The Theater of the Bush To westward the sun seeks a comfort nocturnal, Her warmth slipping under the covers ahead; And daylight soon passes the threshold eternal, Turns on the night-light and settles in bed. Awakens from slumber those creatures encumbered By prisons of sunlight and tethers of day. Possums in number search treats to be plundered, And kangaroos bound here and there as in play. Silver dewdrops on muzzle, Fox pauses to puzzle At traffic’s far rumble, the wonder of star; But he has scents to follow, locations to nuzzle, For meals of his making, wherever they are. The powerful owl with talons at ready Blinks in the moonlight, at watch in the trees, For cockatoos fidgeting, rabbits unsteady, Morsels of glider to snatch on the breeze. For the night is a stage and each creature a player With lines etched in paperbark, wattle, and stone; Costumes of feather, fur, whisker, and layer Of drama in theatre more grand than a throne. As each act nears conclusion scripts seem an illusion, For instinct ad-libs though the scenes are rehearsed, And conflicts are settled, lives lost in profusion, Heroes applauded, misfortunes reversed. Until starlight flickers like spotlights made dimmer And bouquets of sunlight descend from the east; Then curtains of stillness slowly close to a glimmer Of creatures contented with slumber for feast. New players make ready for morning’s rendition, Resplendent in costumes designed for their parts: The lizard, echidna, brown snake, take position On stage as the darkness of evening departs. A Mist of Fears Days are dark without exception since the tenth of June; Midnight follows midnight, as lyrics merge with tune; And yet it makes no difference, for joys are joys the same Whether lit by brightest light or feeblest of flame. Scent of Eucalyptus still wafts in midday sun, And River sounds a joyful note on finding place to run Beneath the skies where cockatoos return in raucous flight To treetops as they congregate each starry, moonlit night. Smoke from distant campfire brings treasures, none the same, Without the need for knowing direction where they came; And Breeze still moves the branches – I know because I feel Tender leaf caresses, evening’s coolness real. Yes, pleasures are abounding when senses know to look, Not literally by eyesight since blindness closed the book On vistas full of colour, faces, places, tones, Images remembered, submerged like river stones. I always will remember the day of accident, The tenth of June set firmer than reinforced cement; Losing sight forever, expecting to be poor, Yet gaining in the process riches infinitely more. Pearls of ancient wisdom unknown ‘til recent days, The bounty of the seasons perceived in novel ways, Preciousness of morning bestowing sounds intense, Feelings always present now making greater sense. And time will not diminish the beauty of your smile Nor fade to shades of greyness those tresses which beguile, Because I had the foresight to gather through the years Snaps to lead me safely beyond a mist of fears. Never take for granted, vision, hold it fast, For who’s to say each picture may not be your last; To store within the album of memories to draw When hearing, touch, aroma, come firmly to the fore? David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.