AT HOME - in


Our home’s a virtual paradise

In retirement, our retreat
Its become a kind of sanctuary
Here the birdlife, quite replete.

Just one of God’s little acres
That slopes down to a riverbed
Overlooking broad meadows
And a distant watershed.

Riparian vegetation
And white majestic gums
All part of the lovely landscape
Our house is set among.

Contorted limbs and foliage
Set swaying in the breeze
And many shapes their shadows cast
To the humming of the bees.

A panorama quite dynamic
Ever changing day and night
From early in the dawning
Shrouded mists of white.

The filtered rays of sunshine
When the fiery orb’s oblique
Through painted trunks and branches
Throw long shadows at our feet.

Where the dewdrops are a’twinkle
Set on spider’s gossamer rings
While cicadas’ add their chorus
To a host of lesser things.

Bright butterfly wings a flutter
Randomly meander by

And birds of every feather
Adorn the azure sky.                                                                                                                                                                                            


Those birds, and all their antics

I’ll recount some other time
From little wrens to raptors then
Described in verse and ryhme.

The stealthy fox by moonlight
Startles the cackling hen
For his destination probably is
Neighbour Rene’s poultry pen.

Here live some other scaly things
Like geckos, lizards, skinks
And their larger legless cousins
Slide through the grass methinks.

And we’ve solved one huge dilemma
That of Frances Whiting’s frog
He now sits outside the doorstep
Like a well content pet dog.

Of humanity we’re reminded                    
By the background highway hum
Distant sounds of trains and aeroplanes
Through Nature’s musings come.

While on the motor mowing
Willy Wagtail flits abreast
And the Dragons wait by the river
Bound on their insect quest.

When all chores are completed
And evening shadows spread
From golden glow to flaming bow
The light of day is shed.

On the other far horizon
The colour of  Sun’s fading ray
Great cumulus columns rising
Herald storm clouds on the way. 

Then in the gathering sunset

Heaven’s window closed
And storm clouds drenched in evidence
The moon and stars deposed.

With the crashing sound of thunder
Our mortal senses blurr
And in the menacing atmosphere
Primeval forces stirr.

The night flashed white, a blinding light
And rising through the same
Full many shapes, not shadows were
In mole like mountains came.

A little after sunrise
I look outside aghast
A thousand times a thousand mounds
Are strewn across our grass.

What unseen abomination           
Has caused the earth erupt
To overnight proliferate               
And all our lawns corrupt.

So many excavations
Left piles of red-brown mud
Which through the house when trampled
Leave trails like thick dried blood.

As the culprit, we discovered   
A diminutive brown ant
But Oh! such countless numbers
Could make a sane man rant.

Unlike his many cousins

This ant dwells quietly underground
And though unseen, his numbers vast        
In the sub terrain abound . 

I try to clear the carnage

But soon the mowers clogged
And bouncing over mudhills
Gets very nearly bogged.

And you can’t become complacent
After weeks of sunny skies
When all is green and tranquil
For what underneath belies.

I know I should be grateful
To look out on cloudy skys
For without refreshing rainfall
Everything surely dies.

But its now all too apparent
That our verdant widespread lawns
After each and every rainstorm
Are left pockmarked when it dawns.

With senses thus incited
Well - you know this means war!
We can’t abide or tolerate
This provocation at our door.

In blind exasperation
The battle lines are drawn
For a campaign soon defeated
And Ants still rule the lawn.

To claim - 'The highest species'
There may now be some doubt
For these elusive little critters
Have got us figured out.

Perhaps we’re just mere mortals 
That are living in a trance
And residing under sufferance                      
In this Planet of the Ants.             

Rodd Sherwin   ©                                                                                                                             
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