For now, the smoke has given way to jasmine once more, if only the breath of memory. The air is still, but for the ripples the cicadas make, to say that this day will steam you ’til your bones grow limp.
No, the air is not still – not completely: the palm fronds dance with themselves, and the climbing spinach twirls its tendrils as I once did, reaching out for anything to take hold of.
We keep low today, crawl towards the water-hole, towards the cacophony of the gathering, towards the song of water on cool pebbles.
We long to go deeper.
Relics accumulate in my home like a shrine:
a gleaming Venn diagram and 36 glowing drops of sky
on the table; clouds swimming in the fridge.
Outside, the climbing spinach makes itself at home.
The palms near the traffic lights broadcast a sweet Southern birdsong as I wait for the signal. In the deepening blue of early evening, I strain to see a place among those swaying arcs of leaves where any bird could perch, and am left wondering if the trees themselves have learned to sing.
The sunset-silhouetted Norfolk Island pines broadcast a screeching chorus, to completely fill the space between the buildings, and high above, the currawong calls to its reflection.
Cardboard cutout clouds stack up
Heavy with the town’s collective breath
Above the sausage tree and strangler figs
Slender palms like nervous schoolkids
Line up by the shallow water
While the bell hangs still and silent
The rainstorm breaks
In a Busby Berkeley dagger-dance
Across the writhing river
The rain returning home
Makes a heady aromatic tea
In the gutter’s gum-leaf dams
I am excited to see The Nemo’s time-lapse project up and running. Splendid work, sir!
Against a flat blue Summer evening, reflected in the flat blue glass façades, the gurgling fruit bats are the only things of substance, until finally a song cracks open the shell that surrounds us.
To the tiny honey-eaters, gravity is trivial, yet approaching water is a delicate dance, refining the approach in successive sorties, ever closer until finally the belly just kisses the water. There is always an over-zealous life-guard who stays dry, yet chases any perched anxiously on the edge of the bath back up into the branches with a chiding tutter. But then the dare-devils arrive, and all take their dive, in quick succession with precision and delight. The spiky foliage fills with the fluttering of drying feathers.