorringe-Smith to raise awareness of migratory shorebirds and to make them and their habitat visible.

Coffs Harbour is getting on board with a number of elements and a show in December. I will be working with students on creating poetry for this event and have been making videos, taking photographs and writing poetry to inspire the Book Art Object collective. See more here.

2019 Eos

 

New e-book

Hope for whole: poets speak up to Adani – download for free here. My poem is here. The decline of high profile mammal species such as the koala and platypus is ongoing and yet under NSW’s new land-clearing laws, 99% of koala habitat can be bulldozed if it’s on private land. Protest against these awful laws.

Refugee disgrace

Your Silence On Manus And Nauru Is Your Complicity, Lauren Bull, New Matilda – ‘What Australia has done to people seeking asylum is the responsibility of all Australians, writes Lauren Bull. If you don’t exercise your democracy, you’ll lose it. It’s as simple as that. What is happening on Manus right now is the direct result of decades of silent acquiescence, of politicians being emboldened by a public who don’t hold them to account, and of the normalisation of cruelty.’

Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all, Richard Flanagan (Nov 22, 2017). We went to a screening of ‘Hope Road‘ in Bellingen, a local Fundraiser for Refugees. It is a film by Tom Zubrycki about Zacharia Machiek and a few supporters who want to raise money to build a school back in his home village in South Sudan. It reveals the difficulties of living in Australia as a refugee, the difficulty of fundraising and the awful ongoing conflict in Sudan.
The news today (Nov 1) from Mannus is appalling.  For the latest reports see the Guardian. Back in August, Paul Bongiorno gave an impassioned account of the government’s duplicity – especially in the light of the leaked telephone conversation between our Prime Minister and the US President. Hear Paul here. The Local Refugee Group Facebook page is here.

After thirty years in the heart of Sydney, I now live on the Mid North Coast of NSW beside a forest by the sea.

a small Jagun poem
a haiku might grasp
momentarily for ever
the essence of incoming spring
but I’ve just made a photograph
of winter light
graphic on burnt Blackbutt
and stuffed my pockets
with Senna seeds

 

Yaarrijunga-ngarraan galayaam Gumbaynggirr girrwaa garla-ngarraan galagilagunga, gungan gulam jalum galnyarr giiliwaw

I wish to acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people (nation) and pay respects to the traditional owners and custodians both past and present.