#55: Rusty’s Buai Stains and Pineapples

HOWW TO READ: To enjoy the entire piece, please read all three perspectives. 

Continue reading “#55: Rusty’s Buai Stains and Pineapples”

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#40 My Poetry in 2017: Caffeinated Sex, PNG and Cairns

I want to end this year with a look back on my writings and musings throughout the year, marking the first year that I spent understanding how best to ‘tell ones story’, as it is often the hardest thing to do.

Though I have tries exploring different forms of writing, I have enjoyed the voice of poetry as a medium for story telling so here are some of the poems from this year.

Performing Sex Poetry
Continue reading “#40 My Poetry in 2017: Caffeinated Sex, PNG and Cairns”

#33 Talking Urbanism- Fixing the Heat in Cairns.

I’m breaking a sweat from J-walking across Grafton Street.

For the first time in a few mild months, I am reminded that this is the tropics. 


The feel of humidity rising in the morning leaves a lot to be desired as I get caught in the mid-Friday-morning sun darting into Rusty’s for the ritual coffee and samosa. 


Friendly nods between the frenzied buzz give way to warm murmurs interjected by the whizz-shhhhh of the coffee machine at Billy’s.


Flippy-floppy thongs slap hard against concrete followed closely by the clip and clop of a heal and a shoe.


Someone mentions in passing that it looks like ‘it’s going to be a hot one’. 


But I can’t tell if they were talking about the coffee or sun.


I notice the first signs of redness beginning to show on our melanin-deficient brothers and sisters who have ventured a bit too long without sunscreen. 


The morning streets will soon be a buzz with tropical professionals zipping into air-conditioned hideaways of the next cafe to avoid unsightly sweat patches. 


But the weather this time of the year is temperamental.


The rains do poke through humid blue skies on the odd occasion, cooling streets and shrinking sidewalks. 


Rains Descend
Wet Weather brings a welcomed reprieve from the heat.

It lingers long enough to make us yearn for more sheltered walkways. But it stays away long enough for us to forget we need them. 


The indecisive weather is part of the lifestyle. A short walk from the Esplanade to Cairns Central would attract an unwarranted public baptism by either precipitation or perspiration. 


I call on a thought to distract myself from the rising hunger as I wait in the samosa line. 


How is it that our city stops short of catering to our tropical lifestyle? 


Why does my daily commute to work have to involve navigating patches of sweat from rising humidity? 


We praise the outdoor tropical lifestyle, yet accept, and think it normal to spend the better part of the week inside air-conditioned cubicles glaring through double-glazed tinted panes.


This is the disjuncture of our existence that evades the public forum, but one that concerns us all. 


This may be about to change. 


I bite into my tamarind sauce topped samosa to settle the hangry morning monster in my belly.


James Cook University, under the vision of Dr Lisa Law and Dr Silvia Tavares, have initiated the Tropical Urbanism and Design Laboratory (TUD Lab) – a space to think about these particular issues. 


Taking advantage of JCU’s agenda on pursuing research with a tropical focus, the JCU TUD Lab will pursue important questions concerning the livability of tropical urban environments. A feat warranted by a State of the Tropics report that claims close to 50% of the worlds people will live in the tropics by the middle of this century.


After having the Cairns Regional Council’s Tropical Urbanism vision applauded at the state level, this TUD Lab would mark an important milestone for thinking about tropical planning and urban design in Cairns, if not the world.


The Lab is set for launch at JCU on the 20th October with registrations essential for catering


Maybe there will be some respite from the heat soon.


By

Hanslee

Image Sources

  1. Foodvixen.com
  2. RamblingsOfAGlobalCitizen (blog)
  3. TropicNow.com.au

#27: Inspired by ‘Black Coffee’?

Hi,

So I am now starting to think that coffee is codeword for something else, but we’ll leave that to your imagination. I recently recited my poem Arabica Or’Robusta at the Cairns Poetry Slam to a crowd that (I think) appreciated it. It added some variety to the show and garnered some humbling comments – surprisingly, no criticism from parents.

But moving past that, I just wanted to point to this song called ‘Black Coffee’ by Iyeoka. I am really digging this song at the moment and hope to say that this is an inspiration to the above-mentioned poem.

I’d like to say that the idea must’ve become lodged in my mind after hearing the song somewhere (maybe at Blackbird Coffee). I am not too sure, I just started paying attention to it. But if it did, I’d like to claim that to be true.

Please check out Iyeoka’s music if you are into that neo-soul-jazz-bordering-house music – my jam at the moment.

Happy Coffee Days.

– Hans

 

#26: An Opinion – Cairns on the up? Maybe

The winds of change

gather momentum.

Seaward fronds

bristling in the breeze,

leave all trace

of yesterdays behind them.

When cyclone winds

arrive in tandem.

– Hans Lee-

There is a lot to say about change in our part of the world, it happens when we least expect it but faster then we would have otherwise anticipated. It’s the curse of the orchestrated laissez faire lifestyle we enjoy in the Far North Queensland.

Though little doubt can now be cast upon our little city in the north that the winds of change are blowing again. Some may even argue at gale force.

There is just that much happening around Cairns that anyone who wishes for the past would be sourly disappointed that Cairns is growing up fast. Images of the once thriving fishing port are a distant memory as we continuously (re)define ourselves as an eco-tourism friendly region – or perhaps something more.

Flurry of Optimism

Continue reading “#26: An Opinion – Cairns on the up? Maybe”

#21 Cairns Major Murals Project Info Evening

For all my artistically inclined friends in Cairns.  The Cairns Regional Council are about to launch their Major Murals Project and are opening up an info session on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. 

RSVP to Simon Suckling.

Email: s.suckling@cairns.qld.gov.au

Paint it up! 

– Hans Lee