Monday, 30 July 2012


Wrote this last Saturday morning; sitting on a levee in Mildura. Kind of sums up where I was at the time.

Somewhere, in some other time zone, they’re playing Bee Gees music and welcoming the athletes of the world. Not here. I think I’m glad of that. It’s cool and overcast. Morning quiet. The river is dark and shining and wider than it has been for a decade. It feels like I can reach out and touch it. I might.

Through a boneyard of lost River Red Gums, a pelican glides on the breeze, wingtips feathering the water. Butcherbirds start up a chorus and the petrified forest becomes a conservatorium. A Whistling kite flies over me, flapping hard. Something hangs from its talons. Shining and quivering. One less carp in the Murray.

There’ll be one less man in an hour or so. It’s almost time to go home. Time to learn how to earn a living. On my own. No direction. No net this time. A fresh start – or a disaster. Only if I jump will I know. Only if I leave my place by the river. And head somewhere.


  1. This is, really, very very good.
    And only those who jump will learn to fly.

  2. You're good at this, Dave. Lovely piece of lyric prose. I especially admire "the petrified forest becomes a conservatorium."

    Love your photograph, I'm bound to say.

    And apropos looking and leaping, do you know W H Auden's "Leap Before You Look", a poem that has been a mantra for me?

    Listen to Auden read it here:

    Here's the opening stanza:

    The sense of danger must not disappear:
    The way is certainly both short and steep,
    However gradual it looks from here;
    Look if you like, but you will have to leap.