Thursday, December 20, 2012


From the elevated verandah
There was a view
Of the large back yard –
A well-grassed stretch
That did not quite go on forever.

A mass of pale purple pigface flowers
Clumped beside the fibro outside toilet.
A dull perfume rose
From the row
Of dwarf oleanders
That divided the yard
Into two unequal portions.
A slightly acrid smell
From the poison olive leaves
Occasional unpleasant odours
From the adjacent septic tank.
The backdrop tang
Of the universal eucalypts
Almost failed to register.

At times the yard was full
Of the noise of birds –
Black and white magpies
With their symphonies,
Dirty brown sparrows
With their monotonous chirps,
And, spasmodically,
Regal kookaburras
Looking for something
To laugh about
While the turquoise tips
Of their tucked-in wings
Flashed in the brilliant light.

This afternoon it was quiet –
So peaceful
That an energetic corgi
Settled down for nap,
His front legs
With their pure white feet
Cradling his fox-like face.

Out on the horizon,
Above the cerulean blurs
Of the Blue Mountains,
The sun seemed to strobe listlessly
As it slipped lower in the western sky,
Reddening the mean remnants
Of scattered cumulus clouds.

It was a good time to dream
For people who were so inclined.
But better just to gaze,
At the fiery performance in the sky
Until the powder blue canopy
Turned indigo
And the evening star
Pricked its way
Into the purple gloom.

Acknowledgement: the painting is by Joe Cartwright

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