Intense blues walking above Hawker Beach early this morning. There’s a strong offshore blowing and, beyond the shelter of the shoreline, I see the swirls of wind on the water in sprays and eddies, like watercolour paint booms, the sheoak in the foreground.
Another moment of stillness and calm beauty. Two swallows circling around the little jetty that juts out into the Estuary. I’m nearly finished a longish poem about a journey up the estuary and the beauty of all that, but I doubt I’ll capture that as well as the swallows did this morning.
On this morning’s walk along two local creeks, open to the sights and sounds of the world as you are sometimes at the start of a holiday break, I passed a local chicken farm and saw that it was closed down.
The shed was empty, though it looked like the pens and the wooden fittings were still intact. I had the urge to get in there and look around. I stopped to take a photo through the wire fence and the curtain opened briefly.
Went for a walk down to look at the bay after work tonight, with a strong easterly blowing almost straight offshore from the cliffs, making the bay look cold and blue, like metal, and swirling, eddying shapes on the water as the wind rushed over the cliff where I stood.
There was a boat anchored just offshore, just where the wind would have felt a little uncontrollable, and nobody seemed to be in it. Maybe they were diving off it.
Then, walking back, I was struck by the wind high in the gum tree and the sounds the wind made as it filtered through the leaves. I took some videos on my phone and put them together.
There may even be a poem in it.
I love rivers. A couple of years ago in China I had a spare afternoon and a driver, and no-one else had any better ideas so I asked if we could see the Yangtze River, which wasn’t far away. So we drove down there, drove over and drove back. I didn’t get out of the car and certainly didn’t taste the water like I didn’t taste the water like I did when I came to the broad majestic Shannon years ago. Anyway, I took lots of photos and today found them again and spliced them into a movie. The sci-fi effect is linked to the odd dislocating experience of this surreal river crossing. I’m glad I’ve seen it.
Sometimes you step into a place that seems kind of strange. Or warming. Or sombre. Or something. Places have emotional connotations for me; it’s part of the joy of travel to find some of those places that resonate with you. Or re-visiting ones you know.
So, I was interested to find this new little place not far from where I live. My normal walks around the Briars were closed because of the Easter holiday so I walked a different way and found this new creek, and new landscape. Very still and seemed full of story somehow. I captured about forty seconds or so on the video below. I expect poems!
Most of the year for me is spent split between working in Melbourne and getting down to the Mornington Peninsula on weekends.
So, one of the things I like most about the holidays is the chance to be in one place for a while, and re-connect with some of my favourite places like the Briars.
I’ve blogged about the Briars before (do a search if you like) but I never get sick of the place, and the way the creek defines it as well as its sense of history.
Today I did the longer 4k loop and also walked out via the new Harrap Creek track for the first time. I’ve captured some of the moments below, but one moment I didn’t capture was seeing a big red-bellied black snake asleep by the side of the track. The trouble is, once you’ve seen a snake on a walk, you see them everywhere, in every shadow, root, branch or piece of broken bark on the track or just off it. It tends to take the meditating mind off the poetry a bit. Though, it did make me think, ‘have I ever written a poem about a snake?’, like D.H. Lawrence did? Looking back, it seems I have only had one go at it, this poem that was published in *Eureka Street* in 2011. Maybe it’s time for another go?
Late Walk Along Jerusalem Inlet
Rows of trees knee-deep in bracken
trunks green with soft moss
all dead or dying
a shovel shaped pit
the sound of water
some Mirkwood path
to a wide green place
where a house was
broken rocks and bricks,
beside the broken oak tree,
a non-allegorical snake.
Below: The view from the bird hide
The prophetic sign: this was exactly the snake I saw half an hour after reading this sign.
Signs of former use; old fence posts from when this was farmland.
Common farmland birds poster in the bird hide
Spring Paddock Dam
Below: Balcombe Creek
Nice to see it flowing after a bit of rain this week.
Below: Spring Paddock Dam
Listen carefully for the frogs.