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In the valley,
chainsaws roar like banshees lacerated by laryngitis.
“You’re going the wrong way,”
say mist shrouded cliff faces
painted red and black with torn corpses.
Landslide scarred trails
as coiled as suspension springs
guard windswept summits.
Nine inch thorns lurk in wheel ruts.
Weary travelers ascend on foot.

Before a hearth as old as mastery of fire
they mistake mischievous fungus
for a familiar delicacy.
Ceilings become floors
and the walls gateways to sensations
more familiar to bat scorpions
politely sipping the blood of platypus platoons.
The weary wanderers see the universe
through the eyes of supernovae,
and goblins on toad back
in the marshes of Merble.

In this enchanted hovel,
the five senses are merely the opening line
of an epic.

Images

Hopefully these micro poems will trigger creative writing of your own.

1.
Baseballs turns black in the twilight.
Earthward bound they overtake eagles.

2.
Stockings as ornate as Versailles chandeliers
cling to her like a lover.

3.
The ink cartridge is an ocean of potential.
Her diary is a temple of dreams.

4.
The sun’s farewell
is painted on the shallows
of a windswept beach.

5.
Santa’s sleigh zooms across
a ten thousand dollar TV.
Elf size viewers
scrape mold from their breakfast.

7.
Rotten watermelons carpet the yard.
Pranked basement prisoners
collapse from thirst.

8.
Politicians in chains,
staring at the bloated corpses
of forgotten political prisoners.

9.
Enough Wikileaks t-shirts
to cause a cotton shortage in Texas
bury the Christmas tree.

10.
A sinker for every Clinton and Trump lie.
Not enough fisherman in the USA
to stop them burying the streets.

11.
Forest fire embers
descend on a climate change deniers essay,
like a hawk on a rodent.

12.
Miles from streetlamps.
Headlights barely highlight.
the overgrown track.
Rocky slopes to the left,
inky blackness of dams
to the right.

The Lemming Shepherds

The shrieking gale slowed to a dying breeze.
Eastern rosellas, galahs and gang gangs
flocked to distant billabongs.
Canvas tents shieled elderly tourists
from the February oven.

In the village,
dog walkers paused on grassy islands.
Three year old Ben thought the’d tamed the kangaroos,
who’d emerged from the forest
to graze in the twilight.
“Are they circus kangaroos” he wondered
as they slipped through a barbed wire fence unscathed.
He didn’t ask Uncle Bertie,
who was famous for staring at half empty bottles
as though they were encyclopaedia sets.

“Come on Aussie come on”,
cricket ad crowds chanted,
on Bertie’s black and white TV.
Patriotism was a virtue
long before Ben learned the word,
until it was as vacuous as the evasive waffle
of propaganda spruiking Prime Ministers.

In the ensuing years:
there were lakes to kiak,
beaches to explore,
shells to collect
and missions to Endor to direct.
The bushland was an Ewok planet one day
and steaming jungles
of World War Two Papua New Guinea the next.
Paddocks were every sporting arena,
from the Roman colosseum to Wimbledon.
The village was more parallel universes
than the second hand bookstore
could cram into its science fiction shelves.

Today, the forest is scarred with golf courses
and lakefront mansions
as uninspiring as toilet blocks.
The serenity has been murdered
by go karts, trail bikes and jet skis
as numerous as the goannas once were.

On the towering new council chambers
“The Lemming Shepherds”
was sprayed with Rembrandt precision.
That strange merger of skeletons and tree trunks,
haunted environmentalists and property developers alike.
Following the mayor’s enraged editorial,
his weekender was marred with the same phrase.
Coffins full of wallaby bones,
were left on his front lawn.
His dreams were invaded
by a figure in a lizard skin mask,
whose rage was as tangible as a vat of acid.
Sleeping pills could not banish him.
Closing the new driving range
and nurturing the land, until the forest reclaimed it,
hardly softened the fury in his weaponised eyes.
Donating his assets to environmental activists,
was as ineffective as resigning.
A best selling autobiography
entitled Confessions of an Environmental Vandal,
dissolved the nightmares.

Unidentified

Xerxes Lagoon exists to paint music
in clouds of ambient noise.
The disembodied heads of composers
stare from his rhythmic auroras.
Picasso called him the Sultan of Synethesia.
Dali called him the oddest roller
in the pinball parlour of life.
Those who question the authenticity of his eccentricity,
their sluggish, shrunken brains are lacking electricity.

Enroute to an artists retreat,
Xerxes was oblivious to the jarring motion
of the all terrain vehicle.
He didn’t notice the driver swerve
to avoid a coyote.
We could’ve been on a dancefloor,
in a rodeo arena,
or a cooking pot, for all Xerxes knew.
He was shocked to discover
the rainforest had given way to desert.

