Today I am coming to you from a tree in New Farm park as suggested by a lovely producer at ABC radio earlier this month.
I can tell you now writing on a laptop a good 6m up a tree is conducive to funny looks. The place I’ve settled to write has all these nails in it, and I can’t really imagine why, or can I?
I was commissioned to work on the latest development which ventured into the forest in the centre of the town. No one had even tried to build in the forest for 100 years, though we weren’t sure why, it was prime real estate. We were asked to keep it as quiet as possible or the greenies would be out enmass. I got up before the sun did and we began marking the trees. There were only a few of us, but it only took a few spray painted crosses before I felt that we were being watched. My colleagues made fun of me.
“It’s a squirrel conspiracy!”
“Watch out they’re deadly!”
But I couldn’t shake the feeling, the trees were huge imposing figures with giant claws that dug down into the earth. I looked into one of the tangled mass of roots that propped up one of their huge arms, a pair of sunken eyes looked back at me. I stumbled back as Bob started up his chainsaw. We were sprayed with dirt. The trees were ripping up their claws from the forest floor. Roots came down on top of Bob imprisoning him. Their great arms thrashed and their roots grasped around blindly for human limbs.
I started running, I could see light up ahead, but just as I reached it I felt a yank on my ankle and was dragged back. I grabbed a nail gun from my tool belt and fired. The root recoiled giving me just enough time to scramble free.
I should think there won’t be another attempt at development in the forest, at least until people forget once more.
Today I walked around the city and took photos of words I found on the streets. They tell a story…
Okay, time to face the germ pit.
“Hi how are you?”
Why did I say that? I feel crap, that’s why I’m here.
“5pm with Dr. Maalouf? Take a seat.”
But where? Not next to coughing man. That girl looks harmless but then again… the empty row seems safest. Oh pamphlets. Funny tummy… yes… blah blah blah… bowel cancer!?
Is nowhere safe, she’s holding a jar of pee right next to me. Get me out! Get me out! Get me out!
“Jamie? Jamie Hann?”
Phew. Finally someone to look after me.
Written in the Doctor’s waiting room.
I’m sitting in the dinosaur section of the museum trying to drown out the sounds of overly excited children, so I can transport myself back a few million years.
Dara the dinosaur dwelled on distressing memories. He’d deceived the other dinosaurs too long, discreetly dancing in the dark. So he declared his desire to dazzle. Despite a delightful performance, demeaning derision of his dreams had been hurled like daggers, drawing tears like blood.
Disowned by the pack because of his differences he despaired. He kept his distance so he could defend himself, and his devotion to dance dissipated. But his dreams never depleted. Detached in his small domain he drew divine depictions of dozens of dazzled fans in the damp earth until his dying days.
Dormant for millions of years, he decomposed but his bones were durable and Dara and his destiny were not destroyed. Now Dara is displayed in all his dazzling glory, demanding the adoring gaze of hundreds day in day out.
This morning I am coming to you from the goodwill bridge over the river. I was walking along it looking for inspiration- graffiti or a funny interaction with strangers- but I didn’t see anything. So I sat down, and immediately noticed a tiny bird. Then another and another, they seemed to be living just under the platform I was sitting on.
I’d been sent to deliver a hamper to the other side of the river. I’d never taken a job on that side of town, people rarely did, but I needed the money. I squinted at the stone bridge, it looked clear. I set off quickly, looking over my shoulder. As I suspected, a hulking troll appeared from underneath and began to climb up the side. I sped up, I’d been told trolls can be avoided if you are agile. But then, another appeared in front of me and began to charge.
There was nowhere to run to on the narrow bridge so I flattened myself against the barrier. As it charged, a flock of tiny birds swarmed it’s head. The troll shot straight past me and there was a crack that sounded like rock on rock. It had collided with the one behind me, and they were gripping each other tightly, I assumed this was troll wrestling. The birds had saved me, and turned the trolls against each other. But then they turned, like tiny missiles honing in on their prey. Their tiny beaks pierced my skin making thousands of nicks like paper cuts.
Then they were gone, as was the hamper. I could see their fat nests lining the river. Full of loot from other unsuspecting folk. I shivered. I needed to get off the bridge. As I went to take a step, I felt my body being pulled backwards. One of the trolls had grabbed me. I looked up at his pockmarked face, he was covered in thousands of cuts just like me. Then, he pulled me closer, crushing my bones into his stony chest. I now know this is not troll wrestling, but troll hugging. He carried me to the end of the bridge and set me down gently.
That was the first of many successful bridge crossings for me. We ambushed the birds one night, and now I am the town’s most sought after delivery boy. I pretend to fight the trolls (Boris and Grunt) in front of the townsfolk every few days. We make a killing from every crossing, and feast together every night under the bridge.
I’m at a party and there’s a lot of candles and fairy lights- I wondered why they are called that.
“Shh, I’m trying to break the glass.”
“What do they need us for? They’ve already caught the fire spirits and put them in wax.”
“Thats it! Swing toward the candles!”
“Come on, we’re busting out of the slave lighting industry.”
Wrote this on a swing. Quite a challenge actually.
The wind runs its fingers through her hair as she swings, weaving it into a tangled mess. It pushes on the chains and rattles the frame. Higher and higher she goes. She watches her feet, they look as if they could kick the big round clouds like soccer balls.
So the wind takes a mighty breath and lifts her off the black rubber seat. Propelled through the sky, she scatters clouds like fluffy white pigeons. Then she falls, like a leaf, lightly back down to the play ground.
When she gets home, her parents don’t believe in her. But it takes hours to untangle her hair that afternoon, and the clouds look like grains of sand spread randomly across the sky as the sun sets.