Thursday, 17 May 2012

killing a dog

i killed a puppy dog
i took its life
i stopped it breathing
i was more powerful than it
i hate this

it was helpless
it was sick
it had a gaping hole in its back
it was another ferals food
its insides were out
it asked for help from its pain
it was dying

but we're all dying
i cant validate my decision
but it makes me feel sick
the first i've willingly killed
with my own hands
nature is brutal

i had a panic attack
i vomited
i thought i'd been poisoned
i couldn't sleep
its heartbeat haunted
waiting for a rise of chest
i sit shocked with my actions
but content knowing this pup is now out of pain

island of ko chang, south west thailand

Friday, 4 May 2012

Im a farmer!

Ladang teh farm
Permaculture Perak

Square eyed for a number of hours i was trying to find a way to experience the Malaysian  rainforest without going to tourist crazy regions, sitting frusterated, confused and un amused by the millions of choices out of my price range and of no real intrest that the internet was throwing at me. It is a black hole of information. I had almost let go and decided to go to the Taman Negara National Park, when a boy called Alex walked in glowing, raving on about a beautiful farm he had been woofing (working on organic farm) at in the rainforest of Lenggong, Perak region.
There was my answer, i flung them an email, and the next day was on the bus 6 hours north to spend two weeks away from the mess of the city.
I arrive to Lenggong a small village in the heart of mountains, and sight the back of a man with a head of blonde dredlocks, his car a rusted, bent, boot less mobile, and i knew i was in the right place. Push start and we are off to get the essentials for the farm. Whisky from the Pharmacy, Cigarettes from the Hardware shop and chicken food of course. Up a windy loose granite road sliding around the corners was the only way, 'drifting' master! i arrived to the green oasis with loose limbs and a greater appreciation for this beautifully rusted vehicle, we had just replaced a punctured tyre, surely the new one would last at least 3 more goes up the mountain.
The ritual! talked up to seem like a dare devil of an act, we are handed a glass of whisky with passionfruit pulp and asked to proclaim with all our heart " IM A FARMER" this is the first step and the rest is easy, a shot of the sweet drink and the warnings. Snakes, Tigers, Elephants, Wild Bore, Sorpions, Loggers.

Th hill above the farm is red with the stench of Clearfelling. A company has taken over the land on a lease from a company that does not own the land, clearing old growth forest (some of the oldest on the planet) and plantig eucalypt trees on steep hills of more than 50 degrees in angle. This is causing massive landslides in the rain, and poisoning of the rivers that are supplying the Lenngong town water. All in all, the whole deal is really messed up. The company is now trying to force Ladia and Amy off their land which they were given a 8-10 year lease on (and have only used 3) by the government. The farm, unlike the plantations above, works completly with nature not against it, using farming techniques derived from long ago, and also 'new age' permaculture techniques. It is messy in charachter, but this is what makes the place so special and different. When walking through the vegetable gardens, you may not realise that there are edible goods at your feet, and thats because they have let the weeds grow wild. The weeds provide stability for the loose soil and shade the plants in the burning heat of the day. Weeds are bloody resiliant, so why work against them, when you can work with them! Plenty of greenery for the chickens ducks and goats, and providing a great climate for growing vegetables that cannot usually grow out of a shaded greenhouse in the heat.
The grey water is pumped into a channel around the main house, into a reed garden and then into tanks, alive with fish and floating lily plants ready to oxygenate and clean, then used for watering the gardens.
We washed in the crystal clear river or 'jacuzi' as they like to call it and when wandering up the mountain 1km, escorted by Shiva and Jane guide dogs, you will find a magic waterfall that gives an amazing muscle relaxing massage. Our river water did not go through the logged areas, and it is just 50m down the way where you can see such obvious opposition in water quality, where the rivers meet.

This farm was not only about learning planting techniques, working and caring for animals, playing with the pups and composting. It went further, to an amazing level, where one is in the perfect environment to just think. To think about language, and what it truly means to communicate.
The language of plants, the language of animals, and the language of humans.
It was hard, and some days i felt stupid and naive. But naivety seems an essential part of the process, it was a part of mine. Stripping back all of my preconcieved ideas and starting raw.
The nature of questions.
The nature of answers.
A question can be voiced in ones head and the answer can be found. We all have an inner knowledge that we often choose to ignore. It can be the easy way out to just ask the question. Use your own brain instead!
Identifying plants, something that resides amongst all. Before language all we had was visuals. Identifying families, and weeds from edible food.
Hearing the hunger calls of animals, hearing fright, hearing pain, hearing happiness. Hearing the wise chatter of plants. So endless.

Sunrise on the farm, above the clouds.

The goats!
The cat burgelar

Amy and I had a few great days of preservation. The papayas were blooming, and each day we had in kitchen at least 5 ready to go. So it was time to make some papaya and banana jam. A simple process that ended with great results!
Papaya, Banana cut into small cubes, heated in pan
add cloves, ginger, star anise for extra flavour
add 2 table spoons jaggary (unrefined sugar)
boil until combined and thick.
heat recycled jars in boiling water to clean, fill with jam and tap the bottom to release air bubbles 
put lid on top loosly and sit in boiling water for 5 minutes
take out and tighten lid
turn jar upside down for 5 minutes
this should assure suction packaging.
make cute material bonnet for the lid, and sell at market!!

During one of the afternoon storms, a banana tree fell ,and we had a large bunch of plantane that was ready to go, so Amy and I sat and peeled the unripe plantane, cut into small thin slices and laid in the sun to dry for about 5 days, they became very hard, and after milling, we have banana flour to use! 


The time is green
it tip toes through its neighbours
though they are unaware
it enters you
not sharing its past
not needing a thankyou
it cleanses, heals, restores, fills
playing poetically to taste
then disappears
not stagnent but moving
an unknown gratitude
occurs amongst all
let the green be grown freely
and one day we will know of its reward

Mary, Ladia, Jane and Anarchy
Rhinocerous Hornbills flying overhead

The Winter melon garden

Amazing view 1km above farm
Epic climb up landslide to pay our respects to the last standing wise one
The avatar tree rising from the valley
Tree love, free love


I lay in a field by a pond with two pups
watching the goats exude energy in jumping
i tune into the voices of frogs, vines and insects
their melody ringing with charms and advice

a thick board of forest makes half of my sky
a powerful energy made empty by greed
when listening its hard to push out this strange humming
of man made machines that eat all in its path

it is loud and base drumming

sending vibrations afar
its voice drones control, wealth and destruction
a fear that fuels power
a life that leads empty

the fight is not over, its not yet begun
vision can lie for it will grow without end

i sit free and dream with these treetop fantasies

a breath that connects each being to mother
where the tall willingly fall to make room for the other
an intricate web of knowledge and wisdom
hidden safe in this dense, cool home
but their to find 
if one shares with their mind.