I am currently decluttering my RedBubble Portfolio, to make way for more recent art that best represents who I am now, as well as to make it easier for customers to navigate the available products for sale. As a result I will be sharing some of my old creative writings here on WordPress, as a way of preserving them. In several cases my mind, opinions, beliefs, values and overall understanding of life have changed since the time I wrote these pieces, but I still feel that they are personally valuable reminders of the various stages of my life journey thus far.
As I wrote on the description for the original post: before anyone overreacts, this is imaginary. I have more than enough people in my real life who mistake my creative writing for being self-disclosing hard news journalistic reporting (in their defense I *did* minor in journalism… so I guess I can see where the confusion arises… maybe).
This piece of writing was first posted at my RedBubble Creative Writing Portfolio.
Date of original post: 14 April 2011
Total views, at 2 May 2016: 285
the blood running down my hands and arms reminds me
that I am only one choice away from becoming a monster
Ye’d be best off taking a different path.
The old woman in the kitchen liked to stand with hands on hips,
it made her feel strong and mighty; gave her the right to scold the young men as though they were
the sons she never had.
He felt small next to her, though they were the same height, but
there was something in the way the women looked at him:
A veiled fear, perhaps, hidden under their bonnets and how they all looked exactly alike
their uniform long skirts and high-shouldered blouses – no corsets, though – too impractical for these wild lands. Stay off Brumby’s Track, ye hear?
Something terrible happened there, once.
Sideways glances and anxious silence. Guilt, perhaps?
Guilty consciences because they talked among themselves,
But what did he have to do with it? The sins of his fathers
As if he could’ve come in a pre-incarnate form
To warn old uncle Tommy that there are stains that can be washed off stone
but not washed off a heart.
He knows that they know.
He can’t tell the boss not to take the most direct route.
He’ll just close his eyes when they come to where it happened.
He awoke from a dream of bones.
A stone-wrought ossuary festooned with wonga-wonga vine and
pollen-heavy yellow bursts of wattle.
Where wallabies and wombats grazed on the sharp thin blades of what posed for grass.
And wasn’t it sad how death followed them out here, too,
to this upside-down world where swans were black and even the gentlest creatures were dangerous?
As though God Himself had abandoned them to become part of the red soil and feed the ghost gums
Their faces turned to home, pining for a land that forced them into exile
on stinking ships and into camps to labour for the glory of the King’s expanding empire.
Here the sun travelled in the northern half of the sky and the birds sang strange songs.
Where the trees did not change colour in the autumn.
Somehow he carried the memories of his ancestors,
and their strange second-sight that saw through time:
layered over the wild granite peaks were visions of spirits,
of beings far more ancient than even the venerable Old Country;
phantoms who wept over the desecrated land as the blood of their lost children mingled with the melting snow.
And here in this place, where pale skin was burned red by the burning sun.
A disembodied voice whispered to him from that other space,
As though the skulls in his fading dream were crying out across so vast a chasm
That they now became an echo on the morning breeze. Cries of injustice hung in the air over this place.
He knew he should never have come back here – to this town, to this farm
Where whispers told him that something out there waited for him,
To drag him into the mausoleum disguised as a bushman’s hut.