31 October 2006
Music doesn’t always help among the trees. The singing wire hits wrong notes with every barb, and birds don’t sing they speak. I forget my past. I don’t have memoir in me: I reckon people are looking down from the Dyott Range as if they care. I know they don’t. Saw the migratory Rainbow bee-eater in an acacia and almost burst out of my containment policy. Isn’t vision parochial? Each evening I watch the halo people emerge from the crops, almost dried off – a few weeks until harvest. My brother is shearing and has seen the halo people up on Glengarry Station – neat white buildings with gun slits in the wall – birthplace of Edith Cowan – first woman elected to an Australian parliament – founding member of the Karrakatta Club with its push for women’s suffrage – gunslits in walls facing the bush, from where natives might come - women, men, children... where the halo people congregate. Locust hoppers are readying to fly. The state is spending millions eradicating them. The whole wheatbelt is being doused in poison. Each week the department reports the hectarage they’ve knocked off. Treated. When locusts fly,
watch out greenery. They’ll pass straight through the halo people, who’ll barely notice, being used to monoculture. The notes – the music – disassemble. Gravel spread like ribbons – aggravates wheels, axles. The jolts blur conversations of fertility data. Drought has brought the yield right down. Critical. Like weather being hallucination: sets, subsets, of its own omniscience? Anyway, it’s just a mood I’m trying to get across – to sidestep and relay. The skies at night are clearer than you’d expect, and economics keeps the district in check. I listen outside the music, the bootscooters kicking up a din on the town hall floorboards, halo people peering in from the dark.