Wallaby Freedom (Gavin Playfair, Henry Lawson &c…)

First, copy/pastes of a status+comments of an fb post by Tony Convey:
wallaby playfair

tc postcoms 1
tc postcoms 2
A wallaby (one of about 30 Australian macropod species) is smaller than a kangaroo, a nomadic herbivore (or vegan) that wanders or explores through its typical kind of habitat (there are swamp wallabies, brush wallabies, and rock wallabies). In the (Anglo)Australian culture it has long been associated (tho perhaps not too many remember this today) with the idea of freedom (perhaps ever since the great Australian poet Henry Lawson published his poem “Freedom on the Wallaby” in 1891, & has often meant something like wandering and exploring freely (usually physically, in more remote areas of Australia such as the bush and the outback, but surely also symbolically of more than only physical free wandering and exploring.) So, next: Henry Lawson’s “Freedom on the Wallaby” (1891) , with some explanations of Australian vernacular words of the time that appear in the poem & some allusions to its current relevance.
Freedom on the Wallaby crop

Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Henry Lawson (1867-1922)








In 19th- & early 20th-century Australian slang, “humping bluey” meant carrying a “swag”, a roll of blankets used for sleeping outdoors. Itinerant wanderers, seekers of work, etc., were often called “swagmen”.

“On the wallaby” (or “on the wallaby track”) meant to be on the move.

“Cooey” was a loud call used to get attention out in the bush, or outback. find missing people, or indicate one’s own location. The word originates from the Dharuk language of the original inhabitants of the Sydney area. It means “come here” and has now become widely used in Australia as a call over distances.

A “billy” was a tin can used for boiling water on a camp fire.

The wattle is Australia’s “national” flower.

& as for contemporary relevance: the budget & other practices & policies of the present government of (does this it word still meant have its original & fundamental semantic meaning?) “Commonwealth of Australia” (& of so many governments elsewhere where corporate power rules) should be enough to show what’s still happening even more (& let’s hope the rebel flag does rise, but with more creative & humane ways than those that have already stained & are still staining so much more than tbe wattle).


(Annotations adapted from http://mike-servethepeople.blogspot.com.au/2006/12/freedom-on-wallaby.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooee)

& now, some lines & 3 pics from an album I posted on fb on 140914:

A Wallaby Visit We Old’uns Disturbed…

N said, Hey, there’s a wallaby out front,
& i left my PC to see, & yes, it was closer to our home
than any I’ve seen. She brought her camera, I grabbed my ipad,
& advanced o-so-slowly, step-stop-click-step-stop-click
to pic & not disturb, like in that kids’ game where you advance
when the seeker’s not looking. The wallaby didn’t seem flustered,
checking me out from time time & bending back to her feeding,
turning this way or that way, & back down to the patch
that had something s/he liked there, & N said she wished
it was in the sunny part, & I wished i had a zoom lens.
i took 39 pics before s/he decided i might be a danger
& i was sorry s/he did, but not that I’d had this experience
& hope s/he’ll come back some time & feed & feel safe here…
& here are two of my pics, & one N took of me taking them.
wallaby 13wallaby 7croopwallaby 8

testing (2): embedding links to this morning’s+ news&oped items

With my breakfast I generally skim The Sydney Morning Herald & the guardian australia on my iPad (& please don’t tell me it might be healthier etc for me to simply enjoy every breath & every mouth motion etc; been there, done that….), & bookmark items I read & feel about & think I may want to respond to, or even just share with others who may feel about or respond to in one way or another. & today I thought, hey, why not also share those links here, with or without any immediate comment from me. So here goes my first testing of this:

First struck (again) by the latest Ebola news (terrible things to be thinking of, but hey, this is happening now too:
& later found another on this topic:


pic from today's guardian australia homepage

pic from today’s guardian australia homepage

Next, by the latest positive developments towards the legalization of medical cannabis in Australia:
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-backs-legalisation-of-medical-cannabis-20140917-10i6eb.html (& thinking: well, well, Mr A, at least at last you’ve got something (almost) right! (I’ll leave explaining my ‘almost’ for another time, & just drop a hint-proverb here: “Prevention is better than cure”). This news by way, is a follow-up to 2 items I bookmarked earlier:

Then this, about the so called “Islamic State”:
which reminds me of an item I recently shared on Facebook:

& an important one about climate change:

& some items about culture, art, & entertainment:




http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/sep/17/bryan-cranston-funny-side-best-comedic-moments  (he was amazing in Breaking Bad!)

& & last but not least (for a good reason), this one from a couple of days ago:

The Border (1961)

Between October 1959 and mid-1962 I was a member of Kibbutz Nirim, a collective settlement in the Western Negev that has been in the news lately because of how it was (& is still being) impacted by the recent warfare between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip. I’d come there as one of a group of members of the Socialist-Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair in Melbourne who settled in Nirim, some of whom are still living there.