Above the cacti canopy,
on a barren hilltop,
the smoke shrouded, blood red sun
glinted off a mysterious object.
It was abstract enough to baffle us all,
yet recognizable enough
to inspire countless hypotheses.
Interstellar spacecraft,
experimental military aircraft,
meteorological research station,
avant garde limousine, in levitation mode.
psychedelic sculptor’s residence,
and interdimensional pixies conference centre,
were among the multitude of theories.

I reached the object from a rocky outcrop.
A sequence of dull thuds,
upon its shimmering surface,
was followed by percussive orchestral brilliance.
It’s vibratory contortions
converted random strikes into eerie melodies.
I couldn’t shake the feeling
it was trying to communicate.
Somewhere in Xerxes comprehending gaze,
lay the keys to the ghost in the machine.

While we watched a hawk descend on a wounded rodent,
the mysterious object vanished.
In its place
was an exquisitely detailed mandala.
Under a microscope,
random imperfections hinted at hand painting.
It was wet when we found it.
Rhiannon concluded it was a gift
from extra terrestrial hippies,
that their sky borne palace
existed to give birth to mind mending art.

Xerxes uttered his first words in weeks.
“Sometimes my ideas solidify.”
He refused to elaborate.
Xerxes next words were “biscuit of light.”
The context was as forthcoming
as a stone age nuclear winter.
Had he descended into word salad
or was he alluding to the nourishing light of reason?

For the duration of the retreat,
Xerxes was quieter than his brushes.
He painted for days, collapsed into sleep
and resume painting before he awoke.
Sometimes he remembered to eat.

Xerxes winter exhibition “Astral Travel,”
blurred the distinction between painting and sculpting.
He’d created aerial views of tree obscured landscapes
we’d passed while his head was buried in a cushion.
The oldest painting on display
predated our desert journey.
It depicted the unidentified object,
on the barren hilltop,
above the cacti canopy,
from a demystifying angle.

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Horizon Hill

Dust devils pirouette across the track.
Water purifiers hang uselessly from Will’s belt.
Cows search the crumbling lake floor
for drinkable pools.
Foxes gorge themselves on rotting fish.
Overhead,
a conspiracy of ravens harass wedge tailed eagles.
Two days of water hug Will’s torso.
He sips sparingly.

Shadows lengthen.
On Horizon Hill,
an inland lighthouse towers over ironbarks.
Its sandstone exoskeleton
is immune to the ravages of forest fires.
Underground it’s shaped like a bottle.

Will peers through his telephoto lens.
The lantern room is ready to illuminate the canyon.
Will follows the ridgeline
to the subterranean entrance.
The Autumn coolness within
is as soothing as silk sheets.
Will saturates his sun mask
with a splash from an underground stream.
A cap torch lights his climb to the cellar.

In the cavernous temple above,
serpentine flute songs
wrap themselves around serene dancers.
A wild xylophone solo
is accompanied by the scent of innumerable orchards.
Voices bounce from ceiling to stairs
like crazed rubber balls.
The words “I knew you’d come,”
intermingle with the riotous laughter of kookaburras.
The president of the Obscure Poet’s Club
appears to float into the cellar,
upon a fog tinged cushion of dazzling light.

Upstairs, in the cupped marble hands
of Graham H Goalposts Smith,
a rosewood lectern awaits the lone traveller.
Will climbs the ladder
inside that towering psychedelic Buddha.
Haikus, limericks and sonnets
drift from Graham’s lofty grasp.
The words hang in the air
long after the poet’s lips have ceased moving.

“LSD is superfluous here”
says the sulphur crested cockatoo
frolicking on the piano keys below.
After witnessing the statue’s eyes move,
Will isn’t so sure.

Outside, it’s forty in the shade.
A procession of profusely sweating dwarves
lug their sedan chair lounging court jester
past skeletons of drought massacred fish.
A dust storm obscures the remnants of the lake.

Inside, the celebration of the bizarre intensifies.
Bar staff masquerade as bunyips and Banksia men.
“Orthodoxy is anathema”
the ivory tinkling cockatoo yells
at a man in a Hawaiian tuxedo,
with tadpoles swimming
in his transparent platform soles.
“I know mate” he replies.

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Duel

Rabbits as flat as Lebanese bread
are as numerous as the potholes.
Scavengers gamble with rodeo bound traffic.
Ravens mob stalking foxes.
Drought stricken skies
and Mistletoe drained Grey Boxes
are painted on murky remnants of dams.
Cows wade in,
to guzzle cool, sediment rich water.
The Jackie Dragons are as still
as the grey lichen dappled shale.
If the sun baked creek beds could speak,
they’d scream for rain.

On the hillside,
the audio water boarding
of a chainsaw and brush cutter orchestra ceases.
Purple Haze melds with the horizon,
as forest regenerators lop African Olive and Privet Saplings.
Has the Antarctic Aurora
ever matched visions conjured
by Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster feats?
If the crew could paint what they see,
they’d be psychedelic Rembrandts.
As Purple Haze fades,
Miles Davis’ sublime rendition of Nature Boy
emerges from dusty silence.

