The Next Big Thing!

By Marcus Bussey

New Book – Reviewed by Sid Jordan

Marcus Bussey, a leading Neohumanist educator at the University of Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia, has expressed an interest in “an emergent Neohumanist poetics as a basis for rethinking and enacting a deep pedagogy of universalism.” His new book of poems, The Next Big Thing, that has attracted praise from many reviewers, appears to be a stepping-stone that illuminates the path towards a poetic “pedagogy of universalism” for our Neohumanist schools.

In Marcus’ introduction of this poetry book he asserts that reading and writing poetry is a way of accessing a “dissenting imagination” that helps free us from “the habits governing the heart, mind and body.” Our Neohumanist Education supports a poetic pedagogy that expands the heart, frees the mind and serves others.

In his poem, My Voice, he shares this anthem of dissent and our connection to Greater Things:

Theory and Distance dwell
amongst the thrown-ness of it all.
Embodied scholarship and
personal resistance work this space;
The churning Chaosmos.
My body wears it all!
Poesis and poetry, declarative in nature
demand a response:
‘We will rise up!’ She declares and I respond:
‘Again and Again!’

This is a body wisdom calling!
My heart throws itself against my ribs
mixing eros and critique, blood and light!
And what is the path?
A challenge to conditioning;
A doing differently:
A patterning of new lacuna:
A dancing of community back into the flatlands.

My voice sings
my body’s ability to act
as an intimate conduit of Transformation.
My voice an I-We-Us-Them-It harmonic

A singing bowl for the Chaosmos and the
skin that seals us all in.
That is, until we realise our perfect connection to
A grace of Greater Things!

In his opening poem, It’s Time, he echoes the urgency of this dissenting poetic voice:

I want to say it’s time to get moving
but really, we are always moving
along with atoms and stars and all that lies between.
No, it’s time to move in other directions!
Grab the rudder from the feeble hands of fate
take control of this boat of being
throw off the weight of the past, cherry pick it
for what’s best in us, an always best beyond the stains and strains
It’s time to ask what next, when saying enough is futile.

It’s time to love and laugh more, and time to cry and grieve.
It’s time to take responsibility in all its forms.
It’s time to out-love the bad in all and see or seed the good.
I am restless with this sense of timefullness of things
dwelling with that perpetual yearning that calls us all.
Yet our compasses are skewed so we need to recalibrate.

It’s time for sure and in time maybe we’ll find out what for.
Right now, I step out, stand up, playfully embrace this timely state.
It’s time to find new pathways to where we’d like to be
before we are timed out, over cooked in the furnace of becoming!

This “perpetual yearning that calls us all” is embraced throughout this book of poems as an embodied “connection with all that is” and the “power of collective movement” celebrated in the poem, The Next Big Thing. Here are the last two stanzas.

When I love I am expanded!
Fear cuts me off; diminishes me
And then I fail to see the pattern,
Fail to connect the dots and taste
My connection to all that is.

To move beyond fear is the next ‘Big Thing!’
To take up love as the challenge that enables,
To realise the power of collective movement where
The most mundane of experience reveals itself in a myriad of ways
To be a message to me, and you, that we can be so much more…

This is a small glimpse of an exhilarating collection of poems, The Next Big Thing, that challenge us to transcend old patterns and surrender to the universal beauty that surrounds and permeates us. It would be interesting to gather reports from a variety of Neohumanist schools that illustrate the application of poetry as we collectively move together to create a Neohumanist poetics.