Sunday, June 27, 2010


Driving between Burradoo and Moss Vale yesterday, I passed a woman near a ute, who was standing by an easel, looking east. She was painting the almost gold fields by the Wingecarribee River.

I cannot recall the last time I saw someone painting by a road.

Maybe I've never seen this.

LJ, June 29 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010


A week or so back, at 8am, in minus 2.5 degrees, I had the pleasure of watching a party of five Flame Robins foraging in a cleared paddock adjacent to an abbatoir in Moss Vale. Unfortunately, the splendid males, with their electric red chests, weren't close enough for me to warm my hands. For the entire time, the cries of trapped bovines filled my ears. The sky was a washed out blue and frost lay everywhere like exhausted snow.

Two days back, at Fitzroy Falls, when the eastern escarpments beyond the immediate valley where the Falls centre themselves were painted with pink light, I showed my son his first Superb Lyrebird. The bird (a male - about six years old) was talking and screaming up in a tree, then it came down to scratch for invertebrates in the chilled earth ten feet away from us. The bird's vocalisations were extraordinarily loud. Steam came from its mouth as it mimicked the calls of six other birds (including a Pilotbird and a Satin Bowerbird) and pulled in the night as if a dear lost friend.

Looking forward to leading a birding trip for locals to the humbling green boulder, Tarzan vine and matted canopy kingdom of Barrengarry Mountain in early July.

Following the World Cup with interest. This will be anyone's Cup, with so many strong teams looking so listless, although I tip Argentina or Brazil to catch the glory. I think a t-shirt with 'Poor Harry' written on it could sell in Australia right now. Did he really deserve that red card?

Hoping my entry into this year's Blake Poetry Prize sings... whatever... Organising a couple of poetry events for the Southern Highlands - one, at Sturt Gallery at Mittagong in August, should be a small spectacular! Happy that local rag Your Times published a poem earlier in the month.

Questioning, yet again, why the hell we're over in Afghanistan, after the deaths of five Aussie soldiers in two weeks. I suppose oil is the answer. If only I could have a chat with Henry Rollins, Noam Chomsky and Sebastian Junger about American/Australian motives. Just how much of a threat are the Taliban to you and I? Sure, they're a worry, but do we need to be taking them on? An academic was on 2BL this morning saying that he can see Australian troops over there for another nine years of engagement. And at the end of that time, where will we stand? There will still be terrorism, fear and the burning of innocence.

Thrilled the Greens are polling so well currently. I think about 16% of responders are behind them. Will people actually vote for them on election day, however, or will it all be knee-jerk stuff stemming from main party disillusionment and confusion?

Teaching and teaching and teaching and hoping the students are getting something from it, as one does each year.

LJ, June 22 2010.