Type
Poetry

Step by Step

when population
S swell and get sucked into cities
we rely on resources
Trucked from somewhere else
and indoing so forf
Eit the ecological intelligence
that our uns
Pecialised ancestors kept so close
and a
S a result of this gradual loss and separation
we habi
Tually war and rationalise its genocide
and w
E leave our food production to faceless corporations –
shareholder science and its
Persistent ecocide
So if we’re to survive industrial civilisation
i
Ts warming planet peak oil and ‘hyper-separation’1
w
E have but a rudimentary set of laws to follow
free access to the sun soil
Plants and their cloudy irrigation
but perhap
S it’s still too early to speak again so simply
wi
Th oil and other fossils we have the illusion of great complexity
and with urban
E prejudices and centralised philosophies
Primaries of existence remain relegated to the indigenous and the peasantry
our intran
Sigence to rapid change may be
The deathnail in the coffin of the suburban bourgeoisie
which may in turn n
Ecessitate composting private property
reruralising
Populations from car parks to food forestry
and becau
Se we can no longer say that growth and ascent
capi
Talisation of the arts or technological advent
will sustain and r
Etain populations hell bent
on ignoring the
Projections of climate chaos and energy descent
we’ll eat the weed
S and become radical homemakers
prac
Tice wild fermentation and Aboriginal patterns of experience
w
E’ll shift the central ideology from waste back to ecology
and shunt the industrial military com
Plex through our everyday activity
So we won’t support supermarkets and fossil energy companies
ins
Tead expand local food systems and functional diversity
and w
E will not fly and drive the planet into more aggregating violence
rather relocalise our
Produce our arts and our science
and we’ll not grow wealth becau
Se we know it only grows pollution
we’ll become ins
Tead unclocked – calibrated to our bioregion
and w
E’ll not slump back to religious agricultural repression
we’ll resist the disembodiment of
Past generations
we’ll learn to live again without pla
Stic cards and life insurance
we’ll ea
T ferns yams and fungi when they’re abundant not over harvest
and w
E’ll grow food in compost soil but not become reliant
on fixed settlements and their tra
Ppings in an age of extreme climate
what i
S now apparent is no longer a problem that needs a solution
bu
T a predicament requiring responses to anthropogenic pollution
b
Ecause the way in which we live is ultra-fanatical negation –
the relationshi
P between our economics and biospheric degradation
every
Single law every governmental system
is se
T up to serve centres of veiled violence and cruel abstractions
to put solar pan
Els on our roofs and carry on as usual
is
Profound stubbornness to crises and arrogance to frugal
what is now required is whole
Systems insurrection
s
Tarting with each sporulating home not awaiting confirmation
from h
Erbicidal governments that will only slow us down
nothing can move more ra
Pidly than weeds on disturbed ground
to be connected to the grid
S of peaking industrialisation
including every
Type of labour from childcare to construction
is to b
E vulnerable to collapse to rising costs and tides –
resilience is found in untamed com
Pany not in Cartesian lies
ye
S it’s still a time of choice of mediated fantasy
a
Tipping point of wealth a last desperate grab at fancy
w
E’ve deforested the landbase and vacuumed up the sea
Plumed a thousand years of oil in one corrupted century
So the payback’s on our doorstep and the on-effects are looming
some will pray for
Techno-fix others apocalyptic-dooming
but th
Ese two hopeful fictions are not really meant
to
Prepare us for an era of climate chaos and energy descent
and tho
Se who will survive and carry on our species
will reengage wi
Th airborne yeasts bacteria and forest faeces
and grow again from wild syst
Ems our relationship to earth
we cannot box u
P or burn our dead and expect to freely birth
and while there i
S good warmth and nominal moisture in the soil
we’ll ea
T spontaneous plant life and replace totalising oil
with
Ecological functioning – step by step – which simply means
we regain auto
Poesis – we harvest hunt and glean

[1] Val Plumwood, Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason, Routledge, London and New York, 2002, p. 52

Patrick Jones is equal runner-up in the 2011 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets.

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