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In the bush

The light patter of rain on an iron roof. Slabs of bark whirled from tree-trunks landing with faint thud. The crack of a metal can contracting in the corridor. The rising whoop whoop whoop of a nightjar. The barking of a neighbour’s dog.

A short time of silence when not even the breeze breathes.

And then morning sounds. The crowing of a faraway rooster. The revving up and fading laugh of a pair of kookaburras. The shrill throbbing of cicadas. The clear trilling of a lyrebird, interspersed with its rattling, whirring and thudding.

And then the padding of bare feet, heading to the kitchen to make coffee.


At Potato Point

The voices of children playing in the street as light fades. The hissing and snorting of possums. Occasionally a slight asthmatic wheeze or the irritating zzzzzzzz of a mosquito.

The crunch of gravel in the drive at 2 am as my son leaves for work.

The long whimpering of an unhappy puppy. The call of the wolf-whistle bird. A twitter, a trill a throaty rise. The happy-birthday-to-you bird. The magpies’ liquidity. The friar bird with its irritating grackle-grackle-grackle. A harsh wick wuck wuck. All the smaller twittering that one day I’ll be able to name.

And always the continuo of the surf.