Thursday, 23 December 2010

Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

It's raining again. Christmas looks like being the wettest and the coolest I can remember 26*C
While the northern hemisphere freezes we drown.
I tried to take some photos of an Australian Christmas but they look like any other Christmas (minus the snow). The Australian touch is the nativity scenewith a central desert Aboriginal painting in the background which actually seems to fit. The painting is from the Santa Teresa community near Alice Springs which was and still is a missionary influenced township.

It's grey skies and rampant green growth looking east from our back door. The river, which is one block from our house, has broken it's banks; the dams are all full; the drought is broken so we can't complain.
Happy Christmas to everyone in blogland.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Magpie 45 - When the chips are down

Mary's off to the casino
she's looking to crack the jackpot,
sick of living in a stable,
fed up with this baby being born again every year,
she wants to move on.

She's an icon in stained glass
in every catherdal on the planet.
But does she benefit?
Does she get the royalties?

Then along comes the big break,
some artist gives her a red casino chip for a halo,
must be worth something.
It's a sign from ..............
she pauses
then sees that the little one has a deck of cards attached to his head
another sign.
This time she's not asking.

The temple of money is close by
and she's making a B-line for it.
She knows how luck works.
She was picked from millions of others
Lucky? Unlucky?
It's a don't ask questions world.
A don't look a gift ass in the mouth
She doesn't hesitate.

The little fella is only young
but he's showing a lot of promise.
He has a gift for numbers.
It's the roulette table she 's got in mind.

There's a concierge at the door.
Sorry luv, no sandals in the gaming room
and no children.
She's been brought up to be humble
but this is really getting up her nose.
Don't you know who I am
she challenges him.
Sorry luv
I don't care if you're the mother of god
I gotta follow the rules.
I didn't make em.
For more Magpie Tales writing click here or on the Magpie Tales stamp

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Vanuatu insights

I just liked this accidental composition. A dive instructor disappears behind a palm frond on Hideaway Island
Back yard of No. 2 Lodge. Palms trees, washing, kava drying in the sun, kids swing. and the managers residence.

Hideaway Island - 15 minutes drive from Port Vila, coral reef fringed, 200 metres from the mainland. I did my first ever Scuba dive here. Enjoyed it apart from the Chinese princess - but that's another story.

Evening light on Port Vila Harbour

The manager's residence No. 2 Lodge

Neighbour to upmarket resort - Poppy's on the Lagoon. Despite western incursions life goes on.

Tropical colours. Wild!

Port Vila Harbour and cyclist. Surprisingly few bicycles.

Public art on a local electricity substation showing pride in the traditional.

Vanuatu - Night of the Dog

This piece should be accompanied by a soundtrack. In fact i have one. Such was the night I am about to describe that at one point, about 2am, I decided to get my voice recorder from my bag and make a tape of the wondrous cacophony which made sleep impossible. If anyone can advise me how to convert cassette tape to audio file and then load it to this blog I could give you a taste. Sadly this is way beyond my technical skills.

Night of the Dog

A Cessna light aircraft engine
whirrs in the corner blasting
cool air across restless bodies
in this small Vanuatu room.

Nurofen dreams of
a slipped disc disaster
gnaw at my brain.
Malaria tablets
rattle on the side-board
warning off blood engorged messerschmits.

A couple of cats
yowling and growling
beneath my window
sing their excruciating love song
tearing my sleep to shreds.

A dog yaps
yip, wiff, yip-yip
in rhythms no orchestra would recognize
yap yap in my head
in my room, under my bed.
haranguing the full moon
with his lament.

Dog cat cessna backpain
rain drums on the tin roof
spelling out staccato messages
tick tap drip throp-op.
Wind thrashes palm fronds.
The tarpaulin tied to the verandah rail
snaps back and forth
in time with my nurofen nightmare.

The dog barks and barks
through the full nurofen cycle
the Cessna engine buzzes
the air moves
the rain drips
the cats meow themselves to sleep
the palms rustle
my pain subsides
at the sun’s rise and
I understand why dogs
die in countries far away -
ingredients in secret recipes
guaranteed to satisfy
even the most ardent lovers of dog(s).