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On a walk

Dylan Roden

Crunching, crunching over the pebbled river paths. Snap, crackle, pop of the bush as we wander and scamper respectively lonely as clouds, rounding a bend, a host of golden wattle.  

The bush was grey a week today 

Olive green and brown and grey, 

But now the Spring has come this way 

With blossoms for the wattle. 

Acacias acinacea, dealbata, mearnsii, pycnantha According to those that know, it is possible to have wattle blooming twelve months of the year, if the right species are chosen, and there are 1,070 to choose from.  

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze, the native grasses Austrostipas elegantissima, scabra.  

Green tangle of the brushes, where lithe lianas coil, and orchids deck the treetops and ferns the warm dark soil. My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow lorikeet, a purple swamp hen, golden whistler, yellow-faced honey eater, pink rose, flame robins, blue-billed duck, dapple-dawn-drawn Kingfisher, in his riding of the rolling level steady, a gash of gold-vermillion.  

With winds light to variable, but more often than not, variable, the twinkling, leaves of reflected sun, the reptiles sunning on rocks and the black swans gliding on the perfect mirroring of sky, variably bright blue and black; the plashing, lap lap of the water creatures, the tadpoles zipping and tumbling and twirling as they rise and fall in the liquid peridot, double helix-coiled gold and then silver weeds and reeds, streamed and stippled sunlight; the sound, smell and taste of the bush, the north winds tossing the leaves heralding the seasons, orchestrated with the choralling, melodious, fine, flutey song of Gymnorhina tibicen (magpie). Slivering, slippery sliding wriggling notechis scutatus (tiger snake), merde alors (shit in French), scheiße (shit in German), jeez looez (shit in Strine), sudden elevation, heart a-thumping, rapid rewind; the storm, hail to thee blithe spirit, clouds gather, and the mighty tempest brews, the wind gathers force and whips through the pines whooshing and spindling their needles on the forest floor of the revolving stage of the Abortorium. It’s like being in the mountains. In amongst the callistemons and the banksias, the grevilleas, the lofty Eucalyptus bicostata and sideroxylon casting the fresh therapeutic piquancy of youth on a teaspoon of sugar, there is dotted prunus of soft, Spring, pastel, scent and thorny japonica in scarlet architecture, and tropical palms of sandy shores.  

How so? Qu’est-ce que c’est? Pour quoi? 

Once, before European settlers came in 1803, the Yalukit-willam people of the Boonwurrung country roamed the flat grasslands. The basalt outcrop from volcanic activity was ribboned throughout the north and west of the Batman signing, being the sturdy, dense building material upon which to build a city. The blue stone quarries were quarried until the 1960s when the encroaching suburbs required a tip for the civilisation refuse. The locality of the tip became offensive, as the suburbs encroached, and was thus imploded, creating a series of circular planets, satelliting, revolving and rotating around the lake, collecting the new fauna and fauna.  Earth, lake, air, beloved nature, our great Mother has imbued our souls. The Council has created a controlled wilderness of loveliness. The wheel has come full circle, but now we have signs. Descends on me, my spirit’s bark is driven to walk these pathways, these grasslands mown and wild, these forest floors, every day. 


But hark, a warning! The newly introduced species of inscribitur anglo saxon mulieribus (Karens), to be avoided at all times, vicious, deadly venomous tongues. 


With thanks to my Literary chums, without whose help this would not have been possible: Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Wordsworth, George Gordon Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Veronica Mason, WG James, Dorothea Mackellar, Kellogg. 

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