The three wise monkeys of Nikko Japan sum it all up. I had them high on my bucket list of what to see in Japan and was lucky to fulfill that wish in 1994. I was leading my first school trip to Japan and with one of my colleagues abandoned the students and other teachers in Tokyo Disneyland and took off to Nikko for the day. We definately had the better deal although the sacred white horse, a gift from New Zealand needed some cheering up in his tiny stable. A good chat in New Zealand accent made him very happy.
A trust everyone reading this haiku and connecting the image can understand my political satire arising from the act of sedition in Washington D.C. yesterday.
I do recommend visiting Nikko if you plan to travel to Japan, (when you can) in the future.
Last Saturday morning Maggie and I were taking our regular early morning power walk . As we began to cross the Scout Hall park we were confronted by fire trucks everywhere. My first reaction was the scouts had let a campfire loose then as we neared the hall and the Primary School appeared it was suddenly obvious. The scene was frenetic, firemen were still playing water through windows and a huge gantry ladder hovered in the air metres above the roof line spewing water down through a smoking, gaping hole in the roof. eople were gathered in small groups along the opposite street and police were preventing pedestrians from continuing down past the school as smoke was still drifting heavily from the buildings.
My first reactions were disbelief, then one of hoping this was accidental in cause. Upon arriving home I shared the experience with Jill and later that day we went back with a camera and these photos were taken. There was a calmness in the air, however the scout hall had become a community focus point , many teachers, parents and students were there and it was obvious much grieving had happened and still was occurring. We could walk around the street perimeter and see the extent of the damage.
This immediate fire experience brought home the reality of what fire does to communities and even though no lives were lost or people injured and One building was damaged the flow on effects became obvious from local news and social media sources. 500 students, their teachers and support staff, all their surviving resources, materials, furniture etc would be relocated in two nearby government schools, further inpacting on those school communities. A multi million dollar rebuild will commence soon and the effects multiply onwards . Thousands of people woke up on saturday morning much the same as from the day before however by Monday their regular lifestyles were in turmoil, but organised turmoil generally speaking. This one local fire suddenly made us realise the immense effects to our nation from the vast bushfires experienced across South east and West Australia recently and some are still burning.
Those of you who have mentioned our recent FIRES or responded to my earlier comments may be interested in these 2 YOUTUBE links. The first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdGqTQkRVwE is a no holds barred documentary that takes the viewer into the horror of the fires and the immediate impact on people, animals and vegetation. The second https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrDkdcOkUkI is a public forum that runs every Monday night on National public television. It shares the effects thes fires had on communities and what Government must do. This is again graphic and heart wrenching. Each is about 45 minutes (no ads) and some of the best TV viewing you will ever experience. Please let me know if you watch one or both.
And if your contempt for Rupert Murdoch’s press and its Climate Change denial propaganda is as strong as most Australians watch this 10 minute youtube about how they still peddle this garbage even with these fires and their links to Climate Change .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s23q9DkCaVY
Postscript. 6 teenagers handed themselves in to local Police in regard to the school fire.
Three weeks ago on a wet cold Tuesday afternoon 40-50 local people gathered to hear for the first time that a planned new school re-development would mean 239 trees across the site would be destroyed. A story of secrecy , deception, lies and secret agreements was shared. These people swore to meet again on the site 2 days later to plan a response . This is image 1 and more people and dogs were there. We learnt that the state government department of education intended to begin destruction of the trees the following Monday morning. The people that afternoon declared to stand in the way of this destruction at 6.30 on the Monday morning. Television stations and newspapers were contacted and the rally cry went out.
Image 2 shows part of a 300 plus crowd who blocked entry to the site at 6.30 on the Monday. There were many police there as well. For the first time the bureaucrats negotiated with the local residents about these plans. The people said no trees until we have open transparent community discussions and we hear and see detailed plans of what is proposed. Two weeks later , the trees stand and the people wait for our meeting.
So even on a smaller scale here in Melbourne Australia we see politicians and bureaucrats trying to walk over communities with a lack of respect and no transparency.
People power in Australia have an anthem called “From little things big things Grow” Sometimes our politicians need to remember it. If you have time please listen to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAONlfoNVuY sung by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody , two living music legends in Australia.
This haiku shares images of two recent people power protests in Melbourne Australia that my wife Jill and I participated in . What was happening in these images happens around the world, sometimes involving tragedy for participants if they are in quasi democratic or dictatorial countries.
When governments cross the line in the sand through their governing, people power has to drag them back, in both instances seen here we did to some extent. The ballot box is where all people who can vote should vote and vote wisely for their future. That is unless men with machine guns stand beside the ballot boxes. Then people have to………….
This week I was nudged towards political observation by Al the Author for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 85 challenge words Tight&Warm. This image shows some members of our local Climate Change Action Group sending a collective message for the consideration of all Australian politicians via the Australian Conservation Foundation.
In case you don’t have a magnifying glass, ( friend gave me one for my 60th) the messages read from left to right
We must look after our planet
No earth no economy
It’s a moral issue
We need hope for a future
Woof . The dog is pitching his thoughts in particular to the flat earth believing, climate change deniers of conservative political persuasion. (they may understand one word grabs)