While looking this week thru an album of photos and texts that I sent to my mother in Australia a couple of years after I’d left the kibbutz & was living in Tel Aviv, I found a page with a poem & this photo I took while working in the fields in Nirim, near the border (marked there at that time only by a plowed furrow) between the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip & the territory included in the State of Israel – and here, between the fields of Kibbutz Nirim and those of Khan Younis. Along this border UN forces were stationed in small booths several kilometers apart, generally not effectively enough to prevent Fedayeen or other infiltrators from occasionally crossing for various purposes that could endanger the lives of kibbutz members or the property of settlements in this region. I wrote the poem soon after taking the photo. Here they are together in one picture (you can click on it enlarge it).



There goes the sun (doo doo doo doo)

on a short exercise walk to the clearing of the mowed grass beside what once was a quarry, spied the sun just setting over the hill where a white greenhouse still stands, stopped to take some winphonepics, & here’s the best one & a song that came to me with it (which some may guess why), with full respect to George Harrison whose lyrics i’ve paraphrased & to the Beatles whose music ran thru my head as i did that.

best sung orig 13

There goes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
There goes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Light-giving darling, it feels like minutes since you came up
Light-giving darling, a few more like them & you’ll be back
There goes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
There goes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, there you go
Sun, sun, sun, there you go
Sun, sun, sun, there you go

There goes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
There goes the sun, and I say
It’s all right


A “Liberation Anthem” by/from Samah Sabawi

Samah Liberation Anthem page 0917

On 140913 Samah Sabawi replied (on Facebook) to my comment there to her status that I’d also embedded in a post here a little earlier: “I liked your comment on my post. My response is something I’ve written almost two years ago. I call it The Liberation Anthem”. With her permission, I’m publishing here that reply & a one-page format I’ve designed of her anthem (click on it to enlarge it). Also with her permission, I’m republishing below the text of a status she posted on Facebook a few weeks ago that I liked very much & fundamentally identify with, in which she also describes how she sees herself:

An Islamic state, a Jewish state, soon why not a Christian state in the Middle East… all of them exclusive states by nature on land that historically belonged to and is (or was not long ago) inhabited by diverse vibrant religions and ethnicities. Exclusive racist states that can only flourish on the ethnic cleansing and the denial of the rights of others repulse me. I am a Muslim by birth, an Arab by ethnicity, a Palestinian by identity, Canadian Australian by citizenship, and above all I am a HUMAN BEING. Borders don’t define me. The colour of my skin, the language I speak and how I pray don’t make me a better or a worse human being. Exclusive ethnocentric religious states don’t represent my aspiration for an inclusive democratic world where all people are treated as equals and where universal human rights are respected.

A reminder (& another Would you believe?): Who tf (with a mad prompt from Obama) does Mr BB Netanyahu really think he is??

At the end of two wordy but not exactly worthfull White House videoed speeches, first by Obama and then Netanyahu following a meeting between them on 20 May 2011 (you can still see it on youtube, or read the entire transcript), Mr BB turned to Mr Barack & said:

Mr. President, you’re the – you’re the leader of a great people, the American people. And I’m the leader of a much smaller people, the –

PRESIDENT OBAMA: A great people.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: It’s a great people, too. It’s the ancient nation of Israel. And, you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We’ve experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions. But I can say that even at the dearth of – even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of reestablishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of Israel.

And now it falls on my shoulders as the Prime Minister of Israel, at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East, to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival. I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as I told you in our conversation, we don’t have a lot of margin for error. And because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.

So that’s who Mr BB Netanyahu thinks he is: the leader of the Jewish people, no less!
[in Hebrew, long before Zionism, long before the establishment of the State-of-Israel, the name "Israel" was also a synonym for "the Jewish people", & Netanyahu, like all Ultra-Zionists, has long adopted this ambiguity & used it to further his Ultra-Zionist goals.]

& no-one protested. I did start to write something then, but couldn’t quite think of a good way to put it together. But I was moved to at last publish this today after reading  on Facebook Dov Khenin’s latest status, which shows the Hebrew Haaretz front-page top headline from 140914 [my translation]: ISRAEL ADVANCES RELOCATION OF THOUSANDS OF BEDOUIN THE WEST BANK of an article by Amira Haas (haaretz.com today published the English version). Khenin wrote [my translation]: “Netanyahu doesn’t halt at [a] red [signal]. The evacuation & relocation of the Bedouin from the Jordan Valley is the the second step in the building push in the settlements. In the past this was called a “transfer”. In South Africa they called it cantonization. In Hebrew it’s called expulsion.”