Wednesday, 12 November 2014

DID YOU GET A BIT LAST NIGHT?

Its been a long time between drinks and once again we are struggling with drought across this country.  Rain or lack of it is a constant source of conversation here in Australia - more so in the country than in the city...





Did you get a bit last night?

Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet  11/14

It never stopped, just kept on coming and running and drummin’.  She hated the sound of it on the tin roof.  When it got really heavy it was she imagined like being in a dugout with a machine gun hammering away in your ear.  Nothing soothing at all in the sound.  Bloody rain.

waterlogged trenches
knee deep in mud and gore –
Flanders Fields

  Ten days now and everything was waterlogged.  If a sinkhole opened up beneath her she wouldn’t be at all surprised. And now the problem was the river at the bottom of the street.  It was rising, a lot faster today because they had finally decided to let some water out of the dam that was now overfull.  After the major floods the city and towns had already experienced over the previous two years, everyone was nervous.

storm surge aftermath
fast flowing rapid water -
rising damp

 She was keeping a wary eye out for snakes.  They were on the move, being forced by floodwaters from their riverbank nooks and crannies.  The sneaky little bastards would be in your house before you knew it, hiding under furniture, lurking in cupboards – one had to be extra vigilant.  One bite from these slithery serpents and it was all over red rover.  They were venomous, they were cranky and they were there.

slithering serpents
sinuously swimming -
seeking respite

It was always a worry.  With two dogs constantly looking for adventure and the little terrier doing what little terriers do – hunt, anything that ventured into the yard was fair game.  They were good dogs and pretty obedient but couldn’t be watched 24/7.  She swore to God they even heard two ants crossing the road, as from a deep sleep suddenly two sets of ears pricked and then hell for leather they both charged down the stairs, nearly ripping the door off its hinges as they burst through the doggie door.  This accompanied by frenzied barking and growling and usually when she went to investigate the cause of the commotion there was nothing there that she could see.

excellent hearing
plus extrasensory perception –
equals high alert

But snakes were quick, lightening quick and one of her dogs was older and slower now and the other one was far too cocky for her own good, a Jack Russell who thought she was six foot high and bulletproof.  A fierce defender of her family and her territory.  A ballsy little bitch that would take on anything and in the frenzy of the hunt completely ignore any directions that were given to her.  That was the worry.   When a dog is hell bent on killing a snake you don’t want to draw their attention away from their attack for a second, for that second might just be when the snake drives home an advantage, but you don’t want the dog attacking the snake in the first place and you sure as hell don’t want to get bitten yourself.  God she hated snakes.  Problem was if one dog was going in for the kill the other one would be there as back up, the whole bloody scene reeked of a disaster waiting for a place to happen.

in like Flynn
all for one and one for all -
united we stand

She often wondered whether an electric fence would keep snakes out.  Of course people laughed and looked at her like she was a slice short of a sandwich, but in reality could it not work?  Her brother told her that once the grass grew a bit it would short out the  hot wire, which to keep a snake out would have to be almost on the ground.  Well she still thought it might work, but men knew best about these things.  Didn’t they?  Then again,  had a bloke even thought of that idea?

never say never
thinking outside the square –
womens intuition

Whilst pondering this she thought she would give her city girl friend Sue a ring and have a chat.  It had been a while since they had spoken and now she was retired she never ventured into the city.  Didn’t have any need to these days, and she hated it anyway.  Too much rush and noise and traffic for her tastes.  Mind you snakes weren’t thick on the ground there.

concrete jungle
dry urban ecology -
black bitumen snakes

The phone rang, and rang and she was about to hang up when it was picked up and her girlfriends voice, a little breathless answered.  They chatted for a while about this and that, family, friends, movies, nothing too earth shattering more about touching base than changing the world.

trivialities
mindless chatter- repartee
explored and noted

Suddenly there was silence on the other end of the phone, she could feel the tension coming down the line and then in a voice dripping with icicles it was so cold Sue tersely replied “ I fail to see why that is any of your business.”

....Well she was a bit taken aback by that response I have to tell you because all she had asked Sue was ‘Did you get a bit last night?  I had just over two inches”

misunderstanding
plus prudish perceptions
equates to cold shoulder

I mean to say that’s a fairly normal question to ask about the weather isn’t it?  The main topic of conversation in the country is how many inches are in the rain gauge.

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