Horns signal a premature ending.
It’s forty in the shade,
ice water is liquid paradise,
flavour as superfluous as overcoats.
As the convoy of utes departs,
clay swarms like locusts.
The Yowie sighs impatiently,
as a heat drunk newbie
makes locking gates look as difficult as surgery.
It fades from this universe,
as a tourist infested hot air balloon
drifts overhead.
Eventually it re-emerges,
with its crystal plated guitar.
The instrument finally consents
to a melodious massage.

“This one’s called the Raptor’s Descent”
the Yowie informs the ravens
with a telepathic montage.
Wedge Tailed Eagles zoom from the blue,
to perch on the Yowie’s burly shoulders,
as its labyrinthine chords coalesce into guitar gold.
The waves in the ocean,
where Hendrix’s spirit surfs,
mirror the rhythm.
His reply comes as naturally as breathing once did.
And so the duel begins.

Genocide

In the howling wind,
the meadow is as lively as the ocean.
Amidst wild green waves,
the last pre European stone cottage stands.
Grass conceals the foundations
of neighbouring homes.
Colonists built fences from the rubble.
Villages older than the pyramids
were evidence of stolen tribal lands,
their destruction as predictable
as burnt crops, poisoned wells,
small pox laced clothing
and corpses rotting in dams,
until drunken murderers
ceased celebrating their acquisitions,
to dump them in mass graves.
The last cottage became a manure storage shed,
a means of perpetually shitting on
the ancestors of slaves,
forced to tend sheep and cattle.
The dregs of the herd
have long since been scavenged,
by dingos and foxes.
A cocktail of beauty and grief remains.

Reptile Relocation

Flipping stones,
in a windswept tussock world,
dotted with Snow Gum oases.
Over a million rocks turned
in this Stone Age raffle.
Don’t dare hope for little whip snakes,
or earless grassland dragons,
but be sure to capture them if they come.

In the lunch room,
grader and compacter drivers
swap tall tales of rampaging tiger snakes.
Wind turbines are erected in the distance.
Water trucks settle dusty tracks.
Aeons after noon,
we stir Lake Avon Road dust.

Beyond Nimmitabel,
kookaburras cackle at wallabies and roos,
playing tip with four wheel drives.
Echidnas and copperheads hide
at every bend in the track back
to our palatial stone and wood cabin.

Underneath murky rumbling skies,
I split wood,
as flame and scarlet robins flit by.
Stormy dusk fades to starry black.
Beside an alpine billabong,
I savour every sip of lager,
like a nibble of black market chocolate
at the height of an epic war.
Joel gestures towards a moonlit chessboard,
in a Melaleuca grove,
Hershel warms up for paddock croquet.
He’s arguing with his invisible caddy.
At least he’s wearing pants now.
The wombats were getting nervous.

Wapengo Lake

Mum saw reflections of the landscape in the dams.
I saw a subterranean world
and vowed not to fall in.

Later, I watched in awe
as a goanna stole dad’s bream
from the frying pan.

I burst into the tent.
“Mummy, daddy, a giant lizard has tooken our fish”

“Yes Rod, they said in chorus,
assuming it was like the crow
who flew through the sun
and dived into the dam in time,
to save its feathers from melting.

The next day,
I scraped a dog in the sand,
by the oyster racks,
venturing beyond scribble for the first time.
Alas, I haven’t come much closer
to rivalling Rembrandt since.

The year the Olympics headed to L.A,
a fallen tree beside the creek
became a spaceship.
Neil and I, aimed our laser cannons
at the pack of wolves
dad convinced him roamed the bush,
on the Tathra side of the lake.

During my primary school years,
we spot lighted for rabbits.
I thought it was cool
how dad blew those cute vermin apart,
with a shotgun.
My cousin thought urinating on the scattered remains
was the ultimate comedy act.

Recently, I walked
through Mimosa National Park,
shining my spotlight on the eighties.
I emerged from the trees,
as the sun set over the lake.
While gazing down at the stockyard,
I relived speeding down the hillside,
in the back of Roland’s ancient ute.
That long dead Toyota,
is now an archaeological site.

I strolled past the clueless gaze
of a soon to be gutted cow
and rewound to more idyllic thoughts,
of a cute little blonde,
in a feathered Akubra hat,
more at home on horseback
than I was on my feet.

I returned to the moment.
Mighty waves battered the distant headland.
Fish aimed for the gleaming moon.
As I lay cocooned on rural turf,
I was soothed to sleep by distant surf.

Genie of the Forest

We rest our weary legs
in a Weeping Meadow Grass carpeted clearing.
Rufous Fantails dart between Clerodendrums,
beckoning us to follow.

The hum of traffic is a fading memory.
Her fingertips bathe me in compassion.
The gleam in her eyes,
the wonder of her words,
such a bewitching duet.

If an excruciating debacle
snuffs out her precious sparkle,
I want to cradle her in my arms,
resuscitate her joyful charms.

Later, I meditate on the paradise of a kiss
and imagine her face in the throes of bliss.
Genie of the forest,
you granted every wish but one.