casuarina’s fragile hold
the stork and the styx
Many streams and rivers in Australia only flow during the wet season – in between seasons the casuarina seeds washed down in the last flood take root and grow. The lucky ones survive next years flood. The river gives life and just as easily takes it away.
Frosty air made me fumble the match and it tumbled into the pile of broken twigs I had piled beneath my *billy. Only one match remained in the box. With some trepidation I withdrew it and dragged it along the striker. Orange flame danced at the end of the splinter of wood and I touched it to my tinder pile. Sparks rose quickly in the thermal draft. Anticipation grew as I added coffee. Aroma lifted my spirits and I knew today would be my day.
*a billy is an Australian term for a kettle or tin used for brewing coffee or tea over a campfire.
So many times I try to divide,
My mind from my heart
In matters pertaining to war.
We need no bullets,
Or hatchets buried deep
To slice each other’s soul –
A loosely spoken word,
As poison as a dart
That’s touched a crimson frog.
A look as cold as space.
A heart as unyielding as gravity.
These weapons often star.
It rends my aching spirit
Creates in me a destructive mind,
‘Cos deep inside I know.
Without you I’m only half,
And you can surely see –
You’ll never have to bleed for me.
- If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him.
- If he is in superior strength, evade him.
- If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him.
- Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
- If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
- If his forces are united, separate them.
- If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them.
- Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
(A tale of Viking love and loss and belief)
Towards the horizon he takes his aim,
Behind, sand dunes bar the oceans advance.
Here, in a cold sea, he begins his swim.
Resolute, he hastens to this one chance.
The setting sun sinks with increasing speed
And he must be there before the last rays.
Time never waits – this earthly plane impedes.
Valhalla’s gate slams shut to mortals ways.
Between darkness and light the path exists
As day slips into another grim night,
A chance is there, if his love can insist.
He must prevail, to make his loss seem right.
Upon a battlefield he lost his wife –
Today he battles, with his right to life.
Today the sky is blue,
Somewhere behind the dark clouds.
It’s cleanliness hidden
From my addled mood.
Yet still I hide the scar,
Through the smokescreen provided
By the tiny blue pill.
My friend – my bête noir.
Sip the tea and look to sea.
Behind this wave another forms –
Regardless of the unrelenting shore.
Like me, they just want to be.
Somewhere out there it begins –
And the environment sustains its growth,
Always supporting, sometimes calming.
It rises, tall as a mountain poppy,
Tossing its head in the offshore breeze –
Until dashing itself to pieces
Upon the callous, unforgiving shore…
Hold my hand, I’m cold.