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the gilltrap


An old farmhouse outback of Angourie,

– rusted iron roof, filagreed wrought-iron lacework around the verandah – floorboards that rebound like bass strings, plasterboards punched out, the murmur of a design meeting. Uproar.

– the stink of resin and the whine of shaping planes outside, dogs roaming through every room, sketches of concaves and convex dynamics littering the floor, surfboards leaning against all the inside walls, in the kitchen a couple local girls are cooking a vegetarian supper, there is the faint whiff of a little mature bushie from the couches out there by the back verandah, the TV is on silent as the weather forecast promises a rising swell from the east. Tasman onions.

Somewhere, a guitar.

Everywhere, youth.

Someone wanders away from the house after dinner and finds a dark place to sit and watch the sky for the forecasted change; he is barefoot as he wanders through a long grown lawn suddenly wet with dew caused by the drop in the temperature.

The land is silent here but for the growing rumour of conflict from the sea two miles distant, and he imagines a few favourite places over there to the east, places that are drawing the water back under their shallow footings, then pitching it forward into black throated caverns.

Two yellow-eyed Boobooks watch him walk back into the darkened house, and in a while they resume their soft catch-calling

(the pic: Brock, Greenough, Keyes, McTavish)

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. somehow this makes me sad – like I missed out on something, like I never really gave my life to passion -of the simple pursuit or riding waves. but then again I was borne in ’75 in Venezuela -nowhere near those ideals and those lifestyles. perhaps I romanticize those times.

    the fact that this short piece brought up so many thoughts reminds me that I have long way to go before I learn to write. thanks Pete for the picture.

    July 27, 2011
    • they were a pretty tight group rico, two from bondi, one from the us and mctavish the queenslander – some of the old drawings would be worth a frame you think?

      July 27, 2011
  2. I love the paragraph that starts ‘The land is silent here…’.

    The whole piece is very atmospheric. Lovely.

    July 27, 2011
    • cheers and beers bh – howabout you and me we rule the world .. or have I already said that

      July 27, 2011
  3. There is so much atmosphere around this – like a thick fog. Beautiful, It made me think of my youth again. Going to a friend’s parents’ bach at Callala Bay. Wandering around in the mornings, groggy from the night before, feet damp in the dew as the brumbies come in for a pat and stale bread. Cooking steak pies out of a tin. Laying on the sand, trying to find the horizon in the blackness while the fire spat red fairies out to dance in the air. Awwwwwwwwwwww – nostalgia really does have its place. Thanks Pete – it’s a good way to start my morning.

    July 28, 2011
  4. Guitarfish #

    Feels like home to me.
    A few years later, maybe, and across the pacific, central coast tribal commune. I was the little brother of one of the dominant females. A wonderful time.
    Thanks for sending me back.
    ” there is the faint whiff of a mature little bushie from the couches out there”
    Bushie? What Bushie?

    July 31, 2011

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