28 January 2006
A poem

Here’s a small poem, or maybe a country fable, from my Another Country Diary
of that date.



It’s been very hot, and with being a bit broke and all, we’d pretty much used what was in the freezer so it was time to knife the ice.*

It disappeared in an hour on the warm garden.
For the last few weeks, at dusk there’s a soft otherworldly sound coming from the cypress tree outside my workroom window. It’s like a musical breathing.
A flock of starlings have decided this is home for the night. Now, one roosting starling doesn’t drop too much bird shit, but forty do.
The acanthus under the tree have taken on polka dots. Lots of polka dots.
We’ve had summer storms, sweeping in grumbling, cracking overhead and
scaring the dogs. And last night, thirty five millimetres of rain. Flooding rain.
Shut the windows and even the doors, gusty rain.
But that means you can’t open all the windows and doors to let the house cool down.

So you go to bed, naked, under just a sheet, listening to far off rumbling,
which breaks into your dreaming. It’s only┬áin the early morning,
when it turns cooler that you can fall asleep.
And wake up to find that all the polka dots have disappeared.

(*That’s a Jude Aquilina poem about the sensuous pleasure of lifting the last bits of ice
off the defrosting fridge with a knife. We’ve adopted the term but the next fridge
we owned was self-defrosting. But I can remember the pleasure of it.
We interviewed Jude and used her poem on Cheese in the Coriole wine and olives
story of Regional Food Magazine no.3.