Cows in a Paddock

Someone once told me you can tell what the weather

Will be like by studying cows in a paddock.

If they’re standing, she said, there’d be

a good chance of rain, whereas if they were lying down,

you could count on fine weather. Or it might have been

The other way around. What a load of bull, I thought.





What if half were standing and half were lying down?

Would that mean a 50% chance of fine weather, or to put it another way,

A 50% chance of rain, depending on whether you were

A glass half- full or a glass half -empty sort of person? It seemed a little dodgy.

What if, for instance, in one paddock all the cows were lying down

while in another, they were practising synchronised standing?

Wouldn’t one cancel out the other?





And why cows?

What about prognosticating pigs, soothsaying sows, auguring alpacas?

The list goes on. I decided to go back to the Bureau forecasts.

At least they get it right half the time.

Midsummer Murders

We’re marching towards mid-summer now.

Midsummer can be murder here,

the heatwave capital of Australia.

I can feel the heat in its loins already,

smell its sweaty armpits

hear the swagger in its step.

I’m coming, he says, like a general

on the march with his troops,

heatstrokes and bushfires,

& his meddlesome minions,

mozzies, snakes, spiders,

outcasts from Eden.

Not looking forward to this

but at least there’s the beach to go to,

the air-conditioned palaces of libraries

and shopping centres, the reverse cycle at home

and, of course, beers with the boys!

Waiting for the Apocalypse

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I am lying in bed waiting for the Apocalypse.

It is due fifteen minutes after midday.

We have been told these things before.

What do they know?

It is sunny outside though clouds are building.

There’s a piffle of a breeze rustling the bush outside my window though I notice it is picking up.

Could there be something in it?

Damn. There’s someone on the phone.

It’s Emily from my insurance company calling from interstate about a failed payment.

I question some details.

Just bear with me a moment, she says, as she scurries off to her superiors.

Don’t be long, I say. The Apocalypse is near.

Pardon?

The Apocalypse’

I’ll put you on hold, she says.

Dogs whine, doors clatter, the sky darkens.

Just then ADT Security phones.

What is wrong with you people? Don’t you know the Apocalypse is nigh?

Silence.

I go out to the verge, bring in the bins, look around. The winds have dropped.

All quiet on the western front.

Gus, the Jack Russel next door, barks at my presence.

It’s okay, buddy. It’s only me. And anyway it’s been postponed.

What has? it barks.

The Apocalypse.

Again?

Yes, again.

What the %$%&#.

Calm your farm, buddy.  We get to live another day.

I go inside, wait for the next alert.

 

I Never Heard It Coming

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We’d just got back from the beach.

I pulled out a book, she put on a CD.

Peaceful, floaty music.

Music to paddle-board to.

But then it changed.

The tempo picked up, the violinists

Played furiously

Like The Two Cellos playing AC/DC.

It was ‘Winter’ by Vivaldi.

I thought, what’s there to get worked up about

With Winter?

Spring, yes, but Winter?

Sluggish, soporific Winter.

But those violins were working up a storm.

You do get storms in winter —gusts, gales, blizzards.

I wanted to get up and fight someone.

Bloody Vivaldi.

One minute I was paddle boarding, the next

I was tumbling in the wild surf.

You just can’t trust classical music.

 

have you ever come across a piece of music, rock or classical, that changes stride suddenly and drastically?

 

 

Heatwave

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Yesterday was really something.

A race to the top after five grueling days.

It was like a marathon.

The bureau reported, almost gleefully,

we had done it! we had broken the previous record.

It almost made it worthwhile.

The hottest day in the State’s history!

Yet people kept their cool

Even when the grid crashed.

Emergency Services stayed on top of things.

No one died.

We phoned each other.

Are you okay? We asked.

Yes! I’m okay, I barked after the tenth inquiry.

I was losing my cool.

Other states get floods, fires.

We get heatwaves.

By morning the cool had come.

We waved the heat goodbye.

 

have you experienced similar conditions?

what’s the worst weather conditions you experienced?

 

Rain

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For nights and nights and nights I lay on my pillow, worrying, listening to the rain, even though the skies were clear and starlit and the moon shone through my window like a lantern and I wondered what else I was hearing that wasn’t there or not hearing that was until one day I had my ears syringed with warm water and the wax flowed out in little honey-coloured clumps into a dish the nurse held for me and I no longer heard it rain except when it did.

Wimp

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Too overcast.

Shadows on the ocean.

Clouds shifting.

Too much motion.

 

Anything could be anything.

Shadows or sharks.

Stingrays or box jelly-fish.

Too dark.

 

You just don’t know.

Cannot say.

No, sir. Not going in.

No swimming today.