Poetry: Christine Larsen

Christine Larsen

The morning was whitely blinding...

Once upon a very long time ago, we two were dairy farmers. But first we were apprentices, using our own rule book (and any information we could gather from far and wide... even sheep farmers' variety!). Would we have allowed anyone else to suspect our 'newbie-ness'? NOT likely!

On one of those earliest milky days, venturing forth into a pea-souper of a fog to bring the cows in for late afternoon milking, I promptly lost myself in their paddock. Being undulating land, all is well no matter how thick the whiteout, once you find a fence... Everything going uphill leads to home and the desirous dairy. At least you will arrive at a gateway… eventually! But if you are even a metre or two away from the salvation of a fence, you have no idea where you are… ALL is hidden in that lost world threatening to choke you with its ever and everness.

You call 'C'mon, c'mon...' over and over in the forlorn hope the cows may possibly wear some miraculous GPS, invented long before Man and all his 'techie' stuff. You cheer yourself up no end with the thought they will definitely  know where to go.

And you won't believe it. They DO! They can walk soundlessly on those great hoofed feet until abruptly LOOMING up right next to you, only to pass on by, on their dedicated way to... ('P-L-E-A-S-E let it be to the dairy', you whisper fervently). And when you finally find a fence and follow it ever upwards to the RIGHT gate and make your way along the race to the dairy...

THERE they are.

Every. Last. One. of Them!!!

And their great googly eyes say, 'What kept you?'

***

 

To Sleep: Perchance to Dream

The voices float ever upwards.
"Shh, he's asleep."
They whisper
but I hear them.
"Poor little man… SO tired after his big climb," says another.
Louder.
That one really wants me to wake up. I can tell.
"What a honey. A ball of fur, like a rolled-up,
extra-extra-fluffy dressing gown."
Dressing gown?
"Maybe he had a big night out?" questions one,
and another wannabe funny-man croons,
"Neath the light—" and the first one joins in,
"…of the silvery moo-oo-oo-n!"
And a third adds,
"His lady-love he'll nightly 'spoon'".
And they all fall about laughing.
That funny human 'haw-haw' sound!
Should I open my eyes?
Reveal their bleariness:
Could they guess the TRUTH?
Why I sleep my life away?
If they could speak Koala, I'd confess. Maybe.
I'm high in the ol' gum tree. That's true.
But I'm far higher than that
on the eucalyptus leaves of that ol' gum tree.
SHH-hh-hh!

***


Why Did the Echidna Cross the Road?


 Because the ants on the other side thumbed their noses and chanted,

“Naa-na-na-naaa-naa…catch us if you can!”

and stopped at the rim of their ant-hole homes and wiggled their bottoms at him.

Well-ll-ll, I can't promise those were the exact words verbatim, after all the wind was quite brisk, but that's the gist I got on an unexpected photo opportunity near the Cape Nelson lighthouse, once upon a long time ago.


Certainly, I DID clearly hear the words,

"Gunna Get Me an Ant or Twenty for Afternoon Tea!"

 

I can promise that this erstwhile Echidna took up the challenge big time, waddled across the road and cleaned them up, with a whuffing sort of grunt when his nose was buried up to his eyeballs, and he hit 'paydirt', as it were. This prickly character scared the living daylights out of me at first, until I realised it was actually a statement of deep satisfaction that he had found his afternoon tea.

 

At such times in Life, you just need to listen carefully, and all comes clear.


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