20 C
Byron Shire
September 23, 2021

Here & Now

The Emperor’s old policies

Once upon a time, there was an Emperor so fond of money that he spent all his time fostering the creation of wealth. He loved money and the privilege it gave him. (Well, poor people don't become Emperor.)

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Sand, sadness and sharing

She strides quickly, pushing the pram in front of her, the tears on her cheeks flashing in the setting sun’s yellow light. She shouts something in French over her shoulder, her voice breaking up from emotion.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Racism never takes holidays

It seems most of the white folk I’ve met here don’t like the Kanaks, the indigenous people who make up 40 per cent of the population, who have been living here for at least 3,500 years.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Into the light

It’s a dark night. Not stormy, but very dark. No moon can be seen through the canopy, only stars flashing their history. ‘Ow,’ I blurt as a twig slips between the straps of my sandals and spears my right foot.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Nothing fantastic about plastic

I have really cut down on my use of single-use plastic shopping bags. I don’t have a single single-use plastic shopping bag in my shack at the moment. But the planet is still heading for environmental collapse.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Time and (social) space

This is my home. Has been for 35 years. Only as you get older, can you realise how short a long time is. Or, how impossible it is to grasp the feeling of a long time.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: In the zoo

My heart goes out to the poor kangaroo. It’s obviously young, but just lies there, unmoving, right paw twitching occasionally. A man with a huge camera takes a photograph of the joey, checks the result on the screen, and moves on.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Change everything!

I shovel some red powder into the mix. It puffs like dragon’s breath as it joins the cement, sand and aggregate. I don’t like grey concrete. Cocooned in my earmuffs, my mind wanders...

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Meat and melancholy

My place. Sunday, 5.15pm  The nutritious detritus from the last barby, a few days ago, is creating a tantalising smell as the barby heats up....

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Date with the devil

Don’t you love it when a politician, like – say – the PM, tells you black is white. Or, at least, black should be white. I love (not) the way a federal politician lies. He will puff himself up like a cane toad…

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Virtue reality

he serves field mushrooms topped with capsicum and – well, I’m not sure; it was something greenish, probably from the garden out the back – the lot topped with melted cheese. I take one, put it on my plate.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Rallying for reality

The recent rain underlines just how lucky we are in the Northern Rivers bubble. But the recent dry spell underlines just how crucial a predictable climate is to our survival.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Beauty and the feast

Sometimes, people do things which are so beautiful, it makes you cry. Sure, people often do things that make you want to cry, but I’m talking good cry, not bad cry.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Is it too late?

He’s a young bloke from a city far away. His life is based around study, that will secure him decent employment. That makes sense. Of course. A good job is everything.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: When politics fails, art inspires

While the boys were playing Touch My Penis in parliament house, adults had gathered in the Nimbin School of Arts for the second Blue Moon Cabaret of the year.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Thinking Drought

‘Stormy weather,’ she sings. ‘Yeah right,’ I think, looking out over the valley from my shack under the cliffs. A bit of stormy weather would be good right now. The valley hasn’t seen rain for a while.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Dry Land Rag

The Speaker raises his shaking hand/ And no-one speaks in that dusty band/ His throat a desert moaning makes/ To tell the news they all must face.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Good Morning

I’ve come about as east as I can go in this wide browning land. No, I’m not in Byron, which is a bit more east than here (and as far east as you can go without getting your thongs wet). I’m in Burleigh on the Gold Coast (where it’s easier to get a park).

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: The unravelling

I have driven south from Carnarvon Gorge to this town on the border. The road was good but the land is sick. My time at Carnarvon Gorge has reminded me that brown rivers and scorched earth is not the way it needs to be.

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Waving back

‘Can we have lunch now?’ the kids say, pulling faces as they flop onto the wooden seats that line the boardwalk in front of the sandstone wall where the Aboriginal art stretches for at least 15 metres.

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