no more monkeys climbing on the bed


the rain came down all night

it teamed it bucketed it pelted  and it poured.

just before dawn another storm joined the party only this one turned up with the orchestra

the  bang and crash of drum , the  wind instruments and the loud voices of bass and tenor added a melody   of gusts  that slammed into us  whipping the rain up and slinging  it around, spraying our  verandahs soaking the tables and chairs, the fire wood , lawnmower , the towels and shoes.

it seemed to be dark when Kingston knocked  on our door , John heard it and  wished  he would go away but quickly   realised  a frustration was building so he let him in.

with  two dogs under his arms he clamoured into bed and snuggled  me, singing songs about the monkey that fell off the bed and had to get mummy to call the doctor and the doctor said  no more monkeys climbing on the bed.

he has the song word-perfect  and loves repeating it endlessly.

feeling we needed  to change the record him and I got out of bed

and decided that it was exactly the sort of morning for pancakes .

outside the kitchen the  waterfall from the guttering was cascading  into the  tank and everywhere  the world  was sodden.


speaking of waterfalls

John took me to meet a waterfall at Nethercote  the other day,

not far from the town of Pambula on the Yowaka River in very steep country there is a series of cascades that  pour water from pool to pool

some of them as small as a bath tub others of swimming   pool size.

first we had to negotiate a steep  track that said  4wd.

I hung on , a bit put off  by the sticking up rubber rollovers that  have to be flattened down  to drive over and the powdery gravel that loves to skidd a back wheel  but John took no notice and we made it to the car park .

from here it was another steep walking track  thru thick forest sporting a lot of rainforest opportunists and the commanding  ping of the bellbird.

a sign halfway pointed out  to us  the rare and precious species of flora and fauna  to be found in this reserve, some at  its southernmost range,

mostly the vegetation reminded me of home.

at the bottom we crossed the river and wound our way along   the side of a hill only occasionally able to see the river.

the sound of the waterfall moved  closer and closer.

a picnic table,  a couple of tourists from Victoria, a gravelly rocky shore and a gorge about 40 metres long that dead ended.

water gushed  out of an opening in the cliff and dropped 10 metres  into a very deep clear pool.   the cliffs towered on another 100 metres up into the sky and behind the waterfall there appeared to be  a dark recess .

in places shrubs and wattles grew out of cracks in the cliffs.

the gorge is made up of a rock known as rhyolite  which is a volcanic composition  of quartz ,feldspar, mica and hornblende containing a very high silica content.

they are beautiful cliffs holding lots of patterns in their blocked up shapes, faces are easily seen, but there is also an edge of quiet danger as if any one of the cracks could snap and send a slab of rock tumbling down into the bottom of the river.

according to the tourists the waterfall was not at peak and the pool was lower than they had ever seen it.

we ate our tomato sandwiches, chewed on a cucumber, drank our tea hot and strong from the thermos and shared an orange almond cake from Wild Rye bakery at Pambula.

the sounds of the falls plummeting mingled with the voices of young people exploring , breezes ruffled our curls and teased us with stories of  a blackfella time ; fire, food gathering and community.

in some  ways nothing has changed, the river is the river, the rock  is  rock and still people come and explore  raising their voices in excitement and wonder to be playing with the edge of  nature.

no one jumped that day but they do , they scale one side of the gorge and leap off disappearing into a mountain of bubbles coming up and flicking wet hair off their grinning faces.

after eating we sun baked lazily on a rock  like lizards before slipping our bodies over  and into the water,

it was shockingly cold and luxurious  at the same time

a melding of cells, an assembly  of molecules, a joining of  relations,

the blood that flows thru my veins meets the blood that flows thru the arteries of this planet.

tiny fishes dart around, taddies nibble at weedy stuff clinging to the slippery rocks and on a climb up the cliff to get a better look at the cave we spot an eel.

ooh gross, says one of the fair haired campers  from Victoria who had asked how the hell we had ridden down the road and how we were going to get back up ?

that is an interesting question says John.


we returned along the river skipping over rocks skirting around pools occasionally plunging thru shrubs and over fallen logs.

by the time we reached our starting point we were hot and had to embrace the river one more time.

