Showing posts from February, 2013

Past Participle

Each footstep brings the sea nearer.  Each footstep makes the sound of the waves grow louder.  The horizon pulls closer and its importance grows.  You cannot escape the pull of the water.  The small island state of a larger island country continent is a good place to think about the sea. By the time you reach the forth line of the national anthem you will have found at least two things.  Firstly you will have found the word “girt” – a word that is not in common usage today, and may never have been in the past.  It is apparently the past participle of the verb “gird”, which is the kind of definition that surpasses my understanding.   But it means to surround – and the line in the anthem has Australia girt by sea. The second thing you will have discovered is the remarkable prescience of the author of the song.  Not only did he (for it probably was a he) recognize that Australia would be built on the resources that could be pulled from the ground, but also he notic

Earth, Wind and too much Fire.

Early morning sun lights up the pale trunks of the birch trees.  A magpie, head cocked to one side, inspects the edges of the flowerbeds and lawns.  Sharp eyed breakfast at a hooked beak point.  The tomatoes soak up what the hose offers.  I check windows and doors (again).  A yellow taxi does not seem big enough with bags and people inside.  No last minute returns for forgetfulness.  Always pack the night before. Always leave on a Sunday.  Always take less stuff.  Always check the weather.  And today – check the fire reports. The weather has been warm and cold, record highs, surprising lows, but most of all, dry.  Nobody uses the word drought – not yet anyway.  But you can feel it building, the slow deep breath of summers running beyond season.  And in the weather silence you can hear a whisper that says fire.  Long grass, deep leaves, forest litter.  Crackle dry layers wait for the spark of conflagration. The careless act, the willfully stupid match strike, the lig