FLIGHTS OF FANCY

What is my excuse for not writing today?
I am not listening to any voices in the head today anyway ,so no excuses to document!
Instead, I am drifting far far away- out through the donga window in my shed cave, which safely houses me and my Pelimobile, up, up into the gently swaying trees beyond the enormous roller door.

I dart like a dragon fly, then hover over the huge Helicopter tree (Gyrocarpus americanus), with its feathery, fragile looking new leaves, which busted out of their dry naked branch prisons overnight.
I wonder how these delicate, almost transparent, leaves of green sweetness will endure today’s forecast 42 degree Hot weather time -Parranga- season sunshine.
However, looking closely I can see a few darker leaves that emerged three weeks ago after a short heavy shower.
They show no sign of damage.

Earlier I watched and heard a spectacular sound and light show at 2am.
This broadcasted the beginning of the Build Up to the Wet Season – Yitilal.
Up to 80mls of gentle rain began falling- 18 months since such a bountiful, soaking, energising rain event fell.
Achingly thirsty bark on trees opened up like sponges to greedily drink in the water, then, once saturated, they overflowed into trickles running down the branches to equally thirsty roots buried in the dry, dusty ,rock hard pindan earth.
Just below the bark, dry, tight leaf buds also greedily slurp up precious drops.
They swell and swell, beneath the softened bark that imprisoned them.
Silently, they strain to break free from their tight dry capsules, and thrust up through the bark to become.
Delicately, they unfold like a butterfly’s wings, stretching out to capture the oxygen and powerful sun’s rays to grow and prepare the flower buds to follow.
Flowers will follow the leaves, and from them will emerge the marble sized seeds encapsulated in two strong leaves.
After the Rain Season -Yitilal merges into the Cold Season- Makurra-, they will grow and develop, eventually dropping with all the leaves..
Then begins the seed’s own adventure -as they seperate from the branches,their little narrow leaves spread and turn them into mini gyrocopters – spinning,whirling, twirling, catching breezes to transport them far, far away from the parent tree, to start a new cycle.

Darting over to the Crocodile Tree-Purrlurru- (Atalanta hemiglauca) I rest a while beside one of its few remaining beautiful creamy flowers – reminiscent of the soft spiky dry seed heads of a thistle.
They burst out after the first light rainfall and there are already green berries well formed.
Dreamily, I become an iridescent blue dragon fly perched on a twig out on the river bank, and watch the freshwater crocs busy getting their nests ready to lay their eggs.
Do the crocs watch for this tree to start flowering and then say to each other ‘OMG it is that time again, let’s get busy up the bank a bit”?
On my Buck it List are watching baby crocs, and turtles hatching, and wild ducklings leaping out of tree hollows.
Spellbound, breathless, I have watched plovers, geckos, chickens, preying mantis, calves, foals, lambs, and humans emerging into this world.
Just like the helicopter tree leaves, each of them has unfurled, stretched, and expanded out of the space it grew in.
That oxytocin -loving hormone-rush I feel watching is so, so precious and is life sustaining in itself.
Waiting for the croc eggs to hatch would probably use up a dragonfly lifetime so I become an eye on the wings of a newly emerged hawk moth.
As her split chrysalis flutters in the breeze, she sits and pumps up her new wings, then heads off to mate, then find the nearest Boab tree.
It too is exploding with new leaves, so she lays her eggs there right next to a plentiful food supply for her caterpillar babes to be.
We will return later to sip the nectar in the short lived fragrant white erected Boab blossoms along with the fruit bats and sugar gliders.
Thus the flowers are pollinated and nuts form, but tonight, last years nut’s twigs are softening and the night resonates with the thuds as they let go and hit the ground.
The scrub is teeming with new life ready to harvest the rich bounty of the rainy season .
Dirty rotten cane toads are calling and leaping around everywhere on the roads and near the creeks.
I strain to hear the tree frogs and finally hear a couple who are also wildly excited by the wet conditions.
Guess they will be moving into the bathroom soon to surprise me as they flush out of the cistern.
Rather than risking being gobbled, I move on to become a cicada and join their incessant chorus – I love to sing.
My mate Deb says “the singing circadias are the penultimate indicator of the Build Up beginning!”

However their repertoire is limited so I drift off again to surf on a pandamus palm leaf floating down a rusting torrent in the side cut of the road.
Yeehaa!
Woops drainpipe coming up fast – leap, fly, get airborne and back in that window Yevie!

African Sleeping Sickness

Over recent weeks I have spent dark days
Lethargically slumped
over my writing desk
I have been feeling dispirited and dull
My concentration has gone
and I am now prone
To frequent,
unpredictable mood changes

For days now I have felt indifferent
decidedly irritable and
if you so much as looks at me
I am likely to snarl viciously and
Aggressively demand to know
why, just because
I teach people how to write
Everyone expects me to be an accomplished writer

What could someone
With a banal daily life like mine
Possibly have to write
In verse or prose for that matter?
Of what consequence
Are my sporadic, deranged mutterings?
It has all been a façade, a masquerade
all done with smoke and mirrors

This proliferation, this sudden invasion of my organs
this debilitating infection of my brain has left me
suffering from a chronic, torpor
It is an effort even
to raise my pen
I am suffering from daytime insomnia
exhausted by periods of sleep-like unconsciousness
And fear I will slip into a deep coma
wither and die of sleeping sickness

Sleeping sickness?
First described in the fourteenth century
when Sultan Djata of the Kingdom of Melli
was stricken by a lethargy that killed him
Only methodical destruction
of the tsetse flies habitat
repelled the spread but now, centuries later
a fresh reservoir of blood lies unprotected

Only a vigilant mobile surveillance system
with specialized staff
using effective diagnostic tools and
improved field control strategies
Will repel this resurgence
control this vigorous strain of sleeping sickness
causing neurological impairment in
lonely writers and artists all over the world

I wrote this many years ago when I was summoning the courage to face each day with my husband who was battling bowel cancer. Over recent months the malaise has taken a grip and bought my creativity to a grinding halt.

Seeking regeneration.