1 July, VIRUS 2020

“Ecocide” was one term used by impassioned protesters, who rallied in the CBD amid police presence. Coffs Coast Advocate

Nature Conservation Council welcomes koala report: Recommendations include the creation of a Great Koala National Park on the Mid-north Coast.  Coffs Coast Advocate

Community welcomes recommendations of NSW Koala Inquiry. Guardian News Nambucca  

Coronavirus: Fauci warns of 100,000 US cases per day: The US infection rate is surging. BBC

US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir: No other country will be able to buy remdesivir, which can help recovery from Covid-19, for next three months at least. The Guardian

Six institutions, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are publicly named for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. SMH

I am giving blood in Urunga. Wayne who lives up the road is playing banjo to the birds. I tell him how much I enjoy music early in the morning, but the Bar-tailed Godwits move away, shuffle their order, dipping, preening, scratching.
An easy life wintering over here, waiting another year to fulfill their fierce need to fly 8,000 kilometres to breed in Scandinavia and Alaska.
The nurse, Lindy, is an excellent vampire, no pain. Driving home feeling so happy for Wyn, excited by the review she got this morning for ‘The Moon and the Sea’, one of her novels she has been working at – off and on – since we were in the Yucatan thirty years ago.

‘This genre-bending tale of pirates, treasure hunters, and adventure seekers spans generations and time periods, offering up a bounty of thrills along the way. . . . Like the restlessness of Anne, this story cannot be contained by genre or narrator. It is both historical fiction and a contemporary adventure. With dazzling depths of magical realism and women’s literature . . . Rodden’s storytelling prowess keeps the people and places connected and moving fitfully to redemption. The effortless dialogue combined with the rich narration will captivate readers as two resurrected pirates manoeuvre through present-day Mexico.’

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Since George Floyd’s extrajudicial execution prompted an uprising, one of the rifts running through American society has become more obvious, the one between those who think a society should rest on a foundation of liberty and justice for all and those who think it should rest on orderly property relations.[1]

Shayla Lawson accuses me and other poets: ‘Although we poets are bringing to poetry all of our joy and anger and inquisition—a full interrogation of those who limit the capacity of our human selves—they don’t hear it. They’re lulled by the ‘music’ of what came before us, writers who had to be more tricky and surreptitious, and they’ve found redemption in that poetry. But we need a new one. I encourage all of us who have been guided toward poetry in this particular way to switch to prose; specifically, essays. Essays precisely because of the difference in the word’s etymology: ‘essay’ means something we have never been allowed to do, which is to try.’[2] I take her point and agree that the essai is a timely vehicle.

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An email reminded me that the arts and culture are ignored in the State Government’s Draft Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan 2036. I filled out the survey and wrote to relevant  MPs:

To Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

As someone who lived in Sydney for many years and moved up here ten years ago, I am excited that Coffs Council is moving towards becoming a creative regional city.

However, I am very surprised, and dismayed, that the Draft Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan 2036, ignores an important part of city living – the creative and cultural side to city living. A growing regional city, looking towards a vibrant future, needs cultural, educational and creative resources for the community.

Have the Council’s extensive cultural plans been overlooked, or ignored?

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Down on the edge the sea keeps on coming.
I suddenly feel that it is the beating heart. The Gannets swing round eager to fly.
I feel this as spray hits me. Not cold, not slow, alive, brimming, and showing no symptoms of a high temperature, acid stomach, plastic deformations.
Crested Terns are wheeling low over the Nambucca River hunting in small groups, diving, squeezing into the body. Light fails in the series of miniature explosions. Adam Nicolson talks of seabirds’, ‘liquid, floating, commanding presence one aspect of the natural world which requires nothing but a pair of eyes and a readiness to look.’ [3]A fisherman hauls in a Flathead, it jerks on the end of the line, exercising vigorously, he looks up and grins, ‘It’s legal’. He unhooks the mouth, the body lying on a rock. I was expecting a coup-de-grace but he throws it back into the river.

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I collect photographs along our river walk.

I love seeing our sacred mountain from different angles:

A Grey Mangrove has split, one half is dead, has lost its shape.

We are finding public art everywhere.

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We have our usual siesta, hold each tight, the most comfortable place in the universe. The winter sun entering the room, the forest held back for a wondrous field of view. We can see the nesting hole, the Galahs  were inspecting s few weeks back, nothing eventuated.

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Average healthy working life expectancy is six years below the state pension age in England. ‘Healthy working life expectancy at age 50 years in England is below the remaining years to State Pension age [65 UK]. Older workers of lower socioeconomic status and in particular regions in England might benefit from proactive approaches to improve health, workplace environments, and job opportunities to improve their healthy working life expectancy. Our findings suggest that achieving policy objectives to extend working life will be challenging.’[4]

But will there be any jobs? Jobs were already being lost due to automation before the Pandemic, and more will be lost in the recession to come.

[1] Rebecca Solnit, Chrome-Plated Pistols and Pink Polos: The Face of Elite Panic in the USA, LitHub, July 1, 2020

[2] Shayla Lawson, To Poets of Color Whose Work Has Been Called ‘Healing’, LitHub 1 July

[3] Adam Nicolson, The Seabirds Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet’s Great Ocean Voyagers, William Collins, (2017) 2018, p13.

[4] Marty Parker et al., ‘Population-based estimates of healthy working life expectancy in England at age 50 years: analysis of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing’, Lancet Public Health. 1 July 2020