These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.
29 September 2009
The Presence of the Observer
Changes What’s Being Observed
Write a poem about a natural event.
I start my walk to the shops.
Few people along this village road.
A toddler, pushed in a stroller,
spies me going past the other way,
cocks her finger at me and gurgles.
She changes me. I fill with smiles,
waggling my hand back at her,
exchanging grins with her mother.
She changes us all, and
changes our interactions.
I take the upper path, above
trees and river – almost step
on a flattened cane toad
some driver didn’t miss. Think
of the handsome goanna
sprawled across half the road
the other day, his proud head up.
Luckily no traffic there.
I tooted, swerved and missed.
He took off into the bush.
Next day my sleek black hunter
nosed at an open drawer.
I thought he was trying to climb in
(he likes cubby-holes, that cat)
but later he brought out on to the floor
the upturned white-bellied body
of a small lizard, dead.
I wondered then,
does Nature demand
a life lost for a life saved?
I contemplate, too, the woman
who shares her space with wombats.
“They think so differently
about the world,” she says,
finding that charming. “We forget,”
she adds, "That we are animals too.”
I am an event in nature,
like a wombat or goanna.
I am an agent of change,
like introduced cats and toads.