I rode home on the back of the bike feeling refreshed and nurtured but more than that was a feeling of connection

a sense that I had encountered an old friend.

a river, a gorge , a forest  a waterfall.

a friend that revealed  itself  and invited  me to share.


that place exists within me now

in my heart and my memory,

a space I can return to whenever I like

a space I can tend and hold dear

a friend I was truly glad to meet and bring home with me.











how deep can we go ???



the world is softly wet

soft shoosh sounds  tinkling dripping plunking and plinking

water on metal water on earth,

water softly fielding its heavy grey skirt over our garden and forest.


the skinks are napping today,


not a day to play chasing,  not a day to bite our toes.

Greg is convinced that they are getting more aggressive , he swears he was eyed off the other day.

ever since he saw a planet earth show of the komodo dragons wearing down a water buffalo on some island in Indonesia he has had a ‘thing’.

actually, it was rather gruesome

the dragons  attack as a mob isolating a water buffalo and harassing  it until one of them manages to get close enough to  bite .

then follows a three-week period of hell  in which the poor animal  is inexorably poisoned becoming weaker and weaker until in the final days the dragons are circling hovering licking their chops  watching and waiting .

and then they feast.

it gave us the heebie jeebies at the time especially the watching and waiting and so when Greg says he felt eyed off…..

and who is say in what  direction the evolution of our skinks is going  ???

they take advantage of us particularly at morning tea time on the verandah, not just eating crumbs but also having a nibble on a toe .

we get a fright let out a squeal, it runs off and pretends to do something else. is it dead skin that is so appealing, the flavours of walking or a prelude to something else?

I walked on one in the kitchen yesterday,

they blend into the colour of the floor lurking in the shadows at our feet.

I looked down and observed  the tail section wriggling and twisting around with the upper part of the body missing, probably bolted off under a cupboard to lick its wounds.

I got sick of watching the jiggling around and went in and complained to John,

there are some things a girl shouldn’t have to face.

they are all over the plates waiting to be washed up  sometimes even  needing a hand up out of the sink

shinnying up metal surfaces is not one of their skills.

they havent discovered the kitchen table or the bench yet but lets face it, is only a matter of time.



I went to The Crossing  for a deep ecology weekend with Skye and John Seed

meeting a bunch of strangers and a few good friends.

love flowed freely and generously served up in large helpings with the food  honked out by the geese and teased out of exercises designed ‘to deepen our connection with nature ‘

how deep can we go??

already here we live on the margins of existence while the wallabies, oh they are so cute eat rhubarb leaves and snip our marigolds

the possums oh they are so noisy thundering along our roof

the rats oh they are eating the tomatoes

the black snakes oh they are making out again

the wombats oh they are on further construction

the rabbits oh they have found the berries

the wrens oh they live in Johns room all the time now

the flies the mossies oh just plain annoying

and  wasps that build their nests in our pumps chain saws  pipes mufflers  the pram the recorder.

the daddy-long-legs  take over our windows and the huntsman always grabbing a lift to town with me.

is this deep enough??

I am in the web of their existence while still trying bravely to eke out our food supply.

how envious I get when I see urban backyards with  banana trees and rhubarb and a thousand and one veges and  fruit trees with peaches and apples and plums.

we had an orchard once, it  still exists down to the west of the house where we no longer venture hidden and hemmed in by  the tall strong black wattles and the falling down chook yard.

sometimes  the trees even flower ,sometimes they set fruit, sometime you catch sight of a loquat or a peach but then before you blink it is gone.

the grapes so lush this year, big bunches of them but  before the ripening could advance  it became possum central with their squabbling and yowling and feasting night after night outside our  bedroom .

some nights I  would wander out  trying to look menacing with my witches broom and say get along you, go, only to be  stared at  by  big luminous and dare I say it, righteous eyes.

eyes claws teeth and fur lay claim to these fruits and I had better get used to it.

so here we are, the faerie embassy ,a place where we can all live in harmony, where we listen to the voices of the wild where the wild have a voice

and  their voice is loud and clear.

I want I want and ruthlessly with no thought of sharing  they take  and leave  me the squashed skins to sweep off the verandah  the next day .

I know it is up to me to find a path of communion thru this

if only I can learn to go deeper ,deeper into the connection maybe then I  can  forge a link of sharing in which I too eat the fruits but really we are too soft and we did offer up this place as a sanctuary .

the reality outside of this forest, outside of this  haven  is war , war  upon all things wild.

they are refugees .

there is naught else we can do but love them in their wildness and honour them for their magnificence in Being.