Our garden, Marrickville, Enmore Park
Back East on the edge of a factory belt, we plant live-fast-die-young wattles
on clay soil that cracks the walls in summer. A yellow bloodwood
dominates the garden, the only tree in the street apart from
an avenue of baby blueberry ash replacing elderly melaleucas.
A community of giant turpentine and ironwood once thrived on this ridge
of Wianamatta Shale, the paperbarks below damping a tidal river.
People arrived, measured the fauna and flora and each temperamental
achievement of the hunt. They read six seasons, we are in the middle of
bana’murrai’yung when tiger quolls seek a mate and we haul down the doona.
We once prayed to our ancestors for guidance and protection
and now ask scientists how global warming will affect harbour homes
and standards of living. Knowing place is the heart of belonging.
The radio says, Divorce ratesare higher among born-again Christians than atheists.
You laugh. With luck we belong anywhere between earth and sky, if
we share attention. Happiness is naked in the flow, nurturing spontaneity,
nailing wu-wei. Wang Wei comes to mind, I think of digging out his poems,
instead come down the corridor towards you to rewrite a brief history of flesh,
each touch perfect, almost sufficient, but always saying goodbye.