Tell, a story

In the ancient

city mounds of

the Middle East,

flat layers of mud,

one on top of

the other, are the

squashed remains

of houses and streets,

flat like pages in

a history book,

the lives of people

in each generation,

reduced to a few

inches of mud

baked in a thousand

years of Sun days.

In my memory

houses I have

lived in, one after

the other, from child

to old man,

are also flat pages;

all those years of

rich living, of friends

and family, of sadness

and joy, in sickness

and in health, all

compressed into

a few ghostly

thin memories,

dried by the heat

of life as lived.

Drip, drip, drip

As we grow older

small invisible

pores form in our skulls

and from them (like holes

in water tanks) drip

thoughts and ideas,

and memories of

recent times (being

closer to surface

of the mind), and wit

and concentration,

and names of people

once known like brothers

and sisters, and new

appointments, and old

research written by

me (apparently).

Quite soon the tank of

my mind I thought so

full will empty, like

dams drying in this

fearsome drought of my

old age.

Treading lightly

Summer is here,

in the middle of

Spring, with the

first warning of

bushfires, and the

first moment of

almost treading

on a snake (a cute

baby Black, but hey

a snake’s a snake).

In winter I stride

across the land

(though always

avoiding ants, and

beetles, and spiders).

I walk differently

in Summer. Slower,

more carefully,

each foot

landing lightly.

Concentrates the

eye wonderfully

knowing the next

step could be your

last. Is that what

makes us Australians,

I wonder, such a

cautious tentative

breed?