Barbara A. Taylor, AU







My Green Journey


I'm off to pay exorbitant council rates, although I cannot think just what their services  are. I drive an old jalopy on roads that cause every bone in my body to shake! The truck rattles as I maneuver over more deep corrugations. Sky-juice falls directly from heaven to the concrete rainwater-tank. My house-supply is fed by a maze of black plastic pipes, which initially appeared as dark venomous snakes, slithering through kikuyu- riddled paddocks. I giggle, remembering our earlier days of fearwe’d both been petrified by these serpents, both been fooled. Violent storms often cut off power. Dripping candles illumined our nightlife. Dark nights became romantic dinners for two with smiles across the scrubbed pine table. Lana liked to mould soft melted wax into fanciful shapes. When she left them outside in the midday sun they'd transform, materialize into grotesque figurines. This irritated me, but now I long for her to be back here. Traveling on now, I revel in balmy tropical lands, passing abundant banana plantations patch-worked on green slopes. I know this road well. On our first journey together we’d seen a sign: “PLANT AN OZONE PLUG TODAY”. We agreed. We did. We planted many native trees. Rainbow Lorikeets, birds of dazzling technicolor, skim over my truck’s bonnet. The enormous sky is clear. Sun’s energy through glass brings heat. Two hungry calves graze by the roadside next to a closed farm-gate. They have no fear, but I am cautious. I slow down. Another warning: “TRESPASSERS WILL BE COMPOSTED!”

forty foot tall
towering, powering
her bunya pine





too late
the investment workshop
at the weekend
tells me it’s too early
for retirement



my timber bread box
gnawed along the edges
splinters on the shelf­
what use the python in the roof?
my large black dog on the floor?



sometimes I question
my relationship to rodents–
a nibbled apple
from my kitchen fruit bowl
strewn on the study floor





summer rowing
past submerged homesteads
in the corn fields









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