Brenda is a writer and artist of Wiradjuri and British heritage. She has written three poetry collections and her next, ‘Inland Sea’ will be published in 2021. Her poems and reviews appear in edited anthologies and journals, including Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Quadrant, Southerly, Westerly, Plumwood Mountain and Best Australian Prose Poems 2020 (MUP).
A Walk in the Park
Outside my window the street has lost all certainty. At first light there is an uneasy haze, patterns drifts in and out of focus. On most days I am left with this waking dream, a shadowy sense of the world closing in. Fear the dream is becoming a reality, a life of dissolving shadows, disappearing pathways. I wait for sunlight to bring definition, solidity to a row of pines. Under winter trees, I disturb patterns of bare limbs thrown across grass, circle the pond where shade swallows a mass of reeds. My mirror image trembles, shaken by wind over water. With the sun overhead, a shadow closes in, a hunchback weighty at my shoulder. Larger than life my companion looms ahead. I quicken my stride, strengthen my hold on ground tilting sideways, but it catches up in seconds as I change direction. Look back at the giant striding at my heels.
Isolation is now the default position for us all. To avoid the close down, we all have to find our own escape. Forget the measure of a city waiting to keep us in place. I am used to silence. For someone who likes to venture into solitary terrain, dreaming is my way out. Some say distancing is dangerous, but I have not disappeared. Inside this room, the air is full of ideas. Best thoughts build into songs, stories of Country. I sense the sound and smell of dry forests after rain, crackling under leaf litter. I have not disappeared. I am still moving, writing sacred places into memory. Words take off, hang on air like dust motes, scatter ahead as random thoughts on red earth country. Landscape grows sparse, arms and legs turn into branches smelling of mulga wood. I feel a slow cooling as my feet take root in water stored for the changing times. Some say I have already faded too far. May never find a way back.