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Crossing Dungay Creek by Astrid McCormick

Updated: Mar 1

Astrid McCormick was born in 1954 in Germany and developed a strong affinity for English and English literature early in life.  In 1976, she was awarded an MA in English and Social Sciences and worked as a senior teacher. Having lived on Vanuatu in the South Pacific, since 1996 she has called Australia home. McCormick currently studies with the Oxford School of Poetry after having completed an MA in Cross-Disciplinary Art and Design at University of New South Wales, Sydney.  CROSSING DUNGAY CREEK


And the path was narrowing while we moved up the road.

And the path led us forward as the land shone in beauty.

The sky embraced the joy. 

We crossed the creek and the tyres pounded the timbers on the bridge.

And we drove swerving through the curves of the dirt road.

Steep hills looked down on us with mighty trees.

And the trees told us about monumental force. 

And the burning logs emitted clouds of streaming smells of tomorrow. 

An old car’s carcass reminded us of life and death.

And the path became narrower and Dungay Creek spread out in front of us again.

When grey pebbles rattled under the truck tyres’ impact, my body’s cells trembled. 

As the steel gates opened, the ground shook gently so my spirits woke and I viewed a future.

In front of us a paddock offering space, where plants would grow and prosper.

We walked ahead. We turned and walked further, arriving at the creek with weeds clinging on to us.

 

Burr, soldier weed, fire weed and thistles.

We met an opening of water so beautiful, aquamarine. And dark-falling, the vines.

Viridian, pouring down from the trees. Sacred darkness in a stark sun. 

And my soul opened and the wind rattled the casuarina needles and the casuarinas swept all thoughts away.  Making the sound of hush and promise of tomorrow. 

Virgin blue and virgin green.

I did not hear myself think. I did not know I was there. I was one and breathing. And the breathing was the house and the dead trees were piled in the creek.

And I broke off a twig with many leaves and let it fall.

 

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