Pause Breathe Listen Act — poem and video of Jackson reading it

Pause Breathe Listen Act

13 February 2020

As Parliament sits in its hilltop house, we spread
our banners out on the steps: CLIMATE EMERGENCY.
PAUSE BREATHE LISTEN ACT. We meditate
there for two hours. Traffic noise like thick smoke
rises from the city below. I hear you say:

some day. Some day, when all these cars are electric,
the city will be so much quieter. We’ll hear the birds —
all the birds, and the small people creeping
in the bushes. Some day, when these vehicles use renewable
energy… No. Not only that! When fewer

vehicles run. When people share, and live
closer — closer to work, closer together,
closer to you — some day, we’ll be able to breathe.
Even at peak hour, the people by the main road,
in the cheap flats, will breathe clean silent air.

Some day, sitting on this hill, Parliament will be
a place of listening, as it is for us today.
An Act of Parliament will be an act of the people,
and the people — black, brown, white, furred,
feathered, scaled, barked — will collect, and pause

in gratitude. Your words seem ridiculous. I don’t know why
I’m writing them down — but in the noise of all these cars,
these petrol, diesel, LNG motors, charging
about emitting, it’s hard to say what’s possible.
So some day… some day… some day. And may it be soon.

First published in Letters To Our Home: Creative Reflections on the Climate Crisis, Follow That Cat Publications 2020
Published on YouTube by The Poetry Archive, 2020

‘Like having your whiskey without ice’: Jackson interviewed by Koraly Dimitriadis

This is my favourite radio interview so far. I really enjoyed having this unscripted chat in October 2012 on Melbourne community radio station 3CR with poet Koraly Dimitriadis.

Read along with the poems

At the beginning: Five dollar toothbrush.

At 8:38: thin (‘adult content’, ‘sexual references’!)

At 16:40: The right metaphor

Vintage radio interview: World of Art with Peter Jeffery

This is my first-ever radio interview. In early 2008 poet Peter Jeffery invited me to come on his ‘World of Art’ program on Perth community radio station 6EBA.

Read along with the poems

At the beginning: I am your sunlight, The space (with my old guitar).

At 22 minutes: Now this is a poem about coffee.

At the end (from 28 minutes): [S]he moves in, Celtic knots.