I’m cactus

Before and after shots of this cactus flower at my front door–the former as I left for work today, and the latter on return–could just as easily be selfies of me. Next time I tell someone I’m cactus, I’ll know what I mean.

Journal entry – Glenelg River to Big Desert, and Silo Art

   I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce J, my new travelling companion.

J on Moonah Track, Big Desert Wilderness Area

J on Moonah Track, Big Desert Wilderness Area

   At the time of this photograph—approaching sunset, 3 Jan 2017—J was not travelling anywhere, and it won’t take a seasoned 4WD veteran to see why. We did feel some trepidation with the sand becoming softer and deeper as we progressed, and did consider turning back a couple of times before getting stuck in this predicament, but since it was getting late and my camping site guide had promised me that a conventional 2WD could traverse Victoria’s Big Desert Wilderness Park to the Casuarina Campground where I had decided at the last moment to spend the night, I was not about to let my growing fear of the unknown dictate that I turn and retreat—“J is a 4WD… we can do this,” I foolishly fooled myself. In hindsight it would have been sensible to weigh up some of the extenuating factors: I was carrying no tyre gauge, no air compressor, no recovery kit, and I was following my sat-nav directions rather than the directions in the camping site guide. Indeed, there are two roads in and my sat-nav put me on the road that a conventional 2WD can’t traverse.
   I started letting air out of the tyres but, not having done this before, did not know what the recommended 18PSI might look like on a tyre sunk in sand in the absence of a gauge. I feared I might further complicate my situation so resigned to calling Emergency – 000, the only number I could call from here.

Call details
Outgoing 5m8s 03/01/2017 19:56
Outgoing 10m35s 03/01/2017 19:37
Outgoing Not connected 03/01/2017 19:34
Outgoing Not connected 03/01/2017 19:34
Outgoing 3m49s 03/01/2017 19:29

   Shortly after 11pm that night I had arrived at Casuarina Campground, with assistance from an out-of-town police officer and local farmer. One of the tyres was almost completely flat when we arrived, and another was sitting mangled in the spare wheel compartment after it popped off the rim along the way. The campground was empty, so the local farmer returned in the morning to re-inflate my tyres and I followed him back to Patchewollock along the safe track.
   The whole experience was extremely embarrassing, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Roger and Irene for extracting me from the danger I had foolishly placed myself in, and to Kevin at Patchewollock Rural Supplies who gave J a checkup at no cost before we limped off to Mildura on three standard wheels and one undersized space saver to have my damaged tyre replaced and wheel refitted.
   I will know in future exactly how to be prepared and what to do if I encounter sand like this again, and since there is always a bright side that will be it, but if I had done a one day 4WD course when I bought J the bright side would have been Casuarina Campground with me with my feet up watching the sun set, and this would have been a journal about the day starting beside Glenelg River at sunrise with beautiful birdsong,

then setting out for the Silo Art trail through Sheep Hills,

Sheep Hills silos

Sheep Hills silos

Brim silos

Brim silos

and Patchewollock
Patchewollock silo

Patchewollock silo

via a dry Albacutya Lake boat ramp to boat ramp track crossing
Albacutya Lake

Albacutya Lake

topped off with an exciting sandhill adventure. They say you live and you learn. If you haven’t taken the appropriate precautions it’s ‘If you live, then you learn.’

The Architecture of Water – Book Release Day — gingatao

The Architecture Of Water, a collection of poetry written and compiled by the late and great Brisbane poet Paul Squires, is now available for purchase. Paul originally submitted this manuscript to the judges of the 2010 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript; the prize, had he been successful, $3000 […]

via The Architecture of Water – Book Release Day — gingatao

Alisha slipped to the side

The moment I saw her I thought to myself,
I’m sure we have met in a book before.

“Alisha slipped to the side, pressing herself
against the wall outside the door.”*

*The Phoenix Law
by Cate Dermody

Transitional words and devices: a technical exercise.

I used to speak donkey in dust bunny slippers
and cotton duck ghost in a drop cloth:
my weight was half short of my salt in smoked kippers
(once I went shopping for shoes wearing flippers –
earned an HD
in Sociology
for pretending to be a sociopath).

I could build any argument from the design of a noodle—
to coin a collective—of numismatists,
which demonstrates everything kit and kaboodle
goes back to the very first dust bunny doodle
(doodle is drop cloth
for what the duck quoth)
to found the Canoodlist movement;

and every argument future proof cast
since I also spoke donkey in sandals and socks.
If numismatists ever were things of the past
the noodle would be where the smart money’s at.
But lately my ghost has gone crusty,
and what’s left of my donkey is rusty:
my time may have come to return to the flock.

Same spider

This spider has been my deskside companion for three summers in a row. I believe it has been the same spider since it has for three summers appeared on the same door.
Same spider, three summers, same door.
One summer I saw a spider on the door beside my desk. That was three summers ago. It couldn’t have been the same spider as this one if I had not seen it before.
Same spider twice, three summers, same door.
This summer the spider is on the door beside my desk. It couldn’t have been here three summers ago if this summer isn’t a summer ago.
Same spider twice, two summers, same door.
One summer ago I saw the same spider
that wasn’t the same one two summers ago.
This is the spider that’s been my companion
for three summers now, in a row.

Third Rock War (2008)

White light in fright fled the virtuous mean
Upon gathering mist laden shrouds,
Donning bright colours and offering hope
With an arc through insidious clouds.

The promising blade then withdrew to its sheath,
Replaced by a streak of milk chocolate
Suspended below a dark blanket of hate
That groaned with intention to slaughter.

Scuttling into the Banksias high,
Armies of natives retreated.
A breeze tugged the collar and licked away tears
From leaves that would soon be defeated.

A pitter, a patter, transformed into clatter,
As sleet suffocated the earth bound.
Sonic fists punched at a trembling crust.
Lightning forks plucked at the high ground.

Relieved of the tension that led to the war
Between heavenly nation and Third Rock,
Survivors surveyed the remainders …
And promised to honor the shell shocked.