Planting natives in Matong

Matong was the site of a working-bee on the June long weekend, as local residents were joined by visitors to plant around 1200 native seedlings

Around two dozen people worked to develop the landscape at the park in town and surrounding properties, with a number travelling from Melbourne to lend a hand.

The initiative was a partnership between the Matong Community Group and Red Earth Ecology that was assisted by Coolamon Shire Council.

"This was the fifth event we've held in the Matong area since 2014," said Jo Roberts of Red Earth Ecology.

"Our landcare group started at Burning Seed, where I've run tours in the State Forest to help visitors recognise features in the local environment."

"Locals had knowledge to share, particularly the late Brian Jones, and we've revegetated paddocks, as well as undertaking weed removal at the Burning Seed site."

Sonya Spencer and Dave Currie's property has gained a number of treelots in previous years and Ms Roberts worked with them to coordinate the recent plantings.

"In recent years I've met a number of residents in Matong," said Jo Roberts.

"I was able to meet with them at their homes and identify native plants for their gardens and properties."

Locals were pleased to receive the plants from Red Earth Ecology.

"The enthusiasm of the community was demonstrated in their hard work and it will be exciting for visitors to see when they return for Burning Seed in spring," said Ms Roberts.

It was the first of a number of urban revegetation activities planned by the Matong Community Group and Red Earth Ecology.

Photos by Mal Evans and Sonya Spencer

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Started reading Ocean Vuong's great American novel and didn't get far before I paused to ponder

I'd first heard Vuong's poetry when a Junto project stirred a response by Detritus Tabu, a member of that online community.

He recorded an interpretation of a poem, using it as lyrics for a guitar part accompanying the sound of my fridge.

So it seemed natural for me to recognise Vuong's paragraph as belonging within these lyrics I'd recently written.

I've recorded them today and hope to incorporate them within my song.

Open the door to democracy


#Notallmen

The way the hashtag #Notallmen quickly became a joke shows how much gender divides communities

Earlier this year Clementine Ford wrote “Men of Australia, it's time to pick your side” and called for action to address “the very real, ever present, issue of men’s violence against [women].“

I found myself feeling frustrated because men are more likely than women to be violently assaulted.

While around eighty percent of reported violence is the result of male perpetrators, it is a fraction of men responsible for these crimes.

If you accept Ford’s argument, then you would likely agree that Muslims need to stop terrorism.

Yet anyone with a basic understanding of Islam would recognise that it is a small section of extremists who engage in terrorism.

Many terrorists seem to be radicalised through being marginalised.

I wonder if there’s a need to address radical masculinity in our society?

Perhaps we could look at how traditionally male roles have quickly changed and ponder whether marginalised men are becoming fanatics?

Maybe there is a role for some men to help change the attitudes of other men, but I feel it is everyone’s role to address sexism.

As a man who has been assaulted, I found there was no support.

I want to stop violence but I don’t feel it can be done by trying to correct the attitudes of those who could abuse me.

I hate seeing myself lumped in with my bullies.

The influence I have on other males, particularly my sons, is to model a masculinity that values non-violent expression.

Men of Australia, it's time to pick your outlet and to make a practise of reflecting on what triggers your emotional responses.

Passage of time

Revisiting old songs and found lyrics I hadn't recorded

Here's the original recording, which didn't include the singing as I wasn't confident my voice could carry the melody.



Yesterday I rewrote the verses after the chorus and created a new backing track, so that I can include the song on my next album: SING.

Someone once said that time is like a river
because even if you stand in the flow
you just can’t go
back to that sliver of river again

My father likes to say that time is the fourth dimension
as everything exists in at least four ways
height, width, depth and when
then again

I think everything exists in history
whether it’s the thoughts of you or me while we all breathe
it’s context bringing us together
and then

it’s times like these that we share more than the air
because no one really cares how much you know
until they know how much you care
so share


Light fades from day
Time runs away
These words are past their date to use
even if I could choose
to stay with you


Don’t think I recognised the window in your chest
now there’s a tightness in my throat
describing letters that you wrote
and the beating of my heart is on my breath

It’s not like we’re alike in not liking
the same kind of times
as though they were different lives
our stars will align to glow in their sign again

The moral of the story is it’s a moral story
that’s now cliched and boring
put to music I’m performing
filling the air that we share with my care

Knowing the movement of the stars feels like a kind of curse
but when the power comes along
I can right this minor wrong
let’s put the universe into reverse with song


Day forms from light
shadows hiding night
intentions on new moon
taking form in verse and tune
our time passed too soon

Songlines everywhere

Pic by Ajita Cannings

Art by Libby Harward

Tentacular!

Carved from a piece of sweet chestnut burr by artist Bill Prickett

Milkshake brings RoboCop to my blog

Milkshaking continues to amuse

Or, as I recently read, the activity can be described as "lactosing the intolerant"!

Image by Happy Toast

Guitar gent

How is that 'cat lady' is a thing but 'guitar gent' isn't?

Milkshakes as a statement

Entertained by the trend for throwing milkshakes at right-wing politicians

Gives me an idea for a story about a radical scientist who uses time-travel to throw a chocolate thickshake at a certain younger Liberal in Engadine Maccas during 1997.

Image by HappyToast