Sunday, 31 January 2010

Blackbird


Seen near Megalong Valley tea room

One of my childhood books had black birds with scary claws like that.

Words to walk with:
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Tree


Tree, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
William Blake, 1799, The Letters
"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a
green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and
deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the
man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself."

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A letter to my Aunt


Letterbox, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
From A Letter To My Aunt Discussing The Correct Approach To Modern Poetry by Dylan Thomas
Do not forget that 'limpet' rhymes
With 'strumpet' in these troubled times,
And commas are the worst of crimes;
Few understand the works of Cummings,
And few James Joyce's mental slummings,
And few young Auden's coded chatter;
But then it is the few that matter.
Never be lucid, never state,
If you would be regarded great,
The simplest thought or sentiment,
(For thought, we know, is decadent);
Never omit such vital words
As belly, genitals and ——-,
For these are things that play a part
(And what a part) in all good art.
Remember this: each rose is wormy,
And every lovely woman's germy;
Remember this: that love depends
On how the Gallic letter bends;
Remember, too, that life is hell
And even heaven has a smell
Of putrefying angels who
Make deadly whoopee in the blue.
These things remembered, what can stop
A poet going to the top?

Sunday, 24 January 2010

By the road


Roadside Farm, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
From Roads by Amy Lowell
O Winding roads that I know so well,
Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill!
They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune
Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
‘T is the rhythmic beat of a horse’s feet
And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch;
‘T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze,
And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch ...

By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse
And the panting breath of the dogs I love.
The pageant of Autumn follows its course
And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Shed


Farm shed, Megalong Valley

The farms of Megalong nestle below the high cliffs of the Blue Mountains. See also that the eucalypts are in flower at the moment.

Words to walk with:
The Shining Slopes and Planes by Les Murray
Having tacked loose tin panels
of the car shed together
Peter the carpenter walks straight up
the ladder, no hands,
and buttons down lapels of the roof.

Now his light weight is on the house
overhead, and then he's back down
bearing long straps of a wiry green
Alpine grass, root-woven, fine as fur
that has grown in our metal rain gutters.

Bird-seeded, or fetched by the wind
it has had twenty years up there
being nourished on cloud-dust, on washings
of radiant iron, on nesting debris
in which pinch-sized trees had also sprouted.

Now it tangles on the ground. And the laundry
drips jowls of coloured weight
below one walking stucco stucco
up and down overlaps, to fix
the biplane houses of Australia.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A Farm-Picture


Farm, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
A Farm-Picture by Walt Whitman
THROUGH the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Treeroots and Earth


Rainforest, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
From Treeroots and Earth by Les Murray
Where the great winds crashed
Strange suns appear
Gleaming with mud and shocks of thistle fur,
And walkers see them at the forest edge
And children, when the winter rains are past
Go hurrying there
And climb and scramble out on rays of wood
Among the antler tines and fluted sterns
Of galleons they rig with string and sail
High over the steep fall forest and the farms
As far as the islands of the summer air.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Best of the Year 2009



City daily photo bloggers are selecting their best photo of the year today. This is my choice from the photos posted in this blog. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

School's out


Megalong Valley Public School

School is out for the summer, ready for the winter.



Words to walk with:
Afternoon in School - The Last Lesson by DH Lawrence
When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?
How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart
My pack of unruly hounds: I cannot start
Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt,
I can haul them and urge them no more.
No more can I endure to bear the brunt
Of the books that lie out on the desks: a full three score
Of several insults of blotted pages and scrawl
Of slovenly work that they have offered me.
I am sick, and tired more than any thrall
Upon the woodstacks working weariedly.

And shall I take
The last dear fuel and heap it on my soul
Till I rouse my will like a fire to consume
Their dross of indifference, and burn the scroll
Of their insults in punishment? - I will not!
I will not waste myself to embers for them,
Not all for them shall the fires of my life be hot,
For myself a heap of ashes of weariness, till sleep
Shall have raked the embers clear: I will keep
Some of my strength for myself, for if I should sell
It all for them, I should hate them -
- I will sit and wait for the bell.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Ford


Old Ford Reserve, Megalong Valley

Words to walk with:
Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every by way, every path you know
Climb every mountain, ford every stream
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream
-- Sound of Music

Friday, 8 January 2010

Everlasting Flowers


Everlasting daisy, Megalong Valley

I've shown images of everlasting daisies before.

Words to walk with:
Everlasting Flowers by D H Lawrence
WHO do you think stands watching
The snow-tops shining rosy
In heaven, now that the darkness
Takes all but the tallest posy?

Who then sees the two-winged
Boat down there, all alone
And asleep on the snow's last shadow,
Like a moth on a stone?

The olive-leaves, light as gad-flies,
Have all gone dark, gone black.
And now in the dark my soul to you
Turns back.

To you, my little darling,
To you, out of Italy.
For what is loveliness, my love,
Save you have it with me!

So, there's an oxen wagon
Comes darkly into sight:
A man with a lantern, swinging
A little light.

What does he see, my darling
Here by the darkened lake?
Here, in the sloping shadow
The mountains make?

He says not a word, but passes,
Staring at what he sees.
What ghost of us both do you think he saw
Under the olive trees?

All the things that are lovely--
The things you never knew--
I wanted to gather them one by one
And bring them to you.

But never now, my darling
Can I gather the mountain-tips
From the twilight like half-shut lilies
To hold to your lips.

And never the two-winged vessel
That sleeps below on the lake
Can I catch like a moth between my hands
For you to take.

But hush, I am not regretting:
It is far more perfect now.
I'll whisper the ghostly truth to the world
And tell them how

I know you here in the darkness,
How you sit in the throne of my eyes
At peace, and look out of the windows
In glad surprise.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Chess


Rainforest, Megalong Valley

The odd way the decaying logs are laying (probably for bush regeneration) made me think of a checkerboard.

Words to walk with:
Life is a kind of Chess, with struggle, competition, good and ill events”
(Benjamin Franklin)

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Living deliberately


Rainforest, Megalong Valley

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- Henry David Thoreau

Friday, 1 January 2010

Changes


Megalong Road

Happy New Year! Thank you for following this journal throughout the past year and providing your always welcome comments.

I've changed my mind back and forth many times on how to manage my blogs in this fresh New Year.

Last year I split my time between Blue Mountains Journal and Sweet Wayfaring but feel that as a result both you and I have been missing out on the lovely natural environment in which I live so it's time for a few changes. I will aim to post here every 3 days as well as my daily Sweet Wayfaring posts. If you like walking in the wilderness stay here, if you prefer to travel through rural Australia there is an great new trip starting over at Sweet Wayfaring today.

Changes is the monthly theme day of the City Daily Community Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Words to walk with:
From Inversnaid by Gerard Manly Hopkins
"What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wilderness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wilderness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."