A to Z Challenge – R is for Rivers of Life

April 21, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Australia, Poetry, The Wet | 3 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

There is always something special about the first rains of the Wet Season in Central Australia.

Rivers of Life

As the first raindrops fall,

the red desert earth releases

the sharp, clean smell of ozone.

I lift my face to taste

the heaven-sent drops;

to receive their cleansing baptism,

their cool anointing

on my thirsty, sun-dried skin.

The long-awaited build-up,

the sultry grey-black promise

of summer storm-clouds,

is finally, thunderously, fulfilled

in the unrelenting barrage

of a season-breaking downpour;

a cascade that quenches

the sky’s glowing furnace.

At once I am drenched.

Coolness trickles from head to toe;

washing away the summer dust.

My feet are lost in red-brown mud,

as tiny rivulets unite, to form

streams that expand into

shallow, brush-dotted lakes,

through which I splash.

Earthy waters, fed by heaven’s bounty,

surge along winter-dried river-beds

that Rainbow Snake their way

through sandy, spinifex plains

and the rocky, spirit-haunted gorges

of Australia’s red-ochred heart.

These surging, foaming torrents

irrigate a vast desert land,

carrying with them a sacrament,

the annual rebirth of the land.

At season’s end the rivers pass away,

buried beneath those thirsty sands.

Then, almost as I watch,

multitudes of waiting seeds,

aroused by the redeeming waters,

erupt into life, and carpet the red soil

in white and mauve and gold.

In weeks, they too will fade away,

until the next rainy season brings once more

the ozone smell of nature’s baptism.

(c)  Linda Visman

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An A to Z of places I have been

June 9, 2012 at 12:07 am | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Nature, Writing | 4 Comments
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This post was inspired by a creative writing prompt on Strangling My Muse.

A          Armidale University, where three of my sons graduated.

Old Burra copper mine and engine house.

B          Burra, a lovely little historic country town– the longest I had lived in one place (six years) since 1968.

C         Canberra, the national capital, designed by Walter Burley Griffin, and home to many repositories of national importance.

D         Dapto, where my family came for a couple of months in 1954, after we arrived in Australia.

E          Earning a living as best I could.

F          Finding out about inland Australia on a four-month caravan trip in 1980.

G         Going into the depths of despair, and climbing out again.

Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira

H         Hermannsburg, the birthplace of famous Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira, where I taught for four years, and became school principal.

I          Imagining something better, and finding it.

J         Jousting with cancer and winning.

K         Kiama, which was a lovely little place when I was a child, but is now suffering the blight of urban growth.

L          Lake Macquarie, the largest coastal lake in NSW – beautiful!

M         Moss Vale, almost an English village in an Australian setting – well, it does rain a lot!

N          Narromine, where I found out the meaning of passion.

O          Observing the magnificent night sky in remote Central Australia

P          Perth, the capital of Western Australia – not so long ago the only capital city with a country town atmosphere.

Q          Queensland – coastal and inland – a state of natural beauty and destructive mining.

R          Realising a dream in the self-publishing world.

University of Sydney

S          Sydney University, which I attended for one term in 1966.

T          Teaching the children, and learning about indigenous people and life (and about myself) in the small and remote community of Ampilatwatja.

U          Underground in an old gold mine.

V         Valuing the joys of birthing and being mother to five wonderful children.

W         Wollongong, a once-thriving city, now trying to re-invent itself after losing most of the region’s manufacturing industries.

X         X-ercising my right to vote, to protest, to be involved in the life of my town, state and country.

Y         Young Hospital, where my youngest child was born.

Z          Zooming in on a Dreamtime place in the desert.

Linda Visman

8th June 2012

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