Lockdown Walk No 13 Out to the trig station and back

Out to the Trig station and back  

the coddled clouds 
were part of a gentle day
their feather touch
even the horizon misty 
a moist lightness on the sea air

the path soft and established 
with sandstone built sides 
the only reason we have hesitated 
is the steep gradients of ups and downs
today it seemed right to tackle 

I expected wildflowers at their best
a past memory was a gathering
of flannel flowers 

we met a back-burn
dry acrid smell
black ashen ground 

the air tasted acerbic
it harshened my breath 
agony of  past summer fires
miniture here 
reminded me of loss   
of absence  

yes nature survives fire 
yes banksia uses heat to propagate
yes it can prevent wild-fire destruction

but here I stood before empiness
my mind spinning

will the flannel flowers return?
will the flying duck orchids 
break this hard dry barren place?

all I can say
I grasped for answers
only when I got past this area
did they come
in colours and patterns
resilience and belief in renewal


Bearing witness to the fires Summer 2020



bearing witness

reverence is called for  . . .

a mournful dignity  on this beach today

it is far from the war zone

 but each wave carries the remains

flanked with blackened ash

it lays to rest in curves on the sand

not stark stiff birds as sometimes washed up 

blown in by severity of storms 

here is death consumed 

held up evidence 

as flotsam                                                           

and left like wreaths 

curved around a cenotaph

wave after wave 

sometimes  when washed out 

there is respite

for one does not know what to do 

but it comes back on the tide with vengence 

there is no escape  to being the witness                                

till one falls down on the sand to weep

and finds they’re not alone 

as the lament of the waves

comfort with whispered threnodies 

and hazed in smoke 

the weeping eye of the sun waits




Small pockets of new life come up to meet us everywhere.

 It does not help the many who have suffered the loss of loved ones, 

those who have lost their homes and/or businesses. 

It does not help the awful trauma that is with us 

and it doesn’t alleviate the  grief we bear as a nation 

at the loss of our precious flora and fauna. 

It is a sad, sombre and very sobering summer.