Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bite me!

The Laws of Attraction must state in their fine print that my pathetic, girly skin is a fair target for mozzie mauling. That's one thing up here. The bastards are breeding like it's the last water they'll ever see and they suck not just the blood, but the life blood out of unsuspecting victims.

Sandflies, however, roam in another realm of disaster.


Unequivocally, with passion, and a body covered in carcenogenic bitey beastie protection (ie. RID upon DEET upon Bushman's. And none of this natural twaddle. Sandflies laugh out loud in the face of natural balms.)

So, here's my poem, to honour the sandfly sufferer and mark said sufferer as a legend of the maul.

Superbad Bities

Four am in stillest night,
in the tent with stars all bright,
full moon out which lights the sky,
far from shore and high and dry,

I am woken by a ping!
Something like a little sting.
Not a mozzie, all is silent.
What on earth is this here tyrant?

Sitting with an itchy butt,
wiggling it around a lot,
cannot seem to make it cease.
Looks like I’ve got worms, good grief!

Then I feel it on my arm.
Hairs spike up in great alarm.
I rub on my funny bone,
right up to my armpit zone.

Suddenly they’re on my knees;
right, then left, then right, oh please!
Then upon my heel and toe.
Twitch about all do-ce-do.

Little finger, largest thumb,
then again upon my bum.
Undies not protecting much
as I scratch that such and such.

Silent evil, little din,
next they are upon my shin,
on my ankle, in my hair,
up my nose (how’d they get there?)

Here a knuckle; this is rotten,
then I scratch my belly button
for as long as I am able
to thus gaze upon my navel.

Ouch! My eyelash. Ludicrous.
Rub my shoulder, scratch my wrist,
Itch my back ‘til I am sore,
scratch my ribs with bites galore.

Hair and scalp, that bloody menace,
every nook and sweaty crevice,
bits the light has never seen,
not wish on your enemy.

Tummy, toosh and cheek and lip,
palm and wrist with bony bit,
hip and thigh and calf and jaw
underarm and chin, what’s more,

reeling, feeling rather grotty,
next another on my botty,
now my lips and just for fun,
open wide, it pings my tongue.

In between my fingers now,
then upon my right eyebrow.
Forming now a crazy nexus,
how’d it get my solar plexus?!

And by now I’m scratching mad,
nutcase spinning superbad.
Midgies, give yourselves a clap.
You lot win, but take this – SLAP!

Headtorch on and hunt for keys.
Scrounging round upon my knees,
find them in the mess of stuff,
bit to ‘blivion, had enough.

Eye the zip and spy the ute,
count from three, two, one and scoot.
Beep, unlock, jump in, and slam!
Lock the doors from this here scam.

Hoon away into the night,
past the dawn to bright sunlight,
far away from Cleaverville.
Camping there? Don’t be a dill!

Four weeks on and I still count
scars of which did well surmount
one hundred and forty eight,
done and dusted, well too late.

So, if you pass me on the street
you will know me, hard to beat,
I’m the one who still looks rotten,
…scratching on her itchy bottom.

Elise Batchelor March 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Christchurch Quakes

Our world is a crazy beast right now. The December floods in West Australia's Gascoyne region were incredible. Then Melbourne rained all January, Queensland then New South Wales and Victoria had their monumental floods in Feburary, only to be mopped up by the massive Cyclone Yasi in the country's north east corner. The Pilbara has rained and cycloned its way through summer and, next thing you know, there are fires culling suburbs in Perth, more deluges in Queensland and flooded roads in the Kimberley.

And then the Christchurch earthquake.
And then Japan's earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear reactor explosions.

I suggested I'd buy a lotto ticket. Now seems the right time.
My friend Beth replied not to bother. 'All the outlets,' she reckons, have probably 'been flooded, burned, and knocked down in earthquakes and nuked! There is always fine print to these games.'

In the fine print, there is of course the worst of all of this. Not the buildings, or the holes in the road, the debris littering rooftops, or the cars and boats littering village streets.

It's the death.

Yet still, amongst that, there persists that singular gift of humanity we cling to through all such sobering times.

I was privileged to be given the opportunity to write about the Christchurch earthquake in its wake. And this is what I share with you today.

The photo is of two sisters together in France. The lady on the left makes her home in Christchurch. this 'little old lady' was injured, but survived. And thus, carrying hope in a handbag, she still makes her home in Christchurch.

Blessings to all.

The Pilbara Poet

When the earth moved

Newly wed and under wraps in a fine hotel,
their synchronicity was blinding.
Both felt it at once,
the earth moving for them.
Yet neither screamed,
for the weight of the moment
sucked breath away,
deep into dust and steel,
with the rose petal bed shifted
eight floors south
and their thumping hearts
clogged quick into lifelessness.

In the next room
a businessman walked out
the third floor
at street level
with a scratch
upon his temple.
And a headache.

The little old lady hunkered beneath
her shattered shoulder and
the ridiculous armour of a black wool coat
noted her own irony, stuttering, dazed
through this Armageddon of
broken earth in her city’s heart.
It was Tuesday.
Her mass day.
Holy Mother of God.
And she had been communing with her Lord,
giving thanks for her many blessings.
At least one person watching on
the evening news saw her confusion,
wondering if she was wondering
whether Christ went down with her church too.

We build along the fault lines of hope.
It is our nature, and will be done
until the lovers sleep at peace,
until the bells ring out once more.

Until we are certain we are solid.

© Elise Batchelor March 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thirty something (and a bit)

When Jennifer Aniston turned forty, she avoided a midlife crisis with a luxury holiday to Mexico and a renewal of her vows that blonde will always be the new blonde. When Sarah Jessica Parker turned forty, she had a perfume made of her essence (although why one would want to smell like Sarah Jessica Parker is beyond me). When Shane Warne turned forty, he avoided the psychological crash and burn of midlife by continuing to send random large busted women text messages professing undying lust (if not dyed hair). When Kylie turned forty, she began to look like a cat. When my husband turned forty...oh, sorry, that's right, he didn't. And Never Will he tells me. Got that?

And when I turned forty, I did it in style. The only way to do it. I bought something red. And by god, did it feel gooooood.

The Red One

I want the red one, thanks, ‘cause it goes faster.
It may well make a mess, cause a disaster,
but with my fine tuned skills I’ll be the master
and take the chance on ending up in plaster.

Don’t want the blue one, no, it’s not the same.
It may well sink, not swim when in the rain
and blue, well, it’s for boys, (I know that’s lame),
But, oh, I love the red - it’s like a flame.

I’ll polish it each day for best protection
and when I gaze at it, there’s my reflection
and I will smile at me, need no correction,
for choosing red is just my predilection.

I’ll keep it shiny clean and housed inside.
It will have pride of place and we will ride.
The fastest gears it hits; oh no, don’t chide.
This girl is superkeen and cannot hide

wanting the red one, yes, it’s superstition.
But if I think of pink I feel the scission
which tears my heart in two with fine precision
and even black or white cause deep derision.

And so HE trots off to the special place
where all the red ones sit and wait with grace.
Oh how I just can’t wait to set the pace.
All whirr and whizz bang biz! It will be ace.

As he returns no sign of shiny toy
and he bemoans, ‘Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.’
My heart it caves, implodes and out seeps joy
until I rea-lise it’s a decoy.
He holds a whisk and asks, ‘Will this thing do?’
I stare dumfounded asking, ‘Would it you?’
He ponders, squinting, what oh what to do?
And then I know I shouldn’t feel so blue.

‘I’m only joking!’ he beams, just as I spy
my bright red mixmaster from my left eye.
‘Oh happy day! Thank you! I may well cry!’
‘How ‘bout instead, my love, bake lemon pie.’

So turning forty was not really hard.
Not that I am, but were I, I would star.
For if you’re going to do the crisis BLAH,
then get the RED one and it will take you far!