Visit to the physio, 13 July

Starts with a curtain of raw sienna drawing back an illumination, not a cloud.
The Eastern Spinebill is rattling off his high-pitched siren, starting slowly
and winding up, by the time Colby arrives (unexpectedly). Our plumber
won’t go on roofs, so we had to ask around and find a recommended local.

I photograph his shadow on the roof, lurking over the solar hot water.
Don’t know why. Ten minutes later, a hundred bucks changes hands.

Timing is good, as friends arrive and we walk through the forest,
the path scratched by fallen branches. Not many birds, a possible
Rufous Fantail. Fungus saturate orange light on their log paddock.

Oyster Creek is high and still, the tail blocked by beach, water
in a different state lying in its ochre, pooling colour in no hurry
to meet its maker, jumping over cliffs, cascading down rapids
The sheer variety, ice to cloud, how can anyone be bored
of this world playing birds and flowers and vistas?

The ground thumps now and then as wallabies take off.

Lunch at the local cafe, Amanda has bought it, she seems happy
and busy of course. We have fun eating fish and laughing loudly.

Early, I pass the physio, note where it is and continue to the lookout.

Three kids are on the beach, parents, presumably hidden by the cliff
– close to the surf club. One boogies on her board in an utter green sea.
And what did I read this morning? The seas are getting greener
from more plankton, more nutrient pollution:

‘The deep blue sea is actually becoming steadily greener over time.’
‘The reason we care about this is not because we care about the colour,
but because the colour is a reflection of the changes in the state of the ecosystem,’
said BB Cael, a scientist at the National Oceanography Centre.’[i]

A friendly family from Taree, tattooed head to foot, point out
what they claim to be a small shark, I just see rocks wriggling
in the waves. I admit to them their eyes are younger.

But my attention snaps up, excited by colour, three Paragliders
flying backwards and forwards. One of them shows off, dragging his feet
through the bush in front of me. Another, hovers above their take off,
hangs in the air on an invisible cord from the heavens.

They joined by two Sea Eagles passing north, one clutching a red fish.

The combination is surreal or sublime, who knows which?

I have to go, wait on the verandah out back and collect
an all-inclusive view of sacred Nunguu Mirral, houses,
washing, a rugby field, a soccer field and the Leagues Club.
Sport is the culture of regional Australia.

I tell Blake I have tennis elbow, but haven’t played tennis for three years,
I might be writing too much and my camera is heavy.
I have started mousing with my left hand, I say, looking for approval.
As he manipulate my right arm, we talk last night’s game, and agree,
a much more skilful attack with Cody Walker in the team.
I tell him I am off to WA before my radiation starts
He is going to Dubai for his holiday some cricket comp.
He gives me exercises, warning it will take some time.

As I step outside, I am shocked by the colours of our new car
picked up yesterday. And, just before I get in, a pair of King Parrots
zap over – their primary colours as bright as if invented.

I still don’t understand half of the computerised options –
the automatic hand brake surprises me, and Wyn says
it can tell if you are yawning. I can’t get the air vents to work,
or the cruise control, though I found it driving back from the showroom.

The car is in control and everyday there are warnings of AI catastrophe.
‘Silicon Valley techie warns of AI: ‘We’re all going to die’.’[ii]



[i] Sofia Quaglia, ‘The sea is becoming greener due to changes in plankton populations, analysis of Nasa images finds’, Guardian, 13 Jul 2023.

[ii] ‘A prominent AI researcher is sounding the alarm over the technology’s rapid advancement, saying that the consequences for …’ New York Post, July 13, 2023.

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