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Light and darkness

  • 18 October 2022
 Selected poems Light and darkness

Passed the longest night down hereat the bottom of the globe, and intoJuly to emphasise the dark depthsof winter. This year a wet one, washingon the line, when we get it out there, just dripping out of sympathy, land on the hilloozing out of every crevice and gap inwhat is turning into an over full sponge,the big dam too is rising by the day ready for overfall and to cascade over the spillway, working its way down the ephemeral stream, giving everyone a reassurance for summer,when such streams are a memory, a distantone, when the pasture has become crispy,and even children’s eyes turned heavenward,try to reimagine and make it all part oftheir unformed prayers, if that’s what wishlists for God and Santa are all about. Ducksand grebes and herons and spoonbills haveall arrived to join the party, each beaking theirway across wetland smorgasbords obliviousof the dry times, do they go by memory ordeep-seated instinct. Night closes in early,wet boots are lined up at doorways, and woodboxes reflect husbandry of timber, fallen treesand felling, and the urge for glowing fires in thedark recesses of damp caves of security. Basicsurvival instincts, or is that learned, and wegravitate bed-wards earlier, to lie there and heardrum beating rain on the roof as our eyes lose focusin the ceiling and then in the roofs of our minds,until we are allowed to dream endlessly, aimlessly,in the hands of our subconscious. We are told thereare cities of wonder way past the horizon, and thesetoo might be subjects for dreaming about thechattering classes, and their endless foment. Moresense in listening to the confluence of birdsin the wet flats, they know when the time for silencecomes, the wide wings of the hawks and eaglesslipping through the declining light, more effectivethan a gavel, or bell, or a blast from a loudspeaker.

Looking out

Contemplation of the skyline in greyeasterly windswept tones, bereft of birds,all sheltering, branchified, grey clouds arefalse omens, they bear apparent moisture, butonly false promises to slake the thirst ofsummer golden paddocks, give relief totall trees that remember higher water tablesbut now dissemble the traditions of thisseason, leaves falling down in winnowingcircles, groundwards, like confetti, a weddingthat thirsts for consummation, not omensof aridity, barrenness. Reading the picture,surveying the horizon, sniffing the wind wecan do daily, habitually, like rams and bulls,in expectation, comes from years of cloudssailing through stretches of sun and shadoweddarkness. Land dwellers like us, are the poetsof the world,