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Saturday, 24 August 2019


From that redoubtable poet, David Farnsworth - two idylls on his home town...

Translucent Light III

Something about this winter is different.
Showers come in slate-coloured clouds;
unexpectedly. Snow seems as far away
as ever.
I'm sitting at the kitchen table looking
out the window, where even the smallest
bird is met with rejoicing. On the roof
a family of magpies warble.
I'm not booked into Ballarat Health
Services for at least a few weeks.
The staff give a collective sigh of relief.
The kitchen is littered with photos of
the dead. No wonder I have few friends.
Most of them are dead.
Keeping Up Appearances is important.
Today I was showered by the sixth different person in three weeks. How can they bear it?. The house has been cleaned by A. She helps me peg the washing on the line. I don't think it's in her job description.
I have cooked Corned Beef for lunch with onions and carrots. Can I get away with putting the greens in a saucepan with the potatoes and pumpkin?
I need the small saucepan to cook the
mustard sauce. Is it the sugar
I like? A tap drips - noisily. Who has
the time or energy to turn it off?
Tomorrow is Maryborough. It gets me
out of the kitchen. Plenty of friends
there. And the soup isn't half-bad

Ballarat 01/08/19

Translucent Light IV

A spattering of rain, blown from the west attacks the lake. The water is dark grey.
In the restaurant, perched over the lake, a black-suited waitress mops up pools of water under my feet. 'It's not my doing!"
I mumble. She smiles. It's been a wet winter.
A score of water hens nibble the grass by the shore. On the nature strip over road an ungainly swan finds nourishment, its beak be-spattered with grass. I'd clean its beak, but it would bite me. To get here I hope it used the Pedestrian Crossing.
Maybe it flew? The sun has emerged
and the many sunrooms in the neighbouring Nursing Home remain empty. Nazareth House is up-market. I can only dream of being able to afford it. The rain returns.
The far side of the lake disappears
into cloud. Nearby elms display their
buds. The trees have bulked up.
Before this rain, the lake was full.
Now the excess water hurtles down-
hill, to the excitement of the
Yarrowee Creek.

Ballarat 17th August, 2